B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-107075 / Champagne Girl aka Fancy Pants

B-17 #42-107075 / Champagne Girl aka Fancy Pantszoom_in



  • RCL: OR-Q

MACR: 7407


History of
B-17 42-107075 / Champagne Girl aka Fancy Pants

Delivered Tulsa 14/2/44; Kearney 22/2/44; Presque Is 6/4/44; Assigned 323BS/91BG [OR-Q] Bassingbourn 22/3/44 CHAMPAGNE GIRL; Missing in Action 45m Lechfeld 19/7/44 with Cyril Braund, Co-pilot: John Sykes, Navigator: Ken Boltz, Bombardier: John Grubka, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Don McBey, Radio Operator: Bill Bridges, Ball turret gunner: Bob Lockhard, Waist gunner: Carl McCardell,Tail gunner: Cliff Johnson (9INT); mid air coll with 42-31542 (BUNKY, cut in half); crashed Ilanz, SE of Zurich, Switz; crew bailed out; Missing Air Crew Report 7407. aka FANCY PANTS.

Last updated: 3. May 2020


B-17 42-107075 / Champagne Girl aka Fancy Pants Details

Mid-air-collision with B-17 #42-31542 Bunky on 19 July 1944.

Statement of Eyewitness

Aircraft B-17G 42-107075 and B-17G 42-31542 were last seen just past the IP and during bomb run or about 7 minutes befor bombs away. The two aircraft were flying on our right. It appeared that aircraft B-17G 42-107075 got in the prop wash of an aircraft ahead or the aircraft mementarily was out of control for he slipped to his left and his left wing crashed into the right horizontal stabiliser of aircraft B-17G 42-31542. Each aircraft then pulled to the outside, 075 to the right and 542 to the left. At this point the tail section of aircraft 542 broke off at about the main entrance door and rocketed about 200 feed upward, then it went down in a diving spin and out of sight. The main part of aircraft 542 continued in a diving spin and went out of sight into clouds. Aircraft 075 went down in a slow left flat spin and when last seen appeared to be pulling out of dive and leveling off. He was then last from view in the clouds. No parachutes were seen to come from either of these aircraft.

Sgt. Bartolomeo Zanotto
322nd BS; 91st BG

Sgt. Jack J. Williams
322nd BS; 91st BG

In the description of the crash in the “Missing Air-Crew Report”, I noticed the numbers of the planes are reversed where it states 42-107075 got in the prop wash. It was 42-31542 that hit the right wing of 42-107075 and immediately put us in a spin from which we recovered ater 5 turns. I did not see what happened to 42-31542.

The entire crew bailed out over the Switzerland border and were interned there by Swiss authorities. Lt. John Grubka and myself have returned.

1LT. Cyril J. Braund
Pilot of A/C B-17G, 42-107075


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