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42-37886

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Denver 2/10/43; Gr Island 21/10/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 25/10/43; Missing in Action Berlin 6/3/44 with Lowell Watts captured by civilians, Co-pilot: Bob Kennedy, Navigator: Emmett Murphy, Bombardier: Ed Kelley, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Joe Ramsey, Radio Operator: Ivan Finkle (6 Prisoner of War); Ball turret gunner: Robert Sweeney, Waist gunner: Don Taylor, Waist gunner: Raymond Hess,Tail gunner: Harold A.Brassfield (4 Killed in Action); enemy aircraft attack, causing mid-air collision with 42-40054 (388BG), crashed near Zwartemeer, near Emmen, Hol. Missing Air Crew Report 3089. BLITZING BETSY.

On the return from a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-37886 'Blitzin' Betsy' was severely damaged by attacks from several FW190s causing it to collide with another 388th B-17, exploding in mid-air and crashing near Emmen, Holland.

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...

  • 562nd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Harry Allert

    Military | Master Sergeant (1st Grade) | Crew Chief | 388th Bomb Group
    Bronze Star, DUC, EAME

  • Kenneth Betts

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down in a frontal attack by fighters on the return from a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-31135 'Suzy Sagtitz' crashed near Schoonebekerveld, Holland. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Harold Brassfield

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Tail Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    On the return from a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-37886 'Blitzing' Betsy' was severely damaged by attacks from several FW190s causing it to collide with another 388th B-17, exploding in mid-air and crashing near Emmen,...

  • Vernon Duncan

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

  • Ivan Finkle

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group
    Ivan Finkle served as a radio operator with the 388th Bomb Group. He completed 21 missions. On 6 March 1944, his 22nd mission, his aircraft 'Blitzing Betsy' was shot down by German fighters returning from first mass daylight raid on Berlin over Holland...

  • Raymond Hess

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    On the return from a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-37886 'Blitzin' Betsy' was severely damaged by attacks from several FW190s causing it to collide with another 388th B-17, exploding in mid-air and crashing near Emmen,...

  • Edward Kelley

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group
    On the return from a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-37886 'Blitzing Betsy' was severely damaged by attacks from several FW190s causing it to collide with another 388th B-17, exploding in mid-air and crashing near Emmen,...

  • Robert Kennedy

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    On the return from a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-37886 'Blitzin' Betsy' was severely damaged by attacks from several FW190s causing it to collide with another 388th B-17, exploding in mid-air and crashing near Emmen,...

  • Herman Mays

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Tail Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Evaded (EVD) ...

  • Emmett Murphy

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group
    On the return from a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-37886 'Blitzin' Betsy' was severely damaged by attacks from several FW190s causing it to collide with another 388th B-17, exploding in mid-air and crashing near Emmen,...

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Missions

  • 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 151

    11 December 1943
    This mission is a massive raid of 583 heavy bombers on the industrial areas of Emden, Germany. The first element is a combined force of 242 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (24); 92BG (18); 303BG (20); 305BG (21); 306BG (20); 351BG (40)...

  • 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 159

    20 December 1943
    The port area of Bremen is the target for 546 heavy bombers. The total includes 12 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG. All 12 of these are effective on the target and 11 are damaged. The bomber gunners of this element claim 1-1-0 (this total included with...

  • 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...

  • 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 183

    14 January 1944
    This mission is a combined effort of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions to attack V-Weapon sites near the French coast near Pas-de-Calaise. Some targets of opportunity were also bombed. A total of 20 out of 21 V-Weapon sites are hit with varying results. ...

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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
Delivered Denver, CO, USA 2 October 1943
Assigned Knettishall, Diss, Suffolk IP22, UK 25 October 1943

388th BG - 562nd BS

First 388th BG Mission Bordeaux, France 5 December 1943
Failed to Return (FTR) Klazienaveen, Netherlands 6 March 1944

Attacked by FW 190's of JG11 over the German/Dutch border on return from Berlin. Though her gunners shot down two of the attackers, Blitzing Betsy was set afire with hits to the #3 engine and to the oxygen bottles under the flight deck. Out of control she collided with the aircraft flying above her, knocking the ball turret off of that ship and peeling the roof away from her own flight deck. Going into a spin, the pilot, Lowell Watts was just beginning to recover from the spin with the aircraft blew apart.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2016 01:28:26 466thHistorian Changes to events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.388bg.info/servlet/Controller?pageType=detail&id=42-37886&dat...

Date Contributor Update
15 May 2015 12:30:34 Lucy May Changes to description
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / self, MACR 3089, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces,

href="http://www.388bg.info/servlet/Controller?pageType=detail&id=388-I-FIN04-...">http://www.388bg.info/servlet/Controller?pageType=detail&id=388-I-FIN04-...>

Date Contributor Update
10 March 2015 02:51:14 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
16 January 2015 04:22:29 466thHistorian Changes to media associations
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
08 November 2014 00:03:02 466thHistorian Changes to media associations
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2014 23:21:15 466thHistorian Changes to description
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2014 23:19:42 466thHistorian Changes to nicknames and markings
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2014 23:19:16 466thHistorian Changes to media associations
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
31 October 2014 00:28:54 466thHistorian Changes to description
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:46 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 3089 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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