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42-31083

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 15/9/43;
Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-A] Kimbolton 19/10/43;
Take off accident, on her 38th mission (379th Mission #95 / 8th AF Mission #298 against the Focke-Wulf facility in Sorau) 11/4/44; crash landed Fen Farm, Stow Bardolph, Suffolk, UK., with John Daly, Co-pilot: Bob Koerber, ng-S/Sgt Carl Christianson, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Adriel Langendoerfer, Radio Operator: Omer Young, Ball turret gunner: Harvey Tuber, Waist gunner: Frank Hearne, Waist gunner: John McCallum,Tail gunner: Howard Polizzo (9KIA- when ship crash landed); Navigator: Bill Evans (RTD- bailed out safely); Salvaged 18/4/44. TENNY BELLE.
Specific model details: an early -G model, the 51st from Boeing, with the Bendix remotely sighted chin turret that replaced the nose and cheek guns on earlier models. Production pre-dates the "Cheyenne" tail turret mod. Waist gun positions were fully enclosed in Plexiglas, and level with each other. The radio compartment gun was also enclosed.

Service

Units

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 525th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Lawrence Becker

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 526BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 36 x combat missions. ETD. Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Russell Boyd

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 526BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 33 x combat missions. ETD. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Richard Brooke

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 25 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM, WWII Victory, EAME

  • Carl Christensen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier / L,R Waist Gunner, Nose Gunner / Togglier | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 25 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) in 42-31083; A/C exploded mid-air near Downham Market, England. Killed in Action (KIA). Awards: AM, PH.

  • Frank Ciancia

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 526BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat mission. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Joseph Columbo

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 26 x combat missions. Flew in B-17 42-31083 'Tenny Belle' for most of his missions. ETD Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • John Daly

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 11 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Sorau, Germany mission 11-Apr-44 'Tenny Belle' exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England. Killed in Action (KIA). No MACR Awards: AM, PH.

  • Howard Damon

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio operator | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 33 x combat missions. ETD. Awards: DFC, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • William Evans

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 17 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Sorau, Germany mission 11-Apr-44 'Tenny Belle' exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England. Sole survivor, blown out of A/C with chute. Wounded in Action (WIA) RTD....

  • Paul Fetterhoff

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x combat missions. Flew in B-17 42-31083 'Tenny Belle' for most of his missions. ETD ...

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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 121

    5 November 1943
    Having had good success with P-38 escorts and limiting penetration depth into Germany this mission is directed at the railroad marshaling yards and oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. In addition the marshaling yards at Munster, Germany are also...

  • VIII Bomber Command 140

    29 November 1943
    This is another massive raid on Bremen, Germany by a force of 360 B-17s. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 182 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 94BG (40); 95BG (20); 96BG (41); 100BG (20);...

  • VIII Bomber Command 145

    1 December 1943
    This mission was directed at the industrial areas of Leverkusen and Solingen, Germany. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 221 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (27); 92BG (18); 303BG (17);...

  • VIII Bomber Command 149

    5 December 1943
    This mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined force of 216 B-17 from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (10); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (21); 351BG (35); 379BG (21); 381BG (30); 384BG (20); and 301BG (20)...

  • VIII Bomber Command 154

    13 December 1943
    The port areas at Bremen and Kiel, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. This is the first mission where more than 600 aircraft are despatched. This mission is comprised of 8 elements. The first element consists 182 B-17s from: 91BG (31);...

  • 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...

  • VIII Bomber Command 161

    22 December 1943
    This mission is composed of two forces directed at two separate targets, the communication centers at Osnabruck and Munster, Germany. The force attacking at Osnabruck is composed of two elements. The first element is composed of 227 B-17s (2 are PFF...

  • VIII Bomber Command 164

    24 December 1943
    This mission is directed at V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France. The attacks are made between 1330-1510hrs. The mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a force of 277 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 169

    30 December 1943
    The port area and oil refineries at Ludwigshaven, Germany are the target for this massive attack of 710 heavy bombers. The despatch includes 12 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG, 11 of these are effective on the mission, 3 are damaged, and the bomber...

  • VIII Bomber Command 171

    31 December 1943
    This mission is the last heavy bomber operation of 1943. 1943 had been a very "tough" year for the 8th Air Force in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). 23365 B-17s had been despatched on missions and 881 had Failed to Return (FTR) for a loss...

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Places

  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
    Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....

  • Barroway Drove

    Crash site

Events

Event Location Date
Manufactured Boeing Plant 2 / Air Force Plant 17 September 1943

Manufactured at Boeing Plant 2 (also known as Air Force Plant 17) which was a factory building which was built in 1936 by the Boeing Corporation in King County, Washington in the United States. By the time production ceased in the building, the plant had built half of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, the Boeing 307s, the Boeing 377s, some of the Boeing B-29 Superfortresses, Boeing B-50 Superfortresses, B-47 Stratojets, B-52 Stratofortresses, and the initial Boeing 737s. It was located between the Duwamish River and Boeing Field.

Delivered Cheyenne Modification Center 15 September 1943

Modified with all it's armaments and combat equipment, then test flown. Once determined to be fit for flight, the aircraft was delivered to the 379th BG.

Assigned Kimbolton AAF 19 October 1943

Assigned 525th BS, 379th BG

Crashed Barroway Drove, Downham Market PE38 0AJ, UK 11 April 1944

Take off accident, Sorau 11/4/44; crash landed Fen Farm, Stow Bardolph, Suffolk, UK., with John Daly, Co-pilot: Bob Koerber, ng-S/Sgt Carl Christianson, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Adriel Langendoerfer, Radio Operator: Omer Young, Ball turret gunner: Harvey Tuber, Waist gunner: Frank Hearne, Waist gunner: John McCallum,Tail gunner: Howard Polizzo (9KIA- when ship crash landed); Navigator: Bill Evans (RTD- bailed out safely)

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
25 March 2018 16:14:00 TennyBelle Changes to description and events
Sources

multiple on-line sources based upon serial number and a/c photo

Date Contributor Update
25 March 2018 02:52:53 TennyBelle Changes to events and place associations
Sources

B-17 database

Date Contributor Update
22 March 2018 18:20:38 TennyBelle Changes to mission associations
Sources

8th AF mission database

Date Contributor Update
15 March 2018 01:31:21 Jennings Changes to media associations
Sources

Joseph W. Jennings Military Papers - 1943-1945

Date Contributor Update
15 March 2018 01:30:32 Jennings Changes to media associations
Sources

Joseph W. Jennings Military Papers - 1943-1945

Date Contributor Update
04 February 2018 08:04:37 TennyBelle Changes to description
Sources

Edited to reflect actual incident details from the Accident report (attached in media)

Date Contributor Update
27 December 2017 20:40:30 TennyBelle Changes to markings
Sources

avail/known data

Date Contributor Update
27 December 2017 20:01:28 TennyBelle Changes to production block number
Sources

corrected typo in block no.

Date Contributor Update
27 December 2017 19:43:10 TennyBelle Changes to markings
Sources

updated; web databases

Date Contributor Update
27 December 2017 19:41:45 TennyBelle Changes to production block number, manufacturer, nicknames and markings
Sources

various web sources/databases

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:36 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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