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43-38178

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 4/7/44; Kearney 13/7/44; Dow Fd 20/7/44; Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-P] Kimbolton 14/8/44; battle damaged Pilsen 25/4/45 with Clair Evans, Dennis Lang, Leland Slane, Bill Fanning, Bob Dobson, Vic Stewart (6 Killed in Action), Abe Teller and Norman Cooler (2 POWs); mid air coll 43-38272 (379BG); SEATTLE SUE.

Service

Aircraft

  • 43-38272 Thumper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 14/7/44; Kearney 24/7/44; Grenier 8/8/44; Assigned 379BG Kimbolton 27/8/44; battle damaged Pilsen 25/4/45 with tail gunner Bill Meikle (Killed in Action); pilot Jim Blain, Grant White, Sid Messeri, John Brooks, Cliff Lager, Duffy...

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Units

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 525th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Norman Cooler

    Military | Sergeant | Flight Engineer/ Top Turret Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Norman Cooler served as a flight engineer with the 379th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Kimbolton, England. ...

  • Robert Dobson

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Bob Dobson served as a ball turret gunner with the 379th Bomb Group. On 25 April 1944 he was killed when the aircraft he was flying in, B-17 43-31878, collided with B-17 43-38272, near Pilsen.

  • Clair Evans

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Clair Evans served as a pilot with the 379th Bomb Group. On 25 April 1944 he was killed when the aircraft he was flying, B-17 43-31878, collided with B-17 43-38272, near Pilsen.

  • William Fanning

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator | 379th Bomb Group
    Bill Fanning served as a radio operator with the 379th Bomb Group. On 25 April 1944 he was killed when the aircraft he was flying in, B-17 #43-31878, collided with B-17 #43-38272, near Pilsen.

  • Dennis Lang

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Dennis Lang served as a co-pilot with the 379th Bomb Group. On 25 April 1944 he was killed when the aircraft he was flying B-17 43-31878, collided with B-17 43-38272, near Pilsen.

  • Leland Slane

    Military | Flight Officer | Bombardier | 379th Bomb Group
    Leland Slane served as a bombardier with the 379th Bomb Group. On 25 April 1944 he was killed when the aircraft he was flying in, B-17 43-31878, collided with B-17 43-38272, near Pilsen.

  • Victor Stewart

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Vic Stewart served as a tail gunner with the 379th Bomb Group. On 25 April 1944 he was killed when the aircraft he was flying in, B-17 43-31878, collided with B-17 43-38272, near Pilsen.

  • Abraham Teller

    Military | Flight Officer | Navigator | 379th Bomb Group
    Abe Teller served as a navigator with the 379th Bomb Group. ...

Places

  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
    Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....

Events

Event Location Date
Crashed Pilsen, CZ 25 April 1945 – 25 April 1945

Previous entry's for this A/C and 43-38178 (Seattle Sue) contain several inaccuracies which can be traced back to a mistake on the MACR for Seattle Sue which mixes the serial numbers. This can be verified by viewing a photo of the nose of Seattle Sue which clearly shows the serial number as 43-38178.

The crew of Seattle Sue was the one with Evans as pilot. Blain was the pilot of Thumper (43-38272). Two of Seattle Sue's crew survived by bailing out (Norman Cooler and Abe Teller). Both were captured by the Germans and later returned to US Control.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 September 2016 13:22:19 Lucy May Changes to description and person associations
Sources

Information provided by Norman Cooler's nephew, Wes:
'Like many sources, your site has the crews of these two aircraft confused, most likely due to the fact that 1) they had a mid air collision and 2) the MACR on the two aircraft have the serial number transposed.'

'On mission 300 of the 8th Air Force, her last mission, Seattle Sue was piloted by Claire Evans. My Uncle, Norman Cooler, was the Flight Engineer no top turret gunner on that aircraft. I have a photo from the National Archives that clearly shows both the name Seattle Sue and the serial number 43-38178. My uncle, Norman Cooler, and Abe Teller both parachuted from the aircraft and survived. All other crew members perished when the aircraft crashed just past the target area southwest of Pilsen, CZ. I have been to the crash site and have photos of the wreckage taken just after the crash. I also have a photo of my uncle after his capture by the Luftwaffe.'

'The only crew member of Thumper to die was the tail gunner, Bill Mielke who was last seen in the wreckage in the tail of the aircraft. All other crew members parachuted from the crippled plane over allied territory and survived. '

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2015 17:58:34 EWCIII Changes to events, aircraft associations and place associations
Sources

Based on personal research, including photos of Seattle Sue, the MACR, a personal visit to the crash site, and personal papers of SGT Norman B. Cooler.

Date Contributor Update
17 November 2014 17:36:12 Lucy May Changes to nicknames
Sources

Add nickname to nickname field.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:26 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 14319 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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