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42-30193

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 24/4/43; Sioux City 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 14/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 15/6/43.

Crashed on take off for Schweinfurt 14/10/43 with Paul Swift, Co-pilot: Cecil Tipper, Navigator: Paul Arbon, Bombardier: Otto Bowmaninj, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bertil Erickson, Radio Operator: John Taylor, Ball turret gunner: Joe Molinari, Waist gunner: Tom Norton, Waist gunner: Don Van Cundy,Tail gunner: Bob bPonton, pass-Colie Emlyn (11 Returned to Duty), Salvaged. HARD LUCK.

See Media entries 20794 and 20795 for pictured crew members.

Service

Units

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 561st Bomb Squadron

People

  • Paul Arbon

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group
    10/14/43 on takeoff for Schweinfurt in B17#42-30193 'Hard Luck', no. 3 engine caught fire during take off with 10 bombs aboard. Lt. Swith retracted landing gear to avoid trees. Crew escaped before ac caught fire and exploded.

  • Charles Bein

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4231084. Killed in Action (KIA). AM w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Riley Bissonette

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot/Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Crash landed while on a cross-country training flight in B17#42-37844. RTD

  • Otto Bowman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group
    10/14/43 on takeoff for Schweinfurt in B17#42-30193 'Hard Luck', no. 3 engine caught fire during take off with 10 bombs aboard. Lt. Swith retracted landing gear to avoid trees. Crew escaped before ac caught fire and exploded.

  • Ivan Clark

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Left Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 42-31084. Killed in Action (KIA). DFC/ AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster/ PH

  • John Dorsett

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4231084. Killed in Action (KIA). AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster/ PH

  • George Doyle

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4231084. Killed in Action (KIA). PH

  • Harry Eccleston

    Military | Crew Chief | 388th Bomb Group

  • Colie Emlyn

    Military | Technical Sergeant | observer | 388th Bomb Group
    10/14/43 on takeoff for Schweinfurt in B17#42-30193 'Hard Luck', no. 3 engine caught fire during take off with 10 bombs aboard. Lt. Swith retracted landing gear to avoid trees. Crew escaped before ac caught fire and exploded.

  • Bertil Erickson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    10/14/43 on takeoff for Schweinfurt in B17#42-30193 'Hard Luck', no. 3 engine caught fire during take off with 10 bombs aboard. Lt. Swith retracted landing gear to avoid trees. Crew escaped before ac caught fire and exploded.

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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 74

    17 July 1943
    The railroad industry at Hannover, Germany and the aircraft industry at Hamburg, Germany were the intended targets for this mission but weather caused the mission to be cancelled. The element sent to Hannover was a combined force of 207 B-17s from:...

  • VIII Bomber Command 76

    25 July 1943
    This mission was composed of three elements. The primary targets were the diesel engine works at Hamburg, Germany; the shipyards at Kiel, Germany and the aircraft industries at Warnemude, Germany, but weather frustrated the effort. The first element...

  • VIII Bomber Command 77

    26 July 1943
    The German rubber industry at Hannover, Germany and the U-Boat shipyards at Hamburg, Germany are the primary focus of this mission. In addition, a German ship convoy and targets of opportunity at Wilhelmshaven and Wesermunde are bombed. The first...

  • VIII Bomber Command 82

    15 August 1943
    German airfields in Holland and France are the targets for this mission. All of the attacks were made late in the afternoon just prior to sunset. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from: 91BG (20...

  • VIII Bomber Command 88

    31 August 1943
    This mission is composed of two elements. The first element is composed of 170 B-17s from: 91BG (16); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (18); 306BG (18); 351BG (21); 379BG (21); 381BG (19); and 384BG (18). The primary target for this element is German...

  • VIII Bomber Command 89

    2 September 1943
    This mission was composed of five elements. The first element was combined force 55 B-17s despatched from: 92BG; 305BG, and 306BG to bomb German airfields in NW France. The mission is recalled due to weather and the bombers return without dropping...

  • VIII Bomber Command 90

    3 September 1943
    German airfields in France and the Caudron-Renault works at Paris are the targets for this mission. The mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined force of 168 B-17s from: 91BG (14); 351BG (19); 381BG (22); 92BG (19); 305BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 91

    6 September 1943
    This mission was planned as massive attack of 338 B-17s on the industrial areas of Stuttgart, Germany and would be supported by a formation of 69 B-24s flying a diversion. This would be the first action from the UK for the B-24 Groups that had recently...

  • VIII Bomber Command 92

    7 September 1943
    Two German airfields, one at Brussels, Begium and the other at Bergen, Holland, and the V-Weapons sites around Watten, France are the primary targets for this mission. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 94 OPERATION STARKEY

    9 September 1943
    This mission has been named OPERATION STARKEY. It is planned as a coordinated attack of multiple bomber elements upon multiple targets and incorporates fighter escort as a rehearsal of what may be required to support an invasion of the Continent. It is...

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Places

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...

Events

Event Location Date
Delivered Cheyenne, WY, USA 24 April 1943
Assigned Knettishall, Diss IP22 2TH, UK 15 June 1943

388 BG
561 BS

Assigned to the Eccleston Crew who flew her on 17 of her 19 combat missions

First 388th BG Combat Mission Amsterdam, Netherlands 17 July 1943
Crashed Knettishall, Diss IP22 2TH, UK 14 October 1944

An 8th Air Force Bomber Command Station, England October 1943: Nice piloting by 1st Lt. Paul Swift, saved the lives of himself and his entire crew when an engine failed and caught fire just as his Flying Fortress was taking off. The ship loaded to the limit with fuel and bombs, was near the end of the runway, traveling at 110 MPH when this airman's nightmare suddenly became a reality. Lt. Swift brought the burning ship to a stop so that the crew emerged unharmed and got clear before the explosion. (Picture at left of Pilot Swift and Navigator Lt. Arbon looking over what was left the next day.)

"We almost had flying speed when the co-pilot Lt. Tipper, called out that the oil pressure was zero on No. 3 engine. The ship began to pull to the right and he saw flames coming from the dying engine. Observers report that smoke came from the tires as the brakes were applied. With a rough field ahead of him, followed by a solid wall of trees, Lt. Swift ordered wheels up. The take-off became a belly landing. The ship stopped with her nose crushed in by a tree."

The entire neighborhood was cleared of personnel, planes were sent out by a different runway, and preparations were made for the explosion which was spectacular when it came. Nobody was hurt. The crew of the 561st Squadron was flying a different plane as their own "Virgin on the Verge" was being repaired that day.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2017 00:18:46 466thHistorian Changes to production block number, manufacturer, markings, events, unit associations, person associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.388bg.info/servlet/Controller?pageType=detail&id=42-30193&dat...

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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