B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-5712 / Heavy Weight Annihilators No. 2 aka My Prayer

B-17 #42-5712 / Heavy Weight Annihilators No. 2 aka My Prayerzoom_in


B-17F-5-VE: 42-5710 to 42-5724


  • RCL: LG-S

MACR: 283


History of
B-17 42-5712 / Heavy Weight Annihilators No. 2 aka My Prayer

Delivered Cheyenne 20/8/42; Wayne 6/11/42; West Palm Beach, Fl 14/12/43; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-S] Bassingbourn 1/1/43 HEAVYWEIGHT ANNIHILATORS II; battle damaged 22/6/43, repaired & transferred 324BS; {17m} crash landed Manston on return from Schweinfurt 17/8/43 with Jim Judy, Co-pilot: Roger Layn, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Earl Cherry{Wounded in Action} (3 Returned to Duty); Navigator: Ed DeCoster, Bombardier: Lewis Allen, Radio Operator: Virgil Faust, Ball turret gunner: Chas Baiano, Waist gunner: Ray Tarbell, Waist gunner: Vince Lala,Tail gunner: Paul Burton (7 Prisoner of War); severe damage by flak with 500+ holes but remaining crew brought aircraft back to crash landed on grass at RAF Manston, UK; Salvaged Cat E. Missing Air Crew Report 283. MY PRAYER.

Last updated: 4. September 2022


B-17 42-5712 / Heavy Weight Annihilators No. 2 aka My Prayer Details

Damaged by flak on first Schweinfurt-Raid. Had 500+ holes but returned and crash landed in UK.

42-5712 / Heavy Weight Annihilators No. 2 aka My Prayer

Transcription from MACR 283

This A/C reached a point 15 – 20 miles Southeast of Frankfurt. Three 20mm hits exploded in left wing and directly under the pilots compartment, setting fire to A/C. Immediately the navigator and bombardiert bailed out. Due to smoke and fire the pilot temporatily lost control of the A/C but was able to brint it out of slow spin at 6000 feet. Bombs were released safe by the pilot pulling emergency release. The top turret gunner who was already wounded in leg and chest fought the fires in pilots compartment while the co-pilot was act, directing the ditching of the waist gunners, radio operator and tail gunner. Co-pilot Layn saw to it that all harness adjustments were made before these men jumped. It was necessary to use force in some cases as the men would have jumped with their chutes improperly adunsted.

Layn stated that all chutes opened properly. All during this time there were persistent enemy attacks. After learning that Cherry was wounded and burned and that Cherry’s parachute had burned up, Lt. Judy decided to try and make home; fires broke out intermittently but were brought under control by Cherry and Layn who in their spare time continued to fire at the enemy fighters.

Layn burned out both waist guns. Judy immediately lost altitude until he was at 100 feet then came across enemy and enemy occupied territory on a sig sag course. Landing was made at Manston, England. T/Sgt. Cherry was hospitalised at Manston.

This observation was made by 2Lt. James D. Judy


B-17 42-5712 / Heavy Weight Annihilators No. 2 aka My Prayer Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 2LT James D. Judy RTD
CP 2LT Roger Layn RTD
BOMB 2LT Lewis W. Allen POW
ENG/TT T/SGT Earl Cherry RTD
RO T/SGT Virgil G. Faust POW
BT S/SGT Charles A. Baiano POW
WG S/SGT Ray G. Tarbell POW
WG S/SGT Vincent P. Lala POW
TG S/SGT Paul F. Burton POW

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