Geschichte der
B-17 #43-37854 / Touchy Tess

Delivered Cheyenne 29/5/44; Kearney 8/6/44; Grenier 28/6/44; Assigned 509BS/351BG [RQ-V] Polebrook 17/7/44; Missing in Action {53m} Dresden 25/2/45 with Chas Alplanalp (Killed in Action); Co-pilot: Harry Gividen, Navigator: George Brown, Bombardier: Ernie Ogden, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Clinton Norby, Radio Operator: Paul Livingston, Ball turret gunner: John Genetti, Waist gunner: Herb Berlin,Tail gunner: Gene Bullock (8INT); flak, crash landed Ermensee, Switz; Missing Air Crew Report 12728. TOUCHY TESS.

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  1. von Michael Eddy am 26. April 2018 19:33 Uhr

    My Step-Father was 2nd Lt George F. Brown, Navigator on 43-37854 when it was shot down. He was wounded in the head and required surgery in Switzerland, where they crashed. The pilot was killed by a tree branch penetrating a window, and I believe I rememeber him saying the tail gunner was either wounded or killed. The name of the aircraft at the time of the crash was actually „Troubled Tess“, which was the name of a Rosemary Clooney song popular at the time. A prior crew had given the aircraft the name, as it did not have name when assigned to them. My step father’s crew was on their 2nd mission when shot down, and I believe I remember him saying they had not even been in England for a week.

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    • von b17flyingfortress.de am 26. April 2018 19:45 Uhr

      Thank you for the story!

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  2. von Michael Eddy am 14. Mai 2018 17:00 Uhr

    OK – went back and found the book that referred to 43-37854. The book was „The Bomber boys“, by Travis L. Ayres. The crew member was George Ahern, who was the ball turrent gunner. That crew had been looking for a name, but couldn’t agree on one.

    Ahern had gone to London, and saw a show by Dinah Shore (not Rosy Clooney), where she sang the song, „Tess’s Torch song“. He went back to Polebrook and suggested „Torchy Tess“, which became the name.

    Sorry I got my facts mixed up and I thank Mr. Ayers for his excellent book.

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