History of the
B-17 #42-30811

Delivered Cheyenne 4/8/43; Gr Isle 12/8/43; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-D] Thurleigh 2/9/43; Missing in Action Schweinfurt 14/10/43 with Ralph Peters, Co-pilot: Ed Hughel, Navigator: Dan Peterson, Bombardier: Jim Vaughter, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Ray Grimm, Radio Operator: Manford John, Ball turret gunner: Dick Kern, Waist gunner: Blair Steed, Waist gunner: Dan Piedmont,Tail gunner: Pierre Noisat (10 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft KO’d #2, crashed Bellheim, near Schweinfurt, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 814.

Details 42-30811

Flight log of John Earley. A test flight, 10 days before the Schweinfurt-Raid. More see comments below. Photo: © Nicholas Earley

Flight log of John Earley, a British Royal Navy sailer of the test flight in #42-30811, 10 days before the Schweinfurt-Raid. #42-30811 was a brand new aircraft, which arrived the 306th BG at Thurleigh one week before and wasn’t fully tested. More see comments below. Photo: © Nicholas Earley

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  1. von Nicholas Earley am 22. November 2018 14:08 Uhr

    My Father, John Earley must have been the only serving Royal Navy rating during WW2 to travel in a B17 Flying Fortress aircraft serial No 42-30811 based at 306th Bombardment Group at Thurleigh UK . His Sister Catherine Earley (my Aunt ) married a Crew Chief Herbert McGary and so Mac arranged for my Father to go up in one of the newly arrived B17 bombers for a 2 hour test flight on 4th October 1943 along the coast prior to a bombing raid the following week over Schweinfurt Germany. Sadly the plane was shot down during the Schweinfurt raid the following week 14th October 1943 with all crew reported MIA . Tail gunner: Pierre Noisat was the only original member from the test flight crew who flew in 42-30811 on the Schweinfurt raid.
    I have the original Flight Log of 42-30811 test flight on 4th Oct 1943 with all crew listed if you would be interested in a scanned copy

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