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A bomber crew of the 385th Bomb Group with their B-17 Flying Fortress. Image stamped on reverse: 'Planet News.' [stamp], 'Passed for publication 6 Nov 1943.' [stamp] and '291701.' [Censor no.]

Printed caption on reverse: 'US AIRFORCE IN GREAT DAYLIGHT OFFENSIVE ON EUROPE. The great daylight offensive on Europe continues, targets in Germany, France and Belgium being attacked by great formations of bombers and fighters from the US Army Air Force and the RAF. Photo shows: Before they take off on the great Ruhr raid- six airmen who together represent 100 operations against the Nazis.

Left to right: front row
Lieut Fred D Albert, of Bronx NY navigator;
Lieut Theodore J Kleuser, of Little Rock Arkansas, co-pilot;
Lieut Ruel Weikert, of Dayton Ohio, pilot and commander of the aircraft.

Second row:
Tech. Sgt Darwin Mushrush, of Castaque, Pa; top turret gunner and engineer;
Lieut Tom Betow, of Marion, Wisconsin, bombardier.

Back row: Tech Sgt Walter Olowniuk of Detroit, Mich; radio gunner.

NC 6th November 1943. PN.'

IWM catalogue record

This contains information written on the back of the original print and some of it may be inaccurate.

A bomber crew of the 385th Bomb Group with their B-17 Flying Fortress. Image stamped on reverse: 'Planet News.' [stamp], 'Passed for publication 6 Nov 1943.' [stamp] and '291701.' [Censor no.] Printed caption on reverse: Printed caption on reverse: 'US AIRFORCE IN GREAT DAYLIGHT OFFENSIVE ON EUROPE. The great daylight offensive on Europe continues, targets in Germany, France and Belgium being attacked by great formations of bombers and fighters from the US Army Air Force and the RAF. Photo shows: Before they take off on the great Ruhr raid- six airmen who together represent 100 operations against the Nazis. Left to right: front row Lieut Fred D Albert, of Bronx NY navigator; Lieut Theodore J Kleuser, of Little Rock Arkansas, co-pilot; Lieut Ruel Weikert, of Dayton Ohio, pilot and commander of the aircraft. Second row: Tech. Sgt Darwin Mushrush, of Castaque, Pa; top turret gunner and engineer; Lieut Tom Betow, of Marion, Wisconsin, bombardier. Back row: Tech Sgt Walter Clowniuk of Detroit, Mich; radio gunner. NC 6th November 1943. PN.'

Connections

Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 551st Bomb Squadron

People

  • Frederick Albert

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator
    Killed in Action (KIA). Shot down 5 December 1943 in B-17 #423397 'Fighting Cock. ' Plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Heading back to France with #3 engine on fire. With crew in dinghies, German shore patrol fired at dingies and 7 crew members died....

  • Thomas Betow

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier
    Prisoner of War (POW). Shot down 5 December 1943 in B-17 #423397 'Fighting Cock. ' Plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Heading back to France with #3 engine on fire. With crew in dinghies, German shore patrol fired at dingies and 7 crew members died....

  • Theodore Kleuser

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot
    KIA. Shot down 5 December 1943 in B-17 #423397 'Fighting Cock.' Plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Heading back to France with #3 engine on fire. With crew in dinghies, German shore patrol fired at dingies and 7 crew members died.

  • Darwin Mushrush

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer, Top Turret Gunner
    Darwin Mushrush completed 25 Missions with the 385th Bomb Group during the Second World War. He later served in the Korean War with the US Air Force.

  • Walter Olowniuk

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator
    Shot down 5 December 1943 in B-17 #42-3397 'Fighting Cock'. Plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Heading back to France with #3 engine on fire. With crew in dinghies, German shore patrol fired at dinghies and 7 crew members died. Kleuser crew. Prisoner of...

  • Ruel Weikert

    Military | Major | Pilot
    Flew 42 missions, never wounded. Flew on "Mary Pat", named after his wife, Mary, and the navigator's wife, Pat.

Locations

  • Great Ashfield

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2016 18:28:33 Jimolowniuk Changes to caption
Sources

Correcting spelling of Olowniuk

Date Contributor Update
29 November 2016 17:10:25 Lucy May Changes to caption, unit associations, person associations and place associations
Sources

Added connections from information in caption.

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2014 15:23:49 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection

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