A B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-37843) nicknamed "Dry Run" returns to base. Handwritten caption on reverse: '237843.'
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 3, 5 Dec 1943, Paris, France.
Aircraft 42-39825 crashed on take-off into the village of Deenethorpe. It was believed a combination of prop wash and icing resulted in loss of power and caused the port wing to sink until it touched the runway, turning the aircraft to port and down the hill into the village.
Eight of the crew managed to scramble clear and dashed around the village to warn the inhabitants to run for their lives before the burning plane exploded. The navigator and bombardier were in the nose of the aircraft and were badly injured. They were bravely rescued by ground personnel and recovered eventually from their injuries. Twenty minutes after the crash, the aircraft, load with 6000 pounds of bombs and over 2000 gallons of aviation fuel, exploded with a tremendous roar, taking the 401st fire tender up with it.
The ground crew who braved the burning aircraft to rescue the injured men were M/Sgt Earl K. Williams and M/Sgt Francis F. Snider, who dragged clear Lt Carl T. Floto (the navigator), and Capt Ralph J. White and Cpl William N. Luna who rescued Lt John J. King (the bombardier).
The loss of the fire tender should have meant that the Group be diverted to other bases upon returning from the mission, but this also had its problems. The aircraft were still loaded with bombs and the crews on their first or second missions in most cases. After much heartsearching permission was finally given for them to land back at the base without a fire truck standing by. The touch downs were without incident and everyone breathed again.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 4, 11 Dec 1943, Emden, Germany.
1521 hours - All aircraft down except 42-31098 (IW-B - "Penny's Thunderhead") which landed at Lindholme RAF base, Yorkshire, after sustaining heavy battle damage (eight crew members having bailed out).
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions sent up 523 four-engine bombers on this mission with 17 aircraft lost and 138 aircraft damaged. The claims for the bombers were 86-22-23 and the fighters 21-0-7.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 7, 22 Dec 1943, Osnabruck, Germany.
The Group flew the lead box position in the Wing formation. After starting the bomb run, the formation found itself on a collision course with a group that had bombed nearby Munster as a diversion, and were forced to turn short and were unable to drop their bombs. In the confusion, aircraft 42-37835 was struck by a bomb from a B-17 in a higher element, but was able to return to England where the crew bailed out over the base.
Aircraft 42-37835 (SC-J "Channel Express") was unable to land due to loss of controls and the crew bailed out over the base. The plane crashed near the town of Washingley, Huntingtonshire.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 9, 30 Dec 1943, Ludwigshaven, Germany.
This was the longest mission yet flown by the Group with ten hours engine time recorded. The target was attacked by PFF method in Wing formation. No results were observed.
The 401st suffered its first combat-related aircraft loss on this mission, when ship 42-39826, piloted by Lt. Trian Neag, was shot down by flak near Saarbruken, Germany.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 11, 4 Jan 1944, Kiel, Germany.
The lead aircraft, piloted by Capt. Garland with Major Martin as Group Air Commander, developed engine trouble and was forced to ditch in the North Sea. Two crewmen were lost in the icy seas, but miraculously the other eight survived. The Group lead was taken over by Lt. James Goodman, who led the 401st over the target on a highly successful mission.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 12, 5 Jan 1944, Tours, France.
All aircraft returned from mission by 1452 hours. Colonel Rogner expressed his pleasure with the way the crews kept close formation to and from the target.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 14, 11 Jan 1944, Oschersleben, Germany.
This was one of the greatest air battles of World War II. The Group put up the most aircraft to date as part of a maximum effort. German resistance was fierce, involving heavy flak, dozens of fighters and balloon mines. The Group shot down a number of Luftwaffe fighters. It was on this mission that Major James Howard, a P-51 pilot, remained after all other U.S. fighters had left and engaged a swarm of Luftwaffe fighters attacking the 401st, for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Aircraft piloted by Lt. S.G. Nason ("Pee-Tey-Kuh" #42-31033), Lt. H. J. Chapman ("Carolina Queen #42-37809), Capt. J. H. Foster (#42-39969) and Lt. D.C. Sprecher (#42-39893)were shot down by either fighters or flak. Due to bad weather on return, all aircraft were diverted to a number of other bases
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 18, 30 Jan 1944, Brunswick, Germany.
All aircraft returned by 1547 except # 856, shot down over the target. Lt. Col. Rogner and the 401st led the Combat Wing on this mission, which culminated 72 hours of the greatest bombing assault ever staged over Europe. Over 800 U. S. heavy bombers were engaged the operation, and 1,800 tons of bombs were dropped. Aircraft "Fancy Nancy III" (42-37856)piloted by Lt. R. R. Rohner,was shot down over the target by an FW-190.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 20, 4 Feb 1944, Frankfurt, Germany.
31 aircraft off on operations by 0901 hours. All but one of the operational aircraft had landed by 1614 hours.
In spite of intense flak, the Group ploughed through a heavy overcast in 45 degree below zero weather to successfully bomb the target. Lt. Frank J. Zitkovic's crew, flying "Nobody's Baby" (#42-31036), was hit by flak and went down. None of the crew survived.
Delivered Long Beach 19/9/43; Gt Falls 25/9/43; Assigned 615BS/401BG [IY-H] Deenethorpe 2/11/43; Missing in Action French A/flds 14/6/44 with Russell Schroeder (Killed in Action); Co-pilot: Bill Mountain, Navigator: Erroll Rice, Bombardier: Gene Crawley, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bill Bryant, Radio Operator: Chas Davis, Ball turret gunner: Joe Owens, Waist gunner: Don Grimble, Waist gunner: Dick Nyberg,Tail gunner: Chas Avery (9 evaded capture); heavy enemy aircraft attack KOd right horiz. stab., crashed Germigny-sous-Coulombs, 11 miles W of Chateau-Thierry, Fr; Missing Air Crew Report 5801. DRY RUN.
The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...
Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
Assigned to 615BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. On 27-Jan-44, while taxiing after landing from a training flight, the landing gear switch of B-17 42-31414 was placed in the up position instead of the flap switch. RTD.
Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 401st Bomb Group
Assigned to 615BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 31 x missions. Ended Tour Duty (ETD).
Awards: AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.
Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
Crashed at Charly 6/14/44 in B-17 #42-37843, Evaded (EVD).
Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
Crashed At Charly in B-17 'Dry Run' #4237843 on 14Jun 44 Evader
Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier, Bombardier; Togglier | 401st Bomb Group
Crashed At Charly 6/14/44 in B-17 'Dry Run' - Evader
Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 401st Bomb Group
Crashed at Charly in B-17 #42-37843 on 6/14/44, Evaded.
Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
Crashed at Charly on 6/14/44 in B-17 #42-37843 Evader
Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
Shot down Crashed at Charly14 June 1944 in B-17, #4237843. 'DryRun' Evader.
Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
Crashed at Charly 6/14/44 in B-17 #42-37843.
Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
Crashed At Charly on 6/14/44 in B-17 #42-37843 Evader
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)...
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...
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...
4 January 1944
The port area of Kiel, Germany and the railroad marshalling yards at Munster, Germany are the Primary targets of this Mission which is organised as two elements: one going to Kiel and the other to Munster. Roger A. Freeman begins to designate aircraft...
5 January 1944
This mission consists of five elements: The first element is a combined force of 131 B-17s are despatched by 1st Bomb Division: 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 379BG; 384BG; and 482BG to bomb the shipyards and industrial areas of Kiel, Germany. 119 are...
11 January 1944
Three aviation industry targets in Germany are bombed. The bomber force consists of 291 B-17s despatched from 1st Bomb Division in two elements, one element of 177 B-17s is despatched to Oschersleben, Germany as the primary target, the other 1BD...
30 January 1944
This mission has the aviation industry at Brunswick, Germany as the primary target. The mission is composed of a combined force pf 777 heavy bomber aircraft despatched in three elements: 1st Bomb Division; 2nd Bomb Division and 3rd Bomb Division. The...
4 February 1944
The railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany were focus of this mission, but other railroad marshalling yards in the area were attacked as well. Weather and navigational errors frustrate target acquisition.748 heavy bombers were despatched in a...
11 February 1944
This mission is composed of two separate elements. 3rd Bomb Division stands down having sustained massive losses of 29 aircraft on the previous day.
21 February 1944
Day 2 of BIG WEEK is another maximum effort by 8th Air Force to bomb 6 airfields in Germany as primary targets: Diepholz, Gütersloh, Lippstadt, Werl, Achmer and Handorf. In addition the industrial areas of Brunswick city are included as a primary...
Military site : airfield
Deenethorpe was a base purpose-built for American heavy bombers, with the Class A regulation 2,000 and 1,400-yard runways. All the buildings on site,such as the accommodation and administrative blocks, were temporary. In December 1943, several local...
|Failed to Return (FTR)
||14 June 1944