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42-29710

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 8 February 1943; 94th BG Pueblo 18 February 1943; Salina 25 February 1943; Laurel 18 March 1943; Smoky Hill 25 March 1943; Syracuse 10 April 1943; Dow Field 15 April 1943; Assigned 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron [GL-W] at Bassingbourn 20 April 1943, then went to Earls Colne 12 May 1943. On return from the 29 May 1943 mission to naval storage depots, Rennes, France, “Hell Below” was attacked by 7 German Fw190 fighters, then hit by the Light Flak battery of Montagne Saint-Joseph (Saint-Malo). It crashed 3km West of Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes, to the East of Saint-Malo, Ille et Villaine, France. Pilot Jack B. Workman; Co-pilot: William H. Downey; Bombardier: Oliver J. Carroll Jr; Flight Engineer/Top Turret gunner: Frank R. Koch; Radio Operator: Donald S. Webster; Ball turret gunner: Ernest G. Muir; Left Waist gunner: Edgar L. Stevenson; Right Waist gunner: Winston E. Lowe (8 Prisoner of War). The Navigator, William A. Petruzzi and the Tail Gunner, Theodore G. Ferentinos were killed. Missing Air Crew Report – MACR 15139. In the MACR, Pilot Workman states that his Fortress “plunged into the English Channel about 8 miles off Coast of Saint-Malo, France.” As 2 other 94th Bomb Group B-17s were shot down in the same area, he probably took Lt Lawrence D. Clark’s B-17 # 42-5858 for his own. The German KU report mentions the B-17’s Serial number (“Nr. 229 710”) linked to the Workman crew names and confirms the crash location as 3km West of the church of Saint-Méloir. Workman states that “All members bailed out over the French Coast at 16:15 at 15,000ft. All men landed in the English Channel except one. All men picked up by Germans except one (Lt W. A. Petruzzi). It is believed he drowned.” In fact, most of the men landed in the Ille et Rance canal, south of Saint-Malo, others on land in the vicinity. Lt Petruzzi’s body was found in the wreckage of the crashed Fortress. On 30 May 1943, the nine prisoners were in the Kommandantur at the Dinard air base, opposite Saint-Malo. Badly wounded, Tail Gunner Ferentinos was cared for in hospital in Saint-Malo, but died on 30 May from loss of blood.

Service

Units

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942. Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 410th Bomb Squadron

    410th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Part of 94th Bomb Group.

People

  • Oliver Carroll

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 94th Bomb Group
    Oliver Carroll was a Bombardier in the 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron. Shot down in B-24 # 42-29710 on the 29 May 1943 mission to naval depots in Rennes, France. Prisoner of War (POW). He later served in Korea and left the USAF with the rank of...

  • William Downey

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    William Downey was a Co-Pilot in the 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron. Shot down in B-24 # 42-29710 on the 29 May 1943 mission to naval depots in Rennes, France. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Theodore Ferentinos

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Theodore Ferentinos was a Tail Gunner in the 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron. Shot down in B-17 # 42-29710 on the 29 May 1943 mission to naval depots in Rennes, France. Badly wounded by a Flak shell in the upper right thigh, he was helped in the...

  • Frank Koch

    Military | Sergeant | Engineer / Top Turret Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Frank Koch was a Top Turret Gunner in the 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron. Shot down in B-24 # 42-29710 on the 29 May 1943 mission to naval depots in Rennes, France. Prisoner of War (POW)

  • Winston Lowe

    Military | Private First Class | Right Waist Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Winston Lowe was a Right Waist gunner in the 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron. Shot down in B-24 # 42-29710 on the 29 May 1943 mission to naval depots in Rennes, France. Prisoner of War (POW). Wounded, he was part of a prisoner exchange program...

  • Ernest Muir

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Ernest Muir was a Ball Turret gunner in the 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron. Shot down in B-24 # 42-29710 on the 29 May 1943 mission to naval depots in Rennes, France. Prisoner of War (POW)

  • William Petruzzi

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 94th Bomb Group
    William Petruzzi was a Navigator in the 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron. Shot down in B-24 # 42-29710 on the 29 May 1943 mission to naval depots in Rennes, France. Killed In Action (KIA)

  • Edgar Stevenson

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Left Waist gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Edgar Stevenson was a Left Waist gunner in the 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron. Shot down in B-24 # 42-29710 "Hell Below" on the 29 May 1943 mission to naval depots in Rennes, France. Plane crashed 3km West of Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes, to the East...

  • Donald Webster

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 94th Bomb Group
    Donald Webster was a Radio Operator in the 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron. Shot down in B-24 # 42-29710 on the 29 May 1943 mission to naval depots in Rennes, France. Prisoner of War (POW)

  • Jack Workman

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Jack Workman was a Pilot in the 94th Bomb Group / 410th Bomb Squadron. Shot down in B-24 # 42-29710 on the 29 May 1943 mission to naval depots in Rennes, France. Prisoner of War (POW). He was promoted to Captain, stayed in the Air Force after the war....

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 61

    29 May 1943
    Three primary targets are selected for this mission. The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are selected as the target for a force of 169 B-17s despatched from: 91BG (23); 92BG (22), 303BG (30); 305BG (25) 306BG (24); 351BG (21) and 379BG (24). This is...

Places

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

  • Earls Colne

    Military site : airfield
    Earls Colne was built in 1941 as an airfield for No.3 Group, RAF Bomber Command, although never used as such. Assigned to the US Eighth Air Force (as Station 358) in 1942, its 36 hardstands were increased to 50, bringing the airfield up to Air Ministry...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) 3km West of Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes, to the East of Saint-Malo, France 29 May 1943

On return from the mission, “Hell Below” was attacked by 7 German Fw190 fighters, then hit by the light Flak battery of Montagne Saint-Joseph (Saint-Malo). Crashed 3km West of Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2020 09:35:13 Emily Changes to description
Sources

Corrected all instances of this aircraft being referred to as a B-24 in the biography to a B-17

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2016 13:00:38 ED-BB Changes to place associations
Sources

Changed Station at the time of loss

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2016 12:58:00 ED-BB Changes to markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 15139

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 15139 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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