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42-37839

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Tulsa 20/9/43; Gr Island 14/10/43; Assigned 563BS/388BG [ -D] Knettishall 26/10/43; Missing in Action Berlin 9/3/44 with Bernie Dopko, Co-pilot: Gene Krifka, Navigator: Glenn Cederstrom, Bombardier: Bill Kelly, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Ed Naber, Radio Operator: Wilson Gabel, Ball turret gunner: Ed Rydell, Waist gunner: Dick Herzberg, Waist gunner: Lloyd Haller,Tail gunner: Sybrand de Vries (10 Prisoner of War); flak, crashed Preetze Forest, near Liebenthal, 12 miles NE of Oranienburg, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 3088. LITTLE WILLIE.

Service

Units

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 563rd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Glenn Cederstrom

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group
    The crew baled out of B-17G #42-37839 'Little Willie' after flak set the plane on fire on a mission to Berlin on 9 Mar 1944. The a/c crashed NE of Oranienburg, GR. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Sybrand De Vries

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    The crew bailed out of B-17G #42-37839 'Little Willie' after flak set the plane on fire on a mission to Berlin on 9 Mar 1944. The a/c crashed NE of Oranienburg, GR. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Bernard Dopko

    Military | Flight Officer | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    The crew baled out of B-17G #42-37839 'Little Willie' after flak set the plane on fire on a mission to Berlin on 9 Mar 1944. The a/c crashed NE of Oranienburg, GR. Prisoner of War (POW). Retired from the USAF as a Captain.

  • Vernon Duncan

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot/Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Warren Fleener

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group

  • Wilson Gabel

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group
    The crew baled out of B-17G #42-37839 'Little Willie' after flak set the plane on fire on a mission to Berlin on 9 Mar 1944. The a/c crashed NE of Oranienburg, GR. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Howard Gaines

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 388th Bomb Group

  • John Gallien

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Rolla Garretson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group

  • Lloyd Haller

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    The crew baled out of B-17G #42-37839 'Little Willie' after flak set the plane on fire on a mission to Berlin on 9 Mar 1944. The a/c crashed NE of Oranienburg, GR. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

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Missions

  • 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...

  • 8th Air Force 178

    7 January 1944
    The industrial areas of Ludwigshaven, Germany are the primary target for this mission. The formation has three elements. The bomber gunners of the entire force claim 30-6-17 of attacking German aircraft. ...

  • 8th Air Force 182

    11 January 1944
    Three aviation industry targets in Germany are bombed. The bomber force consists of 291 B-17s despatched from 1st Bomb Division in two elements, one element of 177 B-17s is despatched to Oschersleben, Germany as the primary target, the other 1BD...

  • 8th Air Force 198

    29 January 1944
    The primary target for this mission was the railroad marshalling yards and industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. A combined force of 863 heavy bombers were despatched in three elements to make the attack. The combined bomber gunner claims on enemy...

  • 8th Air Force 200

    30 January 1944
    This mission has the aviation industry at Brunswick, Germany as the primary target. The mission is composed of a combined force pf 777 heavy bomber aircraft despatched in three elements: 1st Bomb Division; 2nd Bomb Division and 3rd Bomb Division. The...

  • 8th Air Force 228 BIG WEEK - DAY 2

    21 February 1944
    Day 2 of BIG WEEK is another maximum effort by 8th Air Force to bomb 6 airfields in Germany as primary targets: Diepholz, Gütersloh, Lippstadt, Werl, Achmer and Handorf. In addition the industrial areas of Brunswick city are included as a primary...

  • 8th Air Force 233 BIG WEEK - DAY 5

    24 February 1944
    BIG WEEK resumes with full intensity against the German aircraft industry. Bomber tactics are changed slightly in that each Air Division will be directed at more widely dispersed primary targets whoch it is thought will frustrate concentration...

  • 8th Air Force 235 BIG WEEK - DAY 6

    25 February 1944
    On this final operation of BIG WEEK, Day 6, a combined force of 754 heavy bombers from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions are despatched to bomb the German aircraft industries at Regensburg, Augsburg, Stuttgart and Furth, Germany. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 246

    3 March 1944
    A combined force of 748 heavy bombers are despatched to bomb the primary targets of Berlin, Erkner and Oranienburg, Germany, but weather and dense contrails forced most of the formations to turn back or seek Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 1st Combat...

  • 8th Air Force 250

    6 March 1944
    The industrial areas of Berlin and Genshagen, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. A combined force of 730 heavy bombers are despatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions. The despatch from 3rd Air Division bombs Targets of Opportunity in...

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Places

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Prötzeweg, 16559 Liebenwalde, Germany 9 March 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 June 2019 23:00:08 Pat deVries Howe Changes to description
Sources

changed incorrect spelling of my Dad's last name.

Date Contributor Update
15 October 2015 03:33:15 466thHistorian Changes to nicknames
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
15 October 2015 03:24:19 466thHistorian Changes to media associations
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
15 October 2015 03:20:57 466thHistorian Changes to nicknames, markings, place associations and mission associations
Sources

388bg.info

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:45 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 3088 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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