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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 24/4/43; Gore 6/5/43; Kearney 30/5/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-K] Gt Ashfield 16/6/43; Missing in Action Evreux 24/8/43 with Maj Preston Piper, Co-pilot: Vince Masters, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Luther Daniels, Radio Operator: Paul Schultz, Ball turret gunner: Bill Armes,Tail gunner: Lt Tom Morgan (6 Returned to Duty); Navigator: Capt John Dewey, Bombardier: Lee Jones (p-??), Waist gunner: Ed Sanders, Waist gunner: Archie Cameron (4 Killed in Action); enemy aircraft, crashed Atlantic, about 40 miles off Padstow, Cornwall; Missing Air Crew Report 961. LULU BELLE.

Read Vince Masters account of the crew's final mission here:



  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 551st Bomb Squadron


  • Archie Cameron

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 August 1943 in B-17 #42-30187 'Lulu Belle'. Plane ditched in Channel, Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Louis Dentoni

    Military | Captain | Group Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group
    August 17, 1943 - Hospitalized in Africa. #42-30187 'Lulu Belle' B-17 piloted by Preston Piper was hit by flak and shot. Dentoni and navigator Lt. Paul Schultz manned waist guns as tail gunner had been injured. ...

  • John Dewey

    Military | Captain | Lead Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    On 24 August 1943, John A Dewey and his crew were returning to their base at Great Ashfield in Suffolk from North Africa in their B-17 “Lulu Belle” after a mission over Regensburg. ...

  • Lee Jones

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 August 1943 in B-17 42-30187 'Lulu Belle. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Vincent Masters

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    1st Pilot to Lead Pilot to Squadron Operations Officer. Completed required 28 missions. ...

  • Preston Piper

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    More than anything, he loved to fly. In high school in Santa Ana, he was part of a club that built a glider plane. I have home movies he made flying over the orange groves in Santa Ana, California in the mid-1930's. Shot down 24 August 1943 in B-17 ...

  • Edward Sanders

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 August 1943 in B-17 #42-30187 'Lulu Belle'. Plane ditched in Channel, Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Paul Schulz

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Lead Naviagator | 385th Bomb Group
    Lieutenant Paul Schulz from Detroit, Michigan was a radio operator of the 385th Bomb Group. As radio operator, he was responsible for communicating with other aircraft and bases. On 24 August 1943, Schulz and his crew were returning to their base at...


  • Great Ashfield

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the...

  • Telerghma

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Over Water (OW) North Sea 24 August 1943


Date Contributor Update
05 January 2018 16:36:35 Lucy May Changes to description and person associations

Date Contributor Update
14 March 2015 14:40:22 clairepiper Changes to nicknames

I am Preston Piper's daughter

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 961 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database