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41-24503

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17F 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' assigned 324BS/91BG [DF-E] Bangor 30-August-42; Bassingbourn 29-September-42; Missing in Action 23-Nov-42 while flying as Group Lead on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France. Enemy aircraft shot out #3, and aircraft dropped back and crashed into the sea 30 miles northwest of St. Nazaire. 11KIA MACR 16162
P Maj Harold C. Smelser (Sqd CO) (KIA); CP Capt Duane L. Jones (KIA)
N 1Lt John S. Hemingway (KIA); B 2Lt Phillip K. Baxter Jr (KIA)
E/TTG TSgt Alvy G. Masters (KIA); RO TSgt Louis E Emerson (KIA)
BTG Sgt Fidel Hernandez (KIA); WG SSgt Doyt L. Watson (KIA)
WG Sgt John L. Boomer (KIA); TG Sgt Joseph Medved (KIA)
OBS Capt George C. Wahl, Jr. (KIA)

Service

Units

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 324th Bomb Squadron

    324th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Home of the Memphis Belle

People

  • Phillip Baxter

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Navigator. Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • John Boomer

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41024503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Waist Gunner. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Louis Emerson

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • John Hemingway

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier, Bombardier; Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Bombardier. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Fidel Hernandez

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Ball Turret Gunner Flew in lead group to attack St. Nazaire, France. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Duane Jones

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Pilot. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Alvy Masters

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator, Radio Operator Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Radio Operator. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Joseph Medved

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Tail Gunner. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Harold Smelser

    Military | Major | Command Pilot, Pilot, Mission | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as the mission Command Pilot for 91BG on the mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • George Wahl

    Military | Captain | Co-Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Co-Pilot. Killed in Action (KIA). Crashed into sea

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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 23

    23 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) for this mission. A combined force of 50 B-17s despatched from 91BG (10), 303BG (12), 305BG (20) and 306BG (8) to attack this target. 91BG is not able to put any of their group on the target,...

Places

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

Events

Not yet known

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2018 14:16:31 ED-BB Changes to description and person associations
Sources

Made connections between all crew members and aircaft

Date Contributor Update
30 November 2014 19:55:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 30-Nov-2014. Edited description and formatted crew information per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & john A. Hey MBE and MACR 16162.

Date Contributor Update
05 November 2014 21:09:00 Lee8thbuff Changes to production block number, nicknames, markings, description, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Nov-2014. Edit crew names; add connections. Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 16162.

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 16162 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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