B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-31338 / Hard To Get

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-31338 / Hard To Get


MACR: 2540 / KSU/ME/KU: 827


History of
B-17 42-31338 / Hard To Get

Delivered Cheyenne 22/10/43; Walla Walla 10/11/43; Assigned 728BS/452BG Deopham Green 1/1/44; Missing in Action Brunswick 10/2/44 with Ken Smith, Co-pilot: Bob Nixon, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Chas Hacic, Ball turret gunner: Harvey Fleming, Waist gunner: Floyd Holman, Waist gunner: Russell Moss,Tail gunner: Ken Burns (7 Prisoner of War); Navigator: John Nightingale, Bombardier: Bill Doyle, Radio Operator: Roy Morris (3 Killed in Action); enemy aircraft, crashed near Kemmel, Belg., five miles E of Hildesheim, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 2540. HARD TO GET.

Last updated: 1. April 2021


B-17 42-31338 / Hard To Get Details

Following statement made by 2nd Lt. Morton B. Lehman:

I believe the personnel of aircraft B-17G 42-31338, “Hard to Get”, survived because when I last saw then they were in formation flying No. 4 under the leader. They were not having any trouble when I saw then at approximately 1203. My attention was diverted to my right at that time because of enemy fighter attack. I didn’t look at the formation after that until we left the Dutch Coast at which time I noticed 42-31338 wasn’t with the formation.

I was under the impression they had joined the wing on our left. The enemy fighters were out of range with the exception of 6 Me-110s which attacked us at 1253.

However, I believe we were the only ship affected by the attack as we were flying No. 6 in the formation. All this time we were at 26000 feet. The wing we joined had letters “J” and “B” on their tails. Contrails were persistent so that my tail gunner couldn’t see much. I asked him if he remembered seeing a ship leave our formation and he said he didn’t.

Source: MACR 2540


B-17 42-31338 / Hard To Get Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 2LT Kenneth D. Smith POW
CP 2LT Robert R. Nixon POW
BOMB 2LT William N. Doyle KIA
ENG/TT T/SGT Charles W. Hacic POW
RO S/SGT Roy E. Morris KIA
BT SGT Harvey H. Flaming POW
WG SGT Floyd E. Holman POW
WG S/SGT Russel C. Moss POW
TG SGT Kenneth M. Burns POW

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