Skip to main content
Edit entry 

42-29863

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 27/2/43; Denver 1/3/43; Gore 12/3/43; Presque Is 8/4/43; Assigned 509BS/351BG [RQ-Y] Polebrook 16/4/43; Missing in Action 43m Frankfurt 11/2/44 with Capt John Carson, Co-pilot: Merlyn Rutherford*, Radio Operator: John Landers*, Ball turret gunner: Dave Lynch, Waist gunner: Jim Riley,Tail gunner: Joe Richey, foto-Stan Sokolowski (7 Prisoner of War); Navigator: Henry Heldman, Bombardier: Bill Spinning, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Joe Haywood (3 evaded capture); Waist gunner: Rich Howard (Killed in Action); flak hits then enemy aircraft KO’d #3 plus other damage, crashed a mile S of Inval-Boiron, 12 miles NW of Poix-de-Picardie, Fr. [Book by Ken Harbour/Pete Harris gives these two men escaped). Missing Air Crew Report 2528. KENTUCKY BABE aka AIN’T IT GRUESOME.

Service

Units

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 509th Bomb Squadron

People

  • John Carson

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 351st Bomb Group
    Severely damaged by fighters on a mission to Frankfurt am Main, GR on 11 Feb 1944, B-17F #42-29863 'Kentucky Babe' crashed near Poix-de-Picardie, FR after being abandoned by the crew. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Jack Danby

    Military | Major | Navigator | 351st Bomb Group
    Jack Danby served as a navigator with the 509th Bomb Squadron of the 351st Bomb Group, who flew bombing missions out of Polebrook, England. His first mission was on the 21 May 1943 striking submarine pens at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. ...

  • Clark Gable

    Military | Major | Cameraman, Gunner, Actor | 303rd Bomb Group
    Clark Gable flew 5 missions as Captain filming 50,000 ft of gunnery combat during 1943. He received the Air Medal for his service. 1 mission was flown with the 303rd BG. The rest were with the 351st BG in different aircraft. The film was named 'Combat...

  • William Hatcher

    Military | Colonel | Co-Pilot; Pilot; Group Commanding Officer | 351st Bomb Group
    William Hatcher Jr was born in Grand Rapids, was brought up in Detroit’s north end and attended Northern High School. After his enlistment in the Air Corps, he followed pilot training courses and rose rapidly through the ranks. ...

  • Joseph Haywood

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Severely damaged by fighters on a mission to Frankfurt am Main, GR on 11 Feb 1944, B-17F #42-29863 'Kentucky Babe' crashed near Poix-de-Picardie, FR after being abandoned by the crew. Evaded (EVD).

  • Henry Heldman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 351st Bomb Group
    Severely damaged by fighters on a mission to Frankfurt am Main, GR on 11 Feb 1944, B-17F #42-29863 'Kentucky Babe' crashed near Poix-de-Picardie, FR after being abandoned by the crew. Evaded (EVD). Returned to England on 4 Apr 1944.

  • Richard Howard

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Severely damaged by fighters on a mission to Frankfurt am Main, GR on 11 Feb 1944, B-17F #42-29863 'Kentucky Babe' crashed near Poix-de-Picardie, FR after being abandoned by the crew. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Jack Kern

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 351st Bomb Group

  • John Landers

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator, Radio Operator Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Severely damaged by fighters on a mission to Frankfurt am Main, GR on 11 Feb 1944, B-17F #42-29863 'Kentucky Babe' crashed near Poix-de-Picardie, FR after being abandoned by the crew. Evaded (EVD).

  • Dave Lynch

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Severely damaged by fighters on a mission to Frankfurt am Main, GR on 11 Feb 1944, B-17F #42-29863 'Kentucky Babe' crashed near Poix-de-Picardie, FR after being abandoned by the crew. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

Show more

Places

  • 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...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Belgium 11 February 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:24 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 2528 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Share