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42-31786

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Denver 14/12/43; Gt Falls 20/12/43; Kearney 1/1/44; Grenier 21/1/44; Assigned 548BS/385BG [GX-L] Gt Ashfield 2/2/44; Missing in Action Berlin 8/5/44 with Andy Drobysh, Co-pilot: Harry Gousha, Navigator: Clem Irons, Bombardier: Bob Hudson, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Joe O’Donnell, Radio Operator: Cullen Cotton, Ball turret gunner: Ed Waters, Waist gunner: Russ Beyko, Waist gunner: Art Carter,Tail gunner: Chas Moore (10 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft KOd #3, crashed Worphausen, nine miles NE of Bremen, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 4563. GIN RICKY.

Near the IP before the bomb run Lt Drobysh reported that his #3 engine was out of control and he could no longer stay with the formation, he pulled his ship away and salvoed his bombs, the rogue propellor eventually breaking away from its engine. Enemy fighters now set about finishing off the straggler. Drobysh finally calling for his crew to bale out.

The aircraft was known as Gin Ricky by the men.

My grandfather (Frederick Ihlenburg) mentioned to my grandmother in one of his letters home that the plane had nose art painted on, but I don't have any pictures of this. The ACs name came from my grandmother (Jeanne) and my uncle Frederick ("Ricky" as a kid). He was born right before my grandfather left for the war.

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 548th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Danny Altman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 548th 385BG, 8AF USAAF. Flew on B-17 'Jeanne Rickey' for 25 x combat missions. Had 2 x missions on D-Day, 4 x bombing missions to Berlin. ...

  • Robert Andrews

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 548th 385BG, 8AF USAAF. 34 x combat missions. Claimed Me109 on 8-May-44 Berlin mission in B-17 42-97530, flying tail gunner for 1Lt Frederick H Ihlenburg. "Quittin' Time" and crew barely made it home over white cliffs of Dover to an RAF...

  • Russell Boyko

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 548BS, 385BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin in B-17 42-31786 'Gin Ricky' 8-May-44; hit by enemy aircraft KO'd #3 engine, crashed Worphausen, 9 miles NE of Bremen. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 4563 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Arthur Carter

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 548BS, 385BG, 8AF USAAF. 14 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin in B-17 42-31786 'Gin Ricky' 8-May-44; hit by enemy aircraft KO'd #3 engine, crashed Worphausen, 9 miles NE of Bremen. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 4563 ...

  • Robert Claar

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 548th 385BG, 8AF USAAF. 35 x combat missions. Had sun glasses shot off his nose on 8-May-44 Berlin mission in B-17 42-97530, co-piloting for 1Lt Frederick H Ihlenburg. "Quittin' Time" and crew barely made it home over white cliffs of Dover...

  • Cullen Cotton

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 548BS, 385BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin in B-17 42-31786 'Gin Ricky' 8-May-44; hit by enemy aircraft KO'd #3 engine, crashed Worphausen, 9 miles NE of Bremen. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 4563 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Andrew Drobysch

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 548BS, 385BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin in B-17 42-31786 'Gin Ricky' 8-May-44; hit by enemy aircraft KO'd #3 engine, crashed Worphausen, 9 miles NE of Bremen. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 4563 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Harry Gousha

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 548BS, 385BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin in B-17 42-31786 'Gin Ricky' 8-May-44; hit by enemy aircraft KO'd #3 engine, crashed Worphausen, 9 miles NE of Bremen. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 4563 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Hudson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 548BS, 385BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin in B-17 42-31786 'Gin Ricky' 8-May-44; hit by enemy aircraft KO'd #3 engine, crashed Worphausen, 9 miles NE of Bremen. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 4563 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME

  • Frederick Ihlenburg

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 548BS, 385BG, 8AF USAAF. 35 x combat missions. ETD ...

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Missions

  • 344

    8 May 1944

Places

  • Great Ashfield

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the...

Events

Event Location Date
Manufactured Long Beach, CA 1943

Built at Boeing.

Delivered Denver AAF, CO 14 December 1943

Delivered Denver AAF 14-Dec-43.

Assigned Great Ashfield, UK 2 February 1944

Assigned 548BS, 385BG, 8AF USAAF.

Crashed Worphausen, Germany 8 May 1944

Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin 8-May-44; Mech failure #3 engine and then shot down by fighters. Crashed Worphausen. 10 x POW MACR 4563

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 May 2019 20:12:35 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, markings, description, events, unit associations and mission associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/29030814
https://b17flyingfortress.de/en/b17/42-31786-jeanne-ricky/

Date Contributor Update
05 June 2017 02:22:50 MRB Changes to nicknames and markings
Sources

Frederick Ihlenburg's grandson. He is the pilot who named the plane.

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2016 23:21:41 hermanns Changes to nicknames
Sources

385th BG website

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 4563 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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