43-37756 MILK WAGON

B-17G-70-BO 43-37756

708th SQ — G

 

Photo April 1945

 

No. 43-37756, “Milk Wagon,” a B-17G-70-BO, was built by Boeing in Seattle and delivered to the Army Air Force at Dow Field, Maine, on May 18, 1944. It was assigned to the 708th Bomb Squadron, 447th Bomb Group on June 8, and was on station, ready to fly by June 20, 1944. Over the course of its tour of duty, Milk Wagon set a record in the 3rd Division for 129 missions without aborting for mechanical failure.

Mr. August Altese, navigator on the James Young crew, tells of the origins of the aircraft’s name:

Our first mission was June 21st 1944 to Berlin. When we returned to base we were asked what we thought of our first mission out of England as compared to the missions that we had flown out of Italy with the 15th AF. We replied it was a milk run, and named our ship the Milk Wagon and indicated each mission flown with a milk bottle.

 

(Photo not available at the moment) Lt. Sergio Sayago, first bombardier on Milk Wagon, examining a hole in the nose after the July 13, 1944 mission to Munich. Mr. Altese remembers:

He was hit in the chest by two shells from ME 109s that swooped past us by 150 ft but was saved by his flak jacket. He was sore for several days.

Pictorial History photo (Operation Caption GC8)

 

Starting No. 1…   25 missions shown; around August 13, 1944

 

70 down, plenty more to go (late December 1944)

 

Repainting the bottles… Note that in the previous photo above (70 missions) that the stacks for bottles 61-70 aft of the Navigator’s windows are not aligned with the top rows of bottles. As the mission count went past 110, the stack extended down close to the cow’s horns so the black background was shifted to the right and the bottles were repainted, now lining up with the top rows. This is clearly seen in the following photo.

114 Missions. The man in the center of the group is Robert E. Orlosky, the crew chief for Milk Wagon

 


After 120 missions (March, 1945)

 

War’s end: 129 missions, Robert Orlosky (center) and two other 708th ground crew members who kept Milk Wagon flying.

 

 

Combat Missions (from Shields, History, 447th Bomb Group)

Although Milk Wagon is credited with having completed 129 missions, we’ve only been able to identify the following 124 between June 20, 1944 and April 21, 1945.

  No. Date Target Pilot
93 06/20/44 FALLERSLABEN KONINGSBORN Gibson, E.F.
2 94 06/21/44 BERLIN Young, J.E.
3 95 06/22/44 NUCOURT Young, J.E.
4 96 06/23/44 ST. QUENTIN Young, J.E.
5 97 06/24/44 BLANC PIGNON FERME Gibson, E.F.
6 99 06/25/44 AREA #1 “ZEBRA” Leitch
7 101 06/29/44 BOHLEN Douglas
8 102 07/06/44 BERCK A/F (p) Thorpe
9 104 07/07/44 MERSEBURG Young, J.E.
10 106 07/11/44 MUNICH Quintin
11 108 07/13/44 MUNICH Young, J.E.
12 109 07/14/44 AREA 10, CADILLAC Young, J.E.
13 110 07/16/44 STUTTGART Young, J.E.
14 111 07/18/44 CUXHAVEN Young, J.E.
15 112 07/19/44 EBELSBACH Hawkins
16 113 07/20/44 MERSEBURG Young, J.E.
17 114 07/21/44 REGENSBURG Young, J.E.
18 115 07/24/44 ST. LO AREA Mitchell R
19 117 07/27/44 OSTEND Young, J.E.
20 118 08/01/44 AREAS 10 & 14 Lakeman
21 119 08/02/44 ST. DENNIS Young, J.E.
22 120 08/04/44 ARRAS-OSTEND (p) McKinley
23 122 08/07/44 ANIZY LE CHATEAU (p) Adams, R.F.
24 123 08/08/44 BRETTEVILLE (p) Young, J.E.
25 124 08/09/44 AACHEN Young, J.E.
26 125 08/11/44 BELFORT M/V (p) Young, J.E.
27 126 08/13/44 SEINE R. AREA(p) Young, J.E.
28 127 08/14/44 MANNHEIM James, J.R.
29 129 08/16/44 ROSITZ Noonan
30 130 08/18/44 ST. DIZIER A/F (p) Young, J.E.
31 131 08/24/44 BRUX James, J.R.
32 135 08/31/44 BREMEN Westrope
33 136 09/01/44 MAINZ Westrope
34 137 09/03/44 BREST (p) Polansky
35 138 09/05/44 BREST (p) Westrope
36 139 09/08/44 MAINZ Noonan
37 145 09/17/44 ARNHEIM Westrope
38 146 09/19/44 KOBLENZ Westrope
39 149 09/26/44 BREMEN Thomas M
40 150 09/27/44 LUDWIGSHAFEN Russell J
41 151 09/28/44 MERSEBURG Russell J
42 152 10/02/44 KASSEL (p) Westrope
43 153 10/03/44 GILBERSTADT Westrope
44 154 10/05/44 MUNSTER A/F Tietjen
45 155 10/06/44 BERLIN McDermott
46 157 10/09/44 GUSTAVSBURG Westrope
47 158 10/12/44 BREMEN Westrope
48 159 10/14/44 COLOGNE Westrope
49 161 10/17/44 COLOGNE Westrope
50 162 10/18/44 KASSELL Westrope
51 164 10/22/44 MUNSTER Wing
52 165 10/25/44 HARBURG Tietjen
53 166 10/26/44 HANOVER Huber
54 167 10/30/44 MERSEBURG Wiggin
55 169 11/02/44 MERSEBURG Huber
56 170 11/04/44 HAMBURG Huber
57 171 11/05/44 LUDWIGSHAFEN Huber
58 172 11/06/44 NEUMUNSTER Russell J
59 173 11/09/44 SAARBRUCKEN Huber
60 175 11/16/44 DUREN AREA Lovett
61 176 11/21/44 KOBLENZ Huber
62 177 11/25/44 MERSEBURG Lund
63 178 11/26/44 HAMM Scanlon
64 180 11/30/44 LUTZKENDORF Hight
Probable refit and modifications at 1st SAD
65 183 12/10/44 KOBLENZ Huber
66 184 12/11/44 KOBLENZ GIESSEN Huber
67 185 12/12/44 DORMSTADT Middeleer
68 186 12/15/44 HANOVER Schwab
69 187 12/18/44 MAINZ Huber
70 188 12/24/44 BABENHAUSEN Huber
71 190 12/30/44 MANNHEIM Huber
72 191 12/31/44 WENZENDORF-STADE Huber
73 192 01/01/45 DOLLBERGEN Huber
74 193 01/02/45 NALBACH- Huber
75 194 01/03/45 KOBLENZ Huber
76 196 01/06/44 WORMS Huber
77 197 01/07/45 PADERBORN-COLOGNE Huber
78 202 01/15/45 AUGSBURG Huber
79 203 01/16/45 DESSAU Huber
80 204 01/20/45 HEILBRONN Huber
81 208 02/03/45 BERLIN Hammond
82 211 02/14/45 WESEL Clark
83 212 02/15/45 COTTBUS Clark
84 213 02/16/45 WESEL & RHEINE Clark
85 214 02/18/44 WESEL Huber
86 216 02/22/45 AALEN Clark
87 217 02/23/45 CRAILSHEIM Clark
88 218 02/24/45 BREMEN Clark
89 219 02/25/45 NEUBERG Gurney
90 220 02/26/45 BERLIN Clark
91 221 02/27/45 LEIPZIG Clark
92 222 03/01/45 ULM Clark
93 223 03/02/45 DRESDEN Jacques
94 224 03/03/45 BRUNSWICK Maxwell T
95 225 03/07/45 DATTELN Clark
96 226 03/08/45 FRANKFURT Clark
97 227 03/09/45 FRANKFURT Clark
98 228 03/10/45 DORTMUND Clark
99 229 03/11/45 HAMBURG Clark
100 230 03/12/45 MARBURG Clark
101 231 03/13/45 HANOVER Maxwell T
102 233 03/17/45 RUHLAND Gurney
103 234 03/18/45 BERLIN Dankmyer
104 235 03/19/45 ZWICKAU Dankmyer
105 236 03/20/45 HAMBURG Warren
106 237 03/21/45 WITTMUNDHAFEN Jacques
107 238 03/22/45 HELBERT AREA Clark
108 239 03/23/45 HOLZWICKEDE Clark
109 240 03/24/45 VARRELBUSCH A/F Roberts L
110 241 03/28/45 HANOVER Clark
111 242 03/30/45 HAMBURG Gurney
112 243 03/31/45 BRANDENBURG Radus
113 244 04/03/45 KIEL Radus
114 245 04/04/45 KIEL Radus
115 249 04/09/45 NEWBURG A/F Clark
116 250 04/10/45 BRANDENBURG Clark
117 251 04/11/45 INGLOSTADT Dankmyer
118 252 04/14/45 ROYAN AREA Clark
119 253 04/15/45 ROYAN AREA Clark
120 254 04/16/45 ROYAN AREA Clark
121 255 04/17/45 DRESDEN Maxwell T
122 256 04/19/45 DRESDEN Maxwell T
123 257 04/20/45 NEURUPPIN Clark
124 258 04/21/45 INGLOSTADT Clark

 

 

 

Filename indicates Robert Campbell (114 markers at this point)

 

Filename indicates Dan Bavelaar. Milk Wagon with 120 mission marks at that point.

 

 

 

Home Again

Milk Wagon at Goose Bay.

 

Milk Wagon was flown back to the U.S. on July 9, 1945, and reached Kingman sometime in the early Fall. She was sold for scrap on November 21, 1945.

 

Also on the Color Collection page.

 

 

 

 


708sq; Completed 129 missions with no abort; RetUS 7/9/45; RFC Kingman 11/21/45; ; see Aircraft Gallery 4; Profile

One of the more popular aircraft among 708th crews, Milk Wagon went on to fly 129 missions before being scrapped at Kingman, Arizona in 1946.

Photo sources include: 447th archives; Hal Kiena; Mr. Rob Kirkwood and Mr. Steve Borcherding