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USAAF Nose Art Research Project


 

Destiny's Child
B-17G-30-BO 42-31812

91st Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Squadron

Nose art painted by
Jack GAFFNEY
91st Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Squadron
Bassingbourn, England

 

Jack Gaffney's pride and joy was "Destiny's Child" for he was its crew chief and he lavished much care and attention on the plane. Destined to fly a total of 53 combat sorties over Occupied Europe this Fortress was taken by as many as 15 different crews between 22nd February and 20th July 1944. Every one of those 53 sorties was without a single abort due to mechanical faults. "I was very proud of that", said Jack. "Sure hated to lose it."

The plane was named by radio man Gene Letalien on Howard Weber's crew and the character painted on by Jack Gaffney was based upon the popular cartoon character Little Uncle Rafe. The excellent care given to the plane by crew chief Gaffney won him a Bronze Star for meritorius achievement due to its completing 44 missions on its original engines.

On 20th July 1944, while attacking the airfield at Mockau near Leipzig, "Destiny's Child" was caught by waves of Fw190s and Me109s, sixty strong, which sliced through the formation and left the aircraft burning in #4 engine with wings and elevators badly damaged. The crew of Charles Van Ausdell abandoned the aircraft but only five men survived.


  Additional image Of  
 

For More Information See:

Plane Names & Fancy Noses

Known Mission List

Date Pilot

Target

Notes
22 Feb 1944H F Weber / P G McDuffeeBunde / Bielefeld1 WIA - frostbitten feet
24 Feb 1944??SchweinfurtR/E - (NS). Cat A - friendly fire
2 Mar 1944R Tibbetts / A Ellerman IIIFrankfurt
3 Mar 1944R Tibbetts / A Ellerman IIIWilhelmshavenFailed to drop
4 Mar 1944H F Weber / H E KirbyCologne
8 Mar 1944H F Weber / H E KirbyErkner
9 Mar 1944H F Weber / H E KirbyBerlin
16 Mar 1944F C Ammann / F L ButlerLechfeld
18 Mar 1944H F Weber / J TedrickOberpfaffenhofen
20 Mar 1944H F Weber / J E LaFontinFrankfurt
22 Mar 1944H F Weber / P GMcDuffeeBerlin
23 Mar 1944H F Weber / C K NeiswenderAhlen
24 Mar 1944H F Weber / J C FlinnFrankfurt
26 Mar 1944C L Price / P R Goynes //// R J JacksonMimoyecques
27 Mar 1944H F Weber / J H WelchSt Jean d'Angeley
28 Mar 1944H F Weber / J D FletcherReims-Champagne
29 Mar 1944H F Weber / J D FletcherBraunsschweig
10 Apr 1944H F Weber / J D FletcherBrussels
13 Apr 1944H F Weber / J D FletcherSchweinfurt
18 Apr 1944H F Weber / J D FletcherOranienburgCat A - flak
20 Apr 1944H F Weber / J D FletcherCroisette-Beauvoir
22 Apr 1944L F Rentmeester / W W BehrendHamm MY
24 Apr 1944H F Weber / J D FletcherErding
27 Apr 1944H F Weber / J D FletcherLa Glacerie
6 May 1944L F Rentmeester / W W BehrendSottevast (abortive)
11 May 1944H F Weber / R T PresseyKontz Karthaus
12 May 1944M McKew / L P GallagherLutzkendorfCat A - flak
13 May 1944??Stralsund
19 May 1944G H HeiligBerlinCat A - flak
22 May 1944D J Ryan / M P MerzKiel
24 May 1944G H HeiligBerlin
25 May 1944J D PowellNancy-Essey a/f
27 May 1944M McKew / SLudwigshaven
30 May 1944D R KnappDessau
31 May 1944D R KnappMulhouse
2 Jun 1944J Follett / J S GageBoulogne
4 Jun 1944J R Follett / J S GageHardelot coastal battery
5 Jun 1944J R Follett / J S GageHoulogate
6 Jun 1944J R Follett / J S GageLa Riiviere
8 Jun 1944J R Follett / J S GageLa Frilliere (Tours)
11 Jun 1944J R Follett / J S GageBeaumont-le-Roger
12 Jun 1944J R Follett / J S GageCambrai-Niergnes airfield
13 Jun 1944J R Follett / J S GageBeaumont-sur-OiseBrought back bombs
18 Jun 1944J R Follett / J S GageHamburg
20 Jun 1944H E Kirby / H R DeBoltHamburgR/E (S) - #2 eng on fire, windmilling. Turned back and bombed Heligoland
4 Jul 1944H E Kirby / H R DeBoltTours RR bridge (abortive)
7 Jul 1944P L Collins / K S SmithLeipzig - Kolleda
12 Jul 1944J R Lyons / L R MarlettMunich
13 Jul 1944J R Lyons / L R MarlettMunich
16 Jul 1944F Fusco / J E SeclaterMunich
18 Jul 1944J R Lyons / L R MarlettPeenemunde
19 Jul 1944J R Lyons / L R MarlettLechfeld
20 Jul 1944C E VanAusdell / J F SammonLiepzig MockauMISSING -


© Ray Bowden 30 March 2017