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James L Lee


On 8 Nov 1942, on first mission, B-17F #41-24570 "Panhandle Doggie" 91BG/323BS suffered severe damage on the mission to bomb the German airfield Abbeville/Drucat but plane returned with all crew and was salvaged. He was serving as Co-Pilot on that aircraft. The navigator and bombardier were wounded.

Killed in Action 3 January 1943 in B-17F #42-5084 'Panhandle Doggie II' 91BG/323BS while serving as Co-Pilot. Aircraft received severe damage from flak over the target of St. Nazaire, France and crashed into the sea near Belle Ile-en-Mer, France. His remains have never been recovered.

Purple Heart, Air Medal


Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 323rd Bomb Squadron


  • 41-24570 Panhandle Dogie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24570 "Panhandle Dogie" Assigned 323BS/91BG [OR- ] Bangor 10-Sep-42; Bassingbourn 11-Oct-42; damaged on first mission Abbeville 8-Nov-42 limped back to base, and became a Hangar Queen; Salvaged BD 27-Nov-42 10RTD. ...

  • 42-5084 Panhandle Dogie II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 42-5084 'Panhandle Dogie II" 91BG/323BS [OR- ] Bassingbourn 14-Dec-42. This is the second aicraft so named by the pilot. Delivered Tulsa 16-Sep-42; New Castle 10-Oct-42; Missing in Action St Nazaire 3-Jan-43 hit by intense flak, crashed off L...


  • VIII Bomber Command 17

    8 November 1942
    Two Primary (P) targets are the objects of this mission: the German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France and the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works at Lille, France. 91BG despatches 15 B-17s to Abbeville and 301BG and 306BG despatch a combined...

  • VIII Bomber Command 28

    3 January 1943
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are once again the target for this mission. This is proving to be a particularly difficult target to destroy due to its massive, reinforced concrete design. It consists of 14 individual pens connected together in...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents ( , 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...


Event Location Date
Born Grand Haven, Michigan 28 September 1917
Killed in Action (KIA) Belle Île, France 3 January 1943

Killed when aircraft sustained severe damage from flak over the target and crashed into the sea near Belle Ile-en-Mer, France.

Commemorated Saint-James, France 1945

Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing, Brittany American Cemetery.


Date Contributor Update
18 March 2020 04:15:25 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added "II" characters to the end of nickname of A/C #42-5084.

Date Contributor Update
18 March 2020 03:50:26 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added a "#" to the A/C serial # in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
09 January 2015 20:26:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography

Lee Cunningham 9-Jan-2015. Corrected typo in biography.

Date Contributor Update
09 January 2015 20:23:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 9-Nov-2015. Made aircraft and mission connections per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & john A. Hey MBE. Also this entry is a COMBINATION of a duplicate.

Date Contributor Update
09 January 2015 20:10:17 Lee8thbuff Changes to role, biography, awards and events

Lee Cunningham 9-Jan-2015. Added decorations and Commemoration event per American Battle Monument Commission (ABMC) record; Added SN and crew position per MACR 2286; Made connections to Place and Mission within existing website data; Added KIA event, description , 8-Nov-42 biography and 3-Jan-43 biography details per "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:14:38 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2286; Losses of the 8th and 9th AFs Vol. 1 by Bishop and Hey p. 44, 60 S; JC Gould;