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42-39840

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Long Beach 17/9/43; Scott 3/10/43; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-A] Deenethoprpe 13/10/43; transferred AFSC 6/6/44 as development and test aircraft and designated XB-17G; Returned to the USA, used by US Navy from 20/11/45; 4148 BU Bedford 30/1/46; 4136 BU Tinker 24/7/46; 4104 BU Rome 30/1/47; re-assigned 31/3/47. THE LOPIN’ LOBO.
This aircraft was flown by Lt Charles F. Hess on the 1 December 1943 mission to Solingen/Leverkusen. Hit by Flak on the return trip, with motor #4 out and # 3 starting to burn, Hess gave the order to bail out. Six crew members in the back of the plane bailed out and all initially managed to evade, only one succeeding in his evasion, the others being later arrested. As Co-Pilot John Mitchell couldn't find his parachute, the three other officers decided to stay as long as possible on board. The plane ultimately made it back to England, making a forced landing at the RAF Manston air base. See website www.evasioncomete.be for the six evaders' pages (search on 42-39840.)

Service

Aircraft

  • 42-39840 The Lopin' Lobo

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 17/9/43; Scott 3/10/43; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-A] Deenethoprpe 13/10/43; transferred AFSC 6/6/44 as development and test aircraft and designated XB-17G; Returned to the USA, used by US Navy from 20/11/45; 4148 BU Bedford 30/1/46;...

Units

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    Group
    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...

  • 613th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Richard Barnett

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 613BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 11 x combat missions. William Protz crew. Shot down 28-May-44 in B-17 42-102580. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 5307. Awards: AM, PH

  • Mark Bauer

    Military | Corporal | Ball Turret gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Mark Bauer was Ball Turret gunner on B-17 Serial 42-39840, hit by Flak on the 1 December 1943 mission to Solingen/Leverkusen, Germany. Evaded capture for 10 days before he was arrested. See the story of his evasion and capture at https://www...

  • Charles Bryant

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 401st Bomb Group
    Charles Bryant was Navigator on B-17 Serial 42-39840, hit by Flak on the 1 December 1943 mission to Solingen/Leverkusen, Germany. Aircraft flown back to base. Returned to Duty (RTD). Six members of the crew baled out over Belgium. See their individual...

  • Joseph Burns

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Joseph Burns was Engineer on board B-17 #42-39840 on the 1 December 1943 mission to Solingen and Leverkusen, Germany. Severely damaged by Flak and thinking the plane was lost, Burns and five other crew members bailed out and landed near Alken, Belgium....

  • William Chapman

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Right Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group

  • James Gibson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    James Gibson was Left Waist Gunner on B-17 Serial 42-39840, hit by Flak on the 1 December 1943 mission to Solingen/Leverkusen, Germany. Baled out; aircraft flown back to base. Evaded capture for 10 days before he was arrested. See the story of his...

  • Charles Hess

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Completed 25 bombing mission as a Pilot with the 401st Bomb Group between 26-Nov-43 and 12-Jun-44. He was Pilot of B-17 42-39840, hit by Flak on the 1-Dec-943 mission to Solingen/Leverkusen, Germany. Six crew members baled out (1 of them managed to...

  • Ruben Miller

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Ruben Miller was Right Waist gunner on B-17 Serial 42-39840, hit by Flak on the 1 December 1943 mission to Solingen/Leverkusen, Germany. Baled out; aircraft flown back to base. Evaded capture for 10 days before he was arrested. See the story of his...

  • John Mitchell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    John Mitchell was Co-Pilot of B-17 #42-39840 "The Lopin' Lobo", hit by Flak on the 1 December 1943 mission to Solingen/Leverkusen. The Fortress was flown back to England, but six men had baled out over Belgium (see their pages at www.evasioncomete.be >...

  • Raymond Nield

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Raymond Nield was Right Waist gunner on B-17 Serial 42-39840, hit by Flak on the 1 December 1943 mission to Solingen/Leverkusen, Germany. Aircraft returned to base. Baled out and evaded capture. Was back in the UK on 6 February 1944. See the story of...

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Missions

  • 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);...

  • 8th Air Force 228 BIG WEEK - DAY 2

    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...

  • 319A

    26 April 1944

Places

  • Deenethorpe

    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...

Events

Not yet known

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 September 2021 21:58:33 acbernstein1 Changes to mission associations
Sources

http://401bg.org/Main/History/Aircraft/Details.aspx?ID=39840

Date Contributor Update
05 June 2021 09:22:09 ED-BB Changes to description
Sources

Updated website address in Bio

Date Contributor Update
29 April 2015 15:47:09 ED-BB Changes to nicknames, markings, description, aircraft associations, unit associations, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Research on the crew who participated on the 1 December 1943 mission to Solingen/Leverkusen in this aircraft. Hit by Flak on the return trip, with motor #4 out and # 3 starting to burn the pilot, Lt Charles F. Hess gave the order to bail out. Six crew members in the back of the plane bailed out and all initially managed to evade, only one succeeding in his evasion, the others being later arrested. The plane was ultimately flown back to England. No Missing Air Crew Report.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:50 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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