Skip to main content
Edit entry 

41-24581

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17F 41-24581 "The '8' Ball" was assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-O] with its crew on 1-Jul-42 at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. The aircraft and crew were sent to Dow Field Bangor, Maine on 4-Oct-42 to prepare for overseas deployment; Molesworth 21-Oct-42; battle damaged 20-Dec-42 on mission to bomb the German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. Pilot and Co-Pilot brought ship back to crash-landed at Bovingdon The rest of the crew baled out over England. Aircraft was DBR and salvaged 23-Dec-42. Participated in 7 Operations (2 were Aborted) See Biography events for crew details.

17-Nov-42 Mission #1 - U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France (See Biography events)
18-Nov-42 Mission #2 - U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France - Aborted (See Biography events)
22-Nov-42 Mission #3 - U-Boat pens at Lorient, France - Aborted (See Biography events)
23-Nov-42 Mission #4 - U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France (See Biography events)
6-Dec-42 Mission #5 - Carriage & Wagon Works at Lille, France (See Biography events)
20-Dec-42 LAST OPERATION Mission #6 - Air Depot at Rommilly-sur-Seine, France - DBR (See Biography events)

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...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron

People

  • William Calhoun

    Military | Colonel | Pilot; Operations Officer; Commanding Officer | 303rd Bomb Group
    Born 10 Nov 1919 Birmingham, AL, BA Degree Stanford Univ. ...

  • William Cargill

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    15-Sep-42 assigned to B-17F 41-24609 [BN-Q] "Holy Mackerel", 303BG/359BS at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas and arrived aboard that aircraft at Molesworth, UK on 22-Oct-42. Mission participation (See Biography events - UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

  • Victor Cozza

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer | 303rd Bomb Group
    10-Jul-42 assigned as an Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on B-17F 41-24608 "Yehoodi", 303BG/359BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. Arrived at Molesworth UK aboard that aircraft on 12-Oct-42. Participated in 4 Operations (2 were aborted) See...

  • George Dominick

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to B-17F 41-24581"The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS on 1-Jul-1942. Arrived aboard that aircraft at Molesworth, UK on 21-Oct-42. He only participated in 3 Operations with the 359BS (See Biography events). His final disposition has not been determined....

  • Richard Fortunak

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    1-Jul-42 Assigned as a Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24581 [BN-O],"The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico and arrived aboard that aircraft at Molesworth, UK on 21-Oct-42. ...

  • Anton Haas

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to B-17F 41-24581 "The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS as a Bombardier on 1-Jul-42. Arrived in the UK with that aircraft on 21-Oct-42. Mission participation (See Biography events - UNDER CONSTRUCTION).

  • Raymond Kilgore

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    28-Feb-42 Assigned as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24565 [BN P] "Idaho Potato Peeler Kids", 303BG/359BS at Pendleton Fielsd, Pendleton, Oregon and arrived 25-Oct-42 at Molesworth, UK aboard that aircraft. ...

  • Norman Kossis

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 3 January 1943 in B-17F 41-24608 'Yehoodi', 303BG/359BS while serving as Bombardier on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Loreint, France. Aircraft crashed into the sea off the Belle-Ile-en-Mer, France. Participated in 7 Operations (4...

  • Paul Moore

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    25-Feb-42 Assigned as a Navigator the 303BG/359BS at Pendleton Field, Oregon. He became a Lead Navigator with 360BS and served in that capacity on several aircraft of the 360BS. Flew on 16 credited missions and flew his last mission on 21-May-43. ...

  • William Mulgrew

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    01-Jul-41 Assigned as Ball Turret Gunner on B-17F 41-24581 "The '8' Ball" at Alamogordo Field, New Mexico and arrived as Molesworth, UK aboard that aircraft on 21-Oct-42. ...

Show more

Missions

  • 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. ...

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
Assigned with Crew Alamogordo, NM 88310, USA 1 July 1942

Assigned to 303BG/359BS with crew at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

CREW

MAJ Eugene A. Romig (CO 359BS); P CPT William R. Calhoun
CP 2LT James S. Nix; N 2LT Joseph M. Strickland
B 2LT George R. Dominic; E/TTG TSGT Roman R. Zaorski
RO SSGT Charles R. Terry; BTG SGT William C. Mulgrew
LWG SGT Richard C. Fortunak; RWG SGT Murel A. Murphy
TG SGT Willard W. Stephen

Preparation for Deployment 4 October 1942 – 20 October 1942

Aircraft and crew transferred to Dow Field, Bangor, Maine in preparation for deployment to the UK

Arrival in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 21 October 1942

Aircraft and crew arrived at Molesworth, UK

Mission #1, B-17F 41-24581, 303BG/359BS Saint-Nazaire, France 17 November 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24581 "The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS

CMP MAJ George L. Robinson (RTB); CP CPT William R. Calhoun
N 2LT Joseph M. Strickland (RTB); B 2LT Anton H. Haas (RTB)
E/TTG TSGT Roman R. Zaorski (RTB); RO Charles R. Terry (RTB)
BTG SSGT William C. Mulgrew (RTB); LWG SSGT Richard C. Fortunak (RTB)
RWG SGT Murel A. Murhpy (RTB); TG SSGT Willard W. Stephen

Mission #2, B-17F 41-24581, 303BG/359BS - Aborted Saint-Nazaire, France 18 November 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24581 "The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS

P CPT William R. Calhoun (RTB); CP 2LT James S. Nix (RTB)
N 2LT Joseph M. Strickland (RTB); B 2LT Norman Kossis (RTB)
E/TTG TSGT Roman Zaorski (RTB); RO TSGT Charles R. Terry (RTB)
BTG SSGT William C. Mulgrew (RTB); LWG SSGT Richard C. Fortunak (RTB)
RWG SGT Murel A. Murphy (RTB); TG SSGT Willard W. Stephen

Mission #3, B-17F 41-24581, 303BG/359BS - Aborted Lorient, France 22 November 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24581 "The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS

P CPT William R. Calhoun (RTB); CP 2LT James S. Nix (RTB)
N 2LT Joseph M. Strickland (RTB); B 2LT George B. Dominic (RTB)
E/TTG SGT Homer T. Perkins (RTB); RO TSGT Charles R. Terry (RTB)
BTG SGT Murel A. Murphy(RTB); LWG SSGT Richard C. Fortunak (RTB)
RWG SGT Murel A. Murphy (RTB); TG SSGT Willard W. Stephen

Mission #4, B-17F 41-24581, 303BG/359BS Saint-Nazaire, France 23 November 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24581 "The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS

P CPT William R. Calhoun (RTB); CP 2LT James S. Nix (RTB)
N 2LT Joseph M. Strickland (RTB); B 2LT George B. Dominic (RTB)
E/TTG SGT Homer T. Perkins (RTB); RO TSGT Charles R. Terry (RTB)
BTG SSGT William C. Mulgrew (RTB); LWG SSGT Richard C. Fortunak (RTB)
RWG TSGT Raymond H. Kilgore(RTB); TG 2LT John W. Spence

Mission #5, B-17F 41-24581, 303BG/359BS Lille, France 6 December 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24581 "The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS

P CPT William R. Calhoun (RTB); CP 2LT James S. Nix (RTB)
N 2LT Joseph M. Strickland (RTB); B 2LT William D. Cargill (RTB)
E/TTG TSGT Victor J. Cozza (RTB); RO TSGT Charles R. Terry (RTB)
BTG SSGT William C. Mulgrew (RTB); LWG SSGT Richard C. Fortunak (RTB)
RWG SGT Murel A. Murphy(RTB); TG SSGT John W. Spence

Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) Bovington, Dorset, UK 20 December 1942

Aircraft was severely damaged by flak and enemy aircraft and crash-landed at Bovington upon return and declared a Category "E" (DBR) and salvaged 23-Dec-42.

Mission #6 B-17F 41-24581, 303BG/359BS - DBR Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20 December 1942 – 4 October 1942

CREW B-17F 41-24581 "The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS

P CPT William R. Calhoun, Jr. (RTD); CP MAJ Eugene A. Romig (RTD)
N 2LT Joseph M. Strickland (BO RTD) B 1LT Robert J Yonkman BO (RTD)
E/TTG TSGT Roman R. Zaorski (BO RTD); RO TSGT Charles R. Terry (BO RTD)
BTG SSGT William R. Mulgrew (BO RTD); LWG SSGT Richard C. Fortunak (BO RTD)
RWG Sgt Murel A. Murphy (BO RTD) TG SGT Willard W. Stephen (RO RTD)

P and CP stayed with the aircraft and crash lanede it at USAAF Station at Bovington, UK and returned to Molesworth the next day. The remainer of ther crew baled out over England and all RTD.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
19 September 2017 14:55:26 Al_Skiff Changes to media associations
Sources

Roger Freeman Photo.

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2015 19:27:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Dec-2015. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/005.pdf

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2015 19:22:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Dec-2015. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/004.pdf

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2015 19:12:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Dec-2015. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 22-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/003.pdf

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2015 19:03:01 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Dec-2015. 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
12 December 2015 18:52:11 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Dec-2015. 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
12 December 2015 18:39:32 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Dec-2015. Added Assigned with Crew event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, William R. Calhoun crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-359-calhoun.html

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2015 18:36:51 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Dec-2015. Added Preparation for Deployment event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, William R. Calhoun crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-359-calhoun.html

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2015 18:28:59 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Dec-2015. Added Assigned with Crew event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, William R. Calhoun crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-359-calhoun.html

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2015 17:26:58 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Dec-2015. Edited Biography and corrected Mission Participations for 7 to 6 and changed Mission event title on Mission 7 to 6.

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2015 00:49:43 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Mission particpation list to Summary biography per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Reports http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2015 00:40:41 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-DEc-2015 Added Mission #7 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, HIstorian, Mission Report of 20-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/007.pdf

Date Contributor Update
06 December 2014 22:41:56 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Dec-2014. Completed proper name for Sgt Murel A. Murphy per 303BG website: www.303rdbg.com historian Gary Moncur.

Date Contributor Update
06 December 2014 21:18:33 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Dec-2014 Corrected nickname per 303bg website: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
06 December 2014 21:16:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Dec-2014. Added target information to description and converted dates to military-style signification per 'Losses of the 9th & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & john A. Hey MBE. Added aircraft nickname and full proper names of crew and formatted crew display per data on 303rg Bomb Group website: http://www.303rdbg.com/ historian Gary Moncur.

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

Share