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42-5262

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Denver 27-Oct-42; Bury 6-Dec-42; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] Molesworth 29-Jan-43; Missing in Action Lorient 6-Mar-43. Shot down by enemy aircraft, crashed into the Bay of Biscay, off Penmarch Point. 2KIA 8POW Missing Air Crew Report 15536.

Participated in 4 Operations (1 was aborted) See Biography events for crew information.

14-Feb-43 Mission #1 - Railroad marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany - Aborted
26-Feb-43 Mission #2 - Naval facilities and U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshave, Germany
4-Mar-43 Mission #3 - Railroad marshalling yards at Rotterdam, Holland
6-Mar-43 Mission #4 LAST OPERATION - U-Boat pens at Lorient, France

Service

Units

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 360th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Ellera Corwin

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Ellera volunteered for military service as the US entered the war, and aimed to serve in the Army Air Corps. Eventually he went through navigator school, completed it, and served on the B-17 numbered 42-5262 (PU-F) 303BG/360BS. ...

  • William Eason

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner ; Flight Engineer | 303rd Bomb Group
    13-Jun-42 Assigned as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17F 42-5434 [PU-J] "Lady Luck" 303BG/360BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. The date of his arrival at Molesworth, UK nor the aircraft on which he arrived there could not be determined...

  • Samuel Edwards

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    13-Jun-42 Assigned as an Aerial Gunner on B-17F 42-5434 [PU-J] "Lady Luck" 303BG/360BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. The date of his arrival at Molesworth, UK nor the aircraft on which he arrived there could not be determined from 303BG...

  • Everett Friese

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    9-Feb-42 Assigned as Radio Operator on B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS at Molesworth, UK. 303BG records do not indicate that he was in the original complement of aircraft and crews of the 303BG at Molesworth, UK in October 1942. It seems likely that he was...

  • Loyd Griffin

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    13-Jun-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F 42-5434 [PU-J] "Lady Luck" 303BG/360BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. The date of his arrival at Molesworth, UK nor the aircraft on which he arrived there could not be determined from 303BG records....

  • Claude Hamilton

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier; Togglier | 303rd Bomb Group
    1-Apr-42 Assigned as an Aerial Gunner with the 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 303BG records do not indicate that he was assigned to a particular aircraft at that time. Neither do the indicate on what date he arrived at Molesworth, UK nor by...

  • William Kahlden

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    9-Feb-42 Assigned as Bombardier on B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS at Molesworth, UK. 303BG records do not indicate that he was in the original complement of aircraft and crews of the 303BG at Molesworth, UK in October 1942. It seems likely that he was part...

  • Henry Legge

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    9-Feb-42 Assigned as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS at Molesworth, UK. 303BG records do not indicate that he was in the original complement of aircraft and crews of the 303BG at Molesworth, UK in October 1942. It seems likely...

  • Edwin Matheson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner, Engineer | 303rd Bomb Group
    9-Feb-42 Assigned as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS at Molesworth, UK. 303BG records do not indicate that he was in the original complement of aircraft and crews of the 303BG at Molesworth, UK in October 1942. It seems likely...

  • Martin Plocher

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    9-Feb-42 Assigned as Pilot with crew to B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS at Molesworth, UK. 303BG records do not indicate that he was in the original complement of aircraft and crews of the 303BG at Molesworth, UK in October 1942. It seems likely that he and...

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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 34

    14 February 1943
    The marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany are once again slated at the primary target for this mission. A force of 74 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (17); 305BG (17); 306BG (20), but weather once again forces the mission to be recalled before...

  • VIII Bomber Command 37

    26 February 1943
    After 10 days of weather related delays of the bomber offensive, a mission is organised with the port facilities of Emden, Germany as the primary target. However, Emden is obscured by cloud cover and all formations divert to attack the port facilities...

  • VIII Bomber Command 39

    4 March 1943
    After several weather-caused aborted attempts in attacking the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany, the 8th Air Force is finally successful in attacking this target. A total of 71 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (18); 305BG (12) amd 306BG (21)....

  • VIII Bomber Command 40

    6 March 1943
    German U-boats continue to attack convoys headed fro Great Britain in the North Atlantic with good success. Many of the U-boat packs operate from St. Nazaire, Lorient and Brest, France, so destroying harbour facilities at these locations remain a...

Places

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

Events

Event Location Date
Assigned with Crew 9 February 1942

CREW B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS

P 1LT Martin E. Plocher; CP 2LT Clair A. Tyler
N 2LT Ellera J. Corwin; B 2LT William F. Kahlden, Jr.
E/TTG SSGT Edwin L. Matheson; RO TSGT Everett E. Friese
BTG SSGT Theodore G. Swanson; LWG SGT Robert L. Stevenson
RWG TSGT Henry R. Legge; TG SSGT August Tornow

Arrived in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 29 January 1943

Believed to have arrived as a replacment aircraft and flown to Molesworth, UK by a Ferry Crew.

Mission #1, B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS - Aborted Hamm, Germany 14 February 1943

CREW of B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS

P 1LT Martin E. Plocher (RTB); CP 2LT Kent M. Fitzsimmons (RTB)
N 2LT William M. Preston (RTB); B-TOG SSGT Claude A. Hamilton (RTB)
E/TTG SSGT Edwin L. Matheson (RTB); RO TSGT Everett E. Friese (RTB)
BTG SSGT Theodore G. Swanson (RTB); LWG SGT Robert L. Steveson (RTB)
RWG TSGT Henry R. Legge (RTB): TG SSGT August E. Tornow (RTB)

Mission #2, B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS Wilhelmshaven, Germany 26 February 1943

CREW of B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS

P 1LT Martin E. Plocher (RTB); CP 2LT Clair A Tyler (RTB)
N 2LT Ellera J. Corwin (RTB); B 2LT William F. Kahlden, Jr. (RTB)
E/TTG SSGT Edwin L. Matheson (RTB); RO TSGT Everett E. Friese (RTB)
BTG SSGT Theodore G. Swanson (RTB); LWG SGT Robert L. Stevenson
RWG TSGT Henry R. Legge (RTB); TG SSGT August E. Tornow (RTB)

Mission #3, B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS Rotterdam, Netherlands 4 March 1943

CREW of B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS

P 1LT Lloyd D. Griffin (RTB); CP 2LT Walter S. Swanson (RTB)
N 2LT William M. Preston (RTB); B 2LT Robert L. Taylor (RTB)
E/TTG TSGT William M. Eason (RTB); RO TSGT Vernon E. Swartz (RTB)
BTG SSGT Louis W. Rheaume (RTB); LWG SSGT Samuel L. Edwards (RTB)
RWG SGT Robert L. Stevenson (RTB); TG SSGT Lynwood Wiegand (RTB)

Failed to Return (FTR) Dezert Point - L' école de surf de Pors Carn - La Torche, 171 Rue du Musée de la Préhistoire, 29760 Penmarch, France 6 March 1943

Attacked by German fighters and crashed near Penmarch Point, France while on a mission to Lorient, France.

Mission #4, B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS Lorient, France 6 April 1943

CREW of B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS

P 1LT Martin E. Plocher (POW); CP 2LT Clair A. Tyler (KIA)
N 2LT Ellera J. Corwin (POW); B 1LT William F. Kahlden (POW)
E/TTG TSGT Henry R. Legge (POW); RO TSGT Everett E. Friese (POW)
BTG SSGT Louis W. Rheaume (POW); LWG SGT Robert L. Stevenson (KIA)
RWG SSGT Edwin L. Matheson (POW); TG SSGT August E. Tornow (POW)

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:11:27 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Assigned with Crew event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, 303BG Personnel Roster: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 21:50:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Correcting typo in cew list of Mission #3.

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 21:47:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Arrived in UK event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historain, Personnel Records: http://www.303rdbg.com/ and Martin E. Plocher crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/360plocher.html

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 21:38:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 4-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/019.pdf

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 21:30:37 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 26-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/017.pdf

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 21:18:43 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 14-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/015.pdf

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 21:09:37 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission REport of 6-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/020.pdf

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 21:04:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Made connections to all missions; Added Mission History and Participation statement to Description based on 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2015 20:07:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added markings, converted dates in Descritpion to military-style signification, added loss details based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; Made connections to Place and Mission wihtin existing website data; Added crew position, rank, full proper name and dispostions of crew members, formatted crew display based on MACR 15536.

Date Contributor Update
27 March 2015 06:08:24 NordicFox Changes to media associations
Sources

Photo corrected (more appropriate to subject)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:55 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 15536 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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