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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 13/12/43; Kearney 30/12/43; Grenier 29/1/44; Assigned 563BS/388BG Knettishall 9/2/44; battle damaged Frankfurt 5/1/45 with Jim Ruether, Co-pilot: Ray Helminiak, Radio Operator: Ray Ward (3 RTD – all WIA); Navigator: H.W. Swanson, togg-J. Haskett, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Fred Thielske, Ball turret gunner: Martin Smith, Waist gunner: A. Kiss, Tail gunner: Virgil Koon (6 Killed in Action); flak burst in heavy cloud and attempted to drop down for home, crash landed RAF Hawkinge, Kent, UK; Salvaged 6/1/45. MARY'S SISTER.



  • 43-37777 'Four of a Kind'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/5/44; Kearney 29/5/44; Grenier 7/6/44; Assigned 525BS/379BG Kimbolton 19/6/44; 527BS; hit when parked at RAF Colerne by 42-97528 (351BG) 19/12/44; twice force landed on continent 3/45 but repaired and back onto operations;...

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  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 563rd Bomb Squadron


  • Placido Andrade

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 452nd Bomb Group
    Placido was one of 5 sons of Placido and Diluvina Andrade, a 5-Blue Star Family from Los Angeles, CA. Placido and his brothers, Albert-USA, Leonard-USA, Alfred-USA, and Danny-USN, all served during World War II. Placido was an original crew member of ...

  • Nicholas Duncan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 388th Bomb Group

  • James Haskett

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Bombardier; Togglier | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 5 January 1945 PH

  • Raymond Helminiak

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Raymond Helminiak served as a pilot with the 563rd Bomb Squadron of the 388th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Knettishall, England. He was Wounded in Action (WIA) in February 1945 when, after flying his shell-damaged aircraft back to the UK, it...

  • Albert Kiss

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Wounded in Action (WIA)

  • Virgil Koon

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in B-17 #42-97528 "Mary's Sister". PH

  • Harold Swanson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in B-17 #42-97528 "Mary's Sister". PH

  • Frederick Thielke

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in B-17 #42-97528 "Mary's Sister".

  • Ray Ward

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group


  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...


Not yet known


Date Contributor Update
10 June 2021 17:09:49 jmoore43 Changes to unit associations

Added an association to the 8th AF.
Added associations to the 388th Bomb Group & to the 563rd Bomb Squadron as listed in the A/C #43-37777 description section.

Date Contributor Update
09 June 2021 21:54:55 jmoore43 Changes to production block number, manufacturer and description

Added a space before the words "Tail gunner" in the A/C “Description” to aid clarity.
Added the Production block number and Manufacturer per info on the internet.

Date Contributor Update
29 October 2015 19:39:03 ram957 Changes to nicknames

388th BG Association Records

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:13 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log