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42-39801

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Long Beach 4 September 1943; Gr Island 22 September 1943; Assigned 332BS/94BG [XM-B] Rougham 27 September 1943. Missing in Action Berlin 4 March 1944 with Pilot Julius O. Blake; Co-Pilot George G. Wedd Jr; Bombardier William P. Calmes; Navigator James W Branagan; Radio Operator: Edgar C. Finstad; Flight Engineer/Top Turret gunner: James M. Hiller; Ball Turret Gunner : Floyd A. Franchini; Right Waist gunner: Edward F. Latham; Left Waist gunner : Luther E. Lefever; Tail gunner: David G. Chang. James Branagan's body was found with serious internal injuries and the rip cord of his parachute unpulled (KIA). Julius Blake, James Hiller, Edgar Finstad and Edward Latham evaded capture. David Chang was arrested the day after the crash. The four others were helped in their evasion by Belgian patriots but were all arrested later. Mechanical failure on return flight; crashed Zevekote, seven miles North of Diksmuide, Belgium. Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 2978. (1 KIA; 4 Evaded; 5 Prisoners of War-POWs). DOUBLE TROUBLE II aka NORTHERN QUEEN.

Service

Units

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942; Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 332nd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Julius Blake

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Julius Blake enlisted in the Air Corps in April 1942 and followed heavy bomber pilot training. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 94th Bomb Group / 332nd Bomb Squadron in England. He was Pilot of B-17G #42-31150 when it lost an engine on a mission...

  • James Branagan

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 94th Bomb Group
    James Branagan enlisted in the Air Corps in October 1942 and followed navigation training. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 94th Bomb Group / 332nd Bomb Squadron in England as a Navigator. On his sixth mission, the 4 March 1944 one to Berlin, he...

  • William Calmes

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 94th Bomb Group
    B-17G #42-39801 'Northern Queen' was hit by flak, the crew baled out and the a/c crashed N of Diksmuide, Belgium on a mission to Berlin on 4 Mar 1944. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • David Chang

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    David Chang had 4 years of High School behind him and, unlike older brothers and sisters, was still a Chinese citizen when he enlisted in the Air Corps in October 1942. After completing aerial gunnery training, he was sent overseas and was assigned to...

  • Edgar Finstad

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 94th Bomb Group
    B-17G #42-39801 'Northern Queen' was hit by flak, the crew baled out and the a/c crashed N of Diksmuide, Belgium on a mission to Berlin on 4 Mar 1944. Evaded (EVD). POW

  • Floyd Franchini

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    B-17G #42-39801 'Northern Queen' was hit by flak, the crew baled out and the a/c crashed N of Diksmuide, Belgium on a mission to Berlin on 4 Mar 1944. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • James Hiller

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    B-17G #42-39801 'Northern Queen' was hit by flak, the crew baled out and the a/c crashed N of Diksmuide, Belgium on a mission to Berlin on 4 Mar 1944. Was assisted by Belgian resistance in moving to Liege, Belgium, where he stayed until liberation....

  • George Jr

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 94th Bomb Group

  • Edward Latham

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Edward Latham enlisted in the Air Corps in October 1942 and followed aerial gunnery training. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 94th Bomb Group / 332nd Bomb Squadron in England as a Right Waist gunner. On his sixth mission, the 4 March 1944 one to...

  • Luther Lefever

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 94th Bomb Group

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 247

    4 March 1944
    The industrial areas in the suburbs of Berlin, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. All three Air Divisions despatch formations. However, the despatch from 2nd Air Division aborted the mission because of severe weather in the assembly area...

Places

  • Bury St Edmunds

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was purpose-built for American bomb groups and as such had a 2,000 yard main runway that lain in concrete with a tarred and wood-chipped surface. The scale of bases such as this meant that very often the technical, administrative and...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) near Zevekote, 8470 Gistel, Belgium 4 April 1944

Took off from Bury St Edmunds at 07:35 on 4 March 1944 for a mission to Berlin. On the return flight, met with mechanical problems. Engine # 3 out of commission, could not be feathered. No fire broke out, but the violently vibrating Fortress became uncontrollable and Pilot Blake gave the bail out order. Crashed near Zevekote (Gistel), 12km North of Diksmuide, Belgium

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
26 June 2019 15:02:54 phil marchese Changes to production block number, manufacturer and markings
Sources

AAM associated image
FLYING FORTRESS 1936 1945

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2017 16:01:39 ED-BB Changes to description
Sources

Corrected BIO (Finstad also evaded...)

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2017 15:47:07 ED-BB Changes to markings, description, events and mission associations
Sources

MACR 2978

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:50 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 2978 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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