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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Tulsa, OK 5/14/44; Kearney, NE 5/24/44; Dow Field, Bangor, ME 1/6/44; Assigned 527BS/379BG Kimbolton, England 10/6/44; Missing in Action northeast of Zeitz, Germany on 11/30/44 with 8 crew Killed in Action: 1st Lt Gilbert J Schlesinger, Pilot; 2nd Lt Howard G Mertens, Co-Pilot; 2nd LT Theodore Zivanidis, Bombardier; S Sgt Chester M Durham, Nose Gunner; T Sgt Bernard Bonderski, Top Turret Gunner; S Sgt Charles V Bowles Jr, Radio Operator/2nd Waist Gunner; S Sgt Shirley C Griffith, Ball Turret Gunner; S Sgt Stewart W Schoch, Waist Gunner; sole survivor: S Sgt Eugene S Bush, Tail Gunner (Held as a Prisoner of War); flak, lost right wing in an explosion, went into a steep dive while ablaze, and broke into two sections. Tail/waist crashed near Threna. Nose crashed in District 7, Oberholz Forest, near Großpösna and exploded approximately two minutes after impact. Missing Air Crew Report 11126. MISS LACE.



  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 527th Bomb Squadron


  • Bernard Bonderski

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    A native of Chicago, Bernard 'Bernie' Bonderski was the eldest son of a Polish immigrant father, Pawel 'Paul' Bonderski and Apolonia "Paulina" (Cholewinska, born in New Jersey) Bonderski. Bernard practiced the Roman Catholic faith. Bernie attended...

  • Charles Bowles

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Charles was the youngest child and only son of Charles V Bowles Sr and Maude "Lovey" (Estes) Bowles. Born in Atlanta, GA, he moved at a young age with his parents first to Highland Park, Michigan, then Chicago, Illinois, where he graduated from Hide...

  • Eugene Bush

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Eugene Scott Bush was the second son and youngest child of Kansas farmers, Robert T Bush and Ola M (Osborn) Bush. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on 04 Aug 1943. ...

  • Chester Durham

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Nose Gunner / Enlisted | 379th Bomb Group
    Chester "Chick" Mark Durham was the fourth surviving son of cotton share croppers, Cornelious Jordan Durham and Anita Melvina (Stephens) Durham. He was a talented wood worker and musician. He loved to laugh, kick up his heels, and have a good time. In...

  • Shirley Griffith

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Shirley Clare Griffith was the son of Michigan natives, Carl W and Ethel Griffith. He attended Washington Gardner High School in Albion, MI. He enlisted in the Michigan State National Guard on 25 Sep 1940. He was inducted into the US Army on 24 Feb...

  • Charles Marlatt

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Sergeant Charles Marlatt kept a detailed journal through his entire military tour. He flew 3 missions out of Kimbolton and another 22 missions with the 92nd Bomb Group in Italy. ...

  • Howard Mertens

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Howard 'Howie' Griffith Mertens was the second son and youngest child born to native Californians, Ferdinand C Mertens and Margaret Mary (Griffith) Mertens, but his paternal grandparents were German immigrants. Howie graduated from Mission High School...

  • Gilbert Schlesinger

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Gilbert 'Gil' Jerome Schlesinger was the second son and youngest child of Samuel M and Celia Schlesinger, who practiced the Jewish faith. Gil never married and produced no known heirs. ...

  • Stewart Schoch

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Stewart Welton Schoch was the second son of Pennsylvania natives, Paul Edward Schoch, a chauffeur, and Gertrude Lydia (Stewart) Schoch. Stewart was single when he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on 19 Apr 1943. He served as the Waist Gunner on the B...

  • Theodore Zivanidis

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 379th Bomb Group
    Theodore 'Ted' Zivanidis was the eldest of three children born to Greek immigrants, Athanasious 'Thanos or Thomas' Zivanidis and Elizabeth (Krettecos) Zivanidis. Ted's father and his maternal uncle, James Krettecos co-owned and operated an Altoona, PA,...


  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
    Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Germany 30 November 1944


Date Contributor Update
24 December 2019 20:42:41 phil marchese Changes to production block number and markings

AAM entries; Osborne FORTLOG.

Date Contributor Update
02 March 2017 15:01:25 lorelei1026 Changes to description


Date Contributor Update
04 February 2016 15:35:38 lorelei1026 Changes to markings and description

Missing Air Crew Report 11126; eye witness testimony of Henry N Meyer regarding last visual sighting; eye witness testimony of Eugene S Bush who survived the crash.

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2016 22:42:20 lorelei1026 Changes to nicknames and description

Missing Air Craft Report #11126.

Date Contributor Update
29 April 2015 14:24:48 Terra Inc. Changes to description

MACR 11126 + Ku 3401 contained in it

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:49 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 11126 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database