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42-102616

B-17 Flying Fortress

Built in March of 1944 at the Vega Aircraft Plant in Southern California. Wright-Cyclone engines made by Studebaker, Sperry gyros made by Jack and Heintz and .50 calibre machine guns cartridges made by Revlon. The Burns crew made 35 round trips without any casualties or aborts.

Delivered Cheyenne 18/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Grenier 30/4/44; Assigned 410BS/94BG [GL-K] Rougham 3/5/44; Missing in Action Bohlen 7/10/44 with George Wheeler, Otto Schmidt, Bob Williamson, Jim Malone, Mike Kwasnesky, Merrill Failla, John Pitsch (7 Killed in Action); Jack Ogden, Ray Holston (2 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft set fire to ship, crashed Langenroda, Ger?. Missing Air Crew Report 9558. SPIRIT OF VALLEY FORGE.

Service

Units

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942. Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 410th Bomb Squadron

    410th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Part of 94th Bomb Group.

People

  • Joseph Burns

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 94th Bomb Group

  • Merrill Failla

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed at Langenroda in B-17 'Valley Forge Special' #42102616

  • Martin Garren

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Our losses were obscene, I calculated that over half of my comrades were casualties. My Group arrived in England with 36 B-17s and by war's end, 2 yrs. later, we had lost 180 planes. On June 25, '44 we dropped supplies to a French Underground Unit in...

  • Raymond Holston

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Crashed at Langenroda on 10/7/44 in B-17 'Valley Forge Special' #42102616

  • Michael Kwasnesky

    Military | Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Crashed at Langenroda in B-17 'Valley Forge Special' #42-102616, Killed in Action (KIA).

  • John Maddaloni

    Military | Master Sergeant | Crew Chief | 94th Bomb Group
    Had been with the 410th Squadron since 1942 and had never lost a plane. No one could foretell what a short life the "Spirit" [Spirit of Valley Forge, 42-102616] would have despite John's expertise and best efforts.

  • James Malone

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 94th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed at Langenroda in B-17 'Valley Forge Special' #42102616

  • Jack Ogden

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator | 94th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Crashed at Langenroda on 10/7/44 in B-17 'Valley Forge Special' #42102616

  • John Pitsch

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed at Langenroda in B-17 'Valley Forge Special' #42102616

  • Otto Schmidt

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed at Langenroda in B-17 'Valley Forge Special' #42102616

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Places

  • Bury St Edmunds

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was purpose-built for American bomb groups and as such had a 2,000 yard main runway that lain in concrete with a tarred and wood-chipped surface. The scale of bases such as this meant that very often the technical, administrative and...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Germany 7 October 1944

This was the Wheeler crew's third mission.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2015 13:58:03 usxpat Changes to nicknames, description, events and place associations
Sources

Memoirs of Captain Martin Garren Jr, CoPilot and Pilot of the aircraft. Accessed at www.usaaf.co.uk

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:11 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 9558 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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