Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Richard Herbert Kaufman


Richard Kaufman served as a pilot with the 401st Bomb Group out of Deenthorpe, England. He flew 31 missions from 12/01/1943, mission #2, to 07/08/1944, mission #106.

On 11 December 1943, he was flying B-17#42-31098 'Penny's Thunderhead' when it was hit by flak over the target and attacked by fighters.

Thinking it was 'game over', he order the crew to bail out. Four bailed out over Holland and three near the Frisian Isles.

In the end though, he and Bob Fitzgerald, the bombardier, were able to bring the aircraft back to England and landed it at RAF Lindholme.

Retired from the USAF in 1970 with the rank of Colonel


Units served with

  • 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...

  • 614th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-31098 Penny's Thunderhead

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/9/43; Gt Falls 2/10/32; Scott 25/10/43; Assigned 614BS/401BG [IW-B] Deenethorpe 30/10/43; ...

Associated Place

  • 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 Antigo, Wisconsin 1919
Returned to Duty (RTD) HMP Lindhome, Bawtry Road, Hatfield, Doncaster DN7 6EE, UK 11 December 1943

Then RAF Lindholme

Retired 1970


Date Contributor Update
26 October 2018 08:31:54 Emily Changes to biography and events

Information provided by Rick Kaufman, son

Date Contributor Update
02 March 2018 02:26:36 rkaufman_401 Changes to nickname

Dick flew 31 missions between December 1943 and July 1944.

Date Contributor Update
15 December 2016 15:59:08 Lucy May Changes to middlename, service number, biography and events

NARA enlistment record:

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:22:37 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 8711,  

Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I, pp. 412-413,