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42-29928

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 12/3/43; Walla Walla 25/3/43; Metropolitan 13/4/43; Presque Is 29/4/43; Assigned 533BS/381BG [VP-W] Ridgewell 23/6/43; Missing in Action 2m Le Mans 4/7/43 with Olof Ballinger, Navigator: Paul McConnell, Tail gunner: Bill Howell, Waist gunner: Francis Owens (but died of exposure in Pyrenees en route to Spain) (4 evaded capture); Bombardier: George Williams, Ball turret gunner: Albert Wackerman, Waist gunner: Harry Bauscher (3 Killed in Action); Co-pilot: John Carah, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: John Lane, Radio Operator: Byron Gronstal (3 Prisoner of War); shot down by FW190, crashed La Coulanche, near Tours, Fr. Missing Air Crew Report 161.

Service

Units

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 533rd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Olaf Ballinger

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Ballinger Crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 4 July 1943 on B-17 #42-29928. Mission #7 to the Gnome-Rhone engine factory in Le Mans, France. MACR 161. Evaded capture, EE 248. Evaded for months with S/Sgt Owens until Lt Ballinger dropped...

  • Harry Bauscher

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    RWG, Ballinger Crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 4 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29928. Mission #7 to the Gnome-Rhone engine factory in Le Mans, France. MACR 161. Killed in Action (KIA). Originally buried by German troops. Reinterred in Cincinnati,...

  • John Carah

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Co-Pilot; Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Co-pilot, Ballinger Crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 4 July 1943 over Normandy while on bombing mission to Gnome-Rhone engine factory in LeMans, France in B-17 #42-29928. ...

  • Byron Gronstal

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Flight Engineer | 381st Bomb Group
    ETTG, Ballinger Crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 4 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29928. Mission #7 to the Gnome-Rhone engine factory at Le Mans, France. MACR 161. Landed near Lt Ballinger who observed Sgt Gronstal was wounded with a broken nose and...

  • William Howell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    TG, Ballinger Crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 4 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29928. Mission #7 to the Gnome-Rhone engine factory in Le Mans, France. MACR 161. Evaded. EE 328. Wounded in the head, hand, arm and both legs. Walked over the Pyrenees...

  • John Lane

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 381st Bomb Group
    Radio operator, Ballinger Crew. Original member of the Alexander crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 4 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29928. Mission #7 to the Gnome-Rhone engine factory in Le Mans, France. MACR 161. Wounded by 20mm shell in the right...

  • Paul McConnell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Ballinger Crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 4 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29928. Mission #7 to the Gnome-Rhone engine factory in Le Mans, France. MACR 161. Evaded. Escape & Evasion Report E&E 380. See the page about his evasion at http:/...

  • Francis Owens

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    'Bud' Owens was on B-17F 42-29928 when it was shot down near la Coulonche, Normandy on 4th July 1943. Mission #7 to the Gnome-Rhone engine factory in Le Mans, France. MACR 161. ...

  • Albert Wackerman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    BTG, Ballinger Crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 4 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29928. Mission #7 to the Gnome-Rhone engine factory in Le Mans, France. MACR 161. Killed in Action (KIA). Possibly killed by flak burst under the aircraft. Buried in the...

  • George Williams

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 381st Bomb Group
    Bombardier, Shenk crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Crash landed on 22 June 1943 on the 381st first operational mission on B-17 #42-29984 "Linda Mary". Wounded. ...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 71

    4 July 1943
    The aircraft factories at Le Mans and Nantes, France and the lock gates and harbour facilities at La Pallice, France are the primary targets for this mission. The mission is comprised of three elements: ...

Places

  • Ridgewell

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1941-42 as an RAF bomber station, Ridgewell operated as a satellite to RAF Stradishall until May 1943. It had three concrete runways, initially 36 pan hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. Taken over by the Eighth Air Force in June...

  • Presque Isle Army Airfield

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Le Mans, France 4 July 1943
Crashed 61220 La Coulonche, France 4 July 1943

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 November 2017 18:13:31 ARowe95 Changes to mission associations
Sources

ARowe95

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:24 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 161 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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