Picture of the plane (43-38172) in which my uncle, George E. Abbott, was togglier and was killed by a direct flak hit 10-15-1944 over Cologne, Germany. Handed down from my grandmother.
Delancey Crew, 398th Bomb Group
Pilot Lawrence M. Delancey, Co-Pilot Grady L. Cumbie ; Togglier George E. Abbott; Navigator Michael P. Ryan; Navigator: Raymond J. Le Deaux; Engineer Benjamin H. Ruckel; Radio Wendell A. Reed; Tail Gunner Herbert D. Guild; Ball Turret: Albert Albro.
Notes: * Co-pilot on 10/15/44 was Phil Stahlman. Regular crew CP, Grady Cumbie was hospitalized that day with an ear infection. ** "Regular crew bombardier flying in this position (navigator on 10/15/44) for regular navigator Michael Ryan, who was flying lead". *** Russell Lachman, Waist Gunner, flew as "sub for regular George Abbott".
Nuthampstead Ref: A9179
Was on the B-17 that had its nose shot off by a German 88 anti-aircraft shell. The togglier, Sgt. George Abbott, was killed but LeDoux was only slightly injured. The nose was rammed up against the windshield . He stood behind the pilot, DeLancey and gave him the co-ordinates, from memory, to bring the plane back to base. He was awarded the DFC for his extraordinary navigation skill.
398th History, Vol II lists Raymond J. Ledoux, 2nd Lieutenant as being in the 601st BS in Sept 1944 being awarded the Oak Leaf Cluster.
Air Medal w/Oak Leaf Clusters; DFC
Article describing the mission in detail: - http://www.silverfalcons.com/downloads/real_word/2010_winter.pdf
Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 398th Bomb Group
Piloted B-17G 43-38172 'Lovely Julie' on 15 Oct 44 which suffered the explosion of a German 88 anti aircraft shell in the nose. With the help of the Navigator 1st Lt Raymond J LeDoux he was able to bring the plane back to base. 'He did a miraculous...
Units served with
The 398th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire on strategic bombing raids over Germany. The Group switched focus in the days before D-Day, when they targeted enemy positions on the Cherbourg peninsula. When the Allied...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Cheyenne 3/7/44; Kearney 12/7/44; Dow Fd 20/7/44; Assigned 601BS/398BG [3O-P] Nuthampstead 13/8/44; battle damaged Cologne 15/10/44 with Lawrence DeLancey; the aircraft was hit by flak after bombs away, then a shell exploded in the nose...
Military site : airfield
Built during 1942-43, Nuthampstead was the nearest Eighth Air Force heavy bomber base to London. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. It was first occupied from September 1943 to April 1944 by the 55th...
|Survived direct flak hit
||15 October 1944
Within feet of bombardier who took direct hit flak shell, knocked unconscious by blast. aided pilots with navigation from memory to return the crippled bomber home to base.
||Nuthampstead, Royston, Hertfordshire SG8, UK
||11 December 1944
Awarded the DFC for his extraordinary navigation skill. December 11, 1944.