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41-24496

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17F 41-24496 'Chennault's Pappy' Delivered Great Falls, Montana, force landed Nashville, Tennessee with Jim Dale; repaired & assigned 423BS/306BG Westover 15-Aug-42; Thurleigh 8-Sep-42.

B-17F 41-24496, was despatched along with 12 other B-17s to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. The aircraft received severe damage from German FW-190 fighters, killing the Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, TSgt Kenneth R. Aulenbach and wounding three others. The pilot, Capt Robert C. Williams and Co-Pilot, 2LT Warren George managed to fly to damaged aircraft back to England, making an emergency landing at RAF Exeter. The aircraft was salvaged. 1KIA 9RTD-3WIA. No MACR issued.

P Capt Robert C. Williams (RTD); CP 2Lt Warren George (RTD)
N 1Lt Jacob C. Shively (RTD);B 2Lt Emmett W. Ford (RTD)
E/TTG TSgt Kenneth R. Aulenbach (KIA); RO TSgt Eddie F. Espitallier (RTD)
BTG SSgt Clairborne W. Wilson (RTD); WG SSgt Colin E. Neeley (RTD)
WG SSgt Hubert Houston (RTD); TG SSgt William F. Williams (RTD)

Service

Units

  • 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. ...

  • 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

  • Kenneth Aulenbach

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    B-17F 41-24496, 'Chenault's Pappy', 306BG/423BS, on which he was serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, was attacked by FW190s after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire 17-November-1942. Killed in Action (KIA) 3 crew members were injured as the...

  • Edward Espitallier

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Edward Espitallier was Radio Operator on B-17F-15-BO #41-24496 'Chenault's Pappy' on the 17 November 1942 mission to St. Nazaire, France. After leaving the target area, the Fortress was attacked by FW190s. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew...

  • Emmett Ford

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    B-17F 41-24496 'Chenault's Pappy' on which he was serving as Bombardier was attacked by FW190s on 17-November-1942 after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members were wounded as the plane suffered severe...

  • Warren George

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 17 November, 1942, while serving as Co-Pilot of B-17F 41-24496 his aircraft was attacked by FW190s after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire, France. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members as the plane suffered severe damage. The Pilot...

  • Hubert Houston

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 17 November, 1942, after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire, B-17F 41-24496 'Chenault's Pappy', 306BG/423BS was attacked by FW190s. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members as the plane suffered severe damage. A/C landed at Exeter. SSgt...

  • Colon Neeley

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 17 November, 1942, after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire, B-17F #41-24496 'Chenault's Pappy' 306BG/423BS was attacked by FW190s. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members as the plane suffered severe damage. A/C landed at Exeter....

  • Jacob Shively

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 17 November, 1942, after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire, B-17F 41-24496 'Chenault's Pappy' was attacked by FW190s. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members as the plane suffered severe damage. A/C landed at Exeter. He was WIA. He...

  • Robert Williams

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 17 November, 1942, after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire, as pilot of B-17F 41-24496 'Chenault's Pappy' his aircraft was attacked by FW190s. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members as the plane suffered severe damage. A/C landed at...

  • William Williams

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Served as Tail Gunner on B-17F #42-24496 "Chennault's Pappy", 306BG/423BS. The aircraft was attacked by FW190s after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire, on 17 November 1942. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members were injured as the...

  • Claiborne Wilson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Flight Engineer | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 17 November, 1942, after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire, B-17F #41-24496 'Chenault's Pappy' was attacked by FW190s. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members as the plane suffered severe damage. A/C landed at Exeter. ...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 20

    17 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 49 B-17s despatched from 91BG (20), 303BG (16) and 306BG (13). Another element of 14 B-24s despatched from 93BG also joins the bombing force on St. Nazaire. The...

Places

  • 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...

Events

Event Location Date
Salvaged 17 November 1942

The aircraft sustained severe damage and was declared a Category-E loss (damaged beyond repair) and salvaged for parts.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 August 2021 22:39:58 acbernstein1 Changes to markings
Sources

AAMIB

Date Contributor Update
02 August 2021 22:39:30 acbernstein1 Changes to unit associations, person associations and place associations
Sources

http://www.306bg.us/Search/search%20aircraft.php?AC=41-24496 (Mission Report)

Date Contributor Update
16 June 2021 10:21:14 Al_Skiff Changes to markings, unit associations, person associations and place associations
Sources

FRE 3663 - Photo text indicates A/C was on strength with 323BS, 91BG, as do the A/C codes on the photo.
https://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/231641

Date Contributor Update
15 September 2017 14:04:51 Al_Skiff Changes to media associations
Sources

Roger Freeman Photo.

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2016 14:24:33 Warren Hargis Changes to description
Sources

Co-Pilot Warren George Jr. was my uncle (my mother's brother). Fellow crew members told our family that because of the damage causing the plane to try to dive, Robert Williams was too small to hold it in level flight. George, a former football player, had the strength to pull against the controls and maintain level flight. Jacob Shively told my sister, "We only got back because of Junior." (Junior was a nickname they had given to George.)

Date Contributor Update
26 November 2014 20:16:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to manufacturer
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Nov-2014. Added manufacturer based on Block number.

Date Contributor Update
26 November 2014 20:15:00 Lee8thbuff Changes to production block number, nicknames, description, events, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Nov-2014. Deleted DUPLICATE entry for this aircraft and combined the data: pre "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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