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Arlon Nessa


Arlon was a crew chief and had three other mechanics assigned to him, responsible for maintenance of one B-17 bomber. While armorers, radio specialists and sheet metal workers performed specific functions on aircraft, Arlon and his crew were responsible for the mechanical operation of their aircraft. They changed engines, tires, and wings, installed fuel tanks and performed pre-flight checks before the aircraft took off for missions. Ground crews worked tirelessly, often through the night, to get their aircraft ready for missions. If and when their aircraft returned from a mission they began their maintenance routine all over again at the end of a long day to get it ready for the next day. Air crews on D-Day flew three missions in support of Allied ground forces. To ground crews it was also their “Longest Day”. Aircraft assigned to him until they were either lost in combat or salvaged, included “Queenie”, “Wee Willie” and “Ack Ack Annie”.


Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...


  • 42-31333 'Wee Willie'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 22/10/43; Gr Island 3/11/43; Memphis 9/11/43; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-W] Bassingbourn 20/12/43; Missing in Action 129m Stendahl 8/4/45 with 1Lt Robert E Fuller (POW), 2Lt Woodrow A Lien, T/Sgt Francis McCarthy, S/Sgt Richard D...

  • 42-31353 Queenie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 25/10/43; Gr Island 3/11/43; Romulus 12/11/43; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-Q] Bassingbourn 20/12/43; Missing in Action 18+m Berlin 29/4/44 with Jim Purdy, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bill Fischer, Ball turret gunner: Lou Carusello...

  • 42-32095 Ack-Ack Annie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/1/44; Kearney 11/2/44; Presque Is 25/2/44; Assigned 457BG Glatton 14/3/44; transferred 322BS/91BG [LG-L] Bassingbourn 16/3/44, first NMF ass. to 91BG; 143m inc group's last 25/4/45 Returned to the USA 121 BU Bradley 11/6/45; 4168...


Event Location Date
Lived in Hubbard, IA 50122, USA


Date Contributor Update
10 April 2018 14:07:34 general ira snapsorter Created entry with surname, firstname, nationality, role, biography, events, unit associations and aircraft associations

Entry added with details from:
- "Iowans of the Mighty Eighth", Chapter 22 "Biographies", by Charles D Taylor.