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401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 14, 11 Jan 1944, Oschersleben, Germany.
This was one of the greatest air battles of World War II. The Group put up the most aircraft to date as part of a maximum effort. German resistance was fierce, involving heavy flak, dozens of fighters and balloon mines. The Group shot down a number of Luftwaffe fighters. It was on this mission that Major James Howard, a P-51 pilot, remained after all other U.S. fighters had left and engaged a swarm of Luftwaffe fighters attacking the 401st, for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Aircraft piloted by Lt. S.G. Nason ("Pee-Tey-Kuh" #42-31033), Lt. H. J. Chapman ("Carolina Queen #42-37809), Capt. J. H. Foster (#42-39969) and Lt. D.C. Sprecher (#42-39893)were shot down by either fighters or flak. Due to bad weather on return, all aircraft were diverted to a number of other bases




  • 42-31033 'Pee-Tey-Kun'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/9/43; Scott 11/10/43; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-B] Deenethorpe 26/10/43; ...

  • 42-31072 Betty J.

    B-17 Flying Fortress

  • 42-31081 Son of a Blitz

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17G ser. 42-31081, 'Son of A Blitz': ...

  • 42-31090 'Nasty Habit'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/9/43; Scott 3/10/43; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-L] Deenethorpe 4/11/43; battle damaged Pas de Calais 14/1/44 with Harry Piper, Co-pilot: George Hellmuth, Navigator: Jim Coventry, Bombardier: Ray Gipson, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-31091 MAGGIE

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/9/43; Gt Falls 2/10/43; Scott 21/10/43; Assigned 615BS/401BG [IY-O] Deenethorpe 4/11/43; Missing in Action Merseburg 11/9/44 with Milton Wingard, Co-pilot: Bob Abresch, Navigator: Bob Sullivan, Tail gunner: Ed Chiariello (4...

  • 42-31193 Little Boots

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/9/43; Gt Falls 14/10/43; Scott 21/10/43; Assigned 615BS/401BG [IY-B] Deenethorpe 4/11/43; Missing in Action Frankfurt 29/1/44 with Capt. Robert Beers, Co-pilot: Howard Byrne, Navigator: Harry Gershon, Bombardier: Bill Ritch,...

  • 42-31485 Old Ironsides

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 11/10/43; Gr Island 21/11/43; La Guardia 29/11/43; New York 1/12/43; Presque Is 2/12/43; Assigned 615BS/401BG [IY-X] Deenethorpe 6/1/44; RAF Stornaway 5/4/44, ret grp 6/4/44; Returned to the USA 121 BU Bradley 9/6/45; Syracuse 10/6...

  • 42-31488 Shade Ruff

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/11/43; Gt Falls 11/11/43; Kearney 28/11/43; Romulus 4/12/43; Bangor 5/12/43; Assigned 614BS/401BG [IW-D] Deenethorpe 2/1/44; Missing in Action Berlin 8/3/44 with Dale Peterson, Co-pilot: George Morse, Navigator: Harley Honeberger,...

  • 42-31511 'Fools Luck III'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 16/11/43; Kearney 3/12/43; Presque Is 9/12/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-D] Deenethorpe 1/1/44; Missing in Action Evere A/fd 10/4/44 with Gaston Fox, Co-pilot: Francis Hoad, Navigator: Darrel Wilson, Bombardier: Leon Mendelson, Ball...

  • 42-37809 Carolina Queen

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 6/9/43; Scott 22/10/43; Assigned 615BS/401BG [IY-G] Deenthorpe 26/10/43; Missing in Action Oschersleben 11/1/44 with Harry Chapman, Co-pilot: John Peck, Navigator: Harrison Hurlburt, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Chas Badura,...

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  • 8th Air Force 182

    11 January 1944
    Three aviation industry targets in Germany are bombed. The bomber force consists of 291 B-17s despatched from 1st Bomb Division in two elements, one element of 177 B-17s is despatched to Oschersleben, Germany as the primary target, the other 1BD...


  • Deenethorpe

    Military site : airfield
    Deenethorpe was a base purpose-built for American heavy bombers, with the Class A regulation 2,000 and 1,400-yard runways. All the buildings on site,such as the accommodation and administrative blocks, were temporary. In December 1943, several local...


Date Contributor Update
12 November 2021 18:24:32 acbernstein1 Changes to aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
12 November 2021 17:45:46 acbernstein1 Changes to caption

Date Contributor Update
10 November 2021 22:26:28 acbernstein1 Changes to unit associations

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2021 23:10:39 acbernstein1 Created entry with caption, unit associations, place associations and mission associations