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B-17 Flying Fortress

Available: 18 February 1944 - Boeing Aircraft Co, Seattle, Washington
Cheyenne Modification Center: 25 February 1944
Grand Island AAF: 8 March 1944
Grenier AAF: 20 March 1944

Assigned: 7 April 1944 - 8th AF / 94th CBW / 508BS / 351BG - (RAF Polebrook)

17 combat missions

Mid-air collision: Tuesday, 23 May 1944 @ 0635 hrs (Pilot error)

8th AF mission: 364 / 351st BG mission: 131 (Epinal, France – Marshalling yard)

Collision with B-24J-140-CO 42-110172 (Pilot: 1Lt Kenneth C Barton)

The lead box (B wing), which Lt Crowe was leading the low squadron, was assembling in a left-
hand circle around Splashed #6. As it turned to a northerly heading, one group of B-24s passed in front on a west heading.

A second group of B-24, approaching from the east failed to turn in time. This formation had its back to the sun that made seeing them, from the B-17 formation, almost impossible.

#3 & 4 engine & outboard wing of 42-97325 struck just forward of the left waist window of the
B-24, causing 42-110172 to shear in two.

AAF accident report: 44-5-24-510

(note: date on accident report is in error -- date should be 44-5-23)

Crashed marshlands Hoxne, Suffolk, Salvaged.

In 1972 an engine from Lt. Crowe's aircraft was recovered and restored and is now
displayed in the 390th BG Museum at Parham.

Pete Crowe, Co-pilot: Norris Nelson, Navigator: Bob Russeth, Bombardier: Frank Rubin, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Gerald Fiebelkorn,Tail gunner: Frank Lopez (6 Killed in Action). Radio Operator: Theo Popp, Ball turret gunner: Edwin Harden, Waist gunner: Joe Duggan (all 3 injured but Returned to Duty).



  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 508th Bomb Squadron


  • Peter Crowe

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 351st Bomb Group

  • Gerald Fiebelkorn

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 351st Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Joseph Isoardi

    Military | Second Lieutenant | B-17 Navigator | 351st Bomb Group
    Joseph J. Isoardi was my grandfather. I only knew him for 6 years of my life, but he was amazing. A life long goof-ball, his cap is always tilted to the side in his service pictures. He went on to father 4 daughters and 8 grandchildren.

  • Frank Lopez

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 351st Bomb Group

  • Norris Nelson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 351st Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Frank Rubin

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier | 351st Bomb Group

  • Robert Russeth

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 351st Bomb Group


  • Polebrook

    Military site : airfield
    Polebrook was laid down for RAF Bomber Command use in 1940-1941. Built by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, it had short runways which were lengthened for USAAF heavy bomber use. The RAF used the base for operational trials - including of B-17 Flying...


Not yet known


Date Contributor Update
13 June 2017 23:02:38 terveurn Changes to description

from aircraft card

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2017 22:43:28 terveurn Changes to description

351st bg web site
accident report

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2017 22:39:36 terveurn Changes to nicknames and markings

from 351st BG

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2017 19:43:44 terveurn Changes to description

clean-up for readability

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2017 19:40:51 terveurn Changes to nicknames

basic information

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2017 19:40:20 terveurn Changes to production block number and markings

Basic reference / 351st BG unit histories

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2017 19:28:45 terveurn Changes to media associations

AAF accident reports

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2017 19:16:56 terveurn Changes to manufacturer and description

AAF accident report 44-5-21-510

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:08 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log