Skip to main content
Edit entry 

42-31191

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 29 September 1943; Harvard 16 October 1943; Assigned 710BS/447BG Rattlesden 25November 1943. B-17 # 42-31191 was hit by German fighters on the 27 March 1944 mission to the Bordeaux-Mérignac airfield. Crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde), France. Bombardier Lt Modesto A. Gonzales, Radio Operator S/Sgt Joseph H Koenig, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner Sgt Glenn C. Underwood, Right Waist Gunner Sgt Albert H. Ross and Left Waist Gunner S/Sgt Edwin S. Pankhurst, all five seen by Navigator Walsh and Ball Turret Gunner Volz to have been arrested on the beach. Pilot Lt Richard Gaskell and Co-Pilot Lt Raymond C. Koorenny were captured later. Navigator 2nd Lt Raymond L. Walsh, Ball Turret Gunner Sgt Wilbur E. Volz and Tail Gunner S/Sgt Thomas A. Smith managed to evade. Missing Air Crew Report – MACR 3546.

Service

Units

  • 447th Bomb Group

    447th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces...

  • 710th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Richard Gaskell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    Richard Gaskell was Pilot of B-17G #42-31191 'Virginia Lee' on the 27 March 1943 mission to Bordeaux/Merignac airfield. Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde), France. Made Prisoner of War (POW)

  • Modesto Gonzales

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 447th Bomb Group
    Modesto Gonzales was Bombardier on board of B-17G #42-31191 'Virginia Lee' on the 27 March 1943 mission to Bordeaux/Merignac airfield. Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde), France. Made Prisoner of...

  • Joseph Koenig

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator/Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Joseph Koenig was Radio Operator/Gunner on board of B-17G #42-31191 'Virginia Lee' on the 27 March 1943 mission to Bordeaux/Merignac airfield. Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde), France. Made...

  • Raymond Koorenny

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    Raymond Koorenny was Co-Pilot on board of B-17G #42-31191 'Virginia Lee' on the 27 March 1943 mission to Bordeaux/Merignac airfield. Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde), France. Left the Fortress...

  • Edwin Pankhurst

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Edwin Pankhurst was Left Waist Gunner on board of B-17G #42-31191 'Virginia Lee' on the 27 March 1943 mission to Bordeaux/Merignac airfield. Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde), France. Made...

  • Albert Ross

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Albert Ross was Right Waist Gunner on board of B-17G #42-31191 'Virginia Lee' on the 27 March 1943 mission to Bordeaux/Merignac airfield. Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde), France. Made Prisoner...

  • Thomas Smith

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Thomas Smith was Tail Gunner on his first operation on board of B-17G #42-31191 'Virginia Lee' on the 27 March 1943 mission to Bordeaux/Merignac airfield. Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde),...

  • Glenn Underwood

    Military | Sergeant | Engineer / Top Turret Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Glenn Underwood was Engineer / Top Turret Gunner on board of B-17G #42-31191 'Virginia Lee' on the 27 March 1943 mission to Bordeaux/Merignac airfield. Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde), France....

  • Wilbur Volz

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Wilbur Volz was Ball Turret Gunner on his first operation on board of B-17G #42-31191 'Virginia Lee' on the 27 March 1943 mission to Bordeaux/Merignac airfield. Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde),...

  • Raymond Walsh

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 447th Bomb Group
    Raymond Walsh was Navigator on his first operation on board of B-17G #42-31191 'Virginia Lee' on the 27 March 1943 mission to Bordeaux/Merignac airfield. Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde), France...

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 282

    27 March 1944
    This mission might be likened to a "shotgun blast" as a combined force 714 heavy bombers are despatched form all three Air Divisions to attack 11 different German airfields and air depots in France. Mission summary follows: ...

Places

  • Rattlesden

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the Eighth Air Force in 1942, Rattlesden had three concrete runways, 50 hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. Intended to be a twin-engine B-26 bomber base, it was originally a satellite for nearby Rougham, and first occupied from...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) France 27 March 1944

Hit by German fighters, crash-landed on the beach at Le Porge-Océan, near Laruau (Gironde), France

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
25 March 2019 13:50:05 ED-BB Changes to nicknames, markings, description, events and mission associations
Sources

Escape & Evasion Reports E&E 2062, 2063 and 2064

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:37 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 3546 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Share