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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 21/6/43; Dow 28/7/43; Assigned 546BS/384BG [BK-M] Grafton Underwood 11/8/43; Missing in Action Stuttgart 6/9/43 with Russ Faulkner, Bombardier: Harry Hawes, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Oscar Hamblin (3 evaded capture), Co-pilot: Warren Holland, Navigator: Dick Peirce, Radio Operator: Chas Kirby, Ball turret gunner: Harry Saperstein, Waist gunner: Ed Ruch, Waist gunner: Jim Morley,Tail gunner: Bill Ross (7 Prisoner of War); no gas, crashed Bois des Moines, near Airion, 14 miles E of Beauvais, Fr. Missing Air Crew Report 775. LUCKY THIRTEEN.
The aircraft is currently being rebuilt with original and other salvaged parts in Fletcher NC by the Hangar Thirteen organisation. in 2020 the organisation were offered some parts for sale by a man called Robert Bodart whose father had taken them from 44-3619. after it had crashed in France
In the end amongst the pieces Hangar Thirteen purchased from the Bodart family are a near-mint autopilot gyroscope, a Type G-1 oxygen tank, an AN-M2 .50 caliber gun barrel, rudder pedals, a ball turret fuse box, a chin turret fuse box, and a top turret base assembly. This last piece is particularly important for them, as it is the round base usually found on older B-17s.
These parts will be incorporated into the rebuild of 42-3455



  • 44-6139

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 12/5/44; Hunter 21/5/44; Dow Fd 29/5/44; Assigned 509BS/351BG [DS-K] Polebrook 8/6/44; 31 missions. ...


  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 546th Bomb Squadron


  • Philip Algar

    Military | Major | Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    Flew 25 combat missions with the 384th bombardment Group from 22-Jun-43 to 4-Mar-44. Detached service (DS) with 1st Scouting Force. Transferred to 857BS, 492BG, 8AF USAAF flying Elint Droopsnoot P-38 lightning [gathering Electronic Intelligence].

  • Frank Celentano

    Military | Captain | 384th Bomb Group

  • Russell Faulkiner

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 6 September 1943 in B-17 #42-3455 'Lucky Thirteen', Evaded (EVD).

  • Francis Gerow

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 384th Bomb Group

  • Oscar Hamblin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 6 September 1943 in B-17 #423455 'Lucky Thirteen. ' Evaded (EVD).

  • Harry Hawes

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 6 September 1943 in B-17 #42-3455 'Lucky Thirteen', Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Warren Holland

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 6 September 1943 in B-17 #423455 'Lucky Thirteen. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Charles Kirby

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 6 September 1943 in B-17 #42-3455 'Lucky Thirteen', Prisoner of War (POW). POW; 2 Purple Hearts, EAME ribbon w 1 star/ Air Medal w 2/Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Roland Laviolette

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 384th Bomb Group

  • Casmer Majewski

    Military | Staff Sergeant | 384th Bomb Group

Show more


  • VIII Bomber Command 84

    17 August 1943
    The mission flown on 17-Aug-43, the 1st anniversary of the 1st mission flown by the 8th Air Force, is probably the most written about mission of the war. This is the famous Schweinfurt/Regensburg mission on which 60 B-17s are lost. It has been dubbed ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 91

    6 September 1943
    This mission was planned as massive attack of 338 B-17s on the industrial areas of Stuttgart, Germany and would be supported by a formation of 69 B-24s flying a diversion. This would be the first action from the UK for the B-24 Groups that had recently...


  • Grafton Underwood

    Military site : airfield
    Grafton Underwood was built in 1941 by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd. It was the first airfield in England to receive an Eighth Air Force flying unit, when in May 1942 personnel of the 15th Bomb Squadron took up residence. As a satellite airfield for...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Germany 6 September 1943


Date Contributor Update
26 March 2021 23:21:35 RayWells Changes to aircraft associations

Updated Bio with info from

Date Contributor Update
26 March 2021 23:20:56 RayWells Changes to description

Updated Bio with info from

Date Contributor Update
05 February 2019 15:08:03 ED-BB Changes to nicknames, markings, person associations and mission associations

Freeman's B-17 Fortress Story (42-3455)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:44 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 775 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database