Westrope Crew, 708th Squadron, 447th Bomb Group. Photo taken at Rattlesden. Standing in front of B-17 "Satchel Lass" (42-31185). Judging from the mission marks on the plane, this was taken after April-May 1944; probably autumn 1944. Satchel Lass crash-landed near Honington, England on September 9, 1944 and was repaired at Rattlesden and returned to combat duty. The presence of Sgt. Robert Orlosky, the crew chief for "Milk Wagon" (43-37756), which the Westrope crew flew for the last third of their combat tour, suggests that the photo was taken at the end of that tour in late October, 1944. Satchel Lass was simply a convenient backdrop.
Back Row: Otto Moreland, Robert Westrope, Harold Motz, Warren Callahan, Oscar Flores; Front Row: Joseph Pfeiffer, Robert Orlosky, Edwin Wells, Harold Woods. Missing from photo and thus probably the photographer, Willard "Bill" Lawrence.
As far as has been determined, this crew never actually flew this aircraft. It is interesting that in contrast to the official crew photo taken before the Westrope crew left the US for England in which officers and enlisted men are in separate rows, in this photo officers and enlisted men are mixed together.
The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces...
Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
Warran Callahan served as a co-pilot with the 708th Bomb Squadron of the 447th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Rattlesden, England.
Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Right Waist Gunner
Oscar Flores served as a waist gunner with the 708th Bomb Squadron of the 447th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Rattlesden, England.
Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier
Willard Lawrence was born on Jul. 12, 1921 in Jamestown, North Dakota, USA. His career included thirty years active duty in the United States Air Force, serving in three wars (WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War) as a pilot and later as a comptroller, he...
Military | Staff Sergeant | Lower Ball Turret Gunner/Waist Gunner
Mr. Moreland had been employed by the United States Postal Service office at Smithville as a rural letter carrier for many years until retiring in 1980. Prior to that, he had worked for Koch in North Kansas City, Mo.; Ford Aircraft, Claycomo, Mo.; and...
Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator
Harold Motz served as a navigator with the 708th squadron, 447th Bomb Group, 3rd Air Division, 8th Air Force and was based at Rattlesden, England -- about 50 miles east of Cambridge.
Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Crew Chief
Sgt. Orlosky was crew chief for "Milk Wagon" (43-37756), a B-17 with the 708th squadron, 447th Bomb Group. Milk Wagon completed 129 missions and had the highest number of consecutive missions without an abort for mechanical reason in the 3rd Air...
Military | Corporal (5th Grade) | Tail Gunner
Joseph Pfeiffer served as a tail gunner with the 708th Bomb Squadron of the 447th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Rattlesden, England.
Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator
Was a lifelong member of the Virgina Bar Association. He worked for State Farm Insurance for 41 years, retiring as regional vice-president in Frederick, Maryland in 1981. He was survived by his wife, two children, and four grandchildren.
Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot
Bob Westrope served as a pilot with the 708th Bomb Squadron of the 447th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Rattlesden, England.
Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Engineer
Born in Orienta, Oklahoma, on November 30, 1923, Harold was the son of Maggie Myrtle (Scarbrough) and Dana McCoy Woods. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the Army Air Corps as a top turret gunnery engineer in a B-17. He flew 36 missions over...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Cheyenne 29/9/43; Harvard 13/10/43; Assigned 708BS/447BG Rattlesden 19/11/43; crash landed 4/9/44, Salvaged.
Military site : airfield
Built for the Eighth Air Force in 1942, Rattlesden had three concrete runways, 50 hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. Intended to be a twin-engine B-26 bomber base, it was originally a satellite for nearby Rougham, and first occupied from...