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B-17 Flying Fortress

Assigned to the 359BS/303BG [BN-R] Bangor 22-Sep-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42; First 8th Air Force aircraft to complete 50, then 75 missions- 27-Mar-44; with M/Sgt Buford Pafford as crew chief; 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 5-Jun-44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Searcy Field 19-Jul-45.

The aircraft was sold, in Stillwater, to an oil company and put up on pylons in downtown Oklahoma City and used as part of a gas station. Once the novelty wore off and the downtown development started, the aircraft was bulldozed and buried. The remains of the aircraft are now under a large building constructed in the late 1940s, early 50s in Oklahoma City.



  • 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...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron


  • Ralph Adams

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Orginally assigned with the 92BG at Bovingdon, UK as an Aerial Gunner with the rank of Sergeant. He flew his first mission (and the only one with the 92BG) on 21-Oct-42. ...

  • Jack Antman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group

  • John Beringer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group

  • Ray Brewer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. Fackler crew. 20 missions completed by 5-Jul-44. ETD Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Richard Browning

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    28-Feb-42 Assigned as Navigator of B-17F #41-24565 [BN-P] "Idaho Potato Peeler Kids", 303BG/359BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 25-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Idaho Potato Peeler Kids" ...

  • Arthur Burnham

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group

  • Claude Campbell

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat missions. ETD. Awards: DSC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME, UN and Korean medals. Post war: Remained in USAF, serving in Korean conflict.

  • William Cargill

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    15-Sep-42 assigned to B-17F #41-24609 [BN-Q] "Holy Mackerel", 303BG/359BS at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas and arrived aboard that aircraft at Molesworth, UK on 22-Oct-42. Mission participation (See Biography events - UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

  • Adam Champagne

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. Medical discharge. Awards: AM (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • William Cline

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot, Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group

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  • VIII Bomber Command 21

    18 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient and La Pallice, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission. However, those at St. Nazaire, France are attacked by 21 B-17s of 303BG when they are mistaken for those of Lorient. The force attacking Lorient is composed...

  • VIII Bomber Command 22

    22 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the Primary (P) target of this mission. A combined force of 68 B-17s despatched from 91BG (18), 303BG (18) 305BG (23) and 306BG (9) against the target but a 10/10 could cover prevents all but 11 from 303BG from...

  • VIII Bomber Command 24

    6 December 1942
    The German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France is the primary target for 19 B-24s despatched from 44th Bomb Group but are recalled. One squadron of 6 does not hear the recall and proceeds to the target, 1 B-24 MIA. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 26

    20 December 1942
    The German Air Depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 80 B-17s despatched by 91BG (17), 303BG (21); 305BG (23) and 306BG (19). 60 B-17 are effective on the target, but 7 are MIA and 1 is DBR. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 27

    30 December 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the target for this mission. A combined force of 77 B-17s are despatched by 91BG (19); 303BG (16); 305BG (13) and 306BG (18). Only 40 are effective on the target. All but 1 B-17 from the 18 despatched by 306BG is...

  • VIII Bomber Command 28

    3 January 1943
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are once again the target for this mission. This is proving to be a particularly difficult target to destroy due to its massive, reinforced concrete design. It consists of 14 individual pens connected together in...

  • VIII Bomber Command 29

    13 January 1943
    The primary target for this mission is the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works, associated steel works and the railroad marshalling yards at Lille, France. The attacking force is composed of 72 B-17s from: 91BG (13); 303BG (19); 305BG (23) and 306BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 30

    23 January 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the primary target for this mission. 305th Bombardment Group is selected as the lead group, but condensation on the bombsight of the lead aircraft in the Group prevents the 305BG from bombing Lorient...

  • VIII Bomber Command 31

    27 January 1943
    First successful attack by 8th Air Force into Germany. The 306th Bomb Group gets the distinction of being the first American Bomb Group to drop bombs on Germany. O Original target was Vegesack but clouded over. Col. Frank Armstrong lead the group. Two...

  • VIII Bomber Command 32

    2 February 1943
    All six 8th Air Force Bomb Groups operting from Great Britain are ordered on a mission to bomb the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany. 61 B-17s and 22 B-24s are despatched but the formation runs into severe weather over the North Sea and the mission in...

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  • Burtonwood

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the RAF in 1939-40, the RAF's No. 37 Maintenance Unit used the base from 1940 to 1942, before it became a joint Anglo-American maintenance and servicing airfield - a Base Air Depot. After the war it continued to be used as a maintenance and...

  • 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...


Not yet known


Date Contributor Update
19 May 2022 11:39:20 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

Date Contributor Update
22 April 2020 11:00:46 Emily Changes to description

NB: previous source message should read Dennis Beringer, relative of John Beringer

Date Contributor Update
22 April 2020 10:57:47 Emily Changes to markings, description and person associations

Information provided by Martin Beringer, son of John Beringer

Date Contributor Update
06 September 2019 15:01:19 Dr Daniel Changes to person associations

Additional crew members associated with this plane added-

Date Contributor Update
06 September 2019 14:50:15 Dr Daniel Changes to mission associations

Missions added, please see both-

Date Contributor Update
14 September 2017 19:24:20 Al_Skiff Changes to media associations

Roger Freeman Photo.

Date Contributor Update
19 December 2015 23:50:59 Lee8thbuff Changes to production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, markings, description, unit associations and place associations

Lee Cunningham 19-Dec-2015. Added nickname, converted dates to military-style signification; made connection to Unit and Place per 303BG records, Gary Moncur, Historian

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:03 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log