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Written by 1st Lt. Ira Wellins:
"April 18, 1945.
Railroad Marshalling Yards, Traunstein, Germany.
Standing: 1st Lt. Swift-2nd Navigator; 1st Lt. Ira Wellins-Mickey Operator; 1st Lt. Leibrock-Tail Observer; Maj. Gorham-Air Commander.
Kneeling: 1st Lt. Austin-Bombardier; 1st Lt. Madsen-Navigator; Capt. Wilcox-Pilot.
Madsen's last raid.--and mine!"




  • Jack Austin

    Military | First Lieutenant

  • John Gorham

    Military | Major

  • Arthur Leibrock

    Military | Second Lieutenant

  • Roland Madsen

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator

  • Howard Swift

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navagator/Bombardier

  • Ira Wellins

    Military | First Lieutenant | Radar Navigator/Bombardier "Mickey Operator"
    Ira, the son of impoverished Jewish immigrants, joined to fly planes and to fight Hitler. But he washed out of pilot training for a single error (landing on a taxi strip) and got sent instead to train on the new top-secret technology: Radar. From...

  • Frank Wilcox

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot
    Plane was B-17s 'Kentucky Babe' and 'Star Duster'. Was head of 12th Rescue Group in Vietnam


  • 44-8468

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/9/44; Hunter 31/10/44; Grenier 8/11/44; Assigned 510BS/351BG [TU-J] Polebrook 2/1/45; 511BS [DS-J]; {22m} transferred 305BG Chelveston 23/5/45; Salvaged 9AF Germany 10/5/46.



  • Polebrook

    Military site : airfield
    Polebrook was laid down for RAF Bomber Command use in 1940-1941. Built by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, it had short runways which were lengthened for USAAF heavy bomber use. The RAF used the base for operational trials - including of B-17 Flying...


Date Contributor Update
29 May 2018 21:17:29 NanWellins Created entry with collection, caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Ira Wellins's handwritten notes on back of photo, contemporaneous; all data confirmed by 351st Heavy database (