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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.



  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb 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

    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


  • 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'


  • 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


Not yet known


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

Added information from user 'cody1947', Richard Lewis.

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log