B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-38061 / Georgia Rebel II

B-17 #42-38061 / Georgia Rebel IIzoom_in



  • RCL: MS-P

MACR: 4241 / KSU/ME/KU: 1645

Missions: 5+


History of
B-17 42-38061 / Georgia Rebel II

Delivered Cheyenne 29/11/43; Kearney 17/12/43; Presque Is 2/1/44; Assigned 535BS/381BG [MS-P] Ridgewell 2/2/44; 5+m Missing in Action St Avord 28/4/44 with Harold Henslin, Navigator: Art Guertin, Bombardier: Gene Arning, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Joe Karr, Ball turret gunner: George McLaughlin, Waist gunner: Clarry Williams,Tail gunner: Ed Sell (7 Killed in Action); Co-pilot: Maj Osce Jones, Radio Operator: J.W. Padgett,Tail gunner: Bill Blackmon (3 Prisoner of War); flak KOd #3 and ship went down immediately, crashed Avord, 12 miles SE of Bourges, Fr; Missing Air Crew Report 4241. (also nicknamed Piccadilly Tilly II and crashed on take off according to Tom O’Brien detailed on mission to Cottbus) GEORGIA REBEL II.

Last updated: 30. August 2020


B-17 42-38061 / Georgia Rebel II Details

Statements of other crews from MACR 4241

I was flying deputy lead on the mission of 28 April 1944, directly behind Lt. Henslin, who was flying in B-17G A/C 42-38061. Our bombing run was about three minutes with light flak coming up near the target. Bombs wen away at 14000 feet and I watched the bomb bay doors close on the lead ship. I believe it was no longer than one minute after bombs away that the #2 engine exploded on 42-38061, giving us quite a bump, due to our close position. The #2 engine was completely shot away, the left gear dropped down from the nacelle, and a long stream of flame was trailing from the remains of nacelle. The ship hesitated a moment and then peeled of sharply to the left, disrupting the wing men and the low squadron. My tail gunner reported the ship on its back above went past. I was not able to follow it for more than thirty or fourty seconds, and during that time I did not see any chutes or any further explosion.

1Lt. William A. Pluemer
Pilot, 381st Bomb Gp, 535th Bomb Sq.

I was flying in the number three position, off the left wing of Lt. Henslin, on the mission of 28 April 1944. Lt. Henslin, in B-17G A/C 42-38061, was flying in the lead position. Shortly after bombs away, a direct flak burst hit the #2 engine of the lead ship, causing fire in the entire nacelle and wing structure. The ship immediately peeled out of formation to the left, at which time the engine fell out. The Engineer in my ship reported that he saw the fire got out and the ship started back under control. Later my Tail Gunner reported the ship under control and that he saw five men bail out. Two of the men opened their chutes right away and the other three appeared to be making delayed jumps because they passed from view before the chutes opened. That completed our observation.

2Lt. Phillip W. Gnatzig
Pilot, 381st Bomb Gp, 535th Bomb Sq.

I was flying in the #5 position of the lead squadron, low group on the mission of 28 April 1944. Lt. Henslin, in a B-17G 42-38061, was leading the group. We had make our bomb run and the bombs had barely gone when the lead ship received a direct flak hit in the #2 engine. The engine blazed up and immediately tore loose from the wing and fall. The plane flew ahead for a few seconds and then peeled off to the left and went down. That is the last I could see of it, but it appeared to be somewhat under control. I did not see any chutes come from the plane, and it was not on fire when I last saw it.

2Lt. Lyles B. Nelson
Pilot, 381st Bomb Gp, 535th Bomb Sq.

I was flying as pilot on the mission of 28 April 1944, in the number two position of the lead squadron. Lt. Henslin was flying in the number one position in B-17G A/C 42-38061. We went over the target and encountered what appeared to be only one four-gun battery. They tracked Lt. Henslin’s ship about two-thirds of the way down the bomb run, and he didn’t make a turn after bombs away. Flak hit his #2 engine about forty seconds after bombs away, knocking the engine completely off. Flames was seen coming off the wing. He peeled off to the left and went straight down. The bombardier saw the ship blew up several thousand feet down. None of my crew saw anyone get out of the ship.

1Lt. George W. Wilson
Pilot, 381st Bomb Gp, 535th Bomb Sq.


B-17 42-38061 / Georgia Rebel II Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Harold F. Henslin KIA
CP MAJ Osce V. Jones POW
BOMB 1LT Eugene Arning KIA
RO T/SGT J. W. Padgett POW
BT S/SGT George B. McLaughlin, Jr. KIA
WG SGT William B. Blackmon, Jr. POW
WG S/SGT Clarence T. Williams KIA
TG S/SGT Edward H. Sell KIA

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