“E-RAT-ICATOR”

Groundcrewmen from the 730th BS at Deopham Green change an engine on B-17G-1 0- VE 42-39970 “E-RAT-ICATOR” of the 730th BS/452nd BG, Deopham Green, Spring 1945 E-RA T-ICATOR was one of the Eighth Air Force’s most famous Fortresses. Assigned to the 452nd on 3rd November 1943, this aircraft was the only original B-17 issued to the group to survive the war, completing 125 missions before returning to the US in June 1945. Depicted towards the end of hostilities, its nose is adorned with four ribbons – the Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and Purple Heart, all of which were awarded to members of its crew. The B-17 was scrapped at Kingman, in Arizona, in November 1945, after being issued to the 4168th Base Unit (BU) at South Plains.


Berlin holds no terror for the B-17 Flying Fortress “E-RAT-ICATOR” OF THE 452ND Bombardment Group. Shown here are M/Sgt Louis Brestel, Ground Crew Chief from Smithland, Iowa (upper left); Sgt Frank A. Sleik, Ground Crewman from Wet Allis, Wisconsin (upper center); Sgt Dallas C. Bayles, Ground Crewman from Dayton, OH (upper right); 1Lt Andrew J. Ford, Pilot, Fromt Dietrich, Idaho (in cockpit, center left; and Capt Robert M. Brackbill, Squadron Engineering Officer from Webster Grove, Missouri (center right)