B-17G “The Betty-L” HK Models 1/32e
First I present the "Betty-L":
Why this plane there in particular? Well I like to make assemblies that have a history; this "anonymous" plane among so many others will have paid the high price during one of the many missions realized by the allies during these dark years.
Besides, he fell a few miles from my home; alone ; ... the years passing, which remembers that 4 young people lost the life here ...
In order to remember, I am going to put up this model for them and for all those who have fought for our freedom.
Let me tell you his story:
the B17-G 55-BO, "The Betty-L" , code 42-102585, is assigned to the 381st Bomb Group, 534th Bomb Squadron, and arrives in Ridgewell, England on April 24, 1944.
On the morning of June 24, 1944, the aircraft already had 10 bombing missions behind it. He is on the point of leaving for his last mission over Europe and more precisely, above France, towards Tours.
As part of the mission that day, several hundred B17 and B24 will sweep over France on various objectives. For the occasion, several groups of bombardment are formed according to the missions.
While 257 aircrafts take off in the direction of Bremen, Germany, to pour 643 tons of HE bombs; 53 aircraft depart in the direction of Wesermunde (also in Germany) with 127 tons of bombs
The "Force II" of which the "Betty-L" is part also takes off in the morning. The 483 aircraft, (74 B-17 and 409 B-24), have various objectives.
The B-17's mission is to destroy the following bridges:
- Railway bridge at Saumur (38 B-17 deliver 90 tons of HE bombs)
- Railway Bridge to the Rich Tours (36 B-17 deliver 108 tons of HE bombs) (the Betty-L's goal)
- Airfield in Toussus le Noble
- Airfield in Bricy Orléans
- Airfield in Chateaudun
- Airstrip near Essay
- Various targets of opportunities
The planes on "La Riche" take a direct South-South East route starting from Ridgewell.
At an altitude above France between 20 and 23 000 feet (approximately 7000 meters); the bombardment on the objective is made "leeward" in direction of the South.
It takes place from the head of the bridge to its connection on the other bank.
Of the 108 tons of bombs, the bridge receives in all and for all 3 direct shots that destroy part of the structure, cutting the tracks ...
If the B-17 group is not intercepted by any enemy fighter during its mission, they encounter a rather sparse but precise Flak on Tours.
Only one B-17 is shot down by the Flak, it's the "Betty-L".
Touched by a direct blow to the radio room, engine no. 3 caught fire. The crew evacuated the plane at 24,000 feet while the plane crashed near Tours, at the place called "Le Vaussouvin", in Valleres.
The crew is then 9 men instead of 10, (1 only used for "left / right" machine guns in the rear fuselage)
Pilot: 2nd Lt Romasco Victor Roger: Prisoner of War
co-pilot: 2nd Lt Kellum Richard Love: Death in combat
Backgrounder: Sgt Giddens Elbert Forest: Prisoner of War
Radio Operator: S / Sgt Cosandier Paul G: Death in combat
Navigator: FO Chandler James Harris: Prisoner of War
Bomber / front gunner: 2nd Lt Stewart Ray L: Evader
Sgt Scoggins Grover L: Death to Combat
Sgt Owens Harry E: Death to Combat
Rear Gunner: Sgt Waldow Ernest Lee: Prisoner
Of the 9 crew members; 4 died (3 directly on the plane when it exploded at 20,000 feet, 1 hit the ground), 4 were taken prisoner; and only one could escape, hidden by resistance in the area of "Pont de Ruan" near Tours ; until the liberation of the region of Tours in September 1944.
All the information I could get comes from:
All the story of my researches is here
13 additional images. Click to enlarge.