Skip to main content
Edit entry 

41-24611

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17F 41-24611 "Boomerang" was assigned 422BS/305BG [JJ-W] Presque Is 19-Oct-42; Grafton Underwood 25-Oct-42; flew Gen Eaker to Casablanca 15-Jan-43; Missing in Action 16-Feb-43 while on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France. Attacked by fighters and crashed into the Etang de Gournava near Pleucadeuc, France. 11-man crew. 1KIA, 8POW, 2EVD MACR 16236

P Capt Charles J. Steenbarger (POW) CP 1Lt Thomas P. Mayo (EVD)
N 1Lt John E. Carpenter, Jr. (KIA); B 1Lt Joe J. Varhol (POW)
E/TTG TSgt Carey B. Ford (POW); RO SSgt Frederick J. Dewig (POW)
BTG SSgt Lowell R. Lewis (POW); LWG SSgt Dale Markland (EVD)
RWG TSgt Donald R. Wall (POW); TG SSgt Charley L. Gilbert (POW)
Photographer TSgt Norris C. Miller(POW)

Service

Units

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 422nd Bomb Squadron

People

  • John Carpenter

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Graduated from Texas A&M University in 1940 as engineer. Called up in ROTC in 1941. Graduated first in class in Navigator school and sent to England. Served under Curtis Lemay. ...

  • Frederick Dewig

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 16 February 1943 in B-17F 41-24611 'Boomerang' while serving as Radio Operator. Assigned target was St. Nazaire, France. Downed by fighters about 17 miles east of Vannes, France. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Carey Ford

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 16 February 1943 in B-17F 41-24611 'Boomerang' while serving as Ball Turret Gunner. Assigned target was St. Nazaire, France. Downed by fighters about 17 miles east of Vannes, France. He baled out and managed to evade capture and returned to...

  • Charley Gilbert

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 16 February 1943 in B-17F 41-24611 'Boomerang' while serving as Waist Gunner. Assigned target was St. Nazaire, France. Downed by fighters about 17 miles east of Vannes, France. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Lowell Lewis

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Prisoner of War (POW). Shot down 16 February 1943 in B-17F 41-24611 'Boomerang' while serving as Waist Gunner. Assigned target was St. Nazaire, France. Downed by fighters about 17 miles east of Vannes, France. Prisoner of War (POW) POW

  • Dale Markland

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 16 February 1943 in B-17F 41-24611 'Boomerang' while serving as Tail Gunner. Assigned target was St. Nazaire, France. Downed by fighters about 17 miles east of Vannes, France. He baled out and managed to evade capture and returned to England...

  • Thomas Mayo

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 16 February 1943 in B-17F 41-24611 'Boomerang' while serving as Co-Pilot. He baled out of the aircraft near Pleucadeuc, France and managed to evade capture returning to England on 28-Mar-1943. Assigned target was St. Nazaire, France. Downed...

  • Norris Miller

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Photographer | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 16 February 1943 in B-17F 41-24611 'Boomerang' while serving as Photographer. Assigned target was St. Nazaire, France. Downed by fighters about 17 miles east of Vannes, France. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Charles Steenbarger

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 16 February 1943 in B-17F 4124611 'Boomerang' while serving as Pilot. Assigned target was St. Nazaire, France. Downed by fighters about 17 miles east of Vannes, France. He was able to bale out of the aircraft and was captured as Prisoner of...

  • Joe Varhol

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Prisoner of War (POW). Shot down 16 February 1943 in B-17F 41-24611 'Boomerang' while serving as Bombardier. Assigned target was St. Nazaire, France. Downed by fighters about 17 miles east of Vannes, France. POW

Show more

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 36

    16 February 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are designated as the primary target of this mission of 71 B-17s and 18 B-24s. B-17s are from 91BG (18); 303BG (15); 305BG (18); 306BG (20) of these 59 are effective on the target and 6 are lost....

Places

  • Chelveston

    Military site : airfield
    Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...

  • Grafton Underwood

    Military site : airfield
    Grafton Underwood was built in 1941 by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd. It was the first airfield in England to receive an Eighth Air Force flying unit, when in May 1942 personnel of the 15th Bomb Squadron took up residence. As a satellite airfield for...

  • Presque Isle Army Airfield

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Pleucadeuc, France 16 February 1943

Shot down by enemy fighters and crashed into the Etang de Gournava, near Pleucadeuc, France.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 January 2015 18:51:21 Lee8thbuff Changes to nicknames, markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 30-Jan-2015. Added nickname, markings, FTR description and Description edits per "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; Made connections to Place and Mission within existing website data; Added crew position, rank, full proper name and disposition per MACR 16236; formatted crew display.

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 16236 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Share