B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-31111 / Four Aces, Pat Hand

B-17 #42-31111 / Four Aces, Pat Handzoom_in



  • RCL: MS-R

MACR: 1659


History of
B-17 42-31111 / Four Aces, Pat Hand

Delivered Dallas 20/9/43; Scott 4/10/43; Wilmington 7/10/43; Assigned 535BS/381BG [MS-R] Ridgewell 19/10/43; Missing in Action Leverkusen 1/12/43 with Don Noxon, Co-pilot: George Giovannini, Navigator: Edison Eichhorn, Bombardier: Walt Utley, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Pete Ludwigsen, Radio Operator: Toby Phillips, Ball turret gunner: John Thompson, Waist gunner: Harry Thompson, Waist gunner: Paul Mogush,Tail gunner: John Channell (10 Killed in Action); flak damage, believed to have come down in seas on return. Missing Air Crew Report 1659. FOUR ACES – PAT HAND.

Last updated: 25. April 2022


B-17 42-31111 / Four Aces, Pat Hand Details

My position in the formation on the mission to Leverkusen was lead the second element, high squadron, of which Lt. Noxon was leading In B-17G, Serial No. 42-31111. About 30 seconds after bombs away he started a slow, diving turn away from the formation. I followed him for a couple of minutes, and after seeing that he was definitely leaving formation I moved back into position in the high squadron. The bombardier of my crew reported him going down under control with bomb bay doors open and no engines feathered.

1Lt. Bill B. Ridley

On the raid to Leverkusen, 1 December 1943, I was copilot on Lt. Jode’s ship which was flying in #2 position on Lt. Noxon. Shortly after the I.P. Lt. Noxon started to drop back slightly, He continued over the target and dropped his bombs but after leaving the target he failed to make the turn to the left with the group and he started slowly losing altitude. We pulled up and over him and took over the lead of the high squadron. The last seen of Lt. Noxon’s ship, 42-31111, it seemed to be in control only losing altitude slowly.

2Lt. Thomas D. Sellers

I flew as co-pilot on Lt. Roy Meyers ship, No. 42-3177 B-17F, in No. 3 position on Lt. Noxon’s left wing, who was leading the high squadron on the raid to Leverkusen on 1 December, 1943. At about two minutes before I.P., I saw burst of flak very close to his #3 engine, but he continued on, seemingly undisturbed by it. He held formation to the target and in my opinion salvoed his bombs. His bomb bay doors remained open and he continued on, turning slightly away from formation. My pilot, Lt. Roy Meyers, then took our plane and joined the low squadron of our group in the #2 position of the 2nd clement. He was able to see that something must have been wrong with Lt. Noxon that made him turn away from the formation. The last I saw of Lt. Noxon all his props were going and his bomb bay doors were still open. His ship to all appearances was under control.

2Lt. Thomas Honohan

On the raid to Leverkusen, 1 December 1943, I was flying in No. 3 position on Lt. Noxon, who was leading the high squadron of our group. Everything seemed to be going along smoothly until just before bombs away when Lt. Noxon in ship No. 42-31111, a B-17G, seemed to slow up. I noticed that his bombs did not drop with the rest and did not leave his ship until about one half minute after the rest. The last I saw of Lt. Noxon he was under control but cropping back steadily and he was almost one half mile to the right of the main formation.

2Lt. Roy Meyers, Jr.

I was flying with Lt. Meyers, number three position, lead element, high squadron, lead group. Lt. Noxon was leading the squadron and was hit by flak about five minutes before we hit the target. Immediately after bombs away Lt. Noxon’s ship slowed up and fell out of formation. I watched his ship all of the way down to the clouds and no fighters attacked his ship. From all indications, Lt. Noxon had control of the ship when he entered the clouds.

2Lt. James T. Shore

Our position in the squadron, led by Lt. Noxon, was lead of the second element in the mission to Leverkusen. Immediately after bombs away, Lt. Noxon, in a B-17G, Serial No. 42-31111, dropped out of formation in a slow. diving turn, apparently under control, with no engines feathered. I followed him down to the clouds till out of sight. His bomb bay doors had remained open. I flew on Lt. Ridley’s crew as bombardier.

2Lt. Carl W. Dittus

Source: MACR 1659


B-17 42-31111 / Four Aces, Pat Hand Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 2LT Donald E. Noxon KIA
CP 2LT George D. Giovannini KIA
BOMB 2LT Walter Utley KIA
ENG/TT T/SGT Peter K. Ludwigsen KIA
RO T/SGT Toby E. Phillips, Jr. KIA
BT S/SGT John E. Thompson, Jr. KIA
WG S/SGT Harry N. Thompson KIA
WG S/SGT Paul T. Mogush KIA
TG S/SGT John S. Channell KIA

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