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B-17 Flying Fortress

Assigned 369BS/303BG [WW-M] Wayne 2/11/42; Molesworth 7/2/43; transferred 534BS/381BG [GD- ?] Ridgewell, Ex. later 535BS [MS-V]; transferred 306BG Thurleigh 19/11/43; 5m to AFSC & Returned to the USA 1/5/44; with Ken Benoit force landed Bedford Fd, Ma 4/12/45; Recl Comp 3/9/46. SIS.



  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 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,...

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 369th Bomb Squadron
  • 534th Bomb Squadron
  • 535th Bomb Squadron


  • Robert Conley

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On Thursday October 14, 1943 Schweinfurt, an exploding 20mm Cannon shell blew Conley's left hand completely from his arm. A tourniquet was applied by S/Sergeant B. H. Perlmutter. An FW-190 was closing in and Conley shoved Perlmutter aside, struggled to...

  • John Mazanek

    Military | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew on Charles Schoolfield and David Wheeler crews. He was also 369th Squadron Navigator.

  • Bertram Perlmutter

    Military | Staff Sergeant | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

  • Charles Schoolfield

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot; Assistant to Director of Operations | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was the 88th Officer to complete tour. He completed 25 missions on 04 January 1944. His B-17 was named 'Sis' after his sister. ...

  • Henry Sommers

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Flew on B-17 'Sis' #42-2978 Air Medal w 3/Oak Leaf Cluster, DFC

  • Joseph Stoner

    Military | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers


  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

  • Ridgewell

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1941-42 as an RAF bomber station, Ridgewell operated as a satellite to RAF Stradishall until May 1943. It had three concrete runways, initially 36 pan hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. Taken over by the Eighth Air Force in June...

  • 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
Assigned Molesworth Airfield, UK 2 November 1942


Assigned Ridgewell Airfield, UK 7 February 1943

534BS (later to 535BS)

Assigned Thurleigh Airfield, UK 19 November 1943



Date Contributor Update
03 December 2020 18:23:34 466thHistorian Changes to production block number, markings, events and unit associations

B-17 Flying Fortress Story - Roger Freeman

Date Contributor Update
29 April 2019 17:24:37 phil marchese Changes to manufacturer and markings

AAM image

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log