Skip to main content
Edit entry 


B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Denver 23/12/43; Salt Lake City 27/12/43; 1SAG Langley 12/1/44; Assigned 94BG Rougham 3/2/44; transferred 413BS/96BG [MZ-M] Snetterton 4/2/44; Missing in Action Brandenburg 18/4/44 with John Abrell (Killed in Action) + 385BG crew; Navigator: John Hock, Navigator: Ray Simms, Bombardier: Bill Crabb, Radio Operator: Bob Polvado, Waist gunner: Bob Rider, Waist gunner: Tom Eydman,Tail gunner: Lt Paul Van Boven, with Capt Hogan {94BG Com Pilot} (9 Prisoner of War); flak KOd two engines crashed Rathenow, 17 miles NW of Brandenburg, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 4161.



  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 96th Bomb Group

    96th Bomb Group

    The 96th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses to targets across occupied Europe from May 1943 to April 1945. ...

  • 413th Bomb Squadron


  • John Abrell

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 42-97569. Killed in Action (KIA). Killed instantly when a 20mm shell from an attacking fighter exploded inside the cockpit.

  • Paul Boven

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group

  • William Crabb

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group

  • William Crabb

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 96th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 #4297569. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Thomas Eydman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group

  • Alex Hogan

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot, Pilot, Mission | 96th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 #4297569. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • John Kearns

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group

  • Robert Polvado

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 385th Bomb Group

  • Robert Rider

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group

  • Raymond Simms

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group


  • Bury St Edmunds

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was purpose-built for American bomb groups and as such had a 2,000 yard main runway that lain in concrete with a tarred and wood-chipped surface. The scale of bases such as this meant that very often the technical, administrative and...

  • Snetterton Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Intended to be an RAF bomber base, construction of Snetterton Heath started in Autumn 1942 but continued until mid-1943, because it was extended after allocation as an Eighth Air Force bomber base. It had eventually three concrete runways, 50...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Germany 18 April 1944


Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:14 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 12926 / MACR 4161 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database