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A bomber crew of the 351st Bomb Group, including Hollywood Actor Clark Gable, with their B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed "Duchess".

Image stamped on reverse: 'International News photos.' [stamp], 'Passed for publication 25 Sep 1943.' [stamp] and '285399.' [Censor no.]

Printed caption on reverse: 'DS pictured standing in front of the Flying Fortress "Duchess" after the successful US 8th Air Force (ETO) raid on Nantes (France) the morning of September 23rd are back row, L to R:
Lt James O Bradley, Cincinatti, Ohio,
Captain John Carraway, Raleigh, NC,
Major J R Blaycock, Council Bluff, Iowa,
Captain Clark Gable, Hollywood, Cal,
Lt Col Robert W Burns, Ecru, Miss,
Lt David Palmer, Seattle,
Staff Sergeant Stephen Schmitt, 6617 North Ashen Ave, Chicago, Ill.

Front Row: L to R:
Staff Sergeant William J Mile, 836 East 83rd Street, NYC,
Master Sergeant Fletcher Cupp, Carthage, MO,
Staff Sergeant Frank Dillinbeck, 9502 East Broadway, Spokane,
Technical Sergeant Clyde L Eisenhart, York PA.

Above formed members of the crew of "Duchess" aboard which Gable has just completed his fifth mission and thereby earned the Air Medal DS/CAS.'

Note: photoshopped to remove editor's marks on photograph.



  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...


  • John Blaylock

    Military | Major | Pilot
    John Blaylock graduated from the University of Iowa in June, 1941 and shortly thereafter enlisted in the Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet. After training as a Pilot, he received his wings and was sent overseas. He arrived in England in April, 1943, where...

  • James Bradley

    Military | Captain

  • Robert Burns

    Military | Lieutenant General | Commanding Officer
    AM/ LOM

  • John Carraway

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel

  • Fletcher Cupp

    Military | First Lieutenant

  • Clyde Eisenhart

    Military | Technical Sergeant

  • Clark (William Gable

    Military | Major | Cameraman, Gunner, Actor
    Clark Gable flew at least 5 missions as Captain filming 50,000 ft of gunnery combat during 1943. He received the Air Medal for his service. 1 mission was flown with the 303rd BG. The rest were with the 351st BG in different aircraft. The film was named...

  • William Mile

    Military | Staff Sergeant

  • David Palmer

    Military | Captain | Pilot
    Assigned to 510BS, 351BG, 8AF USAAF. 25 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (2 x Battle Stars).


  • 42-29925 'The Duchess'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/3/43; Pueblo 28/3/43; Presque Is 9/4/43; Assigned 510BS/351BG [TU-L] Polebrook 17/4/43; 39m 2 BAD Warton 5/4/44; Returned to the USA Tinker 7/6/44; Hendricks 9/8/44; Rapid City 12/9/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for...


Date Contributor Update
05 January 2022 19:26:15 Douglas P Created entry with caption, person associations and aircraft associations

Edited version from the Roger Freeman Collection