Arthur E Aenchbacher

media-55327.jpeg UPL 55327 Dwight Eisenhowerr and "Gene" Aenchbacher after flying to North Africa to prepare for Operation Torch

From Nick Thomas whose father flew with the 97th

Object Number - UPL 55327 - Dwight Eisenhowerr and "Gene" Aenchbacher after flying to North Africa to prepare for Operation Torch

DFC/ AM w/ 8 Oak Leaf Cluster
All of the B17’s, especially the F- models used in the early part of the Air War, had a story that was special to their young crews…. This is just one of them,about 124435, 97th/340th, piloted by a very young Lt. Gene Aenchbacher, with 9 other young fliers, that stayed together from the start, and went on to complete 50 missions, plus a few secret sorties, hauling brass, not bombs.. this crew was selected by Col. Tibbets to fly with a few other 97th ships to haul the brass to Gibraltar for secret meetings for “Torch”, the invasion of North Africa. From Gibraltar they went on to Algiers, and then back to England, via Gibraltar… these guys flew the first raids out of Biskra, and serviced their own aircraft , while waiting on the ground crews and equipment to arrive… they slept in the planes or in small tents with no amenities. A cold meal and hot coffee was about all they had to look forward to. The mission requirement being raised from 25 to 50 didn’t help the morale, but these guys did it and didn’t complain…. When my Dad and most of the original crew left North Africa to go home, in June of ‘43, this old F-model had completed 67 missions and was still going strong…. (Pictures from my Dad’s collection and the 97th book,”Venit Hora.”… copy of Ike’s letter, from Cathy Aenchbacher.)


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Units served with

A bomber crew of the 97th Bomb Group with their B-17 Flying Fortress. They are from left to right: Lieutenant Frank R. Beadle, of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Sergeant Chester Love, of Cincinnati, Ohio; Sergeant Richard Williams, of Utica, New York; Lieutenant Levon Ray, of Poolville Texas; Glen V. Leland, of St. Petersburg, Florida; Sergeant Frank Rebello, Tiverton, Rhode Island; Sergeant Joseph Cummings, of Oskaloosa, Iowa; and Sergeant Zane Gemmill, of St. Clair, Pennsylvania. Image stamped on reverse: 'Pas
  • Unit Hierarchy: Squadron
  • Air Force: Twelfth Air Force Fifteenth Air Force Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
Ground personnel of the 97th Bomb Group reservice a B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 41-9023) nicknamed "Yankee Doodle", following the raid on Rouen. Image stamped on reverse: 'Associated Press.' [stamp], 'Passed for Publication 18 Aug 1942.' [stamp], 'Air=SER (Boeing).' [written annotation] and '216112.' [Censor no.] Printed caption on reverse: 'U.S FLYING FORTRESSES RAID ROUEN IN DAYLIGHT. Associated Press Photo Shows: No sooner had one of the huge Fortresses landed after the raid than ground crew im
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force Twelfth Air Force Fifteenth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment


Event Location Date Description


Atlanta, Georgia 2 September 1920


Date27 Jan 2022 22:25:46
ChangesChanges to media associations

changed key image

Date27 Jan 2022 22:24:04
ChangesChanges to biography and media associations

Updated Bio with information From Nick Thomas whose father flew with the 97th

Date27 Sep 2014 18:04:03
ChangesAAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / self

Arthur E Aenchbacher: Gallery (2 items)