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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 Returned to Duty); Harry Thomas lwg (Killed in Action); force landed St Trond, Bel. Returned to the USA Bradley 7/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 9/7/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 9/12/45. HANK'S BOTTLE.



  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 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


  • Paul Backer

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 493rd Bomb Group
    Missions from 8 June to November 1944. AM/ DFC

  • Raymond Butler

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer | 493rd Bomb Group

  • Arthur Etter

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 493rd Bomb Group

  • 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....

  • Robert Johnson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group

  • Travis Jones

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group

  • Harry Thomas

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 2 November 1944. Mission to Merseberg, Germany. Severe flak and ME 262 fighters attacked plane. Pilot Joseph Gualono did eventually land plane in Belgium. AM w/ 4 Oak Leaf Cluster/ PH

  • Fred Townsend

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group


  • 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
Assigned Debach UK 11 August 1944

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

Crashed Sint-Truiden, Belgium 2 November 1944

Mission to Merseberg, Germany. Severe flak and ME 262's attacked plane. Battle damaged. force landed St Trond, Belgium. 8 x RTD, 1 x KIA. 2-Nov-44.


Date Contributor Update
09 October 2018 16:41:51 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, manufacturer, events, unit associations and person associations

Date Contributor Update
25 April 2018 09:29:23 Lucy May Changes to nicknames, description, events, unit associations and person associations

Added connections to airmen's records.

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log