B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-30089 / Sunny

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-30089 / Sunny


  • RCL: EP-K

MACR: 684


History of
B-17 42-30089 / Sunny

Delivered Cheyenne 9/4/43; Gore 13/4/43; Kearney 22/4/43; Denver 30/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 15/5/43; Dow Fd 28/5/43; Assigned 351BS/100BG [EP-K] Thorpe Abbotts 9/6/43; Missing in Action Paris 3/9/43 with Rich King, Co-pilot: George Brykalski, Radio Operator: Bob McNight, Ball turret gunner: Rudie Harms, Waist gunner: Don Wise (5 Killed in Action); Navigator: Ernie Anderson, Bombardier: Ed Hovde{lost left leg at the hip}, Waist gunner: Jim Sides,Tail gunner: Heber Hogge (4 Prisoner of War); Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Trafford Curry (evaded capture); flak hits in bomb bay and navigator’s compartment, crashed Beaumont, Fr; Missing Air Crew Report 684. SUNNY.

Last updated: 9. August 2020


B-17 42-30089 / Sunny Details

Mid-air-collision with B-17 #42-30059 ‘Barker’s Burdens’ on 03 September 1943. The debris of both B-17s hits the lower flying B-17 #42-30035 ‘Torchy aka Pasadena’, which also went down and crashed.

Statements from MACR 684

B-17 (A/C #089) blew up over secondary target (Beaumont airdrome)” – Maj. Cleven.

“Both thr Forts were afire when I saw them first. The one underneath (#089) lurched up and hit the upper one (#059) as if the pilot were wounded or had lost control. Then it fell away, and I saw the bombs from the upper plane go down on the lower one. Then they both vanished into fragments.” — 2Lt. Curtice.

Ship 089 hit the tail secetion of 059 with its right wing. 059 dropped several bombs then exploded as it dove away. 089 went down in a steep dive and from 3 to 7 chutes were reported. Flames were pouring from its bomb bay. It appeared that the oxygen system was burning out. It did not appear to be out of control however, and it was thought that it may have made a crash landing near Beaumont. — Compiled from the accounts of several witnesses

Trafford L. Curry (Engineer) statement in 1945:

I was in the top turret at the time we were hit amidships by flak from the Paris area. Our A/C left the formation in a steep dive and when it leveled off several thousand feet below I came out of my turret to see what was taking place. I quickly observed that the A/C was burning both in the bomb bay and the navigator’s compartment. The A/C was very badly damaged and the fires were too far advanced to be extinguished. I put on my chute and when given the bail out order I tried to go out the navigator’s hatch, but changed my mind when I saw the fire and smoke in that part of the A/C. I then went to the bomb bay and jumped through the flames that practically covered that area of the A/C. Just before I jumped I looked back and saw Lt. King and his co-pilot adjusting their chutes. After my chute opened I saw several other chutes come from my A/C, but never knew who they were. The A/C disappeared still in level flight and I learned later that it crashed in a field several miles away, still in level flight, but exploded soon after. I was not able to obtain any information about any of my crew members.


B-17 42-30089 / Sunny Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Richard C. King KIA
CP F/O George D. Brykalski KIA
BOMB 2LT Edward H. Hovde POW
ENG/TT T/SGT Trafford L. Curry EVD
RO T/SGT Robert L. McKnight KIA
BT S/SGT Rudolph H. Harms KIA
WG S/SGT Donald E. Wise KIA
WG SGT James M. Sides POW
TG S/SGT Heber Hogge POW

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