Marvin Nicholls


Object Number - UPL 51231 - 91st BG ground crew: - L-R Otto E. Meikus, Thurston, Joseph M. Giambrone, Marvin Nichols.

As crew chief M/Sgt Nichols was on board 'Nine-O-Nine' for a 2am check flight piloted by Carl Clark. Just as the plane reached ground speed and wheels were up for take-off a truck pulling two trailers loaded with bombs crossed its path and the plane's right landing gear was reduced to a 'useless dangling wreck'! Too far down the runway to abort with No 3 propeller snapped off, the hydraulic system US and a 15ft gash in the plane's underside, the pilot had no option but to continue his ascent. Clark was to circle 'Nine-O-Nine' for a total of nine hours to burn off fuel before even attempting to land. During that time Nichols managed to restore the hydraulic system enabling the pilot to land the aircraft safely. Nichols was later awarded the Legion of Merit for his outstanding service.

Post war he worked in the same role for Eastern Airlines.


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Units served with


  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Nine-O-Nine
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 323rd Bomb Squadron Headquarters (91st Bomb Group)



Date6 Mar 2020 11:03:59

Biography completed by historian Helen Millgate. Information sourced from newsletters of the 91st Bomb Group related to the service of Marvin Nichols.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:19:45

91st BG / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

Marvin Nicholls: Gallery (1 items)