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Harry Floyd Thomas


Assigned to 860BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Merseberg in B-17 43-38316
2-Nov-44; severe flak and Me 262 fighters attacked plane. Pilot Joseph Gualano did eventually land plane in Belgium. Killed in Action (KIA)

Awards: AM (4OLC), PH.



  • Joseph Gualano

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 493rd Bomb Group
    Nov 2, 1944 Merseberg, Germany. Severe flak ME 262 fighters. Waist gunner Sergeant Harry Thomas killed. 2 engines out, oxygen out, electrical and radio out and rudder inoperable. Tossed all equipment overboard including ball turret which was dropped....

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


  • 43-38316 Hank's Battle Wagon

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/7/44; Kearney 28/7/44; Grenier 9/8/44; Assigned 860BS/493BG Debach 11/8/44; battle damaged Merseburg 2/11/44 with Joe Gualano, cp?, Stan Lucia, Arthur Etter, Ray Butler, Paul Backer, Bob Johnson, Fred Townsend, Travis Jones (8...

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 Erie, PA 22 August 1918

Son of Floyd David and Ida [Schwab] Thomas.

Based Debach 1944 – 2 November 1944

Assigned to 860BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF.

Died 2 November 1944
Buried Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial 3 November 1944

Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial
Plot F, Row 16, Grave 32


Date Contributor Update
06 June 2022 18:36:28 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography, awards, events, person associations, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
06 June 2022 18:17:49 Darren Jelley Changes to biography

corrected spelling of Gualano

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:12:22 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Helton s Hellcats, A Pictorial History of the 493rd BG, pub 1998; ABMC,