358

19 May 1944
Personnel of the 100th Bomb Group inspect a damaged B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed "Hang the Expense" after a crash landing. Image via Stewart P Evans. media-378751.jpg FRE 903 B-17G Flying Fortress nicknamed "Hang The Expense IV" of the 100th Bomb Group that overshot the runway at Thorpe Abbotts.
The date, the letters and numbers at the bottom of the accompanying nose-on photo - "97560" and "96GP" confirm this is "Hang The Expense IV" Serial 42-97560, involved in a landing accident at Thorpe Abbotts on 19 May 1944. Pilot Frank E. Valesh. Salvaged 19/5/44.
(Amended 30/6/17) Roger Freeman Collection

Original caption cited a much earlier crash landing into farm buildings but the damage and ground conditions do not match the images of this incident. Amended due to a closer correlation to photo captioned with: "(GAD-37-1-100)(19-5-44)(A/C 7560H-96GP-B-17G)".

Object Number - FRE 903 - B-17G Flying Fortress nicknamed "Hang The Expense IV" of the 100th Bomb Group that overshot the runway at Thorpe Abbotts. The date, the letters and...

Mission Details

Description: BOMB TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 2.5 T HE

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 2.5 T HE

BERLIN (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Notes: Weather conditions have caused a 4-day pause in operations. 18-May-44 was the date originally scheduled for D-Day, but was re-designated 5-Jun-44 to allow for more air superiority to be established. Invasion probably could not have on 18-May-44, as the weather was terrible. On this mission radar bombing using H2X/PFF methods are used. Luftwaffe opposition is heavy. 1st Bomb Division was made up of 91st Bomb Group, 92nd Bomb Group, 303rd Bomb Group, 305th Bomb Group, 306th Bomb Group, 351st Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Group, 381st Bomb Group, 384th Bomb Group, 398th Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Group, 457th Bomb Group. 457th BG - MISSION NO. 46 - BERLIN, GERMANY 19 MAY, 1944 The Group sent thirty-six planes comprising the lead and low boxes of the 94th A Combat Wing to Berlin. Targets were government buildings near the center of the city where other targets had previously been bombed. Lt. Col. Raymond L. Cobb flew as Air Commander of the lead box in a PFF ship. Major George C. Hozier led the low box with Captain Jerry Godfrey as pilot, and Major Theodore C. Hoffman led the high box with Lt. Malcolm E. Johnson as pilot. En route to the target, Me-109s and FW-190s were observed away from the formation. The 109s and 190s peeled off and attacked the low squadron of the lead Group. As a result of the attack, the plane piloted by Lt. Phillip H. Birong was hit and left the formation with two engines on fire. The craft went into a spiral and all the crewmen, except one, successfully bailed out and became POWs. There was seven-tenths cloud cover over the target area, so bombing was by PFF. Bombing results were fair. Flak was moderate but accurate, damaging seven planes. Fighter Protection was good except for the interval prior to the bomb run Overall, the Eighth lost twenty-eight aircraft. The first crew in the Group to do so, Lt. Robert D. Lane, Pilot, completed its tour with this mission, and celebrated by the traditional buzzing of the field and shooting of flares. The Daily Bulletin called the attention of personnel to military discipline, personal appearance, and other elementary things that should have been learned in basic training. Also, a simulated briefing of combat crews was given for the benefit of all ground personnel. The crew of Lt Phillip H. Birong was lost on this date.

Brigadier-General Frank Alton Armstrong Jr. during a visit to the 305th Bomb Group Official caption on image: "(GPR-83-9305) (18-6-43) (Brig. Gen. Armstrong..."
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
Unofficial emblem of the 457th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 683 T HE

BERLIN (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Notes: 3rd Bomb Division was made up of 94th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Group, 96th Bomb Group, 100th Bomb Group, 385th Bomb Group, 388th Bomb Group, 390th Bomb Group, 447th Bomb Group, 452nd Bomb Group.

Three B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 94th Bomb Group are attacked by a Nazi Fighter aircraft during a mission. Printed caption on reverse of print: 'A-62641 USAF: Nazi fighter plane attacking Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses" during a bomb run over enemy installations somewhere in Europe, 10 September 1944. 100th[sic] Bomb Group, 3rd Bomb Division. U.S. Air Force Photo.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 392 T HE

Brunswick, Germany

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Notes: 2nd Bomb Division was made up of 44th Bomb Group, 93rd Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Group, 448th Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Group, 458th Bomb Group, 466th Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group, 492nd Bomb Group.

A formation of B-24 Liberators of the 446th Bomb Group enroute to Europe. Printed caption on reverse: '71049 AC- A formation of Consolidated B-24 "Liberators" of the 2nd Bomb Division, roars over Europe en route to the target area. 24 November 1944. US Air Force photo.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 701.5 T HE

KIEL (Secondary)

Description: HARBOUR INSTALLATION

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 107.4 T HE

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 6962724
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 544th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 3555092
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier, Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 492nd Bomb Group 857th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 0-810985
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - Little Sheppard
  • Unit: 448th Bomb Group 712th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 392nd Bomb Group 578th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Big Dick Hard To Hit
  • Unit: 458th Bomb Group 755th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Dynamite John
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 547th Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date
Changes
Sources

Mission details added courtesy of Diane Elizabeth Reese from 457th Bomb Group Mission Documents. http://www.457thbombgroup.org/

Date
ContributorAAM
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

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