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William S Burtt


Assigned to 322BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. Damaged by fighters on mission to Frankfurt on 29-Jan-44 in B-17 42-37987 'Man O War - Horsepower Ltd' managed to return to England on two engines and crashed near Sittingbourne, Kent when the third engine went out. Returned to Duty (RTD).

Finished tour as B-17 pilot with 35 completed missions. Joined Experimental Scouting Force at Duxford and killed following loss of wing over Leckhampstead, Bucks (Not Newbury) the day before the advanced scouting force came into being. Special Duties 1 Scout Force, 8AF USAAF. Killed while in training for fighter tour in P-51 44-13728 'Mary Jane'. Died Non Battle (DNB).

Awards: DFC (2OLC), PH.


Units served with


  • 42-107030 Fifinella

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 2/2/44; Grenier 5/3/44; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-T] Bassingbourn 25/3/44; Missing in Action 54m Le Manoir RR bridge, Fr 13/8/44 with Tom Smith (Killed in Action); Co-pilot: Joe Vukovich, Navigator: Alex Calder, Ball turret gunner: Jesse...

  • 42-31634 Texas Chubby, The J'Ville Jolter

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17G 42-31634 'Texas Chubby - The J'Ville Jolter' was delivered Cheyenne 1-Dec-43; Portland 3-Dec-43; Boise 5-Dec-43; Kearney 16-Dec-43; Ft Wayne 25-Dec-43; Grenier 27-Dec-43; Presque Is 3-Jan-44; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-O] Bassingbourn 23-Jan-4....

  • 42-31673 Lassie Come Home

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17G 42-31673 'Lassie Come Home' was delivered Cheyenne 6-Dec-43; Kearney 17-Dec-43; Harrisburg 8-Jan-44; New Castle 9-Jan-43; Presque Is 11-Jan-44; Prestwick 16-Jan-44; Assigned 96BG Snetterton 16-Jan-44; transferred 322BS/91BG [LG-B] Bassingbourn 27...

  • 42-37987 'Man O’ War - Horsepower Ltd.'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 4/11/43; Kearney 15/11/43; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG- ] Bassingbourn 21/12/43; on first mission Frankfurt, battle damaged 29/1/44 with Bill Burt, Co-pilot: Frank Alford, Navigator: Bob West, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Rudy...

  • 42-38083 Man 'O War II, Horsepower Ltd

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/12/43; Kearney 24/12/43; Nutts Corner, Belfast, N.I. 14/1/44; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-V] Bassingbourn 1/2/44; 77m Missing in Action Merseburg 2/11/44 with Leroy Hare, Co-pilot: Bob Casey, Navigator: Theo Herrick, Bombardier: Roy...

  • 44-13728

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned 357FS, 355FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to Scout Force[Experimental] SFX. Transferred to 2nd Scouting Force [2SF].


  • 8th Air Force 198

    29 January 1944
    The primary target for this mission was the railroad marshalling yards and industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. A combined force of 863 heavy bombers were despatched in three elements to make the attack. The combined bomber gunner claims on enemy...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents ( , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

  • Honington

    Military site : airfield
    Honington was in use by Eighth Air Force units for a longer period than any other air base in England. The air base, built in the mid 1930s as part of the RAF's expansion programme had seen plenty of action as an RAF base before it was handed over to...


Event Location Date
Born Montcalm County, MI, USA 1924
Lived in Michigan 1941
Enlisted Kalamazoo, MI, USA 27 March 1943

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Combat damaged force landing Sittingbourne, UK 29 January 1944

Damaged by fighters on mission to Frankfurt, 2 engines out, crashlanded when 3rd quit. Sittingbourne, Kent. 29-Jan-44. 8 x RTD, 1 x WIA, 1 x KIA.

Promoted Bassingbourn cum Kneesworth, Royston SG8, UK 17 February 1944

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Combat damaged Thorney Island, Emsworth PO10, UK 25 April 1944

Landed at Thorley Island on the way home from Metz airfield with #1 and #2 engines out in ship #353. 10 x RTD.

End Tour Duty (ETD) May 1944

End Tour Duty (ETD).

Special Duty Honington, Bury Saint Edmunds IP31 1QZ, UK September 1944

Special Duty 1st Scouting Force.

Died Leckhampstead, Newbury RG20, UK 16 September 1944

Killed while in training for fighter tour in P-51 44-13728. Died Non Battle (DNB).

Buried 17 September 1944

Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
Plot E Row 1 Grave 3


Date Contributor Update
03 June 2021 09:20:22 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events

Adjusted punctuation in the "Summary biography" to aid readability.

Date Contributor Update
02 June 2021 18:20:47 jmoore43 Changes to biography

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

Date Contributor Update
29 May 2021 20:26:27 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events

Date Contributor Update
29 May 2021 20:24:27 Al_Skiff Changes to events

Date Contributor Update
29 May 2021 19:10:08 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Corrected a typo in the "Summary biography" - “came” was misspelled.

Date Contributor Update
27 October 2018 13:49:14 Tobin Jones Changes to biography

This from my own research into the crash site which is in my village, a letter from Dick Atkins and Letter from Capt Burge

Date Contributor Update
15 August 2017 19:11:29 Al_Skiff Changes to service number, role, events and mission associations

Date Contributor Update
15 August 2017 18:51:18 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:42 AAM AAM ingest

ABMC & brother / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list