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John A Dewey


On 24 August 1943, John A Dewey and his crew were returning to their base at Great Ashfield in Suffolk from North Africa in their B-17 “Lulu Belle” after a mission over Regensburg.
Already damaged from Regensburg, “Lulu Belle” sustained further damaged flying over Bordeaux to attack submarine pens and was forced to ditch in the Atlantic Ocean 40 miles from the coast of Padstow, Cornwall.
Captain John A Dewey and three other members of the crew were either washed away immediately or during the first night.



Units served with

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb 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


  • 42-30187 Lulu Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/4/43; Gore 6/5/43; Kearney 30/5/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-K] Gt Ashfield 16/6/43; Missing in Action Evreux 24/8/43 with Maj Preston Piper, Co-pilot: Vince Masters, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Luther...


  • VIII Bomber Command 86

    24 August 1943
    The 8th Air Force is intent on dishing out some "pay back" to the Luftwaffe for the toll it took on bombers of the 17-Aug-43 mission to Schweinfurt/Regensburg. So, This mission has three attack elements and a diversion element. The attack elements are...

Associated Place

  • 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...


Event Location Date
Killed in Action (KIA) Sea near Padstow, Cornwall 24 August 1943
Commemorated Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, Madingley Road, Coton, Cambridgeshire CB23 7PH, UK 1945

Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing, Cambridge American Cemetery.


Date Contributor Update
17 February 2020 18:38:00 French65 Changes to media associations

John Alexander Dewey

Date Contributor Update
18 May 2015 20:11:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 18-May-2015. Corrected Mission Association per "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; Added decorations; Service Number and Commemoration per American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) records; Loss documented on National Archives Records Administration (NARA) Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 961.

Date Contributor Update
01 October 2014 10:47:05 Emily Changes to role, biography, place associations and mission associations

The Might Eighth Reunion Group Newsletter, p. 3, 358th BG Association,

D Osborne, Fortlog', p. 200

Lt Col M S Leonard, eds, 'History of the 385th Bombardment Group (Heavy)'

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:34 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 961 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database