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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Tulsa 1/2/44; Kearney 7/2/44; Assigned 710BS/447BG Rattlesden 3/3/44; 708BG; Missing in Action Merseburg 2/11/44 with Bob Johnson, Ken Nickerson, Rubin Poss, Cecil McGonigle, E. V. Lewelling, Tom Ashe, George Christoff, Bob Gilmore (8 Prisoner of War); Joe Esper (Killed in Action); enemy aircraft, crashed Gross Himmlage, Ger; 1 KIA 8 POW; Missing Air Crew Report 10313. TAILWIND.



  • 447th Bomb Group

    447th Bomb Group

    The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces...

  • 708th Bomb Squadron


  • Thomas Ashe

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    He was a hero and my Dad. He had 4 daughters with his wife, Mildred Ashe. He served his country in 2 tours of duty. He was taken prisoner after being shot down on his last mission on 11-2-44 and was held until the forced Death March in February of...

  • George Christoff

    Military | Corporal | Waist Gunner | 447th Bomb Group

  • Joseph Esper

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    Crashed near Gross Himmlage in B-17 'Tail Wind' 42-107029, Killed in Action.

  • Robert Gilmore

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 447th Bomb Group

  • Cecil Gonigle

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 447th Bomb Group

  • Robert Johnson

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    Crashed near Hross Himmlage on 11/2/44 in B-17 'Tail Wind' 42-107029, Prisoner of War (POW). Survived the war and went on to serve in Korea and Vietnam. Fathered 4 children. 3 boys and 1 girl (my mother).

  • E Lewelling

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 447th Bomb Group

  • Kenneth Nickerson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 447th Bomb Group

  • Rubin Poss

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 447th Bomb Group
    Crashed on 11/2/44 near Gross Himmlage in B-17 'Tail Wind' #42-107029, Prisoner of War (POW).

  • John Ruppert

    Military | Gunner | 447th Bomb Group

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  • Rattlesden

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the Eighth Air Force in 1942, Rattlesden had three concrete runways, 50 hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. Intended to be a twin-engine B-26 bomber base, it was originally a satellite for nearby Rougham, and first occupied from...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Germany 2 November 1944


Date Contributor Update
19 April 2021 22:30:48 pamccolgan Changes to media associations

Surridge, E. K., & Dooley, E. C. (1947). Pictorial History of the 447th Bombardment Group (H), including the 710th Squadrone History. LA: Army Navy Publishing.

Date Contributor Update
05 July 2020 22:50:44 jmoore43 Changes to description

Added 3 spaces to the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
12 February 2019 15:42:25 superbonbon Changes to nicknames and markings

Accounts of my father, Staff Sgt Thomas J. Ashe's service records.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:15 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 10313 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database