IWM catalogue record
This contains information written on the back of the original print and some of it may be inaccurate.
First Lieutenant Harold Beasley and his crew from the 91st Bomb Group, return to Bassingbourn after flying a raid on Antwerp in a B-17 Flying Fortress (LG-T, serial number 42-5724) nicknamed "Thunderbird". Image stamped on reverse: 'Copyright by Planet News Ltd 3 Johnson's Court London E.C.4.’[stamp], 'Passed for Publication 6 Apr 1943' [stamp].'256837' [Censor no]. Printed caption on reverse: 'Photo shows:- 1st Lieut Harold Beasley (centre) with members of his crew on their return from the Antwerp raid. And April 6th 1943 PN.' Press caption for image series: ‘EXCLUSIVE PICTURES AS CREWS RETURN FROM RAID. Night and Day air blitz of enemy continues. “Forts” smash Axis factories at Antwerp. Raid carried out by crews who took part in Paris raid previous day. The greatest air offensive in history is being carried out by the Anglo-American air forces. For 72 hours bombs have been crashing down on Hitler’s Europe in the West almost nonstop. Axis Factories, ports and shipping have felt the weight of allied bombs. On Sunday American Fortresses raided the Renault works at Billancourt, near Paris with telling effect. On Monday the same crews took part in a smashing attack on the Erla plane engine works at Antwerp, where Minerva car engines used to be made. In addition to the great damage inflicted by the heavy weight of the bombs a number of German Fighters were shot down by the bombers. One of the American Fortresses piloted by 1st Lieut Harold H Beasley of Andalusia, Alabama shot down four German fighters in the Paris raid and another one during the Antwerp Raid. NOTE TO CENSOR: This is the general story for the series of pictures herewith. Each of which bears its individual descriptive caption. Planet News. USAF Facility Visit. 6 Apr 1943.’
The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...
Military | Lieutenant | Pilot
Beasley's crew claimed to shoot down 4 German fighters on a mission over Paris on 4 April 1943, they then claimed a further fighter on a mission over Antwerp the following day.
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Tulsa 9/10/42; Wayne 14/11/42; Salina 19/1/43; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-T] Bassingbourn 23/3/43; Missing in Action 9m St Nazaire 28/6/43 with Ed Brodnax, Co-pilot: John Kaufman, Navigator: Bill Deal, Bombardier: Bill Lakey, Flight engineer/top...
Military site : airfield
Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...