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Penelope the Cocker Spaniel

Civilian

Penelope was the pet dog of Nicholas Radosevich of the 453rd Bomb Group. He named the B-24 Liberators he flew "Lucky Penny" after her.

Radosevich was given Penny by a girl he went on a date with, while based at March Field in California. She travelled with him to the UK. Radosevich made Penny her own parachute pack and harness for flying with him.

Upon her arrival in Britain some officers tried to confiscate Penny to quarantine her for diseases, but Radosevich told them she had died during the journey.

On 27 March 1944, Radosevich took Penny with him on a mission to Pau, he made a bed for her in the cockpit and she sat between the pilot and co-pilot for the duration of the 10 hour mission. Radosevich commended her for not wetting herself.

When Radosevich was on leave in London or Norwich he left Penny in the care of Jane Lane, a 4 year old girl he befriended in Attleborough. Upon completing his 32 missions in June 1944, he gave Penny to Jane, as she liked her so much.

In 2006 Jane made contact with Radosevich, after finding his contact details inside a cylinder on Penny's collar. She informed him Penny had lived to be 14 years old.

Service

People

  • Nicholas Radosevich

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 453rd Bomb Group
    Radosevich was the assigned captain of crew 41, which was designated a 'model' crew and intended to train other crews joining the 734th Bomb Squadron. Before travelling to the UK, he was given Penelope, a cocker spaniel, who inspired the name of his...

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Units served with

  • 453rd Bomb Group

    453rd Bomb Group

    Group
    As well as strategic bombardment missions, the 453rd Bomb Group also ferried cargo on two occasions. They hauled petrol, blankets, and rations to France in September 1944 and dropped ammunition, food and medical supplies near Wesel during the airborne...

  • 734th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-52169 Lucky Penny

    B-24 Liberator
    The aircraft was named Lucky Penny after Penelope, the pet dog of pilot Nicholas Radosevich. The nose art was also painted in her likeness. ...

  • 42-95312 Lucky Penny

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 734th Bomb Squadron, 453rd Bomb Group. The aircraft completed its first mission on 9 May 1944. It was the second aircraft to be named Lucky Penny after Penelope, the pet dog of Pilot Nicholas Radosevich. ...

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 282

    27 March 1944
    This mission might be likened to a "shotgun blast" as a combined force 714 heavy bombers are despatched form all three Air Divisions to attack 11 different German airfields and air depots in France. Mission summary follows: ...

Associated Place

  • Old Buckenham

    Military site : airfield
    Allocated to the Eighth Air Force as a bomber base in 1942, Old Buckenham was built during 1942-43 with three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. The station was the exclusive home for the 453rd Bomb Group, equipped...

Events

Event Location Date
Born California 1943
Based March Army Airfield January 1944
Based Old Buckenham January 1944 – June 1944
Lived in Attleborough June 1944
Died 1957

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 May 2021 08:01:19 Emily Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, nationality, role, biography, events, person associations, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

A Retrospective View - World War II 1940-1945, by Reverend Ed Walker and Nicholas Radosevich (1995) at the Second Air Division Digital Archive

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