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42-5077

B-17 Flying Fortress

Tulsa 15 September 1942, arrived in Bangor, Northern Ireland 11 October 1942; Assigned to the 323 Bomb Squadron/ 91st Bomb Group [coded OR-T] at Bassingbourn on 15 October 1942. On 1 May 1943, Delta Rebel No. 2 became the first B-17 Flying Fortress of the 8th Air Force to complete 25 missions.
Missing in Action over Gelsenkirchen on 12 August 1943 with Bob Thompson (Thomson per POW records), Co-pilot: Serge Klinkow (Klimkow per POW records), Navigator: George Lausted, Bombardier: Mike Couzzi, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Carroll Goodwin, Radio Operator: Bob Brooks (6 Prisoner of War); Ball turret gunner: Wayne Kienberger, Waist gunner: Bob Ziernicki, Tail gunner: Chas Blonstein, Waist gunner: Micky Lengyel (4 Killed in Action); enemy aircraft set ship ablaze, crashed Brunninghausen, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 261. DELTA REBEL No. 2.

Baugher: damaged by Hptm Naumann of JG 26/6, then shot down by Obfw Adolf Glunz in Fw 190A-5 of JG 26/4 at Brunninghausen, Germany

The Delta Crew had a discouraging setback in September 1942 when our new warplane, "The Delta Rebel", was severely damaged in a taxi accident at Mitchell Field in New York. We were flying a long range cruise control mission from Dow Field over the water to Tampa and back. On the return leg we were diverted to Mitchell because of weather. Transient maintenance, in the process of taxiing the Rebel for dispersal, collided with two other planes, inflicting major damage to all three. We had been assured the spot we had been parked on after we landed okay. Then, after we had secured the plane and departed, the NCO-In-Charge decided to move our plane to another dispersal point. Being unqualified to taxi a B-17F, he failed to turn on the main hydraulic switch with actuated the brake pressure and therefore had no brakes when he tried to taxi the aircraft, thus the bang-up.

We were really "down in the dumps" on our ride in a transport plane back to Bangor. We had taken such pride in our very first Fortess. Soon after we turned, we were assigned a replacement B-17F, tail number 25077, which we promptly named "The Delta Rebel No. 2", with the portrait of an old Confederate Colonel painted on both sides of the nose. We made two test hops, one up to 29,000 feet, to check out the guns and the different aircraft systems and felt we were ready. We departed for the United Kingdom by way of Gander Lake, Newfoundland, and Prestwick, Scotland and arrive in mid October at our new base at Bassinbourn.

Delta Rebel (2) was probably the first B-17F to have a 50 Cal Machine Gun in the nose, mounted by the 323rd Bomb Squadron Sheet Metal Crew and Squadron welders, through the Plexiglas nose. The idea was that of George Birdsong; Pilot of the Delta Rebel (2).

The information in this paragraph provided by Whitmal Hill.

Service

Units

  • 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. ...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 323rd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Robert Abb

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions on 'Delta Rebel #2'

  • George Birdsong

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions as pilot on 'Delta Rebel No2'. ...

  • Charles Blonstein

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 12 August 1943 in B-17 #42-5077 'Delta Rebel No. 2', Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Robert Brooks

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 12 August 1943 in B-17 #42-5077 'Delta Rebel No. 2', Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • B Byrd

    Military | Master Sergeant | Radio Operator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Assigned to 323BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. Flew 25 x missions on B-17 42-5077 'Delta Rebel No. 2'. Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Card

    Military | Tail Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Robert Card was Tail Gunner on 'Delta Rebel No 2' and based at Bassingbourn with the 91st BG. ...

  • Henry Carter

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions on 'Delta Rebel #2'

  • Michael Couzzi

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 12 August 1943 in B-17 #42-5077 'Delta Rebel No. 2', Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Maurice Gole

    Military | Master Sergeant | Crew Chief | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Assigned to 323BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. Crew chief on 'Delta Rebel #2' Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Carroll Goodwin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 12 August 1943 in B-17 #42-5077 'Delta Rebel No. 2', Prisoner of War (POW). POW

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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 17

    8 November 1942
    Two Primary (P) targets are the objects of this mission: the German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France and the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works at Lille, France. 91BG despatches 15 B-17s to Abbeville and 301BG and 306BG despatch a combined...

  • VIII Bomber Command 53

    1 May 1943
    The U-boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the primary target. 78 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (19); 305BG (21); 306BG (18). Poor weather frustrates the bombing effort and only 29 of the 78 despatched are effective on the target. The ordnance...

  • VIII Bomber Command 81

    12 August 1943
    This mission is separated into two elements. The first element is a combined force of 183 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division: 91BG (22); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (20); 351BG (21); 379BG (21); 381BG (20); and 384BG (20) are dispatched to bomb...

Places

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

Events

Event Location Date
Completed 25 Missions Bassingbourn 1 May 1943

Operational Status Charts and Bombardier Robert Abb in his logbook list this date was the aircraft's 25th mission

Failed to Return (FTR) Germany 12 August 1943

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2021 20:19:26 acbernstein1 Changes to description
Sources

http://www.91stbombgroup.com/crewphotos/deltarebel.html

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2021 11:13:42 Snautzer Changes to description
Sources

http://cgibin.rcn.com/jeremy.k/cgi-bin/gzUsafSearch.pl?target=42-5077&co...

Date Contributor Update
29 October 2020 15:24:37 Emily Changes to description and events
Sources

Research presentation by Mick Hanou, President of 91st Bomb Group association, to the 8th Air Force Historical society on 24 October 2020, confirmed that Delta Rebel No 2 was the first B-17 of the 8th Air Force to complete 25 missions, Hanou's research crossed referenced the original Log book of Robert Abb with an original Operational Status Chart for Delta Rebel No 2 to confirm this fact.

Date Contributor Update
21 August 2020 18:24:21 jmoore43 Changes to description
Sources

Added comments to the "Description" indicating a spelling difference in the surname per WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA).

Date Contributor Update
21 August 2020 17:48:25 jmoore43 Changes to mission associations
Sources

Added a connection to Mission #25 for the A/C Delta Rebel No. 2 per data from the logbook of bombardier Robert Abb.

Date Contributor Update
21 August 2020 17:15:16 jmoore43 Changes to mission associations
Sources

Added a connection to Mission #1 for the A/C Delta Rebel No. 2 per data from diary of bombardier Robert Abb.

Date Contributor Update
20 August 2020 20:30:57 jmoore43 Changes to unit associations
Sources

Added a unit connection to the 8th AF per MACR 261 at fold3.com.
Source: https://www.fold3.com/image/29419251

Date Contributor Update
03 January 2020 15:59:54 jmoore43 Changes to description
Sources

Added a space in the description for readability.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:53 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 261 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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