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William Richard Flesh

Military

On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped, but pilot Flesh and Co-Pilot John G. Gossage were able to regain control and landed at the RAF base at Tangmere, Kent. Radio Operator Conner Brewster's parachute failed to open (KIA). 4 men were captured and made POWs. 3 others managed to evade with the help of the Belgian Comète evasion network. Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 15553.

Service

People

  • Conner Brewster

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator / Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Radio Operator Conner Brewster was killed by Flak inside B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II' on the Gelsenkirchen mission, November 5, 1943. Pilot William Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. Brewster's parachute failed to...

  • Francis Dolsen

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Assistant Radio Operator; Ball Turret Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Francis Dolsen was Assistant Radio Operator on his 14th mission. On that mission, November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped,...

  • George Gineikis

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped, but pilot Flesh and Co-Pilot John G. Gossage were able to regain...

  • Omar Gonzales

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 100th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW). On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped, but pilot Flesh and Co-Pilot John G. Gossage...

  • John Gossage

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot / Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 September 1943 on a practice flight in B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II'. Plane ditched in the North Sea. 5 Killed In Action; 5 rescued, Gossage among them - Missing Air Crew Report MACR 778. On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B...

  • James Lux

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 100th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW). On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped, but pilot Flesh and Co-Pilot John G. Gossage...

  • Leon MacDonald

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped, but pilot Flesh and Co-Pilot John G. Gossage were able to regain...

  • James Marasco

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW). On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped, but pilot Flesh and Co-Pilot John G. Gossage...

  • Harold Pope

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer / Top Turret Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Harold Pope was Engineer/Gunner in the 100th Bomb Group / 349th Bomb Squadron. On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men...

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Units served with

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 349th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-30066 'Mugwump' aka 'Rum Boogie II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/4/43; Gore 14/4/43; Kearney 16/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 16/5/43; Kearney 22/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG [MZ-X] Andrews Fd 2/6/43; RUM BOOGIE II; transferred 418BS/100BG [LD-U] Thorpe Abbotts 9/6/43; as war weary F...

  • 42-30088 "Squawkin' Hawk II"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/4/43; Kearney 16/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 12/5/43; Wendover 18/5/43; Kearney 22/5/43; Dow Field 27/5/43; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-E] Thorpe Abbotts 9 June 1943. Severe battle damage over Stuttgart 6 September 1943 with Sumner...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 121

    5 November 1943
    Having had good success with P-38 escorts and limiting penetration depth into Germany this mission is directed at the railroad marshaling yards and oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. In addition the marshaling yards at Munster, Germany are also...

Associated Place

  • Thorpe Abbotts

    Military site : airfield
    Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group...

Events

Event Location Date
Born 8 February 1920

Saint Louis, Missouri, the son of Roy V. and Mary M. Flesh

Lived in 1941

Webster Groves City, Saint Louis County, Missouri

Enlisted 29 October 1941

as an Aviation Cadet in the Air Corps, at Jefferson Barracks, Lemay, Saint Louis County, Missouri

Brought his plane back 5 November 1943

On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped, but pilot Flesh and Co-Pilot John G. Gossage were able to regain control and landed at the RAF base at Tangmere, Kent. MACR 15553.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
22 April 2019 14:14:57 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, biography, events, person associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

MACR 15553
NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW records
WWII Draft Cards

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:37 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop & Hey pp. 511-2

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