Official caption: Lt. John T Hardin, pilot of the 322nd Bomb Squadron, looks out of his plane, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "The Bearded Beauty" at the 91st Bomb Group base at Bassingbourne [Bassingbourn], England 27 February 1943.
US B-17F Fortress 41-24453 "Mizpah" "The Bearded Beauty" Force-lands at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton. 22 January 1943.
The crew of the American Flying Fortress which made a forced landing at RNAS Yeovilton with Captain M S Thomas, DSO, RN, and Lt H R Arnold, RNVR.
John T Hardin was a pilot with the 91st Bomb Group.
His most memorable mission was the one when they went to bomb the U-Boat Pen at La Pallice, France. His plane "Mizpah" collided with "Fury" but both planes were able to land. Only two crew members were injured, from flak: top turret gunner lost one eye, navigator got a cut on one arm.
Completed 25 missions 22 June 1943. Promoted from Lieutenant to Captain after his last mission.
Pilot for Eastern Air Lines from 1945 to 1979.
View an interview with John T Hardin by Georgia WWII Oral History Project here:
AM w/ 4 Oak Leaf Cluster/ DFC
Units served with
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...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-O] Bangor 29/8/42; Bassingbourn 29/9/42; in taxi accident with John Hardin 18/11/42 at RNAS Yeovilton; MIZPAH - THE BEARDED LADY aka THE BEARDED BEAUTY.
Military site : airfield
Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , 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...
||17 December 1919
||Jackson, MS, USA
||15 August 1941
||September 1942 – July 1943
|Returned to the USA
||15 July 1943
||Marietta, GA, USA
||8 July 2013