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42-30259

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 25/4/43; Kearney 27/5/43; Dow Fd 7/6/43; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-N] Thorpe Abbotts 10/6/43. Was flying on a practice flight 24 September 1943 to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted and shot down by enemy night raider who KO’d #3 engine. Ditched North Sea. Five men rescued by Royal Navy torpedo boats : Pilot John G. Gossage, Bombardier Theodore J. Don, Flight engineer/top turret gunner William S. Humphrey, Radio Operator Michael W. Gillen, Tail gunner Bruce E. Alshouse (5 Returned to Duty). Five men died : Co-pilot William S. Grier, Navigator Ward J. Dalton Jr, Ball turret gunner Francis J. DeCooman, Left Waist gunner Clyde O. Lovell, Right Waist gunner Ralph Schulte (5 Killed in Action). Missing Air Crew Report 778. DAMIFINO II.

Service

Units

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 349th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Bruce Alshouse

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Completed 25 missions from 23 September 1943 - 6 March 1944. Shot down 24 September 1943 in B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted and attacked by enemy fighters, the Fortress was riddled and...

  • James Dalton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
    James Dalton was Navigator on board B-17 #42-30259 on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. James was picked up by a Royal Navy torpedo motor boat, but...

  • Francis De Cooman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner
    Francis De Cooman was Ball Turret Gunner on board B-17 #42-30259 on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. He was among the 5 men killed, 5 others were...

  • Theodore Don

    Military | Captain | Bombardier
    Theodore Don was Bombardier on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. 5 men died. Theodore was among the 5 who were...

  • Michael Gillen

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator
    Michael Gillen was Radio Operator on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. 5 men died. Michael was among the 5 men...

  • John Gossage

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot / Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 September 1943 on a practice flight in B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II'. Plane ditched in the North Sea. 5 Killed In Action; 5 rescued, Gossage among them - Missing Air Crew Report MACR 778. On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B...

  • William Grier

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    William Grier was Co-Pilot on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. William was among the 5 men killed, 5 were...

  • William Humphrey

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner
    William Humphrey was Top Turret Gunner on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. 5 men died. William was among the 5...

  • Clyde Lovell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner
    Clyde Lovell was Left Waist Gunner on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. Clyde was among the 5 men killed, 5...

  • Ralph Schulte

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Ralph Schulte enlisted in September 1942 and began an intensive course of study in aviation mechanics at the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command, Amarillo Army Air Field, Texas. He got his wings at Fort Myers, Florida in 1943 and was sent...

Missions

  • VIII Air Support Command 70

    24 September 1943
    The German airfield of Beauvais/Tille, France is the target fro a combined force of 72 B-26s freom 323BG (36) and 322BG (36). 66 aircraft are effective on the target. There are no losses, but 14 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners claim 1-0-0 of...

Places

  • Thorpe Abbotts

    Military site : airfield
    Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Ditched North Sea North Sea 24 September 1943

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
24 April 2019 09:48:03 ED-BB Changes to description
Sources

Changed type of rescue boat

Date Contributor Update
23 April 2019 13:46:57 ED-BB Changes to description, events and mission associations
Sources

MACR 778

Date Contributor Update
20 March 2019 17:46:45 Alex-5872-dk Changes to nicknames
Sources

100th BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
20 March 2019 17:44:28 Alex-5872-dk Changes to nicknames
Sources

100th BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:28 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 778 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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