B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-38004 / Ol’ Man Tucker

B-17 #42-38004 / Ol’ Man Tuckerzoom_in



  • RCL: GD-A

MACR: 4052 / KSU/ME/KU: 1576, 773A


History of
B-17 42-38004 / Ol’ Man Tucker

Delivered Denver 10/11/43; Presque Is 30/11/43; Prestwick, UK 7/12/43; Assigned 534BS/381BG [GD-A] Ridgewell 6/1/44; 6 Missing in Action Eschwege 19/4/44 with Bob Rayburn, Co-pilot: Maynard Craft, Radio Operator: Don Peterson (3 Killed in Action); Navigator: Loren Morse, Bombardier: Ralph Simons, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bill Purser, Ball turret gunner: John Bristow, Waist gunner: De Forest Main,Tail gunner: Gerald Gerber (6 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft, the flak set wing alight, crashed Rohrsburg, NW of Frettenrode, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 4052. OL’ MAN TUCKER.

Last updated: 20. September 2020


B-17 42-38004 / Ol’ Man Tucker Details

Eyewitness Statements to the loss of B-17 #42-38004

Aircraft B-17G 42-38004 was flying No. 2 position in 1st element of the lead Squadron when it was attacked by Enemy fighters causing the B-17 to catch on fire inboard of the No. one (1) engine. The ship then went into a steep dive. Only one chute was seen to come out. This was all I was able to observe.

1Lt. Daniel C. Henry
Pilot, Air Corps
534th Bomb Sq. (H)

I was flying Deputy Group Lead. A few seconds after the fighter attack, a B-17 aircraft with letter “A” on the vertical stabilizer passed over my nose, clearing by about 10 feet. I dropped down and the aircraft passed between the Group Lead ship and my own ship. The aircraft was burning fiercely in the vicinity inboard of the No. one (1) engine. The bombay doors were open. One man bailed out and his parachute opened immediately at our level. The plane was in about a 30 degree dive when it passed over my nose and then continued in the dive blowing up before passing out of view.

1Lt. John C. Kuhl
Pilot, Air Corps
534th Bomb Sq. (H)

Lt Robert W. Rayburn, pilot of aircraft 42-38004 was flying #2 position, 1st element, lead squadron on the afternoon of the 19 April 1944. After the first fighter attack his ship caught fire. He dived out of formation and I saw one parachute open as he passed out of my sight.

2Lt. Robert W. Crisler
Co-Pilot, Air Corps
534th Bomb Sq. (H)

Source: MACR 4052

#42-38004 / Ol’ Man Tucker on 31 March 1944.

B-17 42-38004 / Ol’ Man Tucker Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Robert W. Rayburn KIA
CP 2LT Maynard V. Craft KIA
BOMB 2LT Ralph G. Simons POW
ENG/TT S/SGT William R. Purser POW
RO S/SGT Donald C. Peterson KIA
BT S/SGT John L. Bristow POW
WG S/SGT De Forest E. Main POW
TG S/SGT Gerald Gerber POW

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