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Vance W Beckham


Shot down 27 January 1943 in B-17F 41-24637 while serving as Pilot. The aircraft was attacked by fighters on approach to the target of Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Aircraft crashed near Tossens, Germany. He was able to bale out of the stricken aircraft and captured as a Prisoner of War (POW).



Units served with

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 366th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-24637

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 366BS/305BG [KY-F] New Castle 11-Oct-42; Grafton Underwood 24-Oct-42; Missing in Action 27-Jan-43 while on a mission to bomb the naval installations at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. 5KIA 5POW MACR 15501. ...


  • VIII Bomber Command 31

    27 January 1943
    First successful attack by 8th Air Force into Germany. The 306th Bomb Group gets the distinction of being the first American Bomb Group to drop bombs on Germany. O Original target was Vegesack but clouded over. Col. Frank Armstrong lead the group. Two...

Associated Place

  • Chelveston

    Military site : airfield
    Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...


Event Location Date
Prisoner of War (POW) Zagan, Poland 27 January 1943 – 22 May 1945

Held at Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia (now Poland) moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser. Officially Returned to Military Control (RMC) 22-May-45.


Date Contributor Update
14 February 2015 20:06:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Added SN per MACR 15501; Added POW event per National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database; made connections to Place and Mission within existing website data; Edited Biography per "Losses of the 8ht & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:26:21 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15501 / MACR 15501, Losses of the 8th and 9th AFs Vol. 1 p. 67by Bishop and Hey / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database