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Kenneth I Mace


From Stars and Stripes, 23 Dec 1943: "The first combat mission of Staff Sergeant Kenneth Mace, a Fortress gunner, was no dry run. When he stepped out of his plane after the Bremen raid, bystanders noticed his trousers' seat was covered with ice".

B-17G 42-97578 stalled after take off for a flight to Deenethorpe and crashed into a barracks on 24 Mar 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

The Yelden crash is extensively documented within Bill Donald's book JOHN BURN ONE-ZERO-FIVE.
This ship was a radar equipped PFF (Pathfinder) and was designated to be flown by another crew of the 401st BG as lead ship in the mission to Schweinfurt. Pilot Sellers and his crew were to fly the plane from their base at Chelveston, across to the 401st BG at Deenethorpe during the early morning hours of the 24th. The ship would then have been flown by an experienced PFF crew on the mission to Schweinfurt. However the B17 crashed on take off near the village of Yeldon England, she was fully loaded with both fuel and bombs ready for the next days mission. 21 people were killed including the crew of 11, 8 servicemen of the 1121 Quartermaster company barracked in the village and two civilian children perished in the incident, Edwin Keith and Monica Ruth Phillips. killed in their families bungalow.


Units served with

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...

  • 422nd Bomb Squadron


  • 42-97578

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 28/12/43; 1SAG Langley 24/1/44; Assigned 482BG (H2S) Alconbury 5/2/44; transferred 422BS/305BG [JJ-N] Chelveston 20/3/44; crashed on take off as Pathfinder crew to fly from Deenethorpe for Schweinfurt 24/3/44 with Bill Sellers, Co...

Associated Place

  • Chelveston

    Military site : airfield
    Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...

  • Deenethorpe

    Military site : airfield
    Deenethorpe was a base purpose-built for American heavy bombers, with the Class A regulation 2,000 and 1,400-yard runways. All the buildings on site,such as the accommodation and administrative blocks, were temporary. In December 1943, several local...


Event Location Date
Born 9 September 1923
Killed in action 24 March 1944
Buried Clifton, NJ, USA


Date Contributor Update
21 June 2017 10:42:18 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography, events, unit associations, aircraft associations and media associations

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia ;

Additional biographical details from

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:17:54 AAM AAM ingest

Combat Chronology, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia