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The crew of 41-24635 on return from the 4 May 1943 mission to the Ford and General Motors plants at Antwerp, Belgium.

Left to Right:
S/Sgt Willam C. Mulgrew, Ball Turret Gunner;
S/Sgt Richard C. Fortunak, Left Waist Gunner;
T/Sgt Roman R. Zaorski, Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner;
S/Sgt Murel A. Murphy, Right Waist Gunner;
Captain Robert J. Yonkman, Bombardier;
Lt. Colonel William A. Hatcher, Co-Pilot (CO of the 351st Bomb Group);
Captain William R. Calhoun, Pilot;
1st Lt Joseph M. Strickland, Navigator;
T/Sgt Charles R. Terry, Radio Operator;
S/Sg Willard W. Stephen, Tail Gunner;
Captain Clark Gable, Top Gunner.

(Official USAAF photo)

Connections

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...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron

People

  • William Calhoun

    Military | Colonel | Pilot; Operations Officer; Commanding Officer
    Born 10 Nov 1919 Birmingham, AL, BA Degree Stanford Univ. ...

  • Richard Fortunak

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Tail Gunner
    1-Jul-42 Assigned as a Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24581 [BN-O],"The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico and arrived aboard that aircraft at Molesworth, UK on 21-Oct-42. ...

  • Clark Gable

    Military | Major | Cameraman, Gunner, Actor
    Clark Gable flew 5 missions as Captain filming 50,000 ft of gunnery combat during 1943. He received the Air Medal for his service. 1 mission was flown with the 303rd BG. The rest were with the 351st BG in different aircraft. The film was named 'Combat...

  • William Hatcher

    Military | Colonel | Co-Pilot; Pilot; Group Commanding Officer
    William Hatcher Jr was born in Grand Rapids, was brought up in Detroit’s north end and attended Northern High School. After his enlistment in the Air Corps, he followed pilot training courses and rose rapidly through the ranks. ...

  • William Mulgrew

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner
    01-Jul-41 Assigned as Ball Turret Gunner on B-17F 41-24581 "The '8' Ball" at Alamogordo Field, New Mexico and arrived as Molesworth, UK aboard that aircraft on 21-Oct-42. ...

  • Murel Murphy

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner
    1-Jul-42 Assigned as a Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24581 [BN-O],"The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico and arrived aboard that aircraft at Molesworth, UK on 21-Oct-42. ...

  • Willard Stephen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner
    1-Jul-42 Assigned as Tail Gunner on B-17F 41-24581 [BN O], 303BG/359BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico and on 21-Oct-42 arrived aboard that aircraft at Moelsworth, UK. ...

  • Joseph Strickland

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
    On 20-Dec-42 he baled out of B-17F 41-24581 'The 8 Ball' over England while serving as Navigator upon return of the aircraft from a mission to Romilly-sur-Seine, France. The Pilot and Co-Pilot crash-landed at Bovingdon. Uninjured - RTD. ...

  • Charles Terry

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator
    1-Jul-42 Assigned as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24581 [BN-O] "The '8' Ball", 303BG/359BS at Alamogordo, New Mexico and arrived at Molesworth aboard that aircraft on 21-Oct-42. ...

  • Robert Yonkman

    Military | Captain | Bombardier
    On 20-Dec-42 he baled out of B-17F 41-24581 'The 8 Ball' over England while serving as Bombardier upon return of the aircraft from a mission to Romilly-sur-Seine, France. The Pilot and Co-Pilot crash-landed at Bovingdon. Uninjured - RTD. Mission...

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Aircraft

  • 41-24635 (The 8 BALL MK II). EIGHT BALL

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-O] New Castle 6/10/42; Molesworth 21/11/42. Flown by Captain William R. Calhoun on the 4 May 1943 mission to the Ford and General Motors works, Antwerp, Belgium, with Clark Gable on board for his first mission (slighly damaged...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 54

    4 May 1943
    The Ford and General Motors vehicle plants at Antwerp, Belgium are the primary target for this mission. 79-B-17 are despatched 91BG (25); 303BG (27) and 305BG (27). 65 0f the 79 despatched are effective on the target. There is moderate flak and fighter...

Locations

  • 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...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
05 December 2015 12:25:11 ED-BB Created entry with caption, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Added photo

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