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42-31917

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 4/1/44; Kearney 13/1/44; Grenier 26/1/44; Assigned 551BS/385BG [SG-S] Gt Ashfield 2/2/44; Missing in Action Munich 12/7/44 with Capt Rich White, Co-pilot: Clarry Gittins, Navigator: Jim Johnston, Bombardier: Pat Flanagan, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Marvin Nieman, Radio Operator: Harry Fitzwater, Ball turret gunner: Homer Comegys, Waist gunner: Sam Canter, Waist gunner: Bill Lord (9 Killed in Action);Tail gunner: Bob McPherson (Prisoner of War); mid air coll with 42-102606 (385BG), both broke up and crashed Perl, Luxemberg. Missing Air Crew Report 7507. OFF SPRING was originally named for the newborn son of one time pilot Duane (Pappy) Pangle.

Service

Aircraft

  • 42-102606 Curley's Kids

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/3/44; Kearney 2/4/44; Dow Fd 14/2/44; Assigned 550BS/385BG [SG-K] Gt Ashfield 20/4/44; Missing in Action Munich 12/7/44 with Bob McDonald, Co-pilot: Steve Ryan, Navigator: Bill Henry, Bombardier: Francis Chrisman, Flight engineer...

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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

  • Samuel Canter

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Mid air collision and crashed at Perl in B-17 'Off Spring' #4231917

  • 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.

  • Homer Comegys

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Had mid air collision and crashed at Perl in B-17 'Off Spring' 42-31917

  • Onner Davis

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 551BS, 549BG, 8AF USAAF. Originally assigned Co-Pilot at Great Ashfield in B-17 42-31917 'Off Spring' with Pilot Duane (Pappy) Pangle. Twenty missions completed in Off Spring before battle damage prevented the aircraft from flying the 21st...

  • William Fife

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Flew 32 missions from March to September 1944. DFC/ AM w/ 5 Oak Leaf Cluster/ ETO w/ battle star

  • Harry Fitzwater

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 385th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Had mid air collision and crashed at Perl in B-17 'Off Spring' #4231917

  • Patrick Flanagan

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Had mid air collision and crashed at Perl in B-17 'Off Spring' #4231917

  • Clarence Gittins

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Had mid air collision and crashed at Perl in B-17 'Off Spring' #4231917

  • 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...

  • James Johnston

    Military | Flight Officer | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Had mid air collision and crashed at Perl in B-17 'Off Spring' #4231917

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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 July 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
04 November 2018 13:07:02 RickDavis Changes to description and person associations
Sources

rdavis.sf@gmail.com

Date Contributor Update
04 November 2018 13:04:36 RickDavis Changes to media associations
Sources

rdavis.sf@gmail.com

Date Contributor Update
04 November 2018 12:59:57 RickDavis Changes to media associations
Sources

rdavis.sf@gmail.com

Date Contributor Update
03 November 2018 21:24:27 RickDavis Changes to media associations
Sources

rdavis.sf@gmail.com

Date Contributor Update
27 December 2015 19:23:40 jmchristel Changes to nicknames
Sources

Added nickname

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:41 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 7507 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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