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A bomber crew of the 379th Bomb Group, and their mascot " Lt Scragg", with their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-32024) nicknamed "Swamp Fire". Image via Byron Clark.

A printed caption has been attached to the reverse: 'Swamp Fire First Crew. Kimbolton, May 1 1944 [handwritten annotation to this says: 'Photo Taken.'].
Rear Row, L to R.
Berj Bejian- Engineer & Top Turret,
Roy Avery- Waist Gunner,
Andrew Stroman- Ball Turret,
John Rose- Waist Gunner,
Elijah Lewis- Tail Gunner,
Edward Pryzybyla- Radio Gunner.

Front Row, L to R.
Matthew Scianameo- Navigator,
Byron Clark- Co-Pilot,
Joseph Korstjens- A/C Commander,
Harvey Harris- Bombardier,
Lt Scragg (Ground Crew Mascot).

First Heavy Bomber to reach 100 Missions without an abort. Also selected to drop America's first flying bomb during the Grapefruit Mission on 28 May 1944.

IWM catalogue record

This contains information written on the back of the original print and some of it may be inaccurate.

A bomber crew of the 379th Bomb Group, and their mascot "Scragg", with their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-32024) nicknamed "Swamp Fire". Image via Byron Clark. A printed caption has been attached to the reverse: 'Swamp Fire First Crew. Kimbolton, May 1 1944 [handwritten annotation to this says: 'Photo Taken.']. Rear Row, L to R. Berj Bejian- Engineer & Top Turret, Roy Avery- Waist Gunner, Andrew Stroman- Ball Turret, John Rose- Waist Gunner, Elijah Lewis- Tail Gunner, Edward Pryzybyla- Radio Gunner. Front Row, L to R. Matthew Scianemeo- Navigator, Byon Clark- Co-Pilot, Joseph Korstjens- A/C Commander, Harvey Harris- Bombardier, Scragg (Ground Crew Mascot).

Connections

Units

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

People

  • Roy Avery

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner

  • Berj Bejian

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner
    Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. ETD Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Byron Clark

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (5 OLC), WWII Victory, EAME, 2 Unit Citations.

  • Harvey Harris

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier

  • Joseph Korstjens

    Military | Captain | Pilot
    Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 33 x combat missions. ETD ...

  • Elijah Lewis

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Tail Gunner
    Flew on AC # 42-32024 'Swamp Fire' On 28 May 1944 flew 'Grapefruit Mission''Today was the day that the 379th was chosen as one of the three groups to try a new secret weapon. The much talked about glider bombs. They were released on the city of Cologne...

  • Edward Przybyla

    Military | Master Sergeant | Radio Operator; Gunner
    Flew 32 missions on B-17 number 42-32024 'Swamp Fire' which became the first B-17 in 379th BG to fly 100 missions. Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal

  • John Rose

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner

  • Matthew Scianameo

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator
    Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 32 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Andrew Stroman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Airplane Mechanic-Gunner
    Enlisted Reserve Corps 7 Sept. 42, active duty 21 Sept. 42; Attended AAFTS, Amarillo TX, 1943, AAFTD Boeing Acft Co. & Flex Gunnery School in Kingman, AZ, 1943; 32 missions over Europe from 18 Mar 44 - 20 June 44; went from Cpl to Sergeant. , made S...

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Aircraft

  • 42-32024 Swamp Fire

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Swamp Fire was the first Heavy Bomber to reach 100 Missions - "Without an Abort" for the 379th BG. ...

Locations

  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
    Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
16 December 2016 12:36:34 Lucy May Changes to caption and person associations
Sources

Added connections to airmen's records from information in the caption.

Date Contributor Update
09 February 2016 22:09:06 cody1947 Changes to caption
Sources

From records of the 379th BG and personal documents from family records and conversations with Co- Pilot Byron "BB" Clark.

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2014 02:36:14 cody1947 Changes to caption
Sources

379th BG records

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2014 15:27:52 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection

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