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42-3388

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Denver 1/6/43; Dow Field 13/7/43; Assigned 388BG Knettishall 3/8/43; transferred 550BS/385BG [SG-F] Gt Ashfield /43; Missing in Action Oberpfaffenhofen 24/4/44 with Bill Nesen, Co-pilot: Bernie Gruble, Navigator: Jim Delo, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Lee Lance, Radio Operator: Fred Howland, Ball turret gunner: Joe McKenna (6 Killed in Action); Bombardier: Chester Desormeaux, Waist gunner: Evan Wells, Waist gunner: Murdoch McNeil,Tail gunner: Ernie Mitchell (4 Returned to Duty); enemy aircraft KOd three engines, ditched Channel off Dungeness, Kent, picked up by Air Sea Rescue Walrus. Missing Air Crew Report 4452. SLEEPYTIME GIRL.

Service

Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 550th Bomb Squadron

People

  • James Delo

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 April 1944 in B-17 #423388 'Sleepytime Gal. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). PH

  • Chester Desormeaux

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 April 1944 in B-17 #423388 'Sleepytime Gal. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Returned to base.

  • Bernard Gruble

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 April 1944 in B-17 #423388 'Sleepytime Girl.' Plane ditched in the English Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). Report #4452 PH, DWM

  • Sidney Harris

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    January to May 1945

  • Fred Howland

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 April 1944 in B-17 #423388 'Sleepytime Gal. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). PH

  • Lee Lance

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 April 1944 in B-17 #423388 'Sleepytime Gal. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). His name is commemorated on the Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery. PH

  • Joseph McKenna

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 April 1944 in B-17 42-3388 'Sleepytime Gal. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Murdock McNeil

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 April 1944 in B-17 42-3388 'Sleepytime Gal. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Ernest Mitchell

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 April 1944 in B-17 #42-3388 'Sleepytime Gal'. Plane ditched in Channel. Returned to base.

  • William Nesen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 April 1944 in B-17 #423388 'Sleepytime Gal. ' Plane ditched in Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). PH

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Places

  • Great Ashfield

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the...

  • Dungeness Kent

    Crash site

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Oberpfaffenhofen, 82234 Weßling, Germany 24 April 1944
Crashed Dungeness, Romney Marsh TN29 9NA, UK 24 April 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2016 23:38:01 hermanns Changes to nicknames
Sources

385th BG website

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:43 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 4452 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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