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"Lt. Eldon J Smith and crew of the 322nd Bomb Sqn, 91st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, pose beside a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. 16 August 1943, England".
- 16 August 1943: the 323rd Bomb Sqn, 91st BG supplied 4 birds for a mission to bomb Le Bourget airport. 2 miles short of the French coast, Lt Eldon J Smith & crew, flying B-17F 42-3213 "All American" (coded OR-M) had an explosion aboard their aircraft. Turning back for England, they were forced to ditch 4 miles from land; air-sea rescue quickly retrieved them. They pose here with a life raft and what may be B-17F 42-3079 (coded OR-X), a "no-name" Fortress obtained from the 95th BG.

NARA Ref# 342-FH-3A10546-62742AC.

Connections

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. ...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

  • 323rd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Felix Antonnacchio

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner
    Assigned to 323BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. B-17 42-3213 ditched in North Sea due to mechanical failure on 16 August 1943. Returned to base. Shot down 16 September 1943 in B-17 42-3079. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 550 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Melbourne Banowetz

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator
    Assigned to 323BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. B-17 42-3213 ditched in North Sea due to mechanical failure on 16 August 1943. Returned to base. Shot down 16 September 1943 in B-17 42-3079. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 550 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Thomas Bone

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner
    Assigned to 323BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. Ditched in North Sea due to mechanical failure in B-17 42-3213 16-Aug-43. Returned to base. Shot down 16-Sep-43 in B-17 42-3079. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 550 Awards: AM (OLC), PH.

  • James Cramer

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    Assigned to 323BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. Ditched in North Sea due to mechanical failure in B-17 42-3213 16-Aug-43. Returned to base. Shot down 16-Sep-43 in B-17 42-3079. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 550 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Lloyd Hansen

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier
    B-17 #423213 ditched in North Sea due to mechanical failure on 16 August 1943. Returned to base. Shot down 16 September 1943 in B-17 #423079. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Harold Lyberger

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner
    Shot down 16 September 1943 in B-17 #423079. Prisoner of War (POW). Earlier 16 AUG 1943 had explosion aboard B17 42-3213 'All American' and orignally reported as Missing in Action (MIA) POW

  • Joseph Mazzola

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner
    B-17 #423213 ditched in North Sea due to mechanical failure on 16 August 1943. Returned to base. Shot down 16 September 1943 in B-17 #423079. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Vernon Miller

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner
    B-17 #423213 ditched in North Sea due to mechanical failure on 16 August 1943. Returned to base.

  • George Schmitt

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator
    B-17 #423213 ditched in North Sea due to mechanical failure on 16 August 1943. Returned to base. Shot down 16 September 1943 in B-17 #423079. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Eldon Smith

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot
    B-17 #423213 ditched in North Sea due to mechanical failure on 16 August 1943. Returned to base. Shot down 16 September 1943 in B-17 #423079. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

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Aircraft

  • 42-3079

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 1/2/43; Assigned 335BS/95BG [OE-O] Horham 15/4/43, later 412BS; slight damage in taxi accident at Alconbury with Rich Robinson 27/4/43; transferred 323BS/91BG [OR-X] Bassingbourn 16/6/43; Missing in Action Nantes 16/9/43 with Elden...

Locations

  • Bassingbourn

    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...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 December 2015 10:56:52 Al_Skiff Created entry with caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

www.fold3.com

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