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B-17 Flying Fortress

Assigned 92BG Bangor 13/7/42; transferred 414BS/97BG Polebrook 6/42; Maison Blanche, Alg. 13/11/42; Tafaraoui, Alg. 22/11/42; Biskra, Alg. 25/12/42; on Tunis mission was rammed by Me109G 1/2/43 almost slicing rear fuselage and tail of plane off; made it back to Biskra and repaired; transferred 353BS/301BG 3m St Donat 6/3/43; Oudna, Tun 6/8/43; Cerignola, It. 7/12/43; Lucera, It. 1/2/44; Salvaged 6/3/45. ALL AMERICAN.

1-Feb-43 Crew:
Pilot- Ken Bragg Jr, Copilot- G. Boyd Jr, Navigator- Harry C. Nuessle, Bombardier- Ralph Burbridge, Engineer- Joe C. James, Radio Operator- Paul A. Galloway, Ball Turret Gunner- Elton Conda, Waist Gunner- Michael Zuk, Tail Gunner- Sam T. Sarpolus, Ground Crew Chief- Hank Hyland.



  • 15th Air Force

    15th Air Force

    The Fifteenth Air Force was one of two Strategic Air forces in Europe, along with the Eighth Air Force. ...

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 301st Bomb Group

    301st Bomb Group

    Activated 3-February-1942 at Geiger Field, Washington and equipped with B-17s. On 27-May-1942 the ground unit moved to Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, and the aircraft went to Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base), California for...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    The 92nd Group sometime after arrivial in the UK converted to the role of in-theater combat crew indocrination and training. For this role, the Group traded its B-17F complement and obtained the B-17E, mostly from the 97th BG which was departing for...

  • 97th Bomb Group

    97th Bomb Group

    The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...

  • 353rd Bomb Squadron
  • 414th Bomb Squadron


  • Kendrick Bragg

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 97th Bomb Group
    Flew the B-17 'All American ' that had its tail left hanging by an ME109 and flew it safely back to base. The song 'On a Wing and a Prayer' was dedicated to Lt. Bragg for his daring deed. 97th became part of the 15th AF in 1943. This incident happened...

  • Ralph Burbridge

    Military | Major | Bombardier | 97th Bomb Group
    Flew on 'All-American' Plane picture was one of most famous of WW II where the German fighter almost cut it in half. see: http://b-townblog. com/2012/09/21/local-b-17-Bombardier-recalls-wing-and-a-prayer-mission-on-the-all-american/

  • Elton Conda

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 97th Bomb Group

  • Paul Galloway

    Military | Radio Operator/Gunner | 97th Bomb Group

  • Harry Nuessle

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Navigator | 97th Bomb Group

  • Michael Zuk

    Military | Corporal | Waist Gunner | 97th 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...

  • Lucera

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Manufactured Seattle, WA, USA 1942

Built at Boeing.

Assigned Polebrook, Peterborough PE8 5LN, UK June 1942

Transferred 414BS, 97BG Polebrook Jun-42.

Delivered Bangor, ME 04401, USA 13 July 1942

Bangor, Maine, 13-Jul-42. Assigned to 92BG.

Combat damaged / mid air collision Biskra, Algeria 1 February 1943

On Tunis mission was rammed by Me109G 1-Feb-43 almost slicing rear fuselage and tailplane off; made it back to Biskra.

Assigned Saint Donat, Tadjenanet, Algeria 6 March 1943

Transferred 353BS/301BG St Donat 6-Mar-43.

Salvaged 71036 Lucera, Province of Foggia, Italy 6 March 1945

Salvaged 6-Mar-45 Lucera, Italy


Date Contributor Update
02 October 2019 16:54:10 jmoore43 Changes to person associations

Added connections to crem members listed for A/C 41-24406.

Date Contributor Update
30 March 2019 21:37:04 jmoore43 Changes to description

Added spaces in desription for readability.

Date Contributor Update
02 September 2017 19:03:28 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, description, events and unit associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:02 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log