Skip to main content
Edit entry 


B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 30/5/44; Hunter 9/6/44; Dow Fd 30/6/44. Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-P] Thorpe Abbotts 10/7/44. Missing in Action on the mission to Saint-Sylvain (Calvados) 8 August 1944. Pilot : John P. Keys; Co-pilot: Elvin W. Samuelson; Navigator: Patrick H. Lollis; Bombardier: Elton Dickens; Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Harry D. Park; Radio Operator: Frank O. Thomas; Ball turret gunner: Peter P. Martin; Tail gunner: Donald V. Rieger (8 Killed in Action); Waist gunner: Gilbert A. Borba (Prisoner of War). 1½ minute before bombs away, at an altitude of about 11,000 feet, a Flak burst put out engine 2, and another one cut off the tail assembly. The plane nosed down out of formation and exploded near the ground. Pieces of it were strewn over many places near Périgny, NE of Vire, France. Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 8073.



  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb 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


  • Gilbert Borba

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Sgt Gilbert A. Borba, only survivor, all other crew were Killed in Action (KIA) 08-08-1944 Shot down by flak and crashed near St Sylvain, France in B-17 "Varga Venus" #4337865

  • Joseph Costanza

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner

  • Elton Dickens

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier, Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down by flak and crashed atSt Sylvain in B-17 #4337865

  • John Keys

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down by flak and crashed near St Sylvain in B-17 #4337865

  • Patrick Lollis

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down by flak and crashed near St Sylvain in B-17 #4337865

  • Peter Martin

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner
    Killed in Action (KIA) in B-17 #43-37865, shot down by flak on 8 August 1944 - MACR 8073.

  • Harry Park

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner
    Shot down by flak and crashed near St Sylvain in B-17 #43-37865, Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Donald Rieger

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down by flak and crashed near St Sylvain on 8/8/44 in B-17 #4337865 POW

  • Elvin Samuelson

    Military | Flight Officer | Co-Pilot
    Shot down by flak and crashed near St Sylvain in B-17 #43-37865, Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Frank Thomas

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down by flak and crashed near St Sylvain in B-17 #4337865


  • 530

    8 August 1944


  • 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...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) France 8 August 1944

Hit by Flak near the target, the plane lost altitude and exploded above the area near Périgny, Calvados, France. 8 KIA, 1 POW.


Date Contributor Update
21 May 2020 02:11:48 mapwhe Changes to media associations

Info corrected

Date Contributor Update
21 May 2020 02:08:21 mapwhe Changes to nicknames

Info correction

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2020 13:37:10 phil marchese Changes to production block number and markings

AAM associated image.

Date Contributor Update
29 January 2020 22:06:40 mapwhe Changes to nicknames, person associations and media associations

Family held documents

Date Contributor Update
17 September 2015 12:22:07 ED-BB Changes to description, events, place associations and mission associations

MACR 8073

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:24 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 8073 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database