Skip to main content
Edit entry 


B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 5/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Dow Fd 19/4/44; Assigned 601BS/398BG [3O-Z] Nuthampstead 28/4/44; transferred 602BS [K8-Z]; (17m) Missing in Action Toulouse 25/6/44 with John Godwin, Co-pilot: Bill Freeman, Bombardier: Ed Seward, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Merrill Butikofer, Radio Operator: John Wilson, Ball turret gunner: Herb Brooks, Waist gunner: Chester Isdahl,Tail gunner: Frank Jenkins (8 Prisoner of War); Navigator: Harry Gnesin (KIA-chute failed); flak, crashed Comebarrion, six miles NW Toulouse, Fr; Missing Air Crew Report 6220.



  • 398th Bomb Group

    398th Bomb Group

    The 398th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire on strategic bombing raids over Germany. The Group switched focus in the days before D-Day, when they targeted enemy positions on the Cherbourg peninsula. When the Allies...

  • 601st Bomb Squadron


  • Herbert Brooks

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW)/ shot down by flak and crashed at Comebarrion on 6/25/44 in B-17 42-102463

  • Merrill Butikofer

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 398th Bomb Group

  • William Freeman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 398th Bomb Group

  • Harold Gnesin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 398th Bomb Group

  • Harold Gnesin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 398th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action. Shot down by flak and crashed at Comebarrion on 6/25/44/ in B-17 42-102463. In June 2001 a memorial was held at the spot in Cornebarrieu, France where the plane came down.

  • John Godwin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 398th Bomb Group

  • Chester Isdahl

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) shot down by flak and crashed at Comebarrion in B-17 #42-102463. Reported a Prisoner of War (POW) 18 Sept 1944

  • Frank Jenkins

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 398th Bomb Group

  • Edward Seward

    Military | Flight Officer | Bombardier | 398th Bomb Group

  • John Wilson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 398th Bomb Group


  • Nuthampstead

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1942-43, Nuthampstead was the nearest Eighth Air Force heavy bomber base to London. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. It was first occupied from September 1943 to April 1944 by the 55th...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) France 25 June 1944


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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 6220 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database