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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 12/3/44; Gr Island 2/4/44; Grenier 29/4/44; Assigned 728BS/452BG [9Z-Z] Deopham Green 3/5/44; on return from Royan Afd complete with bomb load 19/6/44 with Oliver Wright, Co-pilot: Bob Merryman, Navigator: Alfd Turner, Bombardier: Barnard Burda, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Martin Nelson, Radio Operator: Alvin Winand, Ball turret gunner: Jim Gilmore, Waist gunner: Bill Harrison, Waist gunner: John Peterson,Tail gunner: Henry Zaranaki (10 Returned to Duty); crash landed Gt Bricett Hall, near RAF Wattisham & burned followed by explosion; Salvaged 21/6/44. AIN'T MISS BEHAVIN'.

“One of the B17s sent out to bomb an airfield in France that day, returned to England and was forced to crash land at Wattisham. B17G BO, Arial number 42-102541, "Ain't Misbehavin' II" , assigned to the 452nd BG/728th BS (Deopham Green, Norfolk) had suffered a flak hit over its target and was not able to open its bomb bay doors. Returning on two engines, the bomber lost a third just before making Wattisham. Bellying in on the south east part of the station, the plane's left wing tip clipped a treetop before it settled to the ground. Sliding and kicking up lots of dust, the big bird came to a stop in the general vicinity of the Station Officer' Quarters and the Group Commander's house. At that point number two engine caught fire as the bomber's crew came tumbling out. Fire fighters and base personnel from Wattisham began making their way toward the scene as the crew was running away from it. The crew made it be known that there were still twenty 250 pound bombs on board the burning aircraft and most everyone headed for cover. The bomb load exploded and the concussion wave knocked everyone down, where they were showered with debris and fragments from the disintegrated B17.”



  • 452nd Bomb Group

    452nd Bomb Group

    The 452nd Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deopham Green, Norfolk, from January 1944. The air crews hit strategic sites in Germany but also supported the movement of ground forces across Europe after D-Day. On 6 June 1944 itself, the Group...

  • 728th Bomb Squadron


  • Martin Nelson

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer
    Flight Engineer on "Ain`t Miss Behavin II" when she crash landed at Wattisham

  • John Willis

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 452nd Bomb Group
    Flew total of 37 combat missions. 1st mission was to N. France on 20 April, '44 and last was Ludwigshaven on 21 September, '44.

  • Henry Zaranski

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Tail gunner | 452nd Bomb Group


  • Deopham Green

    Military site : airfield
    Deopham Green was another air base constructed after America's entry into the war to Class A standards for use by the B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber. When the 452nd Bomb Group arrived in January 1943 they found a main runway of 2,000 yards, two...

  • Wattisham

    Military site : airfield
    Built in 1938 as a medium bomber station with a grass airfield, Wattisham was occupied by the RAF until handed over to the Eighth Air Force in September 1942. The 68th Observation Group was the first American unit to occupy the station from October to...


Not yet known


Date Contributor Update
19 April 2020 19:01:25 Pete Changes to place associations


Date Contributor Update
19 April 2020 18:59:25 Pete Changes to description


Date Contributor Update
03 August 2017 16:35:19 Pete Changes to nicknames, markings, unit associations and place associations

452nd Bomb Group Assoc.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:10 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log