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Liberty Belle, #43-38037 - B-17 of the 836th Squadron S/Sgt George R. Michael (radio operator) first on left front row was one of two men who survived.

B-17G 43-38037 'Liberty Belle' with part of her ground crew and the crew of Lt Raymond F. Jackson, 836th Bomb Squadron, 487th Bomb Group, at Lavenham, England. All but two of Lt Jackson's crew were killed in a midair collision near Bielefeld, Germany on September 30, 1944. The men in this photo are:
Back Row (L to R):
2/Lt Edward C. Plevak, Bombardier – KIA
2/Lt John H. Franke Jr, Navigator – POW
Three ground crew members, unknown
2/Lt Theodore I. Sherrill, Copilot – KIA
1/Lt Raymond F. Jackson, Pilot – KIA
Front Row (L to R):
S/Sgt George R. Michael, Radio Operator – POW
Sgt Bennie L. Ballard, Waist Gunner – KIA
S/Sgt Willie Rogers, Ball Turret – KIA
S/Sgt Laverne W. Nelson, Engineer – KIA
S/Sgt Benjamin W. Harcq Jr, Tail Gunner – KIA
(Paul Webber)

Connections

Units

  • 487th Bomb Group

    487th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 487th Bomb Group began operations as preparations for D-Day were reaching their crescendo and played their part by bombing airfields in northern France. Like the 486th Bomb Group, the 487th switched to B-17 Flying Fortress for missions from 1...

  • 836th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Bennie Ballard

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner
    Killed in Action (KIA). 30 Sep 1944 in B-17G 43-38037 'Liberty Bell. ' While on mission to Bielefeld, GE, had a mid-air with 43-38154 'Heavenly Body' from same squadron. Lost left wing and crashed at 1400hrs, six miles east of Bielefeld. 7 Killed in...

  • John Franke

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
    Prisoner of War (POW). 30 Sep 1944 in B-17G 43-38037 'Liberty Bell. ' While on mission to Bielefeld, GE, had a mid-air with 43-38154 'Heavenly Body' from same squadron. Lost left wing and crashed at 1400hrs, six miles east of Bielefeld. 7 Killed in...

  • Benjamin Harcq

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner
    Killed in Action (KIA). 30 Sep 1944 in B-17G #43-38037 'Liberty Bell'. While on mission to Bielefeld, GE, had a mid-air with #43-38154 'Heavenly Body' from same squadron. Lost left wing and crashed at 1400 hrs, six miles east of Bielefeld. 7 Killed in...

  • Raymond Jackson

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot
    Killed in Action (KIA) 30 Sep 1944 in B-17G 43-38037 'Liberty Bell'. While on mission to Bielefeld, GE, had a mid-air with 43-38154 'Heavenly Body' from same squadron. Lost left wing and crashed at 1400hrs, six miles east of Bielefeld. 7 Killed in...

  • George Michael

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator
    Prisoner of War (POW). 30 Sep 1944 in B-17G 43-38037 'Liberty Bell. ' While on mission to Bielefeld, GE, had a mid-air with 43-38154 'Heavenly Body' from same squadron. Lost left wing and crashed at 1400hrs, six miles east of bielefeld. 7 Killed in...

  • Laverne Nelson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner, Top Turret Gunner
    Killed in Action (KIA) 30 Sep 1944 in B-17G 43-38037 'Liberty Bell. ' While on mission to Bielefeld, GE, had a mid-air with 43-38154 'Heavenly Body' from same squadron. Lost left wing and crashed at 1400hrs, six miles east of Bielefeld. 7 Killed in...

  • Edward Plevak

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier, Navigator
    Killed in Action (KIA) 30 Sep 1944 in B-17G 43-38037 'Liberty Bell. ' While on mission to Bielefeld, GE, had a mid-air with 43-38154 'Heavenly Body' from same squadron. Lost left wing and crashed at 1400hrs, six miles east of Bielefeld. 7 Killed in...

  • Willie Rogers

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner
    Killed in Action (KIA) 30 Sep 1944 in B-17G 43-38037 'Liberty Bell. ' While on mission to Bielefeld, GE, had a mid-air with 43-38154 'Heavenly Body' from same squadron. Lost left wing and crashed at 1400hrs, six miles east of Bielefeld. 7 Killed in...

  • Theodore Sherrill

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    Killed in Action (KIA) 30 Sep 1944 in B-17G 43-38037 'Liberty Bell. ' While on mission to Bielefeld, GE, had a mid-air with 43-38154 'Heavenly Body' from same squadron. Lost left wing and crashed at 1400hrs, six miles east of Bielefeld. 7 Killed in...

Aircraft

  • 43-38037 Liberty Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Cheyenne 19/6/44; Kearney 28/6/44; Dow Fd 11/7/44; Assigned 836BS/487BG Lavenham 13/7/44. ...

Locations

  • Lavenham

    Military site : airfield
    Lavenham was built as a standard USAAF bomber airfield, with fifty hardstandings, T2 hangars and 2,000 and 1,400 feet runways. John Laing and Son Ltd. carried out the work in 1943, and the airfield opened in April 1944. The 487th Bomb Group occupied...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 August 2020 23:49:29 PaulWebber Changes to caption, unit associations and place associations
Sources

1. de Jong, Ivo. 'The History of the 487th Bomb Group (H)'. Paducah KY: Turner Publishing, Oct 2004 (This photo is published on page 134.)
2. Eric Michael, a grandson of S/Sgt George R. Michael. Email communication in January 2016
3. U.S. Army Air Forces Missing Air Crew Report 9422 (Raymond F. Jackson crew, B-17G 43-38037)
Also see:
Find A Grave. 1/Lt Raymond F. Jackson (1922 – 1944)

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2016 15:02:32 Yorkshireman Created entry with collection, caption and aircraft associations
Sources

Hutchinson & Cortright

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