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42-38053

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 26/11/43; Wendover 20/12/43; Assigned 457BG Glatton 10/2/44; transferred 349BS/100BG [XR-G] Thorpe Abbotts 21/1/44; soon after t/off to Berlin 7/5/44 with Ralph Wright, Co-pilot: Jack Raper, Navigator: Rich Curran, Bombardier: Carl Herman, Waist gunner: Randy Moore (5 Killed in Action); Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Alden Madsen, Radio Operator: Bob Montonado, Ball turret gunner: John Pontzious, Waist gunner: Jack Willburn,Tail gunner: Alf Bridges (5RTD all inj); flares began to explode en route, fire broke out and ship crashed Herringfleet Hall, Lowestoft, Sfk. UK; sal 8/5/44. JENNY LEE aka CAP’N CROW.

(Note) - Given the position of the cheek guns in the two photos (Cap'n Crow and Jenny Lee), I don't believe that they are of the same aircraft. "Jenny Lee" appears in at least one 398th BG crew photo taken stateside, probably at Rapid City.

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...

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

  • 349th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Alfred Bridges

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner
    Lightly wounded in AC#42-38053 'Cap'n Crow' in a form up accident over the base. on 7 May 1944. Target was Berlin. The plane had flares stored in the top turret and for some reason they exploded and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out The pilot...

  • Richard Curran

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
    Killed in AC#42-38053 in a form up accident over the base. on 7 May 1944. Target was Berlin. The plane had flares stored in the top turret and for some reason they exploded and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out The pilot Wright and Raper were...

  • Carl Herrmann

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier
    Killed in AC#42-38053 in a form up accident over the base. on 7 May 1944. Target was Berlin. The plane had flares stored in the top turret and for some reason they exploded and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out The pilot Wright and Raper were...

  • Alden Madsen

    Military | Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner
    Badly wounded by fire in AC#42-38053 'Cap'n Crow' in a form up accident over the base. on 7 May 1944. Target was Berlin. The plane had flares stored in the top turret and for some reason they exploded and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out The...

  • George McCleary

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner
    LANCASTER, PA. NOC

  • Robert Montondo

    Military | Private | Radio Operator
    Lightly wounded in AC#42-38053 'Cap'n Crow' in a form up accident over the base on 7 May 1944. Target was Berlin. The plane had flares stored in the top turret and for some reason they exploded and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out The pilot...

  • Randolph Moore

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner
    Killed in AC#42-38053 'Cap'n Crow' in a form up accident over the base. on 7 May 1944. Target was Berlin. The plane had flares stored in the top turret and for some reason they exploded and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out The pilot Wright and...

  • John Palmquist

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner
    28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL). LWA

  • John Pontzious

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner
    Lightly wounded in AC#42-38053 'Cap'n Crow' in a form up accident over the base. on 7 May 1944. Target was Berlin. The plane had flares stored in the top turret and for some reason they exploded and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out The pilot...

  • Jack Raper

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    Killed in AC#42-38053 in a form up accident over the base. on 7 May 1944. Target was Berlin. The plane had flares stored in the top turret and for some reason they exploded and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out The pilot Wright and Raper were...

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Places

  • Glatton

    Military site : airfield
    Glatton, which lay mostly in the parish of Conington, was built by the 809th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) of the U.S. Army in the last months of 1942. Unusually, the base's three runways surrounded Rose Court Farm, which remained a working farm...

  • 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
Delivered Cheyenne, WY, USA 26 November 1943
Crashed Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK 7 May 1944

Several dozen flares stored in the top turret suddenly began to explode and set fire to the entire front of the plane.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2020 19:07:33 Scallywag Changes to person associations
Sources

Harold Becker was not "Killed in B-17G #42-38053 'Hard Luck' in take-off or assembly accident" as stated
B17 #42-38053 was "Cap'n Crow" not 'Hard Luck'
The five men killed in B17, 42-38053 are clearly named on the memorial and Harold Becker is not among them.

Date Contributor Update
21 August 2016 23:42:15 466thHistorian Changes to production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

B-17 Flying Fortress Story - Roger Freeman

Date Contributor Update
12 July 2015 22:11:42 Tom Changes to nicknames, events and place associations
Sources

Added crash site and crash event from caption information and https://100thbg.com/index.php?option=com_bombgrp&view=aircraft&id=10133&...

Date Contributor Update
12 July 2015 21:59:13 Tom Changes to person associations
Sources

Associated crew members from https://100thbg.com/index.php?option=com_bombgrp&view=personnel&Itemid=3...

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 16:15:43 usxpat Changes to person associations and place associations
Sources

https://100thbg.com
Final Flights, Ian McLaghlan, ©1989, p 112

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:48 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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