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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 16/8/44; Topeka 25/8/44; Grenier 17/9/44; Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-J] Bassingbourn 4/11/44; 324BS; battle damaged Merseburg 21/11/44; Hit by flak over Merseburg Nov 21, 1944; two engines failed and a third seemed about to, so pilot lowered undercarriage, set autopilot and ordered all crew to bail out, which they did. Aircraft continued its flight, gradually descending and eventually landing in a ploughed field behind the Allied front line; the only damage on landing was to one wingtip and one propeller when a main wheel got bogged down and caused aircraft to spin around. The crew of a nearby British AA gun rushed to help the crew, and were amazed to find the aircraft empty! With Harry DeBolt, Osborne Stone, Bill Dominguez, Dick Cusson, Troy Young, John Alba, Granville Houchins, Chas Walker, Nelson Richardson (9 Returned to Duty); crash landed Belgium; Salvaged 28/11/44.



  • Richard Cusson

    Military | Flight Officer | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    21 November 1944. Escaped & Returned. A/C #43-38545. This plane landed itself perfectly with no crew and this story made the int'l press saying the 'phantom crew. They all returned to base in another plane they picked up in Brussels that had been damaged.


  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents ( , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...


Not yet known


Date Contributor Update
16 July 2018 02:19:02 918thbg Changes to description

Joe Baugher

Date Contributor Update
16 July 2018 02:14:51 918thbg Changes to production block number, manufacturer and markings

Joe Baugher

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:30 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log