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John C Flanyak


John Flanyak served as a bombardier with the 96th Bomb Group. On 8 May 1944, he was one of three crew members who managed to get their damaged B-17 42-38133 'Reluctant Dragon' back to base. The aircraft had been shot up by fighters and the other seven crew members had bailed out. Six survived and were taken as Prisoners of War. One, Robert Blevins, was killed.

On 27 May 1944, Flanyak was flying in B-17 #42102561 when it collided with another aircraft. He was Killed in Action (KIA).


Units served with


  • 42-102480 Boots II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/3/44; Kearney 22/3/44; Dow Fd 1/5/44; Assigned 337BS/96BG [AW-N] Snetterton 2/4/44; on training mission 23/4/44, with John Brotbeck, Co-pilot: Chas Irving, Navigator: Ed Montgomery, Bombardier: Owen Womak, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-102561

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 14/3/44; Gr Island 2/4/44; Dow Fd 21/4/44; slated 385BG, Assigned 337BS/96BG [AW-D] Snetterton 22/4/44; Missing in Action Karlsruhe 27/5/44 with Chas Irving, Bombardier: John Flanyak, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Paul Zalaker,...

  • 42-38133 Reluctant Dragon

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23/12/43; Kearney 7/1/44; Assigned 337BS/96BG [AW-O] Snetterton 15/1/44; severe damage over Berlin 8/5/44 with Jerry Musser, Bombardier: John Flayak, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Leon Sweatt (3 Returned to Duty); Co-pilot:...

Associated Place

  • Snetterton Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Intended to be an RAF bomber base, construction of Snetterton Heath started in Autumn 1942 but continued until mid-1943, because it was extended after allocation as an Eighth Air Force bomber base. It had eventually three concrete runways, 50...


Event Location Date
Born Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died Germany 27 May 1944


Date Contributor Update
09 January 2017 15:50:15 Lucy May Changes to biography

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:46 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 5164 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Snetterton Falcons pp. 74, 133, 146-7, 149, 151 ; MACR 5164