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IWM catalogue record

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

Master Sergeant James L Smith a crew chief of the 379th Bomb Group inspects the propellor of a B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed "Patches" that was blown off by flak and became embedded in the wing. Passed for publication 9 May 1944. Printed caption on reverse: 'Fortress "Loses" Propeller Over France But Brings It Home - Embedded In Wing. With one of the propellers embedded in its wing, the Flying Fortress "Patches" presented an unusual sight as it returned from a raid on military installations in the Pas de Calais area yesterday, May 8. After the ship had been hit by flak, one of the props flew off, took the tip off the[sic] ne[sic] another one and smashed through the wing and radio hatch, just missing the radio operator's head. Associated Press Photo Shows:- M/Sgt. James L. Smith, of Wharton, Texas, crew-chief of the Fortress "Patches", examines the the prop embedded in the wing. The pilot of the ship was 2nd Lt. Walter J. Miller Jr., of 1016 Gary St., Shreveport, L.A., and the radio operator who had such a narrow escape was S/S Jack R. Guill, of 1639 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, N. California. ALA 267517. 9-5-44-Y.' Censor no: 319497. On reverse: Associated Press, US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps].



  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 547th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-39800 Patches, Just So

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered 4/9/43; Assigned 303BG Molesworth 18/10/43; transferred 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 23/10/43; re-ass 547BS/384BG [SO- ] Grafton Underwood 2/11/43; transferred 526BS/379BG [LF-T] Kimbolton 7/11/43; crashed RAF Wilton, UK 2/12/44; sal 2 SAD...


Date Contributor Update
03 December 2019 19:43:33 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and aircraft associations

Roger Freeman Photo

Date Contributor Update
02 February 2015 10:00:03 AAM AAM ingest

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection