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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 21/1/44; Gr Island 17/2/44; Presque Is 4/3/44; Assigned 550BS/385BG [SG-C] Gt Ashfield 6/3/44; Returned to the USA 121 BU Bradley 26/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 21/10/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 3/12/45. BARBARA B.



  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb 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


  • Paul Gelman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    Flew missions with the 385th Bomb Group between 25 June 1944 - 12 October 1944.

  • Truman Smith

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Co-Pilot, Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Truman was born on January 17, 1924 to the late Herman and Louise Smith in Guthrie Oklahoma. He graduated from Ponca City High School in 1942. After graduation from Ponca City High School, Truman joined the United States Air Corps. He received his...

  • John Webb

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 29 April 1944 in B-17 #42-97078, Prisoner of War (POW). Flew on Henry's Crew. POW

  • Robert Wilson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    35 missions: 1944 - Sep 19 Coblenz; 28 Merseburg; Oct 3 Wurzburg; 6 Cuxhaven; 7 Merseburg; 9 Mainz; 12 Cologne; 22 Munster; 25 Hamburg; Nov 2 Merseburg; 4 Hamburg; 5 Ludwigshaven; 6 Neumunster; 16 Langefwehe; 21 Giessen; 30 Merseburg; Dec 12 Darmstadt;...


  • Ashford

    Military site : airfield
    Built as an Advanced Landing Ground for the RAF in 1942-1943, Ashford was improved and made ready for the Ninth Air Force in 1944. The 406th Fighter Group operated from the airfield in 1944, before the airfield was returned to RAF use and returned to...

  • 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...

  • Presque Isle Army Airfield

    Military site : airfield


Not yet known


Date Contributor Update
09 June 2015 04:41:50 JasonR Changes to nicknames, unit associations and place associations

"The Wrong Stuff: The Adventures and Misadventures of an 8th Air Force Aviator" by Truman J. Smith

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:42 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log