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42-31762

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Denver 12/12/43; Gt Falls 16/12/43; Denver 20/12/43; Kearney 31/12/43; RAF Nutts Corner 15/1/44; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-M] Gt Ashfield 17/1/44; Missing in Action French A/fds 12/6/44 with Loren Jackson, Co-pilot: Ross Blake, Bombardier: Joe Haught, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Armando Marsili, Radio Operator: Ervin Pickrel, Ball turret gunner: Felipe Muquiz, Waist gunner: Fred Martini, Waist gunner: Sam Pennell, Tail gunner: Theo Dubenic (9 Prisoner of War); Navigator: Gerald Shaffer (Killed in Action); flak, crashed Farceaux, 20 miles SE of Rouen, Fr. Missing Air Crew Report 5628. JUNIOR aka CRASH WAGON III.

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

  • Ross Blake

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    B-17 Crash Wagon III (#42-31762) hit by flak, crashed at Boisemont 12 Jun 1944. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • 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.

  • Theodore Dubenic

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    B-17 Crash Wagon III (#42-31762) hit by flak, crashed at Boisemont 12 Jun 1944. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Victor Grzymkowski

    Military | Major | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to ETO UK, STA 155, Great Ashfield, 385th Bomb Group in April 1944; flew missions through June 1945. Was assigned temporary duty to 388th Bomb Group, Knettishall. Was sent to RAF STA 136 Winsfarthing, Fersfield for missions with Project...

  • Joseph Haught

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group

  • Loren Jackson

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    B-17 Crash Wagon III (#42-31762) hit by flak, crashed at Boisemont 12 Jun 1944. Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • Armando Marsilii

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    B-17 Crash Wagon III (#42-31762) hit by flak, crashed at Boisemont 12 Jun 1944. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Frederic Martini

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Joined in August 1941, trained as a quartermaster. Volunteered for air service after the war started. Went to gunnery school and mechanics school. Joined Lt Loren Jackson crew when it formed at Drew Field, FL. Flew to ETO in April 1944, plane...

  • Ned Mertz

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) B-17G 43-37548 took off from Station 155, England on a bombing mission over Berlin, Germany. They were attacked and shot down by German Aircraft and crashed near Liepe, Germany. The group had it worst day of the war, they lost a...

  • Felipe Muquiz

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    B-17 Crash Wagon III (#42-31762) hit by flak, crashed at Boisemont 12 Jun 1944. Prisoner of War (POW).

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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) France 12 June 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 June 2020 02:16:27 jmoore43 Changes to description
Sources

Added a space before the words "Tail gunner" in the A/C “Description” to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2016 23:20:12 hermanns Changes to nicknames
Sources

385th BG website

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 5628 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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