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42-5906

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Long Beach 30/4/43; Sioux City 7/5/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG [--E] Knettishall 16/6/43; suffered battle damaged at La Pallice, Fr. 16/9/43 with Henry Cox, Co-pilot: Albt Rubin, Navigator: Bob Leaventhal, Bombardier: Frank Broach, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Herman Ball, Radio Operator: Don Gromis, Ball turret gunner: George Martin, Waist gunner: Otto Kloza, Waist gunner: Francis Curry, Tail gunner: Joshua Lewis (10 Killed in Action); crash landed Upper Cilgee Farm, Llanure, two miles from Llandrindod Wells, Wales, after being diverted to RAF Shobdon, Worcs., in poor weather; Salvaged. Missing Air Crew Report 3119. SONDRA KAY.

Service

Units

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 562nd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Herman Ball

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer - Top Turret Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed on mission in returning from mission to Bordeaux and La Pallice on B-17 #42-5906 'Sondra Kay'. Rain squalls dispersed the 388th BG. AC crashed at Pembridge south of RAF Shobdon.

  • Frank Broach

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group
    1st Lt Broach was the son of Frank Norman Broach Sr., and Clara Elizabeth Wilson Broach. ...

  • Chester Cox

    Military | Colonel | Group Commanding Officer | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Brigadier General

  • Henry Cox

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Henry Jr. was a graduate of the 1940 class of Cumberland County High School. Two classmates, and football team members, graduating from CCHS in 1938, Ben H. West Jr. and Cecil G. Buttram were killed in action. AMM 3rd Class Ben H. West Jr. enlisted Dec...

  • Francis Curry

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Right Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    He resided in Dawson County, Texas prior to the war. ...

  • Willis Eddy

    Military | Captain | Navigator/Squadron Navigator | 388th Bomb Group

  • Robert Fanning

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group
    There is some mystery here as to why Fanning was flying a mission on 6 March 1944 when his tour apparently ended in December 1943. The 388th BG website lists a "R.W. Fanning" as the navigator for the Gridley Crew on 6 March 1944, however the WW2 POW...

  • Donald Gromis

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed on mission in returning from mission to Bordeaux and La Pallice on B-17 #42-5906 'Sondra Kay'. Rain squalls dispersed the 388th BG. AC crashed at Pembridge south of RAF Shobdon. 16 September 1943

  • Otto Kloza

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Left Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 16 September 1943 AM w/ Oak Leaf Cluster/ PH

  • Joshua Lewis

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Tail Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed on mission returning from mission to Bordeaux and La Pallice in B-17 #42-5906 'Sondra Kay'. Rain squalls dispersed the 388th BG. A/C crashed at Pembridge south of RAF Shobdon. 16 September 1943

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Places

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...

Events

Event Location Date
Delivered Long Beach, CA, USA 30 April 1943
Assigned Knettishall, Diss IP22 2TH, UK 16 June 1943

388 BG
562 BS

First 388th BG Combat Mission Amsterdam, Netherlands 17 July 1943
Failed to Return (FTR) Llanyre, Llandrindod Wells LD1 6NG, UK 16 September 1943

Crashed in bad weather, low on fuel at Upper Cilgee Farm, Powys, Wales. Henry Cox Crew on board. 10 KIA

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 March 2020 04:37:03 jmoore43 Changes to description
Sources

Added a space in front of the words "Tail gunner" in the A/C “Description” to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
22 December 2017 18:51:55 466thHistorian Changes to production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, markings and events
Sources

http://www.388bg.info/servlet/Controller?pageType=detail&id=42-5906&data...
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74022329/albert-rubin
http://www.388bg.info/sources/newsletters/2003Winter.pdf

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:57 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 3119 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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