Skip to main content
Edit entry 

551st Bomb Squadron

Squadron

Structure

Part of
  • 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...

Encompassing
Not yet known
Previously was
Not yet known
Became
Not yet known

Stations

Station Location Date
Based Great Ashfield

Connections

People

  • Edward Abbott

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down by flak and crashed near Paris on 8/2/44 in B-17 #42-31598 POW

  • Edward Abbott

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group

  • Francis Abdella

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 551BS, 385BG, 8AF USAAF. 24 x missions. On 10 Nov '44 while circling over base to form up for a mission, the plane 'War Horse' developed an oil leak. The engine caught fire and then the plane caught fire. All the crew bailed out but the...

  • John Abrell

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 April 1944 in B-17 42-97569. Killed in Action (KIA). Killed instantly when a 20mm shell from an attacking fighter exploded inside the cockpit.

  • George Adams

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 29 April 1944 in B-17 #4297226. Killed in Action (KIA). PH

  • John Adams

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Baled out of B-17 #42-30264 'Dorsal Queen' Midair collision with 'Raunchy Wolf' on return from mission near Paris. Plane crashed at Tillingham Hall Farm, Essex. 26 Sept 1943. Adams was the only crewman able to bail out.

  • Frederick Albert

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). Shot down 5 December 1943 in B-17 #423397 'Fighting Cock. ' Plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Heading back to France with #3 engine on fire. With crew in dinghies, German shore patrol fired at dingies and 7 crew members died....

  • Arthur Alexander

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 385th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Crashed near Detmold on 11/2/44 in B-17 #4337888

  • Carl Alexander

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 4 January 1944 in B-17 #42-40046. Abandoned by crew after engine trouble on no 2 &3 engines. Crashed near Lutjenhorn. Prisoner of War (POW)

  • Fred Allez

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 385th Bomb Group
    B-17 was 'Charlotte Ann'. It was named for the co-pilot's wife

Show more

Aircraft

  • 42-102465 Wee Willie Wilber

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 5/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Dow Fd 14/4/44; Assigned 551BS/385BG HR-J] Gt Ashfield 20/4/44; Missing in Action Berlin 6/10/44 with Bill Jens, Athrian Vaughn, Bob Huff, Stewart Love, Chester Means, Joe Kunkle, Aloysius Kozanecki, Fred...

  • 42-30187 Lulu Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/4/43; Gore 6/5/43; Kearney 30/5/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-K] Gt Ashfield 16/6/43; Missing in Action Evreux 24/8/43 with Maj Preston Piper, Co-pilot: Vince Masters, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Luther...

  • 42-30249 Raunchy Wolf, El Sabo

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/5/43; Gore 13/5/43; Smoky Hill 14/5/43; Gt Falls 24/5/43; Kearney 30/5/43; Dow Fd 4/6/43; ...

  • 42-30264 Dorsal Queen

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 8/5/43; Gore 9/5/43; Kearney 10/4/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-S] Gt Ashfield 17/6/43; ...

  • 42-30364 The Old Shillelagh II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/5/43; Smoky Hill 1/6/43; Gr Isle 4/6/43; Dow Fd 29/6/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR- ] Gt Ashfield 26/6/43; Missing in Action Bordeaux, but t/o from North Africa 24/8/43 with Wilmot Grodi, Co-pilot: John Hughes, Navigator: Adelbert...

  • 42-30816 Mary Ellen III

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 31/7/43; Gr Isle 9/8/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [SG-J] Great Ashfield 25 August 1943. Hit by enemy fighters on the return flight on the 11 December 1943 mission to Emden, Germany. Last sighted near Norden, Germany, with engine #2 on...

  • 42-30822 Foolish Virgin aka The Dorsal Queen

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 4/8/43; Denver 16/8/43; Dalhart 17/8/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-R] Gt Ashfield 8/9/43; Missing in Action Regensburg 25/2/44 with Delmer Gray, Co-pilot: Jim Friend, Navigator: George Wisnick, Bombardier: Sgt John Breitenbachtogg,...

  • 42-30836 Dragon Lady

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 5/8/43; Geiger 13/8/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-V] Gt Ashfield 12/9/43; Missing in Action Pas de Calais 13/2/44 with Edwin Herron, Radio Operator: John Cortez, Ball turret gunner: Alf Seagrave, Waist gunner: Leon Wasilewski (4...

  • 42-31133

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 23/9/43; Gr Island 9/10/43; Romulus 1/11/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-Q] Gt Ashfield 2/11/43; Missing in Action Berlin 29/4/44 with Hector Garza, Co-pilot: George Beckner, Navigator: Albt Harmsen, Bombardier: Stacy Johnson, Flight...

  • 42-31174 Spirit of Chicago

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 27/9/43; Gr Island 19/10/43; Long Beach 28/11/43; Assigned 551BS/385BG [HR-Y] Gt Ashfield 5/12/43; Missing in Action Berlin 29/4/44 with Francis Hart, Co-pilot: Carl Connell, Navigator: Jim Hastings, Bombardier: Bob Hunt, Flight...

Show more

Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2016 18:23:44 hermanns Changes to insignia and aircraft types
Sources

Documented source

Date Contributor Update
21 September 2016 00:05:33 hermanns Changes to nicknames
Sources

Documented source

Date Contributor Update
10 April 2015 02:25:08 EMBLEMHUNTER Changes to media associations
Sources

my photo

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 16:28:15 rossingtonj Changes to type
Sources

Type added.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:50 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Units in the UK from ETOUSA Station List, as transcribed by Lt. Col. Philip Grinton (US Army, Retired) and extracted by IWM; air division data from L.D. Underwood, based on the 8th Air Force Strength Report of 6th August 1944, as published in 'The 8th Air Force Yearbook' by Lt. Col. John H Woolnough (1980)

Share