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John E Breen


Assigned to 422BS, 305BG, 8AF USAAF. 15-May-43 20 mm shells from FW190 came through window, shot away plexiglass nose of B-17 42-29673 'Old Bill'. Later had mid air collision with RAF Beaufighter on training mission in B17 42-5376 'Eager Eagle' 31-Aug-43. One of only 2 survivors on the plane. 30-Jan-44 returned to US after being grounded by the Medical Board.

Awards: SS, WWII Victory, EAME.



  • Charles Awrajcewicz

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Charles F Awrajcewicz served between June 1942 and the fatal training flight on 31 August 1943 - mid-air collision with Beaufighter Serial V8715 of RAF 75 Squadron. He had flown in over 25 missions, both daylight and night bombing ones. He originally...

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 422nd Bomb Squadron


  • 42-29673 'Old Bill'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 31/1/43; Gt Falls 8/2/43; Morrison 5/3/43; Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-S] Chelveston 6/4/43; then 422BS [JJ-S]; severe battle damaged Wangerooge 15/5/43 with Capt Bill Whitson, Co-pilot: Harry Holt, Bombardier: Bob Barrall (wia), Flight...

  • 42-5376 Eager Eagle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 25/11/42; Salina 4/1/43; Morrison 6/2/43; Assigned 422BS/305BG [JJ-X] Chelveston 1/3/43; collision with Beaufighter (V8715) 31/8/43, with Floyd Truesdell, Co-pilot: Allan McDaniel, Navigator: Bill Cullity, Bombardier: Bob Barrall,...

Associated Place

  • Chelveston

    Military site : airfield
    Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...


Event Location Date


Date Contributor Update
29 September 2017 18:26:40 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, awards, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Key Image ID.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:53 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop & Hey pp 121-2, p. 259