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The crew of B 17 #42-97942 (Heavenly Body II). The Guy in the back row marked as "Unknown. (Not on Mission)" is Richard Billings. Shortly before the collision, the decision was taken to reduce all B 17 crews from ten men down to nine. This it was hoped,would help offset losses.



  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb 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...

  • 525th Bomb Squadron


  • Lloyd Burns

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. Lt Burns lied about his age, with his father's permission and joined the AAF at 18 instead of 19. Flew all his missions, between Apr 44 and June 44. He was just 20 years old when he completed them and the youngest...

  • Frederick Kauffman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Zudausques mission in B-17 42-97942; A/C collided with 44-6133 in the haze and crashed into the Thames Estuary. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6983 Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), PH


  • 42-97942 'Heavenly Body II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 11/4/44; Kearney 4/5/44; Dow Fd 23/5/44; Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-K] Kimbolton 24/5/44; on return from mission to Enguine/Catts 19/6/44 with Lloyd Burns, Bombardier: Jack Gray, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Leon Gibbs, Radio...

  • 44-6133

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 10/5/44; Hunter 19/5/44; Dow Fd 29/5/44; Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-Y] Kimbolton 8/6/44; on return from mission 19/6/44 with Armand Ramcitti, Co-pilot: Bill Hager, Navigator: Don Watson, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Cecil Tognazzini...


  • 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....


Date Contributor Update
26 August 2019 07:32:55 madmitch56 Created entry with collection, caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Photo 379th Bombardment Group Association, Via Mitch Peeke.