The 2nd Bomb Group, 429th Bomb Squadron of the Fifteenth Air Force was stationed at Amendola, a small 3600-foot airfield and hard-stands located near Foggia in Southern Italy. The facilities were not very desirable and airmen lived in tents.
Mission 355 for the 429th Bomb Squadron was scheduled for 14 February 1945 from Amendola. The day was cloudy as the B-17’s took off for a bombing run to the Schechat oil refinery near Vienna, Austria. 1st Lt. Robert E. Davis was piloting the crew of “Hell’s Angel”, a B-17G with aircraft serial number 44-6659. The Davis crew was flying their 13th mission. They had completed bombs away over the target when at about 1245 hours the aircraft was hit by flak. The plane began to lose altitude and stray from the formation. All crew members were able to bail out and deploy their parachutes. The aircraft crash landed in the Boesing Modra area near Pezinok, Slovenia. The entire crew were captured and taken to a collection point. Missing Air Crew Report 12107, which was filed after the aircraft failed to return home, includes captured German records relating to the interrogation of the crew by intelligence officers. Pilot Davis was described as: “produces an impression of intelligence, soldier like, correct appearance, very reserving in giving evidence, nevertheless not without fitness for investigation.”