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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Lincoln 21 September 1944; Grenier 7 October 1944; Assigned 532BS/381BG [VE-J] Ridgewell 14 November 1944; Missing in Action 12m Mannheim 11 December 1944 with Pilot Leo Belskis, Co-pilot Glenn C. Vaughn, Navigator James V. Collett, Bombardier Ross W. Perrin Jr, Flight engineer/top turret gunner Walter R. Newman, Ball turret gunner Lynn J. Lauret, Tail gunner Robert P. Rogers (7 Killed in Action); Radio Operator Elvis A. McCoy, Right Waist gunner: Durward V. Suggs (2 Prisoner of War).
The aircraft, hit by Flak in the target area, was last sighted above Gommersheim, SW of Mannheim. It had its No. 2 engine on fire. The engine fell off and the fire extended back to the waist section. The left wing was on fire and exploded. The aircraft was seen to go down into a deep spin, apparently out of control, then to slip off to the left and roll over on its back. Six parachutes were reported but they disappeared in the clouds and there was no report with regard to whether or not they opened. The Fortress crashed in a field in Mannheim-Neckarau. Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 11341. Bombardier Ross Perrin's nephew, J. Ross Greene has written a book about his uncle, the mission and the fate of the crew as well as his commitment to preserving their memory : "A Fortress and A Legacy" ( )



  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 532nd Bomb Squadron


  • Leo Belskis

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Of Lithuanian descent, Leo Belskis loved flying and logged a lot of air time from Scott Field in Madison, Wisconsin before he enlisted in the Air Corps. Always wearing his crusher hat at a jaunty angle, he was loved by his crew who felt they were in...

  • Lewis Carter

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Counter Measures/Right Waist Gunner | 452nd Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) crashed near Zwickau on 19 Mar 45 in B-17 'Daisey Mae' #4338368

  • James Collett

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    The oldest of four children born to WWI veteran Clarence and his wife Anna, Jim Collett had one year of college and had worked as a skilled tradesman in the aircraft industry before enlisting in February 1943. Sent overseas in 1944, he was a Navigator...

  • Lynn Lauret

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Lynn Lauret was the only son of the family and had three younger sisters. He proudly talked about his family’s ancient French heritage. His grandfather, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Lauret emigrated to the US with his brother to escape military service. Jean...

  • Elvis McCoy

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 381st Bomb Group
    Elvis McCoy (spelled Mc Coy in NARA's WWII Enlistment records) grew up in rural Oklahoma and attended the Miami High School there, graduating in 1940. He worked in the machine shop at Eagle-Picher Mining & Smelting before his enlistment in late 1942....

  • Walter Newman

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Walter Newman was a Top Turret Gunner in the 381st Bomb Group / 532nd Bomb Squadron. Killed In Action (KIA) in the loss of B-17G # 43-38780 on the Squadron’s 11 December 1944 mission to bomb the bridge over the Rhine at Mannheim, Germany.

  • Ross Perrin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 381st Bomb Group
    Ross W Perrin Jr was a Bombardier in the 381st Bomb Group / 532nd Bomb Squadron. Killed In Action (KIA) in the loss of B-17G # 43-38780 on the Squadron’s 11 December 1944 mission to bomb the bridge over the Rhine at Mannheim, Germany. Bombardier Ross...

  • Robert Rogers

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Robert’s mother, born in 1896, died in 1930, aged 34, one month after giving birth to her daughter Mary. Her chicken farmer husband Clint was left with raising Charles, Dorothy, Prince (Robert), Billie Jack, Harold (“Gene”) and Mary on the rural farm...

  • Durward Suggs

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Durward Suggs was a Right Waist Gunner in the 381st Bomb Group / 532nd Bomb Squadron. Captured on 11 December 1944 in Mannheim-Käfertal, Germany after the crash the same day of B-17G # 43-38780 on the Squadron’s mission to bomb the bridge over the...

  • Glenn Vaughn

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    The fourth of eight children, Glenn Vaughn loved singing like everybody in the family and they often held songfests for their relatives and neighbors in their Stokesland home near Danville, Virginia. An accomplished athlete, Glenn was a golf fan and a...


  • 746

    11 December 1944


  • Ridgewell

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1941-42 as an RAF bomber station, Ridgewell operated as a satellite to RAF Stradishall until May 1943. It had three concrete runways, initially 36 pan hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. Taken over by the Eighth Air Force in June...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) near the Neckarauer Waldweg, Mannheim, Germany 11 December 1944

Hit by Flak, crashed in a field


Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 11:07:24 ED-BB Changes to markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations

MACR 11341
Contacts with J. Ross Greene, nephew of Bombardier Ross W. Perrin Jr

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:32 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 11341 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database