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42-97518

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 8/12/43; Kansas City 27/12/43; Orlando 1/1/44; 902 BU Orlando 2/6/44; Mat Spl Tonopah 23/6/44; Mat Com Wright Fd 28/6/44; Grenier 28/6/44; Prestwick, UK 30/6/44; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall, fitted with TV camera and GB-4 glide bomb equipment (Batty*) 2/7/44; on non-op mission from Fersfield to North Witham 29/7/44 with Ken Snedeker, Co-pilot: John Baird, Navigator: Chas Trimble, pass-Major Henry Rand, pass-Sgt Bernard Kurs (4 Returned to Duty); upon returning only one u/c wheel was down but aircraft skidded across runway, crashing through a gas truck into 44-6096 which exploded killing two bystanders M/Sgt Clove Wells, Sgt Clarence Nietzke, plus Navigator: Chas Trimble (3 Killed in Service), two other ground crewmen Cpls Bill Brown and John Taney were OK.

* Batty project - 3 x B-17 fitted with bomb racks for 2,600lb GB-4 glide bombs and with remote controls and TV equipment to control their descent to target. Only 1 x B-17 so fitted was used operationally before the project was pulled.

Service

Aircraft

  • 42-40042

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 11/11/43; on trial fitted with TV camera and GB-4 glide bomb facilities (Batty*) Orlando 22/11/43; 901 BU Pinecastle 2/6/44; 903 BU Pinecastle 10/9/43; 902 BU Orlando 3/10/44; 903 BU Pinecastle 25/11/44; 621 BU Pinecastle 9/7/46. ...

  • 44-6096

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 1/5/44; Kearney 10/5/44; Grenier 24/5/44; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 27/6/44; Destroyed at base 29/7/44 after raid on Mersberg; 9RTD; LADY COURAGEOUS. Aircraft struck at dispersal after landing by another B-17 from Fersfield. JC...

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Command
    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 560th Bomb Squadron

People

  • John Baird

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • William Brown

    Military | Corporal | 388th Bomb Group

  • Bernard Kurs

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radar Mechanic | 388th Bomb Group

  • Clarence Nietzke

    Military | Private | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed On Duty

  • Henry Rand

    Military | Major | 388th Bomb Group
    Passenger on Non Operational flight in B-17G 42-97518, on return to Fersfield in collision with B-17G 44-6096.

  • Kenneth Snedeker

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • John Taney

    Military | Corporal | 388th Bomb Group
    Bystander, uninjured when B-17G 42-97518 landed with parial undercarriage and slewed into B-17G 44-6096 which exploded.

  • Charles Trimble

    Military | First Lieutenant | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 29 July 1944 AM w/ Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Clove Wells

    Military | Master Sergeant | Crew Chief | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed On Duty

Places

  • Fersfield

    Military site : airfield
    Originally named Winfarthing when the site was allocated to the Eighth Air Force in 1942, it was renamed Fersfield when built for the Eighth Air Force 1943-44. USAAF and US Navy projects 'Aphrodite' 'Batty' and 'Anvil' (attempts to develop and use...

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...

  • Prestwick

    Military site : airfield
    Opened as civil Prestwick Airport with a grass airfield in 1936, it was also an RAF training, fighter and Coastal Command base during 1936 to 1941. Scottish Aviation established an assembly and maintenance facility there in 1938, developed during the...

Events

Event Location Date
Assigned Knettishall, Diss, Suffolk IP22, UK 2 July 1944

Assigned 560th BS, 388th BG, 8AF USAAF.

Fitted out for Batty* Project Knettishall, Diss, Suffolk IP22, UK 2 July 1944 – 16 July 1944

Fitted with TV camera and GB-4 glide bomb equipment (Batty*) 2/7/44.

Crashed Fersfield, Diss, Norfolk IP22, UK 29 July 1944

On non-operational mission from Fersfield to North Witham 29/7/44. Upon returning only one u/c wheel was down but aircraft skidded across runway, crashing through a gas truck into 44-6096 which exploded killing two bystanders plu Navigator. (4 x RTD, 3 x KOAS.

Written Off DBR Fersfield, Diss, Norfolk IP22, UK 30 July 1944

Damaged Beyond Repair, Salvaged.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2015 09:29:06 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number
Sources

AAM DB Entry.
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbasn.asp?SN=42-97518
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/andrew.etherington/articles/level1/batty_tv...

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2015 09:23:31 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, manufacturer, description, events, aircraft associations, unit associations, person associations and place associations
Sources

AAM DB Entry.
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbasn.asp?SN=42-97518
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/andrew.etherington/articles/level1/batty_tv...

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:13 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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