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"Sleepytime Girl," Boeing B-17G, 42-3388, Flying Fortress, World War II U.S. Air Force Bombing Squadron. Missing in Action April 24, 1944. Pilot: William "Bill" Nesen. Co-Pilot: Bernard "Bernie" Gruble.



  • 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. ...

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 550th Bomb Squadron


  • Bernard Gruble

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    Shot down 24 April 1944 in B-17 #423388 'Sleepytime Girl.' Plane ditched in the English Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). Report #4452 PH, DWM


  • 42-3388 Sleepytime Girl

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 1/6/43; Dow Field 13/7/43; Assigned 388BG Knettishall 3/8/43; transferred 550BS/385BG [SG-F] Gt Ashfield /43; Missing in Action Oberpfaffenhofen 24/4/44 with Bill Nesen, Co-pilot: Bernie Gruble, Navigator: Jim Delo, Flight engineer/top...


  • Great Ashfield

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the...

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...


Date Contributor Update
01 July 2019 21:42:30 DWM Created entry with caption, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations