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42-40025

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Long Beach 6/11/43; Denver 22/11/43; Kearney 24/11/43; RAF Valley, Wales 14/12/43; Assigned 535BS/381BG [MS-X] Ridgewell 6/1/44; severe battle damaged Nancy 6/2/44 with Henry Putek, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Lifford French, Radio Operator: Jim Bomar, Ball turret gunner: Herb Burgasser, Waist gunner: Vince Shortell, Waist gunner: Wallace Heckman, Tail gunner: George Vinovich (6 Returned to Duty); Co-pilot: Alf Coffman, Navigator: Conrad Blalock, Bombardier: Harvey Christensen (3 bailed over France, returned later); an explosion near top turrent set off flares and the fuel transfer case, force landed Dunkeswell, Som., UK., a US Navy field; crew all returned; sal 2 SAD Watton, Nfk. 7/2/44. TOUCH THE BUTTON NELL.

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 535th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Conrad Blalock

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Putek crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Returned to England after an explosion and ensuing fire near the top turret while enroute to Nancy a/f, FR on 6 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-40025 'Touch the Button Nell'. Mission #66. The pilot gave the...

  • James Bomar

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 381st Bomb Group
    Radio operator, Putek crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. B-17 #42-40025 'Touch the Button Nell' was set afire in the cockpit and top turret area on mission #66 to the airfield at Nancy, France. The pilot gave the bailout order which was followed by the...

  • Herbert Burgasser

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    BTG, Putek crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. B-17 #42-40025 'Touch the Button Nell' was set afire in the cockpit and top turret area on mission #66 to the airfield at Nancy, France. The pilot gave the bailout order which was followed by the Nav, Bom...

  • Harvey Christensen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 381st Bomb Group
    Bombardier, Putek crew, 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Returned to England after an explosion and ensuing fire near the top turret while enroute to Nancy a/f, FR on 6 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-40025 'Touch the Button Nell'. Mission #66. The pilot gave the...

  • Alfred Coffman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Putek crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Returned to England after an explosion and ensuing fire near the top turret while enroute to Nancy a/f, FR on 6 Feb 1944 in B-17G 42-40025 'Touch the Button Nell'. Mission #66. Lt Coffman was ordered...

  • Lifford French

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    November 1943 - April 1944. ...

  • Wallace Heckman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    WG, Putek crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. B--17 #42-420025 'Touch the Button Nell' was set afire in the cockpit and top turret area on mission #66 to the airfield at Nancy, France. The pilot gave the bailout order which was followed by the Nav, Bom...

  • Henry Putek

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    November 1943 - June 1944. Pilot, Putek crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Returned to England after an explosion and ensuing fire near the top turret while enroute to Nancy a/f, FR on 6 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-40025 'Touch the Button Nell'. Mission #66....

  • Vincent Shortell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner ; Flight Engineer | 381st Bomb Group
    WG, Putek crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Returned to England after an explosion and ensuing fire near the top turret while enroute to Nancy a/f, FR on 6 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-40025 'Touch the Button Nell'. Mission #66. The pilot gave the bailout...

  • George Vinovich

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    TG, Putek crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Mission #66. Returned to England after an explosion and ensuing fire near the top turret while enroute to Nancy a/f, FR on 6 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-40025 'Touch the Button Nell'. The Nav, Bom and CP all bailed...

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 212

    6 February 1944
    German airfields and V-Weapon sites in France are the primary targets of this mission. A combined force total of 642 heavy bombers are depatched from 8th Air Force 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions. The primary targets of 1st Bomb Division were the...

Places

  • Ridgewell

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1941-42 as an RAF bomber station, Ridgewell operated as a satellite to RAF Stradishall until May 1943. It had three concrete runways, initially 36 pan hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. Taken over by the Eighth Air Force in June...

Events

Event Location Date
Salvaged 6 February 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
20 September 2018 01:05:12 918thbgArchbury Changes to production block number
Sources

joe baugher

Date Contributor Update
22 February 2018 20:46:54 ARowe95 Changes to person associations
Sources

ARowe95

Date Contributor Update
19 February 2018 23:55:01 ARowe95 Changes to manufacturer, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations, person associations and mission associations
Sources

ARowe95

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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