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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 2/3/44; Gr Island 16/3/44; Presque Is 2/4/44; Assigned 709BS/447BG [CQ-M] Rattlesden 6/4/44; Missing in Action Berlin 29/4/44 with Chas Dowler, Co-pilot: Vern Arnold, Navigator: Fred Kleps, Bombardier: George Kramer, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Sandy Conti, Radio Operator: Francis Brownson, Ball turret gunner: George King, Waist gunner: Larry Steinhafel,Tail gunner: John Marabito (9 Killed in Action); Waist gunner: Ken Shimp (Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft hits caused aircraft to explode, crashed two miles NW of Weferlingen, ten miles N of Helmstedt, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 4254.



  • 447th Bomb Group

    447th Bomb Group

    The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces...

  • 709th Bomb Squadron


  • Vernon Arnold

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 447th Bomb Group

  • Francis Brownson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 447th Bomb Group

  • Sandy Conti

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 447th Bomb Group

  • Charles Dowler

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 447th Bomb Group

  • George King

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 447th Bomb Group

  • Fred Kleps

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 447th Bomb Group

  • George Kramer

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 447th Bomb Group

  • John Marabito

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 447th Bomb Group

  • Kenneth Shimp

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 447th Bomb Group

  • Lawrence Steinhafel

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 447th Bomb Group


  • Rattlesden

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the Eighth Air Force in 1942, Rattlesden had three concrete runways, 50 hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. Intended to be a twin-engine B-26 bomber base, it was originally a satellite for nearby Rougham, and first occupied from...

  • Presque Isle Army Airfield

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Germany 29 April 1944


Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:09 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 4254 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database