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41-24579

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper" was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] 17-Feb-42 Gowen Field, Idaho; Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42; Aircraft damaged by AA fire and enemy fighters on mission to Lorient, France on 23-Jan-43. 11 man crew. Belly-landed at Lulsgate Bottom, Bristol, UK.
Aircraft was too damaged to repair and was salvaged. 6RTD 4WIA 1KOM. No MACR issued.

Aircraft Participated in 7 Operations (2 Aborted). See Biography events for crew information

Service

Units

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 360th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Samuel Anderson

    Military | Captain | Lead Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Navigator of B-17F 41-24579 [PU-F] at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth UK. He was despatched on 26 Operations - 25 credited. Served as a Lead Navigator on 23 of those missions. Completed a 25-Mission tour...

  • Clayton Balcombe

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    06-Mar-42 Assigned as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 [PU-C] "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Ooold Soljer" ...

  • Keith Bartlett

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    12-Mar-42 Assigned to 303BG/360BS in B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soldier" as 2LT and Co-Pilot. Gowen Field (Boise), Idaho. ...

  • Edward Bradford

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    6-Mar-42 Assigned as an Aerial Gunner on B-17F 41-24559 [PU-C], "Ooold Soljer:, 303BG 360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Ooold Soljer." ...

  • William Breed

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    15-Jul-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F 42-2967 [PU-G] "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 24-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK as Pilot of "Shak Hak". ...

  • John Castle

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F 41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK as pilot of "Thumper". ...

  • Cecil Craft

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner; Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Ball Turret Gunner on B-17F 41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oc-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Thumper" ...

  • Deadman

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Flew as replacement navigator in William H Breed's crew on 303rd BG mission no. 10 to Lille on 13 January 1943.

  • Jerry Dobbins

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    10-Jul-42 Assigned as an Aerial Gunner on B-17F 41-24567 [PU-J] "Beats Me", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Beats Me". ...

  • Kent Fitzsimmons

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    24-Jul-42 Assigned to B-17F 42-24579 'Thumper" 303BG/360BS as a Co-Pilot during Group Advanced Training at Alamogordo, New Mexico. 16-Oct-42 Arrived with B-17F 42-24579 'Thumper" aircraft at Molesworth, UK. Flew as Co-Pilot on his missions #1 -5 on ...

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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...

  • VIII Bomber Command 21

    18 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient and La Pallice, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission. However, those at St. Nazaire, France are attacked by 21 B-17s of 303BG when they are mistaken for those of Lorient. The force attacking Lorient is composed...

  • 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,...

  • VIII Bomber Command 24

    6 December 1942
    The German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France is the primary target for 19 B-24s despatched from 44th Bomb Group but are recalled. One squadron of 6 does not hear the recall and proceeds to the target, 1 B-24 MIA. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 26

    20 December 1942
    The German Air Depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 80 B-17s despatched by 91BG (17), 303BG (21); 305BG (23) and 306BG (19). 60 B-17 are effective on the target, but 7 are MIA and 1 is DBR. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 28

    3 January 1943
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are once again the target for this mission. This is proving to be a particularly difficult target to destroy due to its massive, reinforced concrete design. It consists of 14 individual pens connected together in...

  • VIII Bomber Command 29

    13 January 1943
    The primary target for this mission is the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works, associated steel works and the railroad marshalling yards at Lille, France. The attacking force is composed of 72 B-17s from: 91BG (13); 303BG (19); 305BG (23) and 306BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 30

    23 January 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the primary target for this mission. 305th Bombardment Group is selected as the lead group, but condensation on the bombsight of the lead aircraft in the Group prevents the 305BG from bombing Lorient...

Places

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

Events

Event Location Date
Aircraft Assigned to Unit Boise, ID, USA 17 February 1942

B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper" assigned to 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho.

ORIGINAL CREW
P 2LT John A. Castle; CP 2LT Kent M. Fitzsimmons
N 2LT Samuel Anderson; B 2LT Louis B. Sinopoli
E/TTG TSGT Gene K. Smith; RO SSGT Emilio J, Yannie, Jr.
BTG SGT Cecil E. Kraft; LWG Not Assigned
RWG SSGT Billie L. Staner; TG SSGT Martin A. Semonick

Arrived in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 16 October 1942

B-17F 41-24579 arrives at Molesworth, UK.

CREW
P 2LT John A. Castle; CP 2LT Kent M. Fitzsimmons
N 2LT Samuel Anderson; B 2LT Louis B. Sinopoli
E/TTG TSGT Gene K. Smith; RO SSGT Emilio J, Yannie, Jr.
BTG SGT Cecil E. Kraft; LWG SSGT Meyer Levin
RWG SSGT Billie L. Staner; TG SSGT Martin A. Semonick

Mission #1, B-17F 41-24579, 303BG/360BS - Aborted Saint-Nazaire, France 17 November 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS

P 2LT John A. Castle (RTB); CP 2LT Kent M. Fitzsimmons (RTB)
N 2LT Samuel H. Anderson (RTB); B 2LT Louis B. Sinopoli
E/TTG SSGT Meyer Levin (RTB); RO SSGT Emilio J. Yannie Jr. (RTB)
BTG SGT Cecil E. Craft; LWG SGT Alfred V. Heitman
RWG SGT Jerry W. Dobbins; TG SSGT Martin A. Semonick

Mission #2, B-17F 41-24579, 303BG/360BS Saint-Nazaire, France 18 November 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS

P 2LT John A. Castle (RTB); CP 2LT Kent M. Fitzsimmons (RTB)
N 2LT Samuel H. Anderson (RTB); B 2LT Louis B. Sinopoli (RTB)
E/TTG SSGT Meyer Levin (RTB); RO SSGT Emilio J. Yannie Jr. (RTB)
BTG SGT Cecil E. Craft (RTB); LWG SGT Alfred V. Heitman (RTB)
RWG SGT Jerry W. Dobbins (RTB); TG SGT Peter Soria (RTB)

Mission #3, B-17F 41-24579, 303BG/360BS Saint-Nazaire, France 23 November 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS

P 2LT John A. Castle (RTB); CP 2LT Kent M. Fitzsimmons (RTB)
N 2LT Samuel H. Anderson (RTB); B 2LT Louis B. Sinopoli (RTB)
E/TTG SSGT Meyer Levin (RTB); RO SSGT Emilio J. Yannie Jr. (RTB)
BTG SSGT Gilbert A. Murray, Jr. (RTB); LWG SGT Alfred V. Heitman (RTB)
RWG SSGT Billie L. Staner (RTB); TG SSGT Martin A. Semonick (RTB)

Mission #4, B-17F 41-24579, 303BG/360BS - Aborted Lille, France 6 December 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS

P 2LT John A. Castle (RTB); CP 2LT Kent M. Fitzsimmons (RTB)
N 2LT Glen M. Herrington (RTB); B 2LT Louis B. Sinopoli (RTB)
E/TTG SSGT Meyer Levin (RTB); RO SSGT Emilio J. Yannie Jr. (RTB)
BTG SGT Cecil E. Craft (RTB); LWG SSGT Billie L. Staner (RTB)
RWG SGT Alfred V. Heitman (RTB); TG SSGT Martin A. Semonick (RTB)

Mission #5, B-17F 41-24579, 303BG/360BS Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20 December 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS

P 2LT John A. Castle (RTB); CP 2LT Kent M. Fitzsimmons (RTB)
N 2LT Otis A. Hoyt (RTB); B 2LT Louis B. Sinopoli (RTB)
E/TTG SSGT Meyer Levin (RTB); RO SSGT Emilio J. Yannie Jr. (RTB)
BTG SGT Cecil E. Craft (RTB); LWG SSGT Gilbert A. Murray, Jr. (RTB)
RWG SSGT Billie L. Staner (RTB); TG SSGT Martin A. Semonick (RTB)

Mission #6, B-17F 41-24579, 303BG/360BS Saint-Nazaire, France 3 January 1943

CREW B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS

P CPT Lewis E. Lyle (RTB); CP 1LT Keith O. Bartlett (RTB)
N CPT Paul G. Moore (RTB); B 2LT Louis B. Sinopoli (RTB)
E/TTG TSGT Gene K. Smith (RTB); RO SGT Clayton S. Balcombe (RTB)
BTG SGT Robert H. Sangster (RTB); LWG SSGT Woodrow W. Smith (RTB)
RWG SGT Edward A. Bradford (RTB); TG SGT Tom McGiffin (RTB)

Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) Lulsgate Bottom, Bristol, North Somerset BS40, UK 23 January 1943

Aircraft damaged by AA fire and enemy fighters on mission to Lorient, France. 11 man crew. Nine baled out over England, but RWG SSgt Billie L. Staner was killed when his chute failed to open. Pilot and Co-Pilot stayed with the aircraft and made a belly landing at Lulsgate Bottom airfield near Bristol, England. Aircraft was salvaged.

Mission #7, B-17F 41-24579, 303BG/360BS Lorient, France 23 January 1943

CREW B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS

P 1LT John A. Castle Castle (RTB); CP 2LT Kent Fitzsimmons (RTB)
N 2LT Charles L. Herman (WIA/RTD); B 2LT Louis B. Simopoli (BO/RTD)
E/TTG TSGT Meyer Levin (WIA); RO TSGT Emilio J. Yannie, Jr. (BO/RTD)
BTG SSGT Cecil E. Craft (WIA); LWG SGT Joseph S. Klasnick (BO/RTD)
RWG SSGT Billie L. Staner (KOM); TG SSGT Martin A. Semonick (WIA/RTD)
Photographer SGT James F. Loll (RTD)

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 21:29:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Added Mission # 7 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/011.pdf

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 21:19:30 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Added Mission # 6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 3-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/009.pdf

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 21:10:27 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Added Mission # 5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 20-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/007.pdf

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 20:48:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Added Mission # 4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/005.pdf

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 20:39:50 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Added Mission # 3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/004.pdf

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 20:30:38 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Added Mission # 2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 18-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/002.pdf

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 20:23:32 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Added Mission # 1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 17-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/001.pdf

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 20:07:58 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Added Arrival in UK event per 303BG webiste, Gary Moncur, Historian, John A. Castle crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-castle.html

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 20:02:41 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016 Added Aircraft Assigned to Unit event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, John A. Castle crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-castle.html

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 19:11:59 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Added original assignment date, location and operational participation statement to Summary Biography; Made connections ot all Mission participations pere 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, John A. Castle crew page http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-castle.html

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2015 23:26:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Feb-2015. Corrected typo in DBR event desciption

Date Contributor Update
21 January 2015 19:27:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Jan-2015. Verified crew names and list per 303rd Bomb Group website crew roster, Gary Moncur, historian

Date Contributor Update
21 January 2015 19:20:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Jan-2015. Added nickname, DBR event, edited Description, converted dates to military-style signification, description narration and crew list per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; made connections to Squadron, Place and Mission within existing website data; formatted crew display.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:03 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

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

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