Group Statistics

GENERAL

During WWII, the 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated in December 1942 and continued as an active military unit until being deactivated in February 1946. Upon completion of initial training in the United States, the Group was transferred to the European Theater of Operations in May 1943. It began combat operations on 22 June and by its final combat mission on 25 April 1945, the Group had flown 9,404 sorties on 316 combat missions.

PERSONNEL

Approximately 7909 personnel served with the 384th during WWII and its aftermath, with about 4,327 being combat aircrew personnel. Of these, 1,448, or about one-third, were lost in combat or accidents:

Personnel Losses
Number Lost Category of Loss
880 Prisoner of War
459 Killed in Action
62 Missing in Action
47 Non-Combat Deaths

There is always discussion about which was the most dangerous position aboard a B-17 in combat. While there is no question that all crewmembers were at risk on every mission, the following table may help inform any such discussions.

Fatalities By Position
Number Position
67 Waist (Flexible) Gunner
56 Ball Turret
54 Pilot
50 Co-pilot
49 Engineer/Top Turret
46 Navigator
44 Tail Gunner
38 Radio Operator
33 Bombardier
14 Togglier
3 Passenger
2 Observer
2 Commander
1 Spot Jammer

The number of combat missions required to complete a tour was initially 25, which was raised to 30 in early 1944, then soon after to 35. Some combat aircrew personnel exceeded these requirements as the table below demonstrates:

Personnel Data
Combat Missions Name Position
80 Hosmer, Richard Clyde TG / TOG
67 Vickers, Charles Dunnington TT
50 Cates, Clay F WG
50 Harper, Jack R WG
50 Ott, Robert Edward BT / WG
48 Hartness, Joseph George CP / P
48 Laboda, Joseph Stanley P
47 Booska, Maurice Arthur P / CO
47 Shelley, John K P
47 Ulrey, Edgar Ellsworth CP / CO
46 Benson, Thomas Joseph R
46 Shattuck, Jack Dale N
45 Bonnett, Charles Daniel B
45 Festersen, John C P
45 Soto, Roman Serrano FG / R
44 McNabb, Frederick J R
44 Rovero, Aldo John N
44 Spradlin, Clifford W BT
43 Johnson, William T P
42 Adams, John H B
41 Dolson, Henry James N
41 Hines, James Wesley P
41 Owens, Robert Clare P
40 Frink, Horace Everett CP / CO
39 Chapin, Robert Charles N
39 McCartney, James T CP / P
38 Burcham, Eugene Emmons B
37 Ezell, William C WG / TOG
37 Rush, Joseph H P
37 Samuels, Robert Howard BT / TOG
36 Allen, Arthur Everett N
36 Barbosa, Roy BT
36 Berry, Ivan Carl WG / TOG
36 Blaker, Bernard WG / TG
36 Buswell, Richard Grant CP
36 Butler, Ralph W TG / TOG
36 Ciaccio, Raymond BT
36 Crown, Richard K B
36 Deaton, Marshall Taylor BT / TT
36 Durborow, Clarence J TOG
36 Farnsworth, Reuben Joseph P
36 Fitzpatrick, James L B
36 Fleming, John W R
36 Fletcher, Graydon J CP
36 Fordham, Howard C TT
36 Foust, John M WG / TOG
36 Fox, Jacob Wesley B
36 Freiman, Peter Paul CP
36 Gardner, Vernon P WG
36 Goode, Joseph Edward TT
36 Grabow, Carl A WG / TOG
36 Green, Loren L P
36 Horan, Albert Sherwood BT
36 Jackson, Taylor H CP
36 Jarreau, Lloyd J BT / TOG
36 Kennebeck, Edwin E R
36 King, Carleton W TG
36 Kugler, James H WG / TT
36 Leschak, Nickolas BT / TOG
36 Marlatt, Guy Clair BT
36 McDonald, Donald T WG
36 Moon, William E B / N
36 Munro, William David R
36 Nilo, Anthony (NMI) N
36 Panici, Raymond Arnold TT / WG
36 Parker, Kenneth J NG / TOG
36 Poggioli, John A WG / TG
36 Rauch, John BT / TG
36 Richardson, George P P
36 Rybarczyk, Chester Anthony N
36 Scheanwald, Richard J B
36 Schneider, Andrew J CP
36 Sherriff, Albert Keith R
36 Slivka, William J N
36 Smith, Eliot H P
36 Spafford, Kenneth C WG / TG
36 Squier, Vanny DeForest TT
36 Stockstill, Thomas J TT
36 Van Pelt, Charles A P
36 Wolf, Charles Elmer B
36 Work, Robert Elijah BT

However, we should also recognize that some airmen in the days of the 25-mission tour flew more than their minimum, but we are unable to select that information from the database at this time.

AIRCRAFT

A total of 345 B-17 aircraft were assigned to the 384th BG, which flew about 9,402 credited combat sorties. Boeing produced 196 of these, Douglas produced 82, and Vega built 67. Of these, 188 were lost in combat or accidents:

Aircraft Losses
Number Lost Category of Loss
153 Failed to Return
25 Crashed
4 Ditched
4 Mid-Air Collision
1 Landed in Neutral Country
1 Air Accident (non-combat)

An additional 52 were "Salvaged" due to being damaged beyond economical repair, or "War-Weary."

However, 14 of the Group's aircraft flew 100 or more missions with the Group, coming to be known as "Century Bombers." That these aircraft were able to complete so many missions is a tribute to the ground crews who maintained them, making them safe for the flight crews who entrusted their lives to them.

384th Century Bombers
Missions Serial Number Name Type Mfr. Squadron Disposition
13642-102518DAMN YANKEEB-17GBoeing545thSalvaged
12342-32106WORRY BIRD / VOANB-17GBoeing545thSalvaged
11942-102459LITTLE KENNYB-17GBoeing544thIstres
11242-102620DE RUMBLE IZERB-17GBoeing546th, 544thSalvaged
10942-102661BIG DOGB-17GBoeing544thSalvaged
10842-97251SNUFFYB-17GBoeing546thCrashed
10643-37917PAULINEB-17GBoeing545thIstres
10642-97309KATHLEEN LADY OF VICTORYB-17GBoeing545thIstres
10542-39888HOTNUTSB-17GVega544thTransferred
10542-37788HELL'S MESSENGERB-17GDouglas547thTransferred
10442-38013NEVADA AVENGERB-17GDouglas547thSalvaged
10242-97510SATAN'S PLAYMATEB-17GVega546thTransferred
10042-102501THE CHALLENGERB-17GBoeing546thFTR