B-17G #42-38157 'Four Freedoms' was severely damaged by fighters on a mission to Brunswick, GR on 23 Mar 1944 and after falling out of formation was attacked again on the return. Eight crewman baled out over Holland, but the pilot and co-pilot returned and crash landed near Ashford, Kent. RTD.
Gen. Pesch led the Air National Guard from 1974 to 1977, when he retired
from the military after a 35-year career. He continued to work as a
consultant to General Electric and Northrop until 1987.
Gen. Pesch was a native of Maspeth, N.Y. He joined the Army Air Forces in
1942, flying a single-engine dive bomber and then B-17s over Europe during
World War II. Most of his missions were deep penetrations into Germany. He
led his squadron on the first shuttle raid from England to Poltava, Russia.
He had flown 31 combat missions by the end of the war.
He left the military in 1946, joining the Maine Air National Guard while
attending the University of Maine. He was recalled to active duty in 1950
and sent to Landsberg, Germany. He later served at the Pentagon in Air Force
operations, at the headquarters of the Air Defense Command in Colorado
Springs and at the National Guard Bureau in the Pentagon. In 1974, he
received his final assignment: leader of the Air National Guard.
Among his military awards were the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion
of Merit, two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious
Service Medal and five awards of the Air Medal.
Units served with
The 452nd Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deopham Green, Norfolk, from January 1944. The air crews hit strategic sites in Germany but also supported the movement of ground forces across Europe after D-Day. On 6 June 1944 itself, the Group...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Denver 1/1/44; Grenier 16/1/44; Assigned 731BS/452BG [7D- ] Deopham Green 24/2/44; on Brunswick mission 23/3/44 with John Pesch, Co-pilot: J.C. Amley (2 Returned to Duty); Navigator: Orrin Webb, Bombardier: Art Rubebstein(wia, Flight engineer...
Military site : airfield
Deopham Green was another air base constructed after America's entry into the war to Class A standards for use by the B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber. When the 452nd Bomb Group arrived in January 1943 they found a main runway of 2,000 yards, two...
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