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41-23794

B-24 Liberator

B-24D 41-23794 "Railway Express" 44BG/67BS was despatched on 15-Feb-43 to bomb the port facilities and Dunkirk, France. The aircraft was damaged by flak over the target and crashed into the sea off the coast at Dunkirk, France. 11KIA MACR 16003.

P 1Lt Rufus A. Oliphant (KIA); CP 2Lt Charles E. Wilkes (KIA)
N 1Lt Charles B. Franklin (KIA); B 2Lt Charles W. Bryant (KIA)
E/TTG TSgt Clyde Littell (KIA); RO TSgt Harry B. Bruns (KIA)
AE SSgt Cecil D. Goddard (KIA); AG Sgt Albert L. Boutin (KIA)
AG Sgt Woodrow Lawley (KIA); TG SSgy Richard E. Frye (KIA)
AG SSgt William Douthit (KIA)

Service

Units

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 67th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Albert Boutin

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 15 February 1943 in B-24D 41-23794 'Railway Express' while serving as Left Waist Gunner his aircraft was damaged by flak over the target at Dunkirk, France and crashed into the English Channel bear the target. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Charles Bryant

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 15 February 1943 in B-24D 41-23794 'Railway Express' while serving as Bombardier his aircraft sustained damage from flak over the target at Dunkirk, France and crashed into the sea. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Harry Burns

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator, Radio Operator Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 15 February 1943 in B-24D 41-23794 'Railway Express' while serving as Radio Operator his aircraft sustained damage from flak over the target of Dunkirk, France and crashed into the English Channel near the target. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • William Douthit

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Nose Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 15 February 1943 in B-24D 41-23794 'Railway Express'while serving as Nose Gunner his aircraft was damaged by flak over the target of Dunkirk, France and crashed into the English Channel near the target. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Charles Franklin

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 15 February 1943 in B-24D 41-23794 'Railway Express' while serving as Navigator his aircraft sustained damage from flak over the target at Dunkirk, France and crashed into the sea. Killed in Action (KIA). Air Medal, Purple Heart

  • Richard Frye

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 15 February 1943 in B-24D 41-23794 'Railway Express' while serving as Tail Gunner his aircraft was damaged by flak over the target of Dunkirk, France and crashed into the English Channel. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Cecil Goddard

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 15 February 1943 in B-24D 41-23794 'Railway Express' while serving as Ball Turrett Gunner his aircraft sustained damage from flak over the target at Dunkirk, France and crashed into the English Channel near the target. Killed in Action (KIA). SSgt...

  • Woodrow Lawley

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    on 15 February 1953 in B-24D 41-23794 'Railway Express' while serving as Right Waist Gunner his aircraft was damaged by flak over the target of Dunkirk, France and crashed into the english Channel near the target. Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • Clyde Littell

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On January 3, 1943 while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on B-24D 41-23808 'Texan' the aircraft crashed in a field near Aberporth airfield, Cardiganshire, returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St. Nazaire, France. Fuel shortage caused...

  • Rufus Oliphant

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 15 Feb 1943 in B-24D 41-23794 "Railway Express" while serving as Pilot, Lt. Oliphant's aircraft was damaged by flak over the target of Dunkirk, France. The aircraft crashed into the English Channel just off the coast at Dunkirk, France. Killed in...

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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 35

    15 February 1943
    The port area of Dunkirk, France and any merchant vessels there are designated as the primary target of this mission. A total of 23 B-24s are despatched: 44BG (17) and 93BG (6). 21 are effective on the target, but 2 from 44BG are listed MIA and another...

Places

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Over Water (OW) Dunkirk, France 15 February 1943

Shot down by flak and crashed into the English Channel just off Dunkirk, France.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
29 January 2015 21:04:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to nicknames, markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Jan-2015. All additions based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A Hey MBE and MACR 16003; formatted crew display.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:01 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 16003 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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