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August Altese


Originally with 301st BG in the 15th AF stationed in Italy. After being transferred to 8th AF, he flew in B17 'Milk Wagon' with 447th BG/708th BS.

'Spent 4 months in England (Stowmarket) with 8th AF- 447th BG- 708 Squadron as a navigator on B-17- Milk Wagon- had been transferred from 15 AF, Foggia Italy. Upon arrival Stowmarket were assigned a brand new B-17- #337756 named it "Milk Wagon"- milk butters indicated missions instead of bombs- because of chatter with new associates who believed war out of England was much more hazardous than missions flown in Italy. Since most airmen were fascinated with big breasted paintings on nose of their planes we out-didded them all (should have written out-titted!) no other nose art was larger titted than the Milk Wagons nose art.'

AM w/ 4Oak Leaf Cluster, EAM Service Medal, DFC, ACM, WWII Victory medal, EU Theater w, 4 Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, Air comb Balkans, Honarable service L lapel button-overseas bar


Units served with

  • 447th Bomb Group

    447th Bomb Group

    The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces...

  • 708th Bomb Squadron


  • 43-37756 Milk Wagon

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/5/44; Kearney 27/5/44; Dow Fd 8/6/44; Assigned 708BS/447BG Rattlesden 9/6/44; completed 129 missions with no abort; Returned to the USA Bradley 9/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 13/7/45; Reconstruction Finance...

Associated Place

  • Rattlesden

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the Eighth Air Force in 1942, Rattlesden had three concrete runways, 50 hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. Intended to be a twin-engine B-26 bomber base, it was originally a satellite for nearby Rougham, and first occupied from...


Event Location Date
Born Detroit, Michigan 1 February 1922


Date Contributor Update
14 November 2014 15:36:41 Emily Changes to biography

Self, via American Air Museum Memory Book Correspondence.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:15 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Unit History Roster as of 01 August 1945, self Feb 2012