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The crew of "Flak Suit" in Texas, 1943. Back row, from left to right Hank C. Johnson, George Watt, Albertus Harrenstein, Leslie E. Meader, Joseph A. Sage and John M. Craig. Front row : William J. Bramwell Jr, William E. Current, Charles L. Smith and John J. Maiorca.

Connections

Units

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 563rd Bomb Squadron

People

  • William Bramwell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot
    Shot down 5 November 1943 in B-17 #42-30789 'Flak Suit', Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • John Craig

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner
    KIA 5 November 1943. B-17 "Flak Suit" # 42-30789 of 388th Bomb Group/563rd Bomb Squadron.

  • William Current

    Military | Major | Command Pilot
    Shot down 5 November 1943 in B-17 #42-30789 'Flak Suit'. William Current landed at the Ruiter in Waasmunster, to the West of Lokeren, Belgium, and was quickly captured on 5 November 1943. It seems that Lt Current, kept after his arrest in a cellar in...

  • Hank Johnson

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer / Top Turret Gunner
    Shot down 5 November 1943. B-17 "Flak Suit" # 42-30789 of 388th Bomb Group/563rd Bomb Squadron. EVADED. Hank Johnson landed near the Neerstraat in Waasmunster, East of Lokeren, Belgium. He was helped in his evasion by many Belgian and french patriots. ...

  • John Maiorca

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier
    Shot down 5 November 1943 in B-17 #42-30789 "Flak Suit" of 388th Bomb Group/563rd Bomb Squadron. EVADED. Lt Maiorca landed in parachute near a farm in the Ruiter Hamlet of Waasmunster, East of Lokeren, Belgium and from there on was helped by many...

  • Leslie Meader

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner
    Shot down 5 November 1943 in B-17 #42-30789 'Flak Suit' of 388th Bomb Group/563rd Bomb Squadron. Leslie Meader landed in the vicinity of Lokeren and was quickly captured on 5 November 1943 with four others (Bramwell, Current, Smith and Sage). He found...

  • Joseph Sage

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner
    Shot down 5 November 1943 in B-17 #42-30789 'Flak Suit' of 388th Bomb Group/563rd Bomb Squadron. Joseph Sage landed in the Neerstraat in Waasmunster, Belgium, to the East of Lokeren. Quickly captured on 5 November 1943 with four others (Bramwell,...

  • Charles Smith

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
    Shot down 5 November 1943 in B-17 #42-30789 'Flak Suit'. Prisoner of War (POW). Charles Smith landed in the Dauwstraat in Waasmunster, to the East of Lokeren, Belgium, and was quickly captured on 5 November 1943 with four others (Bramwell, Current,...

  • George Watt

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner
    Shot down 5 November 1943 in B-17 #42-30789 'Flak Suit' of 388th Bomb Group/563rd Bomb Squadron. Evaded with the help of the the Comet Line. Wrote a book about his evasion : "Escape from Hitler's Europe : An American Airman Behind Enemy Lines". See his...

Aircraft

  • 42-30789 Flak Suit

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/7/43; Dyersburg 7/8/43; Assigned 563BS/388BG Knettishall 3/9/43; Missing in Action Gelsenkirchen 5/11/43 with Pilot William J. Bramwell Jr, Co-Pilot William E. Current, Navigator Charles L. Smith, Bombardier John J. Maiorca, Radio...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 121

    5 November 1943
    Having had good success with P-38 escorts and limiting penetration depth into Germany this mission is directed at the railroad marshaling yards and oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. In addition the marshaling yards at Munster, Germany are also...

Locations

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
20 April 2015 10:44:38 ED-BB Created entry with caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW records
MACR 3137
Escape & Evasion Reports
Wiast Gunner George Watt's book "Escape from Hitler's Europe : An American Airman Behind Enemy Lines".

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