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42-31193

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 29/9/43; Gt Falls 14/10/43; Scott 21/10/43; Assigned 615BS/401BG [IY-B] Deenethorpe 4/11/43; Missing in Action Frankfurt 29/1/44 with Capt. Robert Beers, Co-pilot: Howard Byrne, Navigator: Harry Gershon, Bombardier: Bill Ritch, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Clarry Young (5 Prisoner of War); Radio Operator: Nunzio Paola, Ball turret gunner: Allen Craft, Waist gunner: Franklin Grigg, Waist gunner: Ken Lynn, Tail gunner: John Turvey (5 Killed in Action); enemy aircraft KO’d #3, wing on fire, crashed Worms, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 2274. LITTLE BOOTS.

Service

Units

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...

  • 615th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Joseph Acker

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 615BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x combat missions. Bill Trimble crew. Failed to Return (FTR) Bordeaux-Mérignac airfield in B-17 42-40002 19-Jun-44; force landed Le Pouyau. Evaded capture (EVD). See the page with details about his evasion at...

  • Robert Beers

    Military | Captain | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Frankfurt on 29 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-31193 'Little Boots. ' Prisoner of War (POW).

  • William Beers

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Frankfurt on 29 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-31193 'Little Boots. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Fred Brown

    Military | Captain | Co-Pilot / Fighter pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x missions on B-17's as co-pilot to 1st Lt Fred D Grinham. ...

  • Howard Byrne

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Howard Elliot Byrne served as a Second Lieutenant in the 401st Bombardment Group (Heavy), 615th Squadron, during World War II. He was co-pilot of the B-17G Flying Fortress "Little Boots" 42-31193 when it was struck by enemy fire on 29 January 1944 on a...

  • Allen Craft

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Frankfurt on 29 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-31193 'Little Boots. ' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Harold Gershon

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 401st Bomb Group

  • Franklin Grigg

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Frankfurt on 29 Jan 1944 in B-17G 42-31193 'Little Boots. ' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Kenneth Lynn

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Frankfurt on 29 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-31193 'Little Boots. ' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Nunzio Paola

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator, Radio Operator Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    On 27 Jan 1944, while taxiing after landing from a training flight, the landing gear switch of B-17G #42-31414 was placed in the up position instead of the flap switch. RTD. ...

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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 138

    26 November 1943
    The industrial areas of Bremen, Germany are the target for this massive mission (largest to date) of 505 B-17s which included 14 B-17 Pathfinders from 482BG spread among the B-17 formations - 13 of these completed the mission and 7 were damaged. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 145

    1 December 1943
    This mission was directed at the industrial areas of Leverkusen and Solingen, Germany. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 221 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (27); 92BG (18); 303BG (17);...

  • VIII Bomber Command 149

    5 December 1943
    This mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined force of 216 B-17 from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (10); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (21); 351BG (35); 379BG (21); 381BG (30); 384BG (20); and 301BG (20)...

  • VIII Bomber Command 169

    30 December 1943
    The port area and oil refineries at Ludwigshaven, Germany are the target for this massive attack of 710 heavy bombers. The despatch includes 12 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG, 11 of these are effective on the mission, 3 are damaged, and the bomber...

  • VIII Bomber Command 171

    31 December 1943
    This mission is the last heavy bomber operation of 1943. 1943 had been a very "tough" year for the 8th Air Force in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). 23365 B-17s had been despatched on missions and 881 had Failed to Return (FTR) for a loss...

  • 8th Air Force 182

    11 January 1944
    Three aviation industry targets in Germany are bombed. The bomber force consists of 291 B-17s despatched from 1st Bomb Division in two elements, one element of 177 B-17s is despatched to Oschersleben, Germany as the primary target, the other 1BD...

  • 8th Air Force 187

    21 January 1944
    This mission is directed at 36 V-Weapon sites (34 in the Pas-de-Calaise area and 2 in the Chrebourg area of France) 24 of these are bombed successfully. All three Bomb Divisions participate in the attacks and the bomber gunners claimed 5-1-2 of...

  • 8th Air Force 198

    29 January 1944
    The primary target for this mission was the railroad marshalling yards and industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. A combined force of 863 heavy bombers were despatched in three elements to make the attack. The combined bomber gunner claims on enemy...

Places

  • Deenethorpe

    Military site : airfield
    Deenethorpe was a base purpose-built for American heavy bombers, with the Class A regulation 2,000 and 1,400-yard runways. All the buildings on site,such as the accommodation and administrative blocks, were temporary. In December 1943, several local...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) France 29 January 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 September 2021 14:40:51 acbernstein1 Changes to markings and mission associations
Sources

http://401bg.org/Main/History/Aircraft/Details.aspx?ID=31193

Date Contributor Update
01 October 2014 20:49:17 Byrnie Changes to nicknames and description
Sources

I have updated the names of the crewmen. The nicknames I was unaware of (like Clarry for Clarence, I have left alone).

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:37 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 2274 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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