B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 41-24470 / Sons of Fury

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-24470 / Sons of Fury


MACR: 16427


History of
B-17 41-24470 / Sons of Fury

Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW- ] Westover 22-Aug-42; damaged in taxi accident Westover Fd 26-Aug-42; Thurleigh 2-Oct-42; Missing in Action St Nazaire 3-Jan-43. Severely hit by enemy aircraft, ditched into the English Channel off Brest peninsula. 10KIA MACR 16427.

Last updated: 12. June 2020


B-17 41-24470 / Sons of Fury Details

The tailgunner Sgt. P. D. Small from another B-17 witnessed the events.

The damaged aircraft made a perfect water landing off the coast of the Brest peninsula. Enemy fighters attacked the helpless crew in the water. As the Fortress sank in the sea Arizona Harris – manning the top turret – continued to fire at the attacking fighters to save his crew. His twin guns were firing as the waves closed over the top of the turret. All ten crewmen perished. Arizona Harris received the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously.

Below is a trascription from the MACR 16427

Arizona T. Harris, Technical Sergeant, Army Air Forces, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States. While on a combat mission over enemy occupied Continetal Europe, January 1943, the airplane on which he was serving as top-turret gunner was badly damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire and forced out of formation. A large force of enemy fighter planes then concentrated their attacks on this lone airplane, finally driving it to a crash landing in the sea. throughout the descent, and as the airplane disappeared beneath the waves, Sergeant Harris was seen to be still firing his guns at the enemy airplanes.


B-17 41-24470 / Sons of Fury Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Charles W. B. Cranmer KIA
CP 2LT Albert Brunsting KIA
BOMB 1LT John G. Reed KIA
ENG/TT T/SGT Arizona T. Harris KIA Posthumous DSC
RO T/SGT Kermit J. Constantine KIA
BT S/SGT William Musick KIA
WG SGT Robert Ransom KIA
WG --- Charles S. Wall, Jr. KIA
TG SGT Edgar G. Whittaker KIA

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