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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Long Beach 16/11/43; Gr Island 4/12/43; Presque Is 11/12/43; Prestwick, UK 15/12/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-J] Deenethorpe 1/1/44; Missing in Action Bordeaux 19/6/44 with Bill Massey, Bombardier: Lew Stelljes, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Francis Beard (3 evaded capture); Co-pilot: Dominic Ceresa, Radio Operator: Harry Earnes, Ball turret gunner: Bob Mahler, Waist gunner: Alf Wieters, Waist gunner: Jim Faulkner,Tail gunner: Paul White (7 Killed in Action); mech. fault, spun down and exploded, crashed Chez Renard, near Jauldes, ten miles N of Angouleme, Fr ; Missing Air Crew Report 6002. CHANNEL EXPRESS III.



  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb 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...

  • 612th Bomb Squadron


  • Joseph Amber

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Togglier, Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. Don Currie crew. 38 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (1 x Battle Star).

  • Francis Berard

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner / Top Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Crashed at Jouldes on 6/19/44 in B-17 'Channel Express III'. ...

  • Joseph Blaugh

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat missions. Ben Johnson crew. ETD ...

  • Melvin Brandt

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat missions. Ben Johnson crew. ETD ...

  • Dominic Ceresa

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 401st Bomb Group

  • Harold Eames

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Crashed At Jouldes (Mech. fire) in B-17 'Channel Express III' Killed in Action (KIA)

  • James Faulkner

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Crashed at Jouldes in B-17 'Channel Express III' (mech fire) Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Howard Fishbeck

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. Flew 30 missions with the last 9 missions in 'Diana Queen of the Chase' 42-102393. 'Lassie Come Home', 'Channel Express' and 'Hangover Haven' were each flown twice. Replacement Navigator for McCord crew. ...

  • Robert Mahler

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Crashed at Jouldes (mech fire) in B-17 'Channel Express III' 42-40050, Killed in Action.

  • William Massey

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Crashed at Jouldes on 6/19/44 in B-17 'Channel Express III'. 19 missions. Shot down on 19th mission at Bordeaux on 19 June 1944. Picked up by French Underground. Evaded (EVD). Got back to England 5 September 1944. ...

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  • 8th Air Force 176

    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...

  • 8th Air Force 178

    7 January 1944
    The industrial areas of Ludwigshaven, Germany are the primary target for this mission. The formation has three elements. The bomber gunners of the entire force claim 30-6-17 of attacking German aircraft. ...

  • 8th Air Force 183

    14 January 1944
    This mission is a combined effort of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions to attack V-Weapon sites near the French coast near Pas-de-Calaise. Some targets of opportunity were also bombed. A total of 20 out of 21 V-Weapon sites are hit with varying results. ...

  • 8th Air Force 187

    21 January 1944
    This mission is directed at 36 V-Weapon sites (34 in the Pas-de-Calaise area and 2 in the Chrebourg area of France) 24 of these are bombed successfully. All three Bomb Divisions participate in the attacks and the bomber gunners claimed 5-1-2 of...

  • 8th Air Force 198

    29 January 1944
    The primary target for this mission was the railroad marshalling yards and industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. A combined force of 863 heavy bombers were despatched in three elements to make the attack. The combined bomber gunner claims on enemy...

  • 8th Air Force 210

    5 February 1944
    German airfield in France are the targets for this mission. All three Bomb Divisions despatch aircraft. The combined bomber gunner's claims of all three Bomb Divisions were 5-0-5 (displayed with Chateauroux element of 1BD). Summary as follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 230 BIG WEEK - DAY 3

    22 February 1944
    The German aircraft industry is again targeted in Day 3 of BIG WEEK. A combined total od 789 bombers (maximum effort) are dispatched from 1st 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions. Fighter opposition is heavy and bomber losses in 1st Air Division are massive - 39...

  • 8th Air Force 233 BIG WEEK - DAY 5

    24 February 1944
    BIG WEEK resumes with full intensity against the German aircraft industry. Bomber tactics are changed slightly in that each Air Division will be directed at more widely dispersed primary targets which it is thought will frustrate concentration...

  • 8th Air Force 246

    3 March 1944
    A combined force of 748 heavy bombers are despatched to bomb the primary targets of Berlin, Erkner and Oranienburg, Germany, but weather and dense contrails forced most of the formations to turn back or seek Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 1st Combat...

  • 8th Air Force 255

    11 March 1944
    This mission is compsed of two separate elements. The first element is despatched to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Munster, Germany as the primary target. The attack is made by B-17s from 1st Air Division. 3rd Air Division also sends B-17s to...

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  • 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...

  • Presque Isle Army Airfield

    Military site : airfield


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) France 19 June 1944


Date Contributor Update
25 October 2021 17:52:29 acbernstein1 Changes to nicknames


Date Contributor Update
20 October 2021 14:56:35 acbernstein1 Changes to markings and mission associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:52 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 6002 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database