B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-31345 / Lady Stardust II

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-31345 / Lady Stardust II


MACR: 5021


History of
B-17 42-31345 / Lady Stardust II

Delivered Cheyenne 23/10/43; Walla Walla 6/11/43; Assigned: 100 Thorpe Abbotts 7/1/44; Transferred: 728BS/452BG Deopham Green 8/1/44 KICKAPOO JOY JUICE; MIA Brux 12/5/44 Pilot: Milan Mareck, Co-Pilot: Harry Eastman, Navigator: Larry Defeo, Bombardier: Cornelius Kohlman, Radio Operator: Dwight Miller, Ball Turret Gunner: Sam Fain, Waist Gunner: Don Kemman, Waist Gunner: Ernie Hughingson, Tail Gunner: George Bouckek (9RTD); Engineer / Top Turret Gunner: Merl Orcutt (KIA); Enemy aircraft, ditched Channel, about a mile W of Knockfortjohn, Kent, UK, crew picked up by ASR, but ettg went down with the ship; MACR 5021. LADY STARDUST II.

Last updated: 11. July 2021


B-17 42-31345 / Lady Stardust II Details

Following Statement made by F/O Harold Eastman Jr.:

During an attack by enemy fighters Sgt. Orcutt was struck in the head by fire from 20 mm cannon and died instantly. Returning from the mission it was necessary to ditch in the English Channel. The body went down with the plane as the crew was unable to remove it before the plane sank. The approximate location of the plane when the sinking oocurred was 1-1/2 miles West of Knockfort John, Kent County, England, in the Channel.


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