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42-40003

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Long Beach 1/11/43; Denver 27/11/43; Presque Is 11/12/43;
Assigned 524BS/379BG [WA-H] Kimbolton 21/1/44; transferred 490BG Eye; with 157 missions was top aircraft in 8AF, and only one abort; returned to US 121 BU Bradley 28/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 12/9/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 10/11/45. TOPPER aka OL’ GAPPY.

Her Nickname was first "Ole Gappy" but her Nose Art had the ghostly figure of a dapper gentleman much like in the movie "Topper". So it was known by either/or. Her claim to fame is her 157 Combat Missions which is considered the most of any other Heavy Bomber in the ETO. Her Ground Crew Chief was M/Sgt Joe Sligoski.

Service

Units

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 490th Bomb Group

    490th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 490th Bomb Group, like the 486th and 487th Bomb Groups transitioned from flying B-24 Liberators to B-17 Flying Fortresses, which were used in combat missions from late August 1944. Based at Eye, Suffolk, the Group were focused in the early months...

  • 524th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Peter Beloberk

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 379th Bomb Group

  • Lloyd Carville

    Military | 379th Bomb Group

  • Kenneth DeWire

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Kenneth DeWire served as a waist gunner with the 379th Bomb Group. He flew 30 combat missions.

  • Albert Downs

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Albert H Downs served as a co-pilot with the 524th Bomb Squadron of the 379th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Kimbolton, England. ...

  • Stephen Hennrich

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group

  • Dennis Houck

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Assistant Flight Engineer | 379th Bomb Group
    Dennis Houck served as a flight engineer with the 379th Bomb Group.

  • Anthony LaSalle

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer, Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Anthony LaSalle served as a flight engineer and waist gunner for the 379th Bomb Group.

  • Earl Parker

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Earl Parker served as tail gunner with the 379th Bomb Group.

  • Robert Schnare

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator, Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Robert Schnare served as radio operator/gunner with the 379th Bomb Group.

  • Joe Sligoski

    Military | Master Sergeant | Crew Chief | 379th Bomb Group
    157 Missions (aka Topper) 'ol' Gappy'

Places

  • Eye

    Military site : airfield
    Eye air base was not a Class A base but was constructed to a less demanding standard by the 827th and 859th Battalions of U.S. Army Engineers in 1943 and was finished in early 1944. Unusually, a group of its hardstandings were on the other side of the...

  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
    Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....

  • Presque Isle Army Airfield

    Military site : airfield

Events

Not yet known

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
26 November 2015 10:33:34 Lucy May Changes to description and person associations
Sources

Added information from user 'cody1947', Richard Lewis.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:51 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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