Skip to main content
Edit entry 

42-3413

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Dallas 10/6/43; Dow Fd 18/8/43; Assigned 350BS/100BG [LN-V] Thorpe Abbotts 20/8/43; on mission to Berlin 7/5/44 with Loren Van Steenis, Navigator: Harry Becker (Killed in Action), Bombardier: Lester Torbett Wounded in Action, (8 Returned to Duty); Missing in Action SW Germany oil plants 14/8/44 with Don Cielewich, Co-pilot: Lenard Moen, Navigator: Clifford Brown, Bombardier: John Cochran, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Cyrenne Ropson, Radio Operator: Ben Baldasano, Ball turret gunner: John Funkhouser, Waist gunner: Herb Klepp, Tail gunner: Henry Sytnik (9 Prisoner of War); flak KO’d engine and fire spread and crew all bailed OK, aircraft skidded into farm and killed 10 civilians after crashed at Falken-Gesass, near Beerfeld, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 7899. HARD LUCK !

Service

Units

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 350th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Benjamin Baldasano

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Don Cielewich crew. Failed to Return (FTR) Mannheim/Ludwigshaven in B-17 42-3413 'Hard Luck!' 14-Aug-44; Shot down by flak. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 7899 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Harold Becker

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew. 23 x combat missions. Killed instantaneously by flak on Berlin mission in B-17 42-38053 'Hard Luck II' Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM (3OLC), PH.

  • Earl Benham

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew. Flew on B-17 "Hard Luck" and 'Hard Luck II', 28 x combat missions. Earl later wrote up his wartime experience in the book 'With Crew 13' Awards: AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Clifford Brown

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Don Cielewich crew. 3 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mannheim/Ludwigshaven in B-17 42-3413 'Hard Luck!' 14-Aug-44; Shot down by flak*. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 7899 ...

  • Edward Butchino

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew. 28 x combat missions. ETD Awards: AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Donald Cielewich

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    First mission returned with 197 holes in aircraft from bullets/shrapnel. Shot down over Germany on 14 August 1944 in B-17 #42-3413 'Hard Luck' on third mission. Captured by a German farmer who turned him over to the SS. The farmer gave him a raw egg...

  • Joseph Clouthier

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew, replaced S/Sgt Yarnall (WIA) after Posen mission. ETD Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • John Cochran

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 100th Bomb Group
    Crashed at Falkengesass on 8/14/44 in B-17 'Hard Luck' #42-3413, Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • John Funkhouser

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Crashed at Falkengesass on 14-Aug-44 in B-17 'Hard Luck' 42-3413, Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 7899 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Goodman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew. 28 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME..

Show more

Places

  • Thorpe Abbotts

    Military site : airfield
    Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Germany 14 August 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 June 2021 21:04:27 Al_Skiff Changes to nicknames, markings and person associations
Sources

https://b17flyingfortress.de/en/b17/42-3413-hard-luck/

Date Contributor Update
02 June 2021 01:03:02 acbernstein1 Changes to description and person associations
Sources

https://web.archive.org/web/20080208073233/http://www.web-birds.com/8th/...

Date Contributor Update
30 April 2021 19:51:58 jmoore43 Changes to description
Sources

Corrected a typo in the A/C "Description" - "Baldasano" was misspelled.

Date Contributor Update
30 April 2021 19:32:25 jmoore43 Changes to unit associations
Sources

Added an association to the 8th AF per MACR 7899.

Date Contributor Update
30 April 2021 18:59:38 jmoore43 Changes to nicknames and description
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:43 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 7899 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Share