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43-38273

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 15 JUly 1944. Kearney 24 July 1944.Grenier 8 August 1944. Assigned 550BS/385BG [SG-S] Gt Ashfield 13 August 1944. Mid-air collision on 1 March 1945 (mission to Ulm, Germany.) 8 killed : Pilot Alexander Rusecky; Co-Pilot George C. Burger; Navigator Robert E. Keenan; Gunner Harry E. Clabaugh; Top Turret Gunner Charles L. Abney Jr; Radio Operator Vincent L. Verderame; Ball Turret Gunner James W. Hendon Jr and Tail Gunner Thomas K. Welch. Waist Gunner Sgt Stanley Lejkowski was the sole survivor. Salvaged 20 March 1945.

Service

Aircraft

  • 42-38035 Mr. Lucky

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21 November 1943. Kearney 7 December 1943. Presque Isle 12 December 1943. Assigned 550BS/385BG [SG-B] Great Ashfield 16 December 1943. Mid-air collision on 1 March 1945 (mission to Ulm, Germany) with 43-38273. Had its tail cut off...

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Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    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...

  • 550th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Charles Abney

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Top Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Charles Abney was Top Turret Gunner on B-17G #43-38273 involved in a mid-air collision over Ostend, Belgium with B-17 #42-38035 (also 550th BS) on 1 March 1945 (mission to Ulm, Germany.) Crashed near Ostend, Belgium. KIA

  • George Burger

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    George Burger was Co-Pilot on B-17G #43-38273 involved in a mid-air collision over Ostend, Belgium with B-17 #42-38035 (also 550th BS) on 1 March 1945 (mission to Ulm, Germany.) Crashed near Ostend, Belgium. Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Harry Clabaugh

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Harry Clabaugh was Aerial Gunner on B-17G #43-38273 involved in a mid-air collision over Ostend, Belgium with B-17 #42-38035 (also 550th BS) on 1 March 1945 (mission to Ulm, Germany.) Crashed near Ostend, Belgium. Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Robert Davis

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Robert Davis was Co-Pilot on B-17G #42-38035 involved in a mid-air collision over Ostend, Belgium with B-17 #43-38273 (also 550th BS) on 1 March 1945 (mission to Ulm, Germany.) Crashed on a farm in Slijpe, Belgium. Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Paul Gelman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    Flew missions with the 385th Bomb Group between 25 June 1944 - 12 October 1944.

  • Robert Harris

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    completed 33 missions on B-17 'Sugar Jo' Air Medal w 4/Oak Leaf Cluster

  • James Hendon

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    James Hendon was Ball Turret Gunner on B-17G #43-38273 involved in a mid-air collision over Ostend, Belgium with B-17 #42-38035 (also 550th BS) on 1 March 1945 (mission to Ulm, Germany.) Crashed near Ostend, Belgium. Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Arthur Herold

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Arthur Herold was Ball Turret Gunner on B-17G #42-38035 involved in a mid-air collision over Ostend, Belgium with B-17 #43-38273 (also 550th BS) on 1 March 1945 (mission to Ulm, Germany.) Crashed on a farm in Slijpe, Belgium. Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Joe Jones

    Military | Major | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Joe Jones Jr was Tail gunner on B-17 "Mr Lucky" 42-38035 on the 1 April 1945 mission to Ulm, Germany. Flying on the crew's 22nd mission in the low element approaching the coast of Belgium, cloud banks rose to more than 13,000ft. ...

  • Robert Keenan

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) - March 1, 1945 in a mid-air collision over Ostend, Belgium of his B-17 Serial 43-38273 with 42-38035 of the same formation. Awards: Air Medal, Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart

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Missions

  • 857

    1 March 1945

Places

  • Great Ashfield

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) near Ostend, Belgium 1 March 1945

Crashed after mid-air collision with 42-38035

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 November 2017 14:31:00 ED-BB Changes to description, events, person associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 16036

Date Contributor Update
11 October 2016 17:02:17 AlanHarris Changes to unit associations
Sources

Added squadron.

Date Contributor Update
11 October 2016 17:00:05 AlanHarris Changes to media associations
Sources

Added crew picture.

Date Contributor Update
11 October 2016 13:23:39 AlanHarris Changes to nicknames
Sources

Number and name connected through data available in 385th database at http://www.385thbga.com

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:26 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 16036 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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