Dry Gulcher Down follows the story of ten men who grew up in Depression America and found themselves aboard the ill-fated B-17, bound for the Luftwaffe research facilities at Peenemunde. They never made it. The documentary traces the life stories of the crew of aircraft number 42-97594 of the 381st Bomber Group (H) flying out of Ridgewell, England. On August 4, 1944 the aircraft caught fire after takeoff and plunged to a fiery end not far away. At the controls was famed television director Irving Moore, who remained in the cockpit until it was almost too late. Nine crew bailed out to safety. Only the tail gunner, S/Sgt Harold Norris went down with the plane. A unique look at the men who spearheaded the air war against Germany and the price they had to pay. At the heart of this documentary are the events over Shalford Village that day, and the people who watched the tragedy unfold–a British mother and son who saw the Dry Gulcher approch their home on fire, Captain Frederick Hawkins who was aboard the aircraft, and 1st Lieutenant James Grey who watched the fire break out on the Dry Gulcher, from his vantage point in another B-17 above the crippled flying fortress. For the first time, we know what happened to the Dry Gulcher, and the events that led up to that fateful day.
Length 58 minutes