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42-29784

B-17 Flying Fortress

42-29784 Delivered to the Cheyenne, Wyoming Modification center on 18 February 1943. Moved to Salina, Kansas on 2 March 1943. Ferried overseas and assigned to the 366th Bombardment Squadron, squadron code KY-K, 305th Bombardment Group, station 105, Chelveston on 18 May 1943. Transferred to the 534th Bombardment Squadron, squadron code GD-E/F, 381st Bombardment Group, station 167, Ridgewell on 11 September 1943. Transferred to the 545th Bombardment Squadron, squadron code JD-V, 384th Bombardment Group, station 106, Grafton Underwood on 4 October 1943.

On return from the second Schweinfurt mission with battle damage, 14 October 1943, with Pilot-Erwin C. Johnson, Co-pilot-Elliott Leroy Gadd, Navigator-William E. Bailey, Bombardier-George J. Littleton, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner-Leo A. Hunt, Radio Operator-Sam D. Ranallo, Ball Turret Gunner-Clement A. Couture, Tail Gunner Lawrence L. Parsons, Waist Gunner-Earl S. Baker and Waist Gunner-Gustave Fless. The entire crew bailed out and returned to duty. The aircraft crashed near Baydon, Wiltshire, UK. The aircraft was salvaged on 18 October 1943. Aircraft Name: SMILIN-THRU

Service

Units

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 546th Bomb Squadron

People

  • William Bailey

    Military | Navigator | 384th Bomb Group
    Collided with another B-17 from the 303rd BG on form-up and crashed near Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire on a mission to Aschersleben, GR on 22 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-31516. RTD. 10/14/43 on return from Schweinfurt mission, B17#42-29784 'Smilin'-Thru'...

  • Earl Baker

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Togglier, Flexible Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    14 October 1943 on return from Schweinfurt mission, B17#42-29784 'Smilin'-Thru' crashed at Wiltshire with crew baling out. All returned to duty.

  • Clement Couture

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    10/14/43 on return from Schweinfurt mission, B17#42-29784 'Smilin'-Thru' crashed at Wiltshire with crew baling out with all returning.

  • Gustave Fless

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    10/14/43 on return from Schweinfurt mission, B17#42-29784 'Smilin'-Thru' crashed at Wiltshire with crew baling out with all returning.

  • Elliott Gadd

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 9 April 1944 in B-17 #4231740. Prisoner of War (POW). Earlier 10/14/43 on return from Schweinfurt mission, B17#42-29784 'Smilin'-Thru' crashed at Wiltshire with crew baling out with all returning. POW

  • Lawrence Hunt

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    10/14/43 on return from Schweinfurt mission, B17#42-29784 'Smilin'-Thru' crashed at Wiltshire with crew baling out with all returning.

  • Erwin Johnson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    10/14/43 on return from Schweinfurt mission, B17#42-29784 'Smilin'-Thru' crashed at Wiltshire with crew baling out with all returning.

  • George Littleton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down by ME109s and crashed near Wesel, GR on a mission to Oschersleben, GR on 22 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-97450. Prisoner of War (POW). Earlier 10/14/43 on return from Schweinfurt mission, B17#42-29784 'Smilin'-Thru' crashed at Wiltshire with crew...

  • Lawrence Parsons

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    10/14/43 on return from Schweinfurt mission, B17#42-29784 'Smilin'-Thru' crashed at Wiltshire with crew baling out with all returning.

  • Sam Ranallo

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 384th Bomb Group
    10/14/43 on return from Schweinfurt mission, B17#42-29784 'Smilin'-Thru' crashed at Wiltshire with crew baling out with all returning.

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 115

    14 October 1943
    This was the 2nd mission flown against the ball bearing industry at Schweinfurt, Germany and was as equally disastrous as that flown on 17-Aug-43. It came to be known as "Black Thursday". While fighter escort was dispatched, bad weather and lack of...

Places

  • Chelveston

    Military site : airfield
    Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...

  • Grafton Underwood

    Military site : airfield
    Grafton Underwood was built in 1941 by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd. It was the first airfield in England to receive an Eighth Air Force flying unit, when in May 1942 personnel of the 15th Bomb Squadron took up residence. As a satellite airfield for...

  • Ridgewell

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1941-42 as an RAF bomber station, Ridgewell operated as a satellite to RAF Stradishall until May 1943. It had three concrete runways, initially 36 pan hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. Taken over by the Eighth Air Force in June...

Events

Not yet known

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 April 2018 01:48:18 jmoore43 Changes to nicknames
Sources

Added nickname from the description data.

Date Contributor Update
19 September 2017 14:33:35 Al_Skiff Changes to media associations
Sources

Roger Freeman Photo.

Date Contributor Update
22 July 2015 22:02:53 bombercommand Changes to description, unit associations, place associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

http://www.384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/SortieReport.php?SortieKey...

http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/One384thAircraft.php?AircraftK...

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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