Skip to main content
Edit entry 

42-3448

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 13/6/43; Scott Fd 9/8/43; force landed base with Ray Irby 11/8/43; Assigned 359BS/303BG Molesworth 18/10/43; 13m Missing in Action Oschersleben 11/1/44 with Henry Eich, Co-pilot: Bill Woodside, Navigator: Jim Carroll, Bombardier: Bill Stein, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Harry Lenson - later repatriated, Ball turret gunner: John Celoni, Waist gunner: Edmond Maggia, Waist gunner: Delton Erdmann, Tail gunner: Ray Gilstrap - arm shot off (9 Prisoner of War), Radio Operator: Dan Harvey (KIA, body washed up Neinburg, Ger. 5/3/44); ship hit by enemy aircraft and lagged behind, crashed northern edge of Steinhuder Lake, two miles NE of Rehburg, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 1924.

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    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

People

  • James Carroll

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Oschersleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17 #42-3448. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • John Celoni

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Oschersleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17 #42-3448. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Henry Eich

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Oschersleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17 #42-3448. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Delton Erdmann

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Oschersleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17 42-3448. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Raymond Gilstrap

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Oschersleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17 #42-3448. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Daniel Harvey

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator / Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    The plane was damaged by flak and fighters on mission to Oschersleben on 11 Jan 1944 and the crew bailed out of B-17 #42-3448. Sergeant Harvey's body was found ashore the Weser in March 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Wesley Hasty

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down by fighters on mission to Oschersleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17F #41-24619 'S For Sugar', Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Harry Lenson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and fighters on mission to Oschersleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17 #42-3448. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Edmond Maggia

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Was on my 11th mission, 11 January 1944, when we were shot down in B-17 #42-3448. Was Prisoner of War (POW) to April 1945. Liberated and sent to Camp Lucky Strike for repatriation. Honorably discharged October 1945. Awards: AM/ PH/ DUC/ POW

  • Harry Rothrock

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator/ Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Harry Rothrock was from New Albany, Indiana. He flew 33 missions with the 303rd Bomb Group; 359th Squadron. He flew every mission except 1 with 1st Lt. Billy M. Goolsby. After the war he returned home and opened an auto garage, he never married. He...

Show more

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 140

    29 November 1943
    This is another massive raid on Bremen, Germany by a force of 360 B-17s. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 182 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 94BG (40); 95BG (20); 96BG (41); 100BG (20);...

  • 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 151

    11 December 1943
    This mission is a massive raid of 583 heavy bombers on the industrial areas of Emden, Germany. The first element is a combined force of 242 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (24); 92BG (18); 303BG (20); 305BG (21); 306BG (20); 351BG (40)...

  • VIII Bomber Command 154

    13 December 1943
    The port areas at Bremen and Kiel, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. This is the first mission where more than 600 aircraft are despatched. This mission is comprised of 8 elements. The first element consists 182 B-17s from: 91BG (31);...

  • VIII Bomber Command 159

    20 December 1943
    The port area of Bremen is the target for 546 heavy bombers. The total includes 12 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG. All 12 of these are effective on the target and 11 are damaged. The bomber gunners of this element claim 1-1-0 (this total included with...

  • VIII Bomber Command 161

    22 December 1943
    This mission is composed of two forces directed at two separate targets, the communication centers at Osnabruck and Munster, Germany. The force attacking at Osnabruck is composed of two elements. The first element is composed of 227 B-17s (2 are PFF...

  • VIII Bomber Command 164

    24 December 1943
    This mission is directed at V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France. The attacks are made between 1330-1510hrs. The mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a force of 277 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG ...

  • 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...

Show more

Places

  • 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...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Germany 11 January 1944
Crashed Steinhuder Lake. Lower Saxony, Germany 11 January 1944

The ship was damaged by anti aircraft fire and repeated fighter attacks to and from the target, necessitating the crew bail out on the return portion in the vicinity of Nienberg, Germany. Many of the crew were wounded, with nine being taken prisoner, with one drowning in a lake.

Note: SSgt. Gilstrap would lose his left arm abocw the elbow during an attack and continue firing his gun, being cited for bravery by the Co-Pilot.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
24 October 2020 18:51:41 jmoore43 Changes to description
Sources

Added punctuation to the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
20 May 2020 20:04:48 CastleBren Changes to markings, events, unit associations and mission associations
Sources

303rd Bomb Group records

Date Contributor Update
24 January 2020 03:57:27 jmoore43 Changes to description
Sources

Added a space in front of the words "Tail gunner" in the A/C “Description” for clarity.

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 1924 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Share