Thomas F Flemming

Military

Object Number - UPL 27760 - Lt Thomas F. Flemming of the 91st BG, 323rd BS in front of Officers Mess #2 at Bassingbourn in early 1945.

Thomas F Flemming served as a pilot with the 323rd Bomb Squadron of the 91st Bomb Group.

From the 91st Bomb Group newsletter:
'Raymond G Barnes, Framington, MA, who like Flemming, was an original crew member of 1/Lt John R Stevens' 'Seattle Sleeper', says "luck" spared Flemming and him from going down with Stevens' crew on 26 Nov 1944 Altenbeken mission.'

'Flemming, their Co-Pilot, had been displaced by trainee CP 2/Lt Stanley F Johnson that day while Barnes had earlier been re-assigned to another crew after flight crews were reduced to nine. Though all of Stevens' survived, Barnes says the description of 'Seattle Sleepers'' fall in the Mar 1994 National Geographoc article, 'The Wings of War', justifies his enduring memory of sharing war-time luck with Flemming.
Reported by Barnes, whose phoned contact with Flemming's widow provided this report.'

Thomas F. Flemming flew 35 missions from Bassingbourn. His first mission was to bomb the airdrome at Metz/Frescaty, France on August 14th, 1944. This mission was flown in B-17G, #43-38083, "Happy Valley Express." Thomas's last mission was sometime in March of 1945.

Connections

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Units served with

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 323rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-822826
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Ramblin Rebel, Rebel's Revenge
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 323rd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Betty Lou's Buggy
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 324th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Outhouse Mouse
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 323rd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Nine-O-Nine
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 323rd Bomb Squadron Headquarters (91st Bomb Group)
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Ack-Ack Annie

Missions

  • Date: 14 August 1944
  • Date: 24 August 1944
  • Date: 25 August 1944
  • Date: 30 August 1944
  • Date: 5 September 1944

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Pennsylvania, USA 1918-10-18

Enlisted

Miami Beach, FL, USA 1943-02-04

Died

Fort Myers, FL, USA 1994-09-30

Buried

Bushnell, FL 33513, USA At Florida National Cemetery

Other

Mission Story #1

Tom spoke mostly of how lucky he was to make it through 35 mission. One story in particular demonstrates how much of a factor "luck" was. "He never said what mission it was on, only that it was with Lt. John Stevens as first pilot, Tom was CP. They were taking a lot of FLAK on the way to the target. One of the engines was hit and started loosing oil pressure. The oil pressure gauge was kind of bouncing around so Tom bent down to tape it and have a look. Just as he did that, a FLAK burst happened straight ahead and came through the wind screen. A baseball size piece of FLAK embedded itself in the head rest of the seat where Tom's head had been before he bent down." Other stories that Tom told were lighthearted. One in particular exemplifies how even in the face of danger the crews retained their sense of humor... " From time to time, members of the regular crew were pulled from missions to make way for training of replacements. The replacements flew with the experinced crews first to get some combat time before being on their own. One such mission, resulted in a few laughs at the expence of a newbee...Tom never said what mission it was on, however, approaching the target, the newbee proclaimed , "Hey Skipper, it looks like we got a thunderstorm out ahead!". One of the gunners got on the intercom and said, "You dumbass, that's FLAK!"" They said at times the FLAK was so thick it looked like you could walk on it.

Revisions

Date12 Jun 2018 17:03:57
ContributorSeattleSleeper
Sources

Lt. Thomas F. Flemming records

Date27 Oct 2016 17:12:07
ContributorSeattleSleeper
Sources

Lt. Thomas F. Flemming

Date16 Sep 2016 18:03:18
ContributorSeattleSleeper
Sources

As related verbally to son Terrence E. Flemming

Date16 Sep 2016 18:01:51
ContributorSeattleSleeper
Sources

As related verbally to son Terrence E. Flemming

Date16 Sep 2016 17:57:00
ContributorSeattleSleeper
Sources

As related to Terrence E. Flemming (Son)

Thomas F Flemming: Gallery (30 items)