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42-31441

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 3 November 1943. Kearney 16 November 1943. Assigned 360BS/303BG Molesworth 4 January 1944. Lost in collision with a B-17 from another group (42-29747 of the 379th Bomb Group) during the take-off climb to the Group formation area. The mission was to Kiel, Germany. All ten men on board were killed : Pilot 2nd Lt Benajah G. Burkitt, Co-pilot 2nd Lt Harold J. Kuhn, Navigator 2nd Lt Herbert A. Foote Jr, Bombardier 2nd Lt Fred J. Reith, Flight engineer/top turret gunner Philip H. Gatewood, Radio Operator Alvin Cantrell, Ball turret gunner Sgt Arthur Berntzen, Left Waist gunner William E. Stoffregen, Right Waist gunner: Lee E. Brown, Tail gunner Cleve C. Rush. Crashed Catworth, Huntingdonshire, United Kingdom. Salvaged by 2 SAD at Little Staughton.

Service

Aircraft

  • 42-29747 Rikki Tikki Tavi II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 12/2/43; Walker 27/2/43; Smoky Hill 13/3/43; Presque Is 8/4/43; Assigned 339BS/96BG Grafton Underwood 18/4/43; Andrews Fd 13/5/43; Snetterton 12/6/43; transferred 526BS/379BG [LF-D] Kimbolton 12/7/43; coll with 42-31441 (303BG),...

  • 42-37887

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 1/10/43; Gr Island 24/10/43; Assigned 527BS/379BG [FO-S] Kimbolton 22/11/43; during assembly for mid-air coll with #42-31441 (303 BG), with Wayne Maresh, Co-pilot: Frank Mailander, Navigator: Bob Romme, Bombardier: Burton Kashatt,...

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Units

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 360th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Arthur Berntzen

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in plane #42-31441. Mid-air collision after T/O.

  • Lee Brown

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in plane #42-29747. Mid-air collision after T/O.

  • Benajah Burkitt

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in plane #42-31441. Mid-air collision after T/O.

  • Alvin Cantrell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in plane #42-31441. Mid-air collision after T/O.

  • Herbert Foote

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in plane #42-31441. Mid-air collision after T/O.

  • Philip Gatewood

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in plane #42-31441. Mid-air collision after T/O.

  • Harold Kuhn

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Harold Kuhn enlisted in the Air Corps shortly after Pearl Harbour. Training as a heavy bomber pilot, he received his wings at Altus, Oklahoma on 26 June 1943. Assigned to the 303rd Bomb Group/360th Bomb Squadron, he was sent to England and as co-pilot...

  • Fred Reith

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in plane #42-31441. Mid-air collision after T/O.

  • Cleve Rush

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in plane #42-31441. Mid-air collision after T/O.

  • William Stoffregen

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in plane #42-31441. Mid-air collision after T/O.

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 176

    5 January 1944
    This mission consists of five elements: The first element is a combined force of 131 B-17s are despatched by 1st Bomb Division: 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 379BG; 384BG; and 482BG to bomb the shipyards and industrial areas of Kiel, Germany. 119 are...

Places

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

  • Covington/Catworth

    Crash site

Events

Not yet known

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
09 August 2020 17:22:06 hooahman336 Changes to description
Sources

Corrected info on a/c it collided with

Date Contributor Update
22 November 2017 11:19:10 ED-BB Changes to description
Sources

Research on crew member names

Date Contributor Update
22 November 2017 10:16:27 ED-BB Changes to description and mission associations
Sources

Corrected loss date

Date Contributor Update
22 November 2017 10:10:53 ED-BB Changes to manufacturer, markings, description, unit associations, person associations and mission associations
Sources

Research on crew member names

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:38 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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