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42-2975

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17F 42-2975 was assigned 423BS/306BG Presque Is 17-Nov-42; Molesworth 25-Nov-42. This was the first B-17 built by Douglas Aircraft Company under license with Boeing to go MIA with the 8th AF. Shot down 30-Dec-42 by enemy aircraft upon return from a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. The aircraft made a late takeoff and was unable to join with the 306BG formation, so it tagged along with the 305BG. 1POW 9KIA MACR 15079.

P Capt John B. Brad (KIA); CP 2Lt Bernard T. Healey (KIA)
N 2Lt Warren M. Lewis (KIA); B 2Lt Gardner M. Reynolds (POW)
E/TTG James L Carberry (KIA); RO Sgt William L. Nisbett (KIA)
BTG Sgt Eugene H. Stein (KIA) LWG Sgt John J. Vallorani (KIA)
RWG Sgt Edward J Sanski (KIA) TG James P. Gaffney (KIA)

Service

Units

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 423rd Bomb Squadron

People

  • John Brady

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 30 December 1942 in B-17F 42-2975 while serving as Pilot. He is believed to have been able to bale out of the aircraft into the sea near the Ile d'Ouessant, France and drowned. Killed in Action (KIA). AC was flying with the 305th formation...

  • James Carberry

    Military | Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 30 December 1942 in B-17F 42-2975 while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner. Aircraft crashed into the sea near the Ile d'Ouesannt, France. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • James Gaffney

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 30 December 1942 in B-17F 42-2975 while serving as Tail Gunner. He is believed to have baled out of the stricken aircraft over the sea and was drowned. The aircraft crashed into the sea off the Ile d'Ouessant, France. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Bernard Healey

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Healey played baseball and football at Creighton University for two years before enlisting as an aviation cadet with the Army Air Corps at Fort Crook, Nebraska in November 1941. ...

  • Warren Lewis

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 30 December 1942 in B-17F 42-2975 while serving as Navigator. It is believed that he was able to bale out of the stricken aircraft over the sea and was drowned. Aircraft crashed into the sea near the Ile d'Ouessant, France. Killed in Action ...

  • William Nisbett

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 30 December 1942 in B-17F 42-2975 while serving as Radio Operator.He is believed to have baled out of the stricken aircraft over the sea and drowned. Aircraft crashed near the Ile d'Ouesannt, France. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Gardner Reynolds

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 30 December 1942 in B-17F 42-2975 while serving as Bombardier. He was able to bale out of the aircraft into the sea and spent 4 hours in the water until he was rescued by a French fisherman. He was the sole survivor. Prisoner of War (POW) at...

  • Edward Sanski

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 30 December 1942 in B-17F 42-2975 while serving as Waist Gunner. He is believed to have baled out of the stricken aircraft over the sea and was drowned. Aircraft crashed into the sea near the Ile d'Ouesannt, France. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Eugene Stein

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 30 December 1942 in B-17F 42-2975 while serving as Ball Turret Gunner. He is believed to have baled out of the aircraft over the sea and drowned. The aircraft crashed into the sea off the Ile d'Ouessant, France. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • John Vallorani

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 30 December 1942 in B-17F 42-2975 while serving as Waist Gunner. He is beleived to have baled out of the stricken aircraft over the sea and was drowned. The aircraft crashed into the sea near Ile d'Ouessant, France. Killed in Action (KIA).

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 27

    30 December 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the target for this mission. A combined force of 77 B-17s are despatched by 91BG (19); 303BG (16); 305BG (13) and 306BG (18). Only 40 are effective on the target. All but 1 B-17 from the 18 despatched by 306BG is...

Places

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...

  • Presque Isle Army Airfield

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Over Water (OW) Ushant, France 30 December 1942

Attacked by German fighters on return and crashed into the sea off the Ile d'Quessant, France.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 December 2014 20:21:38 Lee8thbuff Changes to markings
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-DEc-2014. Formatted Marking display.

Date Contributor Update
07 December 2014 20:12:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to markings
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Dec-2014. Edited Marking details.

Date Contributor Update
07 December 2014 20:09:26 Lee8thbuff Changes to markings, description, events, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Dec-2014. Added Douglas, target info, details to description per "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & john A. Hey MBE; Added markings per "The Mighty Eighth Warpaint & Heraldry" Roger A. Freeman; added Place and Mission connections per MACR 15079; added rank, proper full name and dispositions per MACR 15079; formatted crew display.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:23 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 15079 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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