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Theodore F Tourtellott


Killed in Action (KIA). B-17G A/C #43-38115, 'Reluctant Lassie,' was hit by a bomb or bombs, dropped from an A/C flying in the higher element, lead group, at bombs away and exploded. 8 of the crew were Killed in Action (KIA), 1 Prisoner of War (POW). Target was Bielefeld, Germany. Crashed at 1415 hrs, near Wellenkotten. Debris hit A/C #43-38480, bringing it down with 7 Killed in Action (KIA) and 2 Prisoner of War (POW).


Units served with

  • 493rd Bomb Group

    493rd Bomb Group

    The 493rd Bomb Group was the last Eighth Air Force Group to become operational, flying their first combat mission from Debach, Suffolk, on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Group was known as "the Fighting 493rd", named by their Commanding Officer Colonel Elbert...

  • 860th Bomb Squadron


  • 43-38115 Reluctant Lassie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/6/44; Lincoln 14/7/44; Grenier 11/8/44; Assigned 860BS/493BG [NG-J] Debach 13/8/44; Missing in Action Bielefeld, Ger 30/9/44 with Dan Treece, Co-pilot: Jim Welsh, Bombardier: Stanton Gage, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Ernie...

Associated Place

  • Debach

    Military site : airfield
    Debach was one of the last Eighth Air Force heavy bomber bases to be completed. It was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) between late '43 and early '44. Pronounced locally as 'Deb-idge', the base was built to a class A standard with...


Event Location Date
Born Minnesota, USA 20 September 1924
Died Am Wellenkotten, 33617 Bielefeld, Germany 30 September 1944
Entered service from Illinois, USA

Plot M Row 22 Grave 17


Date Contributor Update
12 November 2021 19:03:56 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Removed some punctuation in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
12 November 2021 18:48:18 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added some punctuation in the "Summary biography" to aid readability.

Date Contributor Update
18 October 2017 10:54:13 Lucy May Changes to awards and events

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:25:41 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /">>; Losses of 8thAF, vol4.