Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress 42-30401

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Date: 28 May 1943 to 28 Jul 1943
Location: Snetterton Heath Air Fieldmap
Surname/tag: Hettrick,Adair,Bramblett,Herrick,Connell,Reeves,Kinney,Kubis,Mosbey,Lukowitz
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These are the men who flew and fought aboard the Flying Fortress nicknamed "Gloria Ann"

B-17 Flying Fortress
Production block number: B-17F-100-BO Fortress
Manufacturer: Boeing
Delivered Cheyenne 28 May 43
Kearney 9 June 43
Dow Field 27 June 43
Assigned 338BS / 96BG [BX- ] Snetterton 26 June 43

338th Bombardment Squadron
Established as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber squadron; trained under Second Air Force. Deployed to European Theater of Operations (ETO), assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England, Flew combat missions over Nazi Germany and Occupied Europe until the German capitulation in May 1945.[1]

• Constituted 338th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
Activated on 15 July 1942
Inactivated on 19 December 1945
• 96th Bombardment Group, 15 July 1942 – 15 December 1945

• Salt Lake City Army Air Base, Utah, 15 July 1942
• Gowen Field, Idaho, 6 August 1942
• Walla Walla Army Air Base, Washington, 16 August 1942
• Rapid City Army Air Base, South Dakota, 29 September 1942
• Pocatello Army Airfield, Idaho, 1 November 1942
• Pyote Army Air Base, Texas, 3 January-16 April 1943
• RAF Great Saling (AAF-485), England, 12 May 1943
• RAF Snetterton Heath (AAF-138), England, 12 June 1943 – 11 December 1945

• B-17 Flying Fortress, 1943–1945
• World War II portal
This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website [2] 1. • [3] 2. • [1] • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
• Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.

B-17, also called Flying Fortress, U.S. heavy bomber used during World War II. The B-17 was designed by the Boeing Aircraft Company in response to a 1934 Army Air Corps specification that called for a four-engined bomber at a time when two engines were the norm.
The bomber was intended from the outset to attack strategic targets by precision daylight bombing, penetrating deep into enemy territory by flying above the effective range of antiaircraft artillery. Turbo-supercharged radial engines (a uniquely American development) were to give the necessary high-altitude performance, and heavy defensive armament was to provide protection against attacking fighters. Accuracy was to be achieved with the Norden bombsight, developed and fielded in great secrecy during the 1930s. The Norden consisted of a gyroscopically stabilized telescopic sight coupled to an electromechanical computer into which the bombardier fed inputs for altitude, atmospheric conditions, air speed, ground speed, and drift. During the bomb run, the sight was slaved to the automatic pilot to guide the aircraft to the precise release point. In the hands of a skilled bombardier, the Norden was a remarkably accurate sight.
The first prototype bomber flew in mid-1935, and the B-17 entered small-scale production in 1937. Early versions proved to be more vulnerable to fighter attack than anticipated, but, by the time the B-17E version began to go into service shortly before the United States entered the war in 1941, the plane was equipped with turrets in the upper fuselage, belly, and tail. All but the last turret were power-operated, and each mounted a pair of 0.50-calibre (12.7-mm) machine guns. This increased firepower made the B-17 a formidable opponent for enemy fighters, particularly when flying in tightly stacked defensive formations for mutual protection. The basic element of a typical formation was a squadron “box” of 9 or 12 aircraft; three squadron boxes staggered vertically and horizontally formed a group, and three groups in trail formed a combat wing. In the event, the need to keep such tight defensive formations over Europe compromised the accuracy of the Norden bombsight, since individual bomb runs were not possible without breaking the formation. Whole bomb formations had to drop their loads on the lead bombardier’s command, and the inevitable small differences in timing and heading led to dispersed bomb patterns.
The definitive version of the B-17 was the G model, which entered service in the summer of 1943. Armed with no less than 13 0.50-calibre machine guns, including two in a new “chin” turret for defense against head-on attack, the B-17G fairly bristled with machine guns. It was operated by a crew of 10, including the pilot, copilot, navigator-radioman, bombardier, and gunners. The plane’s service ceiling of 25,000 to 35,000 feet (7,500 to 10,500 metres), depending on the bomb load, put it above the worst of the German antiaircraft artillery, but, firepower notwithstanding, formations of B-17s proved unable to fight their way unescorted to targets deep inside Germany in the face of determined fighter opposition without incurring excessive losses. Deep raids were called off in mid-October 1943 and were not resumed until February 1944, when long-range escort fighters such as the P-51 Mustang became available. A 4,000-pound (1,800-kg) bomb load was typical for long missions, though the B-17 could carry up to 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg) internally for shorter distances at lower altitudes and even more on external racks beneath the wings. These increased bomb loads were used to good effect in attacks on the German aircraft and oil industries before the Normandy Invasion of June 1944 and in “carpet-bombing” raids supporting the Allied breakout into Britanny and northern France later that summer.
Sharing production with the Douglas, Lockheed, and Vega companies, Boeing oversaw the manufacture of some 12,730 Flying Fortresses, nearly all of them committed to high-altitude bombing over Europe. Though produced in smaller numbers than its partner the B-24 Liberator, the B-17, with superior high-altitude performance and greater resistance to battle damage, was the mainstay of the strategic bombing campaign. The B-17 had excellent flight characteristics and, unlike the B-24, was almost universally well regarded by those who flew it. Rendered obsolete by the larger and more powerful B-29 Superfortress, the B-17 served on after the war in small numbers as a search-and-rescue aircraft modified to drop life rafts by parachute.[4]

96th Test Wing
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from 96th Bombardment Group)
World War II
The group was first activated in July 1942 at Salt Lake City Army Air Base, Utah as the 96th Bombardment Group, with the 337th, 338th, 339th and 413th Bombardment Squadrons[note 5] assigned as its original components.[6][7][8][9] After moving to Gowen Field, Idaho the group received its initial cadre. The group trained at various bases in the northwestern United States.[10] In November 1942 the group moved to Pocatello Army Air Base, Idaho, where it acted as an Operational Training Unit (OTU). OTUs were oversized parent units that provided cadres to form "satellite groups."[10][11] In early 1943, the 96th relocated to Pyote Army Air Base, Texas, where it resumed its combat training. In April 1943 the group began its overseas movement. The air echelon ferried its bombers via the North Atlantic Ferry Route, while the ground echelon proceeded to the New York Port of Embarkation and sailed on the RMS Queen Elizabeth for Greenock, Scotland.[12] The group arrived at RAF Grafton Underwood England in May 1943, for duty with Eighth Air Force. The group was assigned to the 45th Combat Bombardment Wing of the 3d Bombardment Division. The group commenced combat operations on 14 May with an attack on Kortrijk (Courtrai), after an aborted mission the previous day.[13] The 96th moved east at the end of May to RAF Andrews Field. The 96th appears to have only carried out one mission while based at Andrews. On 29 May 1943 they took part in a raid on Rennes naval storage depot from which one B-17 failed to return.[citation needed] However, Eighth Air Force was not pleased with the initial performance of the Martin B-26 Marauder units assigned to it and decided to move them from their bases in north Suffolk to stations nearer the continent. As the first step in this move, the 386th Bombardment Group left its base at RAF Snetterton Heath for RAF Boxted. The 96th took the 386th's place at Snetterton Heath the following day, leaving its previous base available for the 322d Bombardment Group.[14][15] [5]

The Eighth Air Force vs. The Luftwaffe
In the grisly battle for European air supremacy, the Luftwaffe proved a deadly foe to Allied bombers. The United States Eighth Air Force deployed to England with a daunting mission: destroy Germany’s ability to wage war, and gain command of the European skies to pave the way for an Allied land invasion. In order to accomplish it, thousands of American airmen had to face the constant threat of death daily. German anti-aircraft fire, or flak, was one of those deadly threats. The other more feared threat was the German Luftwaffe.
Throughout the summer of 1943, American bomber crews sustained heavy casualties. Losses of 30 or more aircraft—300 men—were not uncommon throughout the summer. John Luckadoo, a pilot in the 100th Bomb Group recalled that he “calculated a 400 percent turnover in the first 90 days” of combat. In 1943, bomber crews were tasked with a 25-mission tour of duty. Most crews never made it past their fifth. The Luftwaffe owned the skies over Europe and the men of the Eighth Air Force were paying the price.
A fatalistic sense of acceptance became prevalent. A popular saying at the time was that to “fly in the Eighth Air Force then was like holding a ticket to a funeral —your own.” Abnormal behavior became more common. Insomnia, irritability, sudden temper flashes, nausea, weight loss, blurred vision, introverted withdrawal, inability to concentrate, and Parkinson’s-like tremors were a few of the symptoms seen by flight surgeons. Nightmares so vivid that they caused the men to wake up screaming in the night were not uncommon. Men became jumpy and jittery, the “Focke-Wulf Jitters,” or “flak happy,” became commonly used terms in the Eighth Air Force.[6]

B-17F 42-30401 crashed in the North Sea off the German coast 28/7-1943
The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 96 Bomb Group,338 Bomb Squadron and was coded BX-?
T/O Snetterton. OP: Oschersleben.
Near the German coast 42-30401 piloted by 1st Stephen W. Hettrick was attacked by a German fighter and crashed into the North Sea.
The body of Engineer T/Sgt William J. Connell was found drifted ashore on Henne Strand beach on 11/8 and was laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery in Esbjerg on 17/8 1943. In 1948 his body was disinterred and taken to the US Millitary Cemetery Neuville-en-Condron in Belgium.
On 12/8 the body of Bombardier 2.Lt Marshall Herrick was found drifted ashore near Lakolk on the island of Rømø and was laid to rest in Kirkeby cemetery on 16/8 1943. In 1948 he was disinterred and taken to the US Millitary Cemetery Neuville-en-Condron in Belgium. Today he rests in USA.
After the war it was believed by some people that Pilot 1.Lt Stephen W. Hettrick had been found near Lakolk on the island of Rømø on 16/8-43 and had been laid to rest in Kirkeby cemetery on 19/8 1943. This was questioned from official American hold and today he is declared “Missing in Action”.
The following crew members have no known graves and their names are found on Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England: Co-Pilot 2.Lt Jack G. Adair, Navigator 2.Lt Calvin T. Bramblet, Radio Operator William W. Reeves, Ball turret gunner S/Sgt Clifford W. Kinney, Right Waist Gunner S/Sgt Charles R. Mosbey , Left waist gunner Sgt Bronislaus J. Kubis and Tail Gunner S/Sgt Stanley Lukowitz Jr.[7]

Missing in Action Oschersleben 28 July 43 with pilot Steve Hettrick, Co-pilot: Jack Adair, Navigator: Calvin Bramlett, Bombardier: Marshall Herrick*, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bill Connell*, Radio Operator: Bill Reeves, Ball turret gunner: Clifford Kinney, Waist gunner: Bronislaus Kubis*, Waist gunner: Chas Mossbey, Tail gunner: Stan Lukowitz (10 KIA - *bodies washed up weeks later); enemy aircraft, crashed North Sea; Missing Air Crew Report 139.[8][9][10]

Crew of the B-17 Bomber "Gloria Ann"
Pilot - Hettrick, Stephen William 1st Lt.
Co-Pilot - Adair, Jack Gibbens 2nd Lt.
Navigator - Bramblett, Calvin Thornton 2nd Lt.
Bombardier - Herrick, Marshall 2nd Lt.
Radio - William Witham Reeves T.Sgt.
Engineer - Connell, William Joseph T/Sgt.
Asst Radio - Kinney, Clifford Wilson S/Sgt.
Asst Engineer - Mosbey, Charles Raymond S/Sgt.
Asst Armorer - Kubis, Bronislaus Joseph Sgt.
Armorer - Lukowitz, Stanley S/Sgt.
From MACR (Missing Air Craft Report) dated 30 July 1943

Mission #18 - July 28, 1943:
Oschersleben, Germany
The dark, leadened skies which shrouded Snetterton Heath at dawn were to portend tragedy. The group dispatched 21 Forts as early as 0545. The weather cursed climb-and-form-up procedures throughout the Wing. Everyone's timing was off. Briefing had planned the Wing as follows: the 388th would lead with the 100th low and the 96th high. But groups were late. Rendezvous points were missed. Emerging at last into the wild blue, the 96th found the Wing to be stretched to Kingdom Come. With as much speed as possible, the 96th struck out for the planned target, the Folke Wulf assembly plant some 80 miles from Berlin. Oschersleben would set a new distance record.
Many Americans were flying their fourth mission in five days. They had been exhausted before they took off this morning. Not so the Germans. They were secure in the knowledge that they could always land, reload, refuel and continue the battle. Today's clash displayed remarkable Luftwaffe teamwork. Germans bounced out of the clouds on Lt. Steve Hettrick's 338th A/C 42-30401. The first pass reduced Hettrick's airspeed just enough to isolate him for the second pass. The crew bailed out over the North Sea; there are still no known survivors. A similar fate awaited Lt. Hugh Moore's 413th crew in 42-3326, Moore Fidite. Then the next crew to suffer casualties was that of Lt. Gene Wilcox in the 339th's 42-30351, Alcohol Annie.
When the final toll was taken, it was revealed that 7 aircraft failed to return to Snetterton. Listed as MIA were the crews of Lts. Deshotels, Covert, Wilcox, Moore, Hettrick, Nance and Capt. Fulton. (Five of the Wilcox crew would be returned by Air-Sea Rescue.) Even so, by "lights out" there were seventy empty cots at Snetterton. In fact, the 96th had sustained the highest losses of both the 1st and 4th Bomb Wings. Some of those empty cots motivated Bill Thorns' diary entry: "Clouds broke up formations and enemy fighters accounted for a good many planes." [11]

B 17F 42-30401 - North Sea off the German coast Updated: 17 AUG 2021
See chart on web page
On 28 July 1943 B-17 42-30401 crashed into the sea near the German Coast after it had been hit by fire from a German fighter. The plane was on a bombing raid on Oschersleben A/F. All of the crew perished. (Source: FAF, AOD and MACR) 1 airman from B17 42-30401 was buried in Esbjerg, 1 in Kirkeby, Rømø, and 1 in the U.S.A. 7 airmen have no known grave. (6 Cambridge, 1 Netherlands) MACR p196 B17 42-30401: "4 USAAF bombers crashed in the North Sea between German Coast and Heligoland that morning." (Maybe about here). 3 of them must be B17 42-30401 * B17 42-3316 * B17 42-30394.[12]

Hettrick, Stephen William 1st Lt.

1st Lt. Stephen Hettrick Missing 12 Months

Adair, Jack Gibbens 2nd Lt.

Jack G Adair

Bramblett, Calvin Thornton 2nd Lt.

Atlanta Flyer Said Missing Since July 28

Herrick, Marshall 2nd Lt.

2nd Lieutenant Marshall Herrick was the Bombardier of B17 42-30401. On 12 August 1943 he was found washed ashore near Lakolk on Rømø (about here). On 16 August 1943 he was buried in Kirkeby Churchyard on Rømø. In 1948 he and other American airmen buried in Kirkeby were disinterred and taken to Ardennes American Cemetery in BELGIUM. (Source: FAF and AOD) His name is not in the ABMC records, so most likely he was buried in a private cemetery in the U.S.A.[13] See personal profiles for other details. Connell remained at Ardennes in Belgium, Lukowitz went to The Netherlands American Cemetery and Marshall's body was interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Kubis has a gravestone in the Long Island National Cemetery in New York.

Marshall Herrick

Reeves, William Witham T/Sgt.

T.Sgt. William Witham Reeves
Cenotaph Monument Inscription of T.Sgt. William W Reeves

Connell, William Joseph T/Sgt.

Gravestone of William J Connell

Kinney, Clifford Wilson S/Sgt.

Find-a-Grave Burial Memorial S/SGT. USAAC 338th bomb squadron 96th bomber. Clifford was part of the crew of the "Gloria Ann" B-17 #42-30401. Of the ten crew members, only three men were ever recovered. SSgt. Clifford Wilson Kinney was born November 14, 1920 in Otsego Co., NY, the son of Florance Clifford and Mabel Goodrich Kinney. He enlisted in the Air Forces, April 1942. He was classified as MIA over the North Sea, July 28, 1943. He was a Flying Fortress ball turret gunner and assistant radio operator and was rated an expert gunner.[14]

Clifford Wilson Kinney

Mosbey, Charles Raymond S/Sgt.

Charles R Mosbey on Tablets of the Missing

Kubis, Bronislaus Joseph Sgt.

Bronislaus Kubis_Missing In Action

Lukowitz, Stanley S/Sgt.

21June1950 Mr. Walter Lukowitz, Allenwood, NJ. …The records of this office disclose that your brother was one of ten crew members manifested aboard the B-17 Aircraft Number 42-30401 which failed to return from a bombing mission to Obersleven, Germany, on 28 July 1943. According to information in our files, your brother’s plane was attacked over the northwest coast of Germany, and it is believed that, after being attacked, it flew farther north and crashed in the North Sea, on the coast of Denmark. This is surmise based upon the fact that the remains of three crew members were recovered from the west coast of Denmark, where they had been washed ashore. The remains of these three were initially interred on Romo Island, Denmark, and were later removed to a United States Military Cemetery overseas. There is no evidence, however, that the remains of your son or those of his six comrades were ever recovered.
American Air Museum in Britain, Collection name: William L Beigel Collection, Object number: Document 15711. Individual Deceased Personnel File for Stanley Lukowitz. 96th Bomb Group, 338th Bomb Squadron. The 96th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses to targets across occupied Europe from May 1943 to April 1945. [15]

Wall Soldier Lost in Action, Stanley Lukowitz

Collection name
William L Beigel Collection
Object number
Document 15711
Extract from Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) for Staff Sergeant Stanley Lukowitz Jr of the 96th Bomb Group researched by historian Bill Beigel. The file contains copies of primary documents that discuss the return of personal effects, circumstances and causes of death, and memorialisation of the fallen airman. [16]

== Sources ==



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