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John W Olsen


Assigned to B-17F 41-24510 "Snoozy II" 306BG/367BS as the Pilot. KIA 9-Oct-42 while on a mission to bomb the aircraft plants at Lille, France. The aircraft was attacked by German fighters and he and his co-pilot, 2Lt Joseph N Gates were killed instantly. The aircraft went into a spin, but three of the crew managed to bale out of the doomed aircraft before it crashed near Nechin, Belgium.


Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 367th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-24510 Snoozy II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 367BS/306BG Westover 16-Aug-42; to Thurleigh 27-Sep-42; Missing in Action Lille 9-Oct-42 shot down by hptm Priller (III/JG26), crashed railway line Tournai, near Nechin (Menen), Belgium; (first aircraft loss of group) MACR 6706. SNOOZY II....


  • VIII Bomber Command 14

    9 October 1942
    Bombers are dispatched to bomb the steel and engineering works of the Compagnie de Fives at Lille, France and the locomotive and freight car works of Ateliers d'Hellemmes at Lille which are the Primary (P) targets. Other targets are Courtrai Airfield,...

Associated Place

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...


Event Location Date
Buried Lille, France 10 October 1942

Buried in the Southern Cemetery of Lille, France. Exact grave location in cemetery undetermined.


Date Contributor Update
02 January 2020 19:38:32 jmoore43 Changes to mission associations

Added a connection to the mission of 9-Oct-42 mentioned in the "Summary biography".

Date Contributor Update
14 November 2014 22:21:35 Lee8thbuff Changes to mission associations

Lee Cunningham 14-Nov-2014. Eliminated mission connection

Date Contributor Update
14 November 2014 19:58:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to firstname

Lee Cunningham 14-Nov-2014. Correction of first name from James to John per MACR 6706

Date Contributor Update
14 November 2014 19:45:48 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events

Lee Cunningham 14-Nov-2014. "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2014 18:24:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography

Lee Cunningham 24-Oct-2012. Minor edit to Description.

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2014 18:23:19 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 24-Oct-2014. Missing AIr Crew Report (MACR) 6706. Burial information "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:00 AAM AAM ingest

MACR 6706 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database