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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 4/5/43; Smoky Hill 14/5/43; Tinker 25/5/43; Smoky Hill 29/5/43; Dow Fd 31/5/43; Assigned 351BG Polebrook 10/6/43; transferred 412BS/95BG [QW-V] Horham 16/6/43; battle damage on 13/11/43 Ball turret gunner: E.J. Castona (wia), Tail gunner: Jim Cook, Waist gunner: Chas Wilbeck (2 Killed in Action); with D.H. Marten force landed RAF Westcott 4/10/43; with J.R. Miller 13/11/43 three KIA, Ball turret gunner: E.J. Castona, Waist gunner: Chas Witbeck,Tail gunner: Jim Cook; (23m) Missing in Action Bremen 16/12/43 with Fred Delbern, Co-pilot: Don Neff, Radio Operator: Gene Darter (3 Killed in Action); Navigator: Royal Jackson, Bombardier: Junius Woollen, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Loren Dodson, Ball turret gunner: Chas Schreiner, Waist gunner: Frank Lee, Waist gunner: Doral Hupp, Tail gunner: Bob McKeegan (7 Prisoner of War); crashed off Texel Is, Hol; Missing Air Crew Report 1558. LONESOME POLECAT II.



  • 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. ...

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb 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...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

  • 412th Bomb Squadron


  • Ellsworth Beans

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 482nd Bomb Group
    Flew on first daylight bombing raid to Berlin 4 Mar 1944.

  • Edward Castona

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). B-17F #42-30255 'Lonesome Polecat II'

  • James Cook

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). B-17F #42-30255 'Lonesome Polecat II'

  • Eugene Darter

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator, Radio Operator Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 16 December 1943 in B-17 #4230255 'Lonesome Polecat II. ' KIA. He was 30 years old, an ex police, undercover officer, and the 'grandfather' to the crew. Plane crashed into North Sea. Seen going into the Wadden Sea.

  • Frederick Delbern

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 16 December 1943 in B-17 42-30255 'Lonesome Polecat II', Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Loren Dodson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 16 December 1943 in B-17 #4230255 'Lonesome Polecat II. ' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • John Gardner

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 95th Bomb Group

  • Doral Hupp

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 16 December 1943 in B-17 #4230255 'Lonesome Polecat II. ' Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Royal Jackson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 16 December 1943 in B-17 #42-30255 'Lonesome Polecat II', Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Robert Keegan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 95th Bomb Group

Show more


  • VIII Air Support Command 79

    4 October 1943
    A combined force of 25 B-26s from 386BG (17) and 323BG (8) are despatched towards the German airfields of Beauvais/Nivilliers and Everaux/Fauville, France. Weather and cloud cover prevenst bombing. There are no losses or claims.

  • VIII Bomber Command 130

    13 November 1943
    The port area of Bremen, Germany is the focus of this mission composed of three elements. The first element is a combined force of 154 B0-17 of 1st Bomb Division including 94BG (16); 385BG (17); 95BG (21); 100BG (18); 390BG (21); 96BG (40); and 388BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 156

    16 December 1943
    This is a massive mission of 631 heavy bombers directed at the port area of Bremen, Germany. The force of 631 included 1 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG dispersed among the attacking formations. The mission is composed of three elements. The first...


  • 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...


Event Location Date
Crashed Westcott, Dorking, Surrey RH4, UK 4 October 1943

Force landed RAF Westcott 4/10/43. Pilot Lt J R Miller.

Combat damage 13 November 1943

Battle damage on 13/11/43 Ball turret gunner: Edward J Castona (WIA), Tail gunner: James Cook, Waist gunner: Chas Wilbeck (2 x KIA).

Crashed Texel, Netherlands 16 December 1943 – 16 December 1943

Missing in Action Bremen 16/12/43. Crashed off Texel Is, Holland; (7 x POW, 3 x KIA) Missing Air Crew Report MACR1558.


Date Contributor Update
22 November 2020 22:15:00 jmoore43 Changes to nicknames, description and events

Added a space before the words "Tail gunner" in the A/C “Description” and in the event description sections to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
16 December 2015 19:35:48 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, nicknames, markings, events, unit associations, person associations, place associations and mission associations

AAM DB Entry.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:28 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 1558 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database