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B-17 42-39867 'Hang the Expense II' sustained Flak damage on a mission to Frankfurt on 24th Jan 1944. A 88mm Flak shell exploded nearby causing the damage and also the departure from the A/C of the tail gunner S/Sgt Roy Urich. Urich was wounded but miraculously survived to become a POW. With a new tail section fitted the A/C returned to Ops renamed to 'Boeing Belle'. Seen here on the ground at RAF Eastchurch, Kent, UK.
Witnesses on board swear he flew through the air still in his seat and hanging on to Browning gun handles !!



  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 351st Bomb Squadron


  • Roy Urich

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner
    Assigned to 351BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Frankfurt in B-17 42-39867 'Hang the Expense II'; blown out of A/C and seriously injured when 88mm flak explosion damaged the tail. 24-Jan-44. Prisoner of War (POW). ...



  • VIII Bomber Command 191

    24 January 1944
    The primary target of this mission was the Zukunft power station at Eschweilier, Germany. The mision was composed of 563 bombers three elements from 1BD, 2BD and 3BD. The despatch from 2BD was recalled due to weather before it could take off. Mission...


  • Thorpe Abbotts

    Military site : airfield
    Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group...


Date Contributor Update
30 July 2015 13:35:06 Al_Skiff Changes to person associations

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
30 July 2015 13:34:38 Al_Skiff Created entry with caption, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

USAAF Photo.