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42-29673

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Denver 31/1/43; Gt Falls 8/2/43; Morrison 5/3/43; Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-S] Chelveston 6/4/43; then 422BS [JJ-S]; severe battle damaged Wangerooge 15/5/43 with Capt Bill Whitson, Co-pilot: Harry Holt, Bombardier: Bob Barrall (wia), Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Albt Haymon (wia), Radio Operator: Fred Bewak (wia), Ball turret gunner: Edgar Nichols, Waist gunner: Homer Ramsey, Waist gunner: John Breen, Tail gunner: Ken Meyer, photo-George Friend (10 Returned to Duty); Navigator: Doug Venable (Killed in Action); crash landed base on return, Salvaged 16/5/43. OLD BILL.

Service

Units

  • 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. ...

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 365th Bomb Squadron
  • 422nd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Robert Barrall

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Assigned to 422BS, 305BG, 8AF USAAF. On 15-May-43 20 mm shells from Fw190 came through nose, shot away plexiglass of B-17 'Old Bill' B-17 42-29673 killing the navigator and wounding both pilots, Barrall flew the A/C home where the pilot having...

  • Fred Bewak

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    15 May 1943 20 mm shells from FW190 came through window, shot away plexiglass nose. Plane was Old Bill B-17 42-29673 Awards: Silver Star.

  • John Breen

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Assigned to 422BS, 305BG, 8AF USAAF. 15-May-43 20 mm shells from FW190 came through window, shot away plexiglass nose of B-17 42-29673 'Old Bill'. Later had mid air collision with RAF Beaufighter on training mission in B17 42-5376 'Eager Eagle' 31-Aug...

  • George Friend

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Photographer | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Assigned to 422BS, 305BG, 8AF USAAF. 15-May-43, 20 mm shells from FW190 came through window and shot away plexiglass nose of B-17 42-29673, 'Old Bill'. Shot down 14-Jul-43 in B-17 42-3049 'Windy City Challenger'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 64 ...

  • Albert Haymon

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer / Top Turret Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    15 May 1944 20 mm shells from FW190 came through window, shot away plexiglass nose. Plane was Old Bill B-17 42-29673. Awards: SS, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Harry Holt

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    15 May 1943 20 mm shells from FW190 came through window, shot away plexiglass nose. Plane was Old Bill B-17 42-29673

  • Kenneth Meyer

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Assigned to 422BS, 305BG, 8AF USAAF. 15-May-43 20 mm shells from FW190 came through window, shot away plexiglass nose. Plane was B-17 42-29673 'Old Bill'. Awarded Silver star for landing A/C after crew wounded by fighter attack. RTD ...

  • Edgar Nichols

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    15 May 1943 20 mm shells from FW190 came through window, shot away plexiglass nose. Plane was Old Bill B-17 42-29673

  • Douglas Venable

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Hit and killed by flak that came into the cabin. 20 mm shells from FW190 came through window, shot away plexiglass nose of B-17F 42-29673 'Old Bill' Killed in Action (KIA) May 15, 1943 Awards: SS, AM, PH.

  • William Whitson

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Assigned to 422BS, 305BG, 8AF USAAF. Wounded along with Co-pilot when 20mm round from enemy fighter exploded in nose of B-17 42-29673 'Old Bill', 15-May-43. Bombardier flew back to base where Capt Whitson landed the damaged A/C. Later with 3 engines...

Places

  • Chelveston

    Military site : airfield
    Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...

Events

Not yet known

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 February 2021 16:40:51 jmoore43 Changes to description
Sources

Added a space before the words "Tail gunner" in the A/C “Description” to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
19 November 2020 21:53:00 42-29673 Changes to nicknames
Sources

I meet with the pilot Capt. William (Bill) Whitson at his home in Denton, Tx. back in March 2007. He told me the story of his new plane 42-29673 JJ-S and how it got it's name "Old Bill". Bill was friendly with the 305th BG resident artist, Englishman Capt. Bruce Bairnsfather. Bruce asked Bill if he could paint his WW1 character "Old Bill" on his new plane. Bill thought it at great idea as his first plane 41-24529 JJ-T had never had a name. After consultation with his crew, Bill gave Bruce permission to paint the nose art "Old Bill" on his plane. It is also probable that the ship never carried the code XK-S as Bill told me, he was the only pilot to fly 42-29673 JJ-S "Old Bill" in it's short life with the 305th BG Cheers, Graham Meiklejohn

Date Contributor Update
29 September 2017 19:54:45 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, markings and unit associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/29022898?terms=42-29673

Date Contributor Update
08 July 2016 15:45:00 millebr Changes to nicknames
Sources

AAM; Fold3.com

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:23 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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