B-17G-5-BO 42-31185

708th SQ — M

Taken around April-May 1944, 37 missions flown


No. 43-31185, “Satchel Lass,” a B-17G-5-BO, was built by Boeing and delivered to the Army Air Force on September 29, 1943. It was one of the original 708th Squadron aircraft, ferried across the Atlantic to Rattlesden in November 1943.  On board were:

Capt. Gene C. Smith Opns O (P)
2nd Lt Arthur R. Socolofsky Pilot
2nd Lt Wray N. Nylton Navigator
1st Lt Robert W. Van Longen Bombardier
Sgt Howard L. Rothermel ROG
M/Sgt Thomas Maggerty Sq Line Chief
S/Sgt John F. Dolan Sq Opns Clerk
S/Sgt George H. Bonnett Engineering
M/Sgt Johnie M. Holcomb Engineering
Sgt Robert C. Wilson Gp Comm Clerk

Source: Sp. Order No. 272, Kearny, courtesy of Mr. Joseph Genter


Flight listings for 42-31185

These lists are NOT limited to officially credited Combat missions, and may include Aborts, returns and non-takeoff occurrences as well.

447th Mission (Date) Target Pilot Notes
#1 (24-Dec-43) Droinville, France Graham, F. R.  
#3 (31-Dec-43) Cognac, France Socolofsky, A. R.  
#5 (05-Jan-44) Merignac, France Socolofsky, A. R. Ret’d
#7 (11-Jan-44) Brunswick, Germany Pauling, H. S.  
#8 (14-Jan-44) Grand Parc, France Socolofsky, A. R.  
#9 (21-Jan-44) Grand Parc, France Socolofsky, A. R.  
#10 (24-Jan-44) Frankfurt, Germany Socolofsky, A. R.  
#11 (29-Jan-44) Frankfurt, Germany Rozmus, H. A.  
#12 (30-Jan-44) Brunswick, Germany Socolofsky, A. R.  
#13 (03-Feb-44) Wilhelmshaven, Germany Finfinger, G. E. #563 slated
#15 (05-Feb-44) Romilly-sur-Seine, France Socolofsky, A. R.  
#16 (06-Feb-44) Evreux-Fauville, France Socolofsky, A. R.  
#17 (08-Feb-44) Weisbaden, Germany Pauling, H. S.  
#19 (13-Feb-44) Pas de Calais, Marquenville, France Socolofsky, A. R.  
#20 (20-Feb-44) Rostock, Germany Socolofsky, A. R.  
#21 (21-Feb-44) Diepholz, Germany Socolofsky, A. R. Not attack, #2 supercharger
#22 (24-Feb-44) Rostock, Germany Socolofsky, A. R.  
#31 (11-Mar-44) Munster, Germany Hughes, H. T.  
#32 (13-Mar-44) Bois de la Justice, France Donahue, W. D.  
#34 (16-Mar-44) Augsburg, Germany Socolofsky, A. R.  
#36 (20-Mar-44) Frankfurt, Germany Marcy, C. H.  
#38 (23-Mar-44) Brunswick, Germany Hopla, C. S.  
#40 (27-Mar-44) Merignac, Chartes, France Stenvig, J. A.  
#41 (28-Mar-44) Chartres, France Hopla, C. S.  
#44 (09-Apr-44) Warnemunde, Germany Herdic, C. W. CRASH LANDED at Honnington
#65 (19-May-44) Berlin, Germany Herdic, C. W.  
#76 (02-Jun-44) Wimereux, France Leitch, D. G.  
#78 (03-Jun-44) Pas de Calais / Audresselles, France Bowers, H. C. Spare
#80 (04-Jun-44) Versailles, France Hilding, R. D. Not disp; #4 eng fail
#81 (05-Jun-44) Le Touquet, France Leitch, D. G.  
#85 (07-Jun-44) Nantes, France Leitch, D. G.  
#86 (08-Jun-44) Nantes, France Leitch, D. G.  
#92 (19-Jun-44) St.Jean D’Angely, France Thorpe, T. G.  
#95 (22-Jun-44) Nucourt, France McKahan, F. H.  
#106 (11-Jul-44) Munich, Germany Bloecker, W. R. ABORT #4 Eng vibration (Slated #6003)
#109 (14-Jul-44) Area 10, France McKahan, F. H.  
#113 (20-Jul-44) Merseburg, Germany Farson, M. W. replacement plane (after ABORT in #624)
#115 (24-Jul-44) St. Lo, France Lakeman, L. F.  
#116 (25-Jul-44) St. Lo, France Polansky, J. G.  
#127 (14-Aug-44) Mannheim, Germany Schimandle, F. J.  
#128 (15-Aug-44) Handorf, Germany Polansky, J. G.  
#132 (25-Aug-44) Rechlin, Germany Adams, J. M.  
#133 (26-Aug-44) Brest, France McKahan, F. H.  
#136 (01-Sep-44) Mainz, Germany Adams, J. M.  
#137 (03-Sep-44) Brest, France McKahan, F. H.  
#140 (09-Sep-44) Besancon, France Weddle, J. L. ABORT #3 engine out
#141 (10-Sep-44) Giebelstadt, Germany Adams, J. M.  
#144 (13-Sep-44) Stuttgart, Germany Adams, J. M.  
#147 (22-Sep-44) Kassel, Germany Thomas, M. G.  
#156 (07-Oct-44) Merseburg, Germany Weeks, R. N.  
#157 (09-Oct-44) Gustavsburg, Germany Polansky, J. G. slated #531
#167 (30-Oct-44) Merseburg, Germany Tietjen, R. D.  
#171 (05-Nov-44) Ludwigshafen, Germany Cohen, E. slated #215
#172 (06-Nov-44) Neumunster, Germany Hysong, J. W.  


Photographed in February, after 13 missions
(From B-17 Flying Fortress Story by Roger Freeman)


Taken around April-May 1944, 37 missions flown


The source within the 447th of the name Satchel Lass and the distinctive nose art is not known. The painting was copied from a well-known pin-up, painted by Alberto Vargas. The artwork is seen as early as February, 1944. The name Satchel Lass was added sometime between February and May.



Westrope crew standing in front of 42-31185 Satchel Lass (most likely just a convenient backdrop) probably autumn 1944.



A crashed B-17G 42-31185 at Honington, 9 September 1944.

708SQ;  HARVARD c/l 9/4/44; sal (*at least 2 references to this aircraft in service after 9/4/44)


Some photos/information provided by:

  • Rob Kirkwood
  • David Wayrynen
  • Chris French

Some information and/or images sourced from the American Air Museum database