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08.08.1944 322BS 91BG B-17G-15-BO 42-31367 1st Lt. Thompson Location: L’Onlay-L’Abbaye, South of Caen, France
This reproduced page is from our first website. It is now listed for review and reconstruction to a new high standard, as with many such pages it holds inaccuracies created by an inappropriate cause to be disclosed.

Mission: Assisting advancing British and Canadian troops S.E. Caen, France

Date: 8th August 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: 322nd Bomb Squadron (91st Bomb Group)

Type: B-17G-15-BO

Serial: 42-31367 (probably one of the oldest B-17s still flying) "Chow-Hound"

Code: LG-R

Base: Bassingbourn, England

Location: L’Onlay-L’Abbaye, South of Caen, France

Pilot: 1st Lt. Jack R. Thompson. U.S.A.A.F. Killed

Co –Pilot: 2nd Lt. David J. Nelson. U.S.A.A.F. 0-552168. Killed (1)

Navigator: 2nd Lt. Charles F. Bacigalupa. U.S.A.A.F. 716321. Killed

Bombardier: 2nd Lt. Charles Sherril. U.S.A.A.F. 0-757927. Killed

Radio Operator: T/Sgt. Blake A. Treece Jr. U.S.A.A.F. 14033465. Killed (1)

Top Turret & Flt. Engr: T/Sgt. Henry F. Kortebein. U.S.A.A.F. 12127310. Killed (1)

Ball Turret: Sgt. Warren D. Godsey. U.S.A.A.F. 37534026. Killed

Waist Gunner: Sgt. Richard R. Collins. U.S.A.A.F. 32099321. Killed

Tail Gunner: Sgt. Gerald F. Gillies. U.S.A.A.F. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

An enemy “88” anti-aircraft burst of flak hit the aircraft causing the tail section to separate from the fuselage. The main section was then seen to nose over and dive straight down in a spiral. The spin caused a wing to also separate and on striking the ground the aircraft burst into flames.

322nd-bomb-squadron-002891st-bomb-group0029-42-31367-b-17-15-bo-lg-r
These amazing photographs were taken by an unidentified American engineer who discovered the tail section while installing a gasoline pipeline for the advancing armour. (Courtesy Tom Kracker)
b-17g-15-b0-42-31367-sgt.-gerald-f.-gillies
Sgt. Gerald F. Gillies (Courtesy of his grandaughter, Cameron Miller, via Kate Tame)

Burial details: 2nd Lt. Charles Sherril. Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, Calvados, France. Plot J. Row 26. Grave 15 Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart Sgt. Warren D. Godsey. Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, Calvados, France. Plot D. Row 16. Grave 11 Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters Sgt. Richard R. Collins. Brittany American Cemetery, St James, France. Plot K. Row 18. Grave 18 Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart

322nd-bomb-squadron-b-17g-15-bo-42-31367-sgt.-gerald-f.-gillies
Headstone of Sgt. Gerald F. Gillies (Courtesy of his grandaughter, Cameron Miller, via Kate Tame)

It is believed the three airmen listed below were taken home to the U.S.A. 2nd Lt. Charles F. Bacigalupa. 1st Lt. Jack R. Thompson. (1) The three airmen below were listed as missing on the Tablets of the Missing at Brittany American Cemetery, St James, France for over 60 years 2nd Lt. David J. Nelson. (2) Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart T/Sgt. Blake A. Treece Jr. (2) Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart T/Sgt. Henry F. Kortebein. (2) Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart As researched by our own (A.R.Society) Tom Kracker (The researcher and founder of the “Kracker” archives) and Mrs Marion Burkhardt, sister of Flight Engineer Henry Kortebein of Maspeth, New York. All nine crew members perished in the crash on the farmland of the parents of Leon Chevallier age 16, and a French Resistance fighter. Four were immediately buried by the French civilians. Two were buried a short time later by the French and advancing American troops. The three remaining crew, 2nd. Lt. Nelson, T/Sgt. Treece and T/Sgt. Kortebein were listed M.I.A. for 60 years until their discovery by the French “Association Normande du Souvenir Aerien 39/45” and the “Normandy Association for Air Remembrance” in June 2004. After extensive DNA testing, the three remaining M.I.A. were identified by the U.S. Joint P.O.W. - M.I.A. Accounting Command Team, and buried with honours at Arlington Cemetery on the 24th August 2006. Postscript: The nose art of the “Chow Hound” is scheduled to be on display at the military museum at McGuire AFB in New Jersey, donated by Mrs. Marion Burkhardt. A section of the wing, located in France, is in the process of being transported to McGuire A.F.B. donated by Mrs. Virginia Dimon (sister of Blake Treece). A piece of the propeller is on display at the CAF Arizona Wing Aircraft Museum in Mesa AZ., donated by Mr. Leon Chevallier Further research by: A.R. Society and the relatives of the crew. With thanks also to Cameron Miller, grandaughter of Sgt. Gerald F. Gillies.
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