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42-31050

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 11/9/43; Gr Island 3/10/43; Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-R] Kimbolton 19/10/43; transferred 527BS;

Missing in Action Frankfurt 29/1/44 with Jack Rhyner, Co-pilot: Leon Lovens, Radio Operator: Fred Brown, Ball turret gunner: Walt Eckleberry (4 evaded capture);

Navigator: Jim Dennis, Bombardier: Harry Walz, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Joe Ventimiglia captured 16/3/44, Waist gunner: John Ault, Waist gunner: Larry Giles captured 16/3/44,Tail gunner: Frank Mabante (6 Prisoner of War);

Shot down by enemy aircraft, crash landed Bra-Lierneux, Liege, Bel.; Missing Air Crew Report 2874.

The crash site was recently discovered by the Bulge Relics Museum, in the Belgian Ardennes.
The location of the crash site is in the Joubieval-Ottre area. The team found lots of B-17 parts there including an aluminum plate with the number stenciled : - 31050
For more detailed information see: http://bulgerelics.skynetblogs.be/

Service

Units

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 527th Bomb Squadron

People

  • John Ault

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    John Ault was part of the crew of B-17G #42-31050, which crashed for unknown reasons on a mission to Frankfurt on 29 January 1944. ...

  • Fred Brown

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    B-17G #42-31050 crashed for unknown reasons on mission to Frankfurt on 29 Jan 1944. Evaded (EVD). On 30 July 1943, on return from Kassel raid, crash-landed in aircraft B-17 42-5813 'Jackie Ellen'. May have been Fred Brown listed as LWG.

  • James Dennis

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 379th Bomb Group
    B-17G #42-31050 crashed for unknown reasons on mission to Frankfurt on 29 Jan 1944. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Malcom Eckleberry

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Malcom Eckleberry was Ball Turret Gunner on B-17G #42-31050 crashed for unknown reasons (possibly Flak, then enemy fighters...) on the mission to Frankfurt (his fifth) on 29 January 1944. Evaded with the help of Belgian citizens and members of the...

  • Larry Giles

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    B-17G #42-31050 crashed for unknown reasons on mission to Frankfurt on 29 Jan 1944. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Earl Houston

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 28 x combat missions. Flew B-17 42-31083 'Tenny Belle' for most of his missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Jones

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 19 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Wernigeerode in B-17F 42-31028; Hit by flak, exploded in mid-air and crashed near Munster, Germany on 22-Feb-44. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2872 ...

  • Leon Levens

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Leon Levens was Co-Pilot on his 4th mission when B-17G #42-31050 crashed for unknown reasons (possibly Flak, then enemy fighters...) on the mission to Frankfurt on 29 January 1944. Evaded with the help of Belgian citizens and members of the Résistance....

  • Frank Mabente

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    B-17G #42-31050 crashed for unknown reasons on mission to Frankfurt on 29 Jan 1944. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Jack Rhyner

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Jack Rhyner served as a pilot with the 527th Bomb Squadron of the 379th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Kimbolton, England. ...

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Places

  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
    Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....

  • Joubieval

    Crash site

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Frankfurt, Germany 29 January 1944
Crashed Joubiéval, Belgium 29 January 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 January 2017 11:34:30 Lucy May Changes to description
Sources

Correspondence with Jean-François Noirhomme, curator of the Bulge Relics Museum.
See also: http://bulgerelics.skynetblogs.be/

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:36 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 2874 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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