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42-30836

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 5/8/43; Geiger 13/8/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-V] Gt Ashfield 12/9/43; Missing in Action Pas de Calais 13/2/44 with Edwin Herron, Radio Operator: John Cortez, Ball turret gunner: Alf Seagrave, Waist gunner: Leon Wasilewski (4 Killed in Action); Co-pilot: Walter Camp, Navigator: Stan Stodola, Bombardier: Bill Melillo, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bob Savage, Waist gunner: Francis Temple,Tail gunner: Juan Almanza (6 Returned to Duty); flak KO’d #1 & #4, ditched Channel, 18 miles W of Dungeness, Kent.. Missing Air Crew Report 2345. DRAGON LADY.

Service

Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    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

People

  • Juan Almanza

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 Feb 1944 in B-17 #42-30836 'Dragon Lady. ' Plane ditched in Channel. RTD.

  • Walter Camp

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 Feb 1944 in B-17 #42-30836 'Dragon Lady. ' Plane ditched in Channel. RTD.

  • Rex Cantrell

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    Damaged by flak before reaching the V-site target in the Pas-de-Calais, FR area on 13 Feb 1944, B-17G #42-39901 'Star Dust' returned to England and made an emergency landing at RAF Detling, Kent. RTD.

  • John Cortez

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator, Radio Operator Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 Feb 1944 in B-17 #42-30836 'Dragon Lady. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Edwin Herron

    Military | Captain | Co-pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 Feb 1944 in B-17F #42-30836 'Dragon Lady. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Was reported ' Killed in Action (KIA)' But picked up in time by Air Sea Rescue. Received DFC for helping to save 6 crewmen by pulling them into dinghy, although hands...

  • William Melillo

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 Feb 1944 in B-17 #42-30836 'Dragon Lady. ' Plane ditched in Channel. RTD.

  • Robert Savage

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 February 1944 in B-17 #42-30836 'Dragon Lady. ' Plane ditched in Channel. RTD.

  • Alfred Seagrave

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 Feb 1944 in B-17 #42-30836 'Dragon Lady. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). Seagrave's name is commemorated on the Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery.

  • Stanley Stodola

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 Feb 1944 in B-17 #42-30836 'Dragon Lady. ' Plane ditched in Channel. RTD.

  • Francis Temple

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 Feb 1944 in B-17 #42-30836 'Dragon Lady. ' Plane ditched in Channel. RTD.

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Places

  • 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...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Over Water (OW) English Channel 13 February 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2016 23:04:45 hermanns Changes to nicknames
Sources

385th BG website

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:34 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 2345 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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