B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-102925

B-17 #42-102925zoom_in



MACR: 6517

Missions: 57


History of
B-17 42-102925

Delivered Cheyenne 18/4/44; Hunter 2/5/44; Dow Fd 17/5/44; Assigned 347BS/99BG Tortorella 20/5/44; battle damaged {57m} Ploesti 9/7/44 with Fred Henry (Returned to Duty), Roberts, Fox, Johannaber, Salter, Scarborough, Triplett (348th), six bailed out; #3 engine on fire, but Henry, Peddycord, Wilkins, Meisel put it out and fly home; Salvaged 23/9/44; from repair 4/10/44, crashed on take off 9/12/44 and destoyed.

Last updated: 25. June 2022


B-17 42-102925 Details

Photo: Ford J Lauer III via Facebook

Statements from MACR 6517

I was pilot of B-17G #102925 on 9 July 1944. We were 60 miles over the Danube river on the way to Ploesti, Rumania. The first indication of anything wrong was when someone called “Gas, no smoking.” The co-pilot was flying and was on command. Smoke started coming up from the floor and at the same time the co-pilot pointed to the feathering buttons. I didn’t know what was wrong nor which engine was causing the trouble if any and so delayed feathering. The co-pilot grabbed his escape kit, pushed the mixture on No. 3 off, put on his chute and left. I leaned over and saw it was No. 3 on fire. I feathered it, cut off the fuel shut-off and booster pumps and was about to prepare to get out after calling on interphone and getting no answer.

I thought the engineer and myself were the only ones left. At that time Sgt. Wilkins, the engineer, said to hold it. He beat the floorboards out and put out the fire there with an extinguisher. At that time I saw Lt. Peddycord, the navigator, in the dome. He hadn’t answered because he had become entangled in his cords trying to reach the fire with an extinguisher. Sgt. Meisel, the radio operator, appeared in the cockpit from the radio room. He had been on the way forward and hadn’t heard my call. With the fire out, Sgt. Wilkins took the place as co-pilot, Sgt. Meisel took the top turret and Lt. Peddycord gave us a heading back, though hindered because of missing maps. Within sight of the coast at 10000 feet, we ran into flak which we couldn’t seem to get out of. An oil line was out on the dead No. 3 engine. The rest of the trip was uneventful.

Frederick H. Henry
1Lt. Air Corps

I was aerial Engineer on B-17G #102925 on 9 July 1944. We were flying No. 4 position of the Squadron formation. We were probably 30 minutes from the target when I smelled gasoline fumes and at that time I heard the Navigator say “No smoking.” I saw smoke, then flames spurt from No. 3 engine. I shouted “No. 3 on fire.” and I guess the boys bailed out instantly. I thought the pilot, Lt. Frederick H. Henry, and I were the only ones left. Smoke was so thick in the cockpit I could not see the pilot. I had begged the boys to stay, but they did not hear me. The fire in the wing lasted about 10 minutes. Then we had a fire in the cockpit. I then saw that our Navigator, Lt. E. A. Peddycord, and Radio Operator S/Sgt. F. N. Meisel were still with us. I started fighting the fire in the cockpit and finally put it out in about 15 minutes. Everything went nicely from then on. I took the Co-Pilot’s place, switching off flying with Lt. Henry. Flying over Yugoslavia, we encountered flak for about 20 minutes. It was accurate, but we get only a few holes.

T/Sgt. Homer J. Wilkins

I was flying as first radio operator on B-17G #102925 on 9 July 1944. We were about one-half hour from the target which was Ploesti, Rumania, when the camera-man came running past me with his parachute on and went out the waist door. I wasn’t on interphone at the time and I didn’t know what was going on.

Meanwhile, the two waist gunners, the ball turret gunner, the tail gunner, co-pilot and bombardier also bailed out of the plane. I ran up to the cockpit to see if I could be of any help. It was then that I learned that our No. 3 engine had caught fire. The pilot thought I had bailed out, but when he saw me he hold me to man the top-turret in case we were attacked by fighters. I did this and coming back over Yugoslavia we ran into a lot of flak, but our pilot, Lt. F. H. Henry, used some excellent evasive action and we dodged it. We came on across the ocean, finally landing at our home base.

S/Sgt. Frederick N. Meisel


B-17 42-102925 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Frederick H. Henry RTD
CP 2LT Lloyd C. Roberts POW
BOMB 2LT Irving H. Fox POW
ENG/TT T/SGT Homer J. Wilkins RTD
RO S/SGT Frederick N. Meisel RTD
BT S/SGT Frank R. Salter POW
WG S/SGT Harlan H. Johannaber POW
WG S/SGT Bryan A. Scarborough POW
TG S/SGT Edwin M. Braswell POW
PHOTO SGT Thomas L. Triplett POW

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