FIFINELLA - Nose Art Panel by GARY VELASCO
322BS, 91BG 8th AF
Fifinella flew 54 sorties before being lost on 13th August, 1944 on a tactical mission in support of the Allied ground forces. The target was a railway bridge at Le Manoir, France, and 1Lt Thomas Smith's crew flew the plane as lead. It was the 16th mission the crew had flown in Fifinella and most of the crew‚ 20th mission. Just prior to bombs away the ship took a direct hit in the cockpit and fire broke out. Smith held the plane steady, staying with the formation to bomb.
Pilot Thomas P. Smith, Jr. was killed in action but kept the plane going long enough for the rest of the crew to bail out safely. Charles Sturgeon, Delmer Spears, and Robert Bell were taken prisoner and remained POWs until war‚Äôs end. The rest of the crew were rescued by the French underground and found their way back to England.
FIFINELLA - Nose Art Panel by GARY VALESCO (322 Bomb Squadron: 91st Bomb Group: 8th Air Force: B-17 Bomber)@vbader.com