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B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17F 42-29666 'Dearly Beloved' was delivered at Cheyenne 30-Jan-43; Salina 14-Feb-43; Barksdale 22-Feb-43; Morrison 5-Mar-43; Assigned 423BS/306BG [RD-O] Thurleigh 25-Mar-43; 2 21-May-43 Aircraft sustained damage from flak over the target of the port facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Germany and then was attacked by fighters and ditched into the North Sea. The crew were able to get in life rafts and were rescued by a British minesweeper the next day. Set a record of downing 11 enemy aircraft before ditching. 10RTD No MACR issued

P 1Lt Robert H Smith (RTD); CP 2Lt Robert McCallum (RTD)
N 2Lt Daniel J Barberis (RTD); B/TOG SSgt Wayne J. Gray (RTD)
E/TTG TSgt Bennett F. Buchanan (RTD) RO TSgt Hendrik Kate (RTD)
BTG SSgt Arthur R. Adrian (RTD); WG SSgt Clarence W. Durham (RTD)
WG Unknown; TG SSgt Billy J. Lamb (RTD)



  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 423rd Bomb Squadron


  • Billy Lamb

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 21 May 1943 in B-17 42-29666 'Dearly Beloved'. Plane ditched into North Sea. Returned to base. Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 42-30156. Prisoner of War. POW

  • Robert McCallum

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot; Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On May 1, 1943, in B-17F #42-29649 while serving as Co-Pilot the aircraft was assigned to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire. A navigational error on return took the group over heavily defended Brest and the aircraft was attacked by fighters and...

  • Robert Smith

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On the mission to Wilhelmshaven 21 May 1943 they were hit by flak and dropped out of formation, were again hit in No 2 engine and Smith made the decision to go down in the sea rather than turn round and bail out over enemy territory. They ditched and...


  • VIII Bomber Command 60

    21 May 1943
    The German naval and port facilities at Wilhelmshaven and Emden, Germany are the two primary targets for this mission. Once again, there is a two-fold strategic objective: entice the Luftwaffe to commit its fighter forces; and further degrade the naval...


  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...


Event Location Date
Ditched Brown Ridge 21 May 1943

Ditched into the North Sea because of damage from flak and fighters. All Rescued.


Date Contributor Update
11 February 2015 21:12:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to events

Lee Cunningham 11-Feb-2015. Added Map location to Ditching event, converted dates in Description to military-style signification.

Date Contributor Update
11 February 2015 21:08:38 Lee8thbuff Changes to nicknames, markings, description, unit associations, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 11-Feb-2015. Added nickname, markings, added crew position, rank, full proper name and dispositions, added Description details per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Satn Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; Made connection to Squadron, Place and Mission within existing website data; formatted crew display.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:23 AAM AAM ingest

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