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Aircraft: 23474

 "KING BEE"  23474 EP-B 351st aircraft with Lt Janssen Crew (100th Photo Archives) 

King Bee “Hangar Queen” after short runway accident

NAMES: King Bee



The name "Queen Bee" appears on a teletype list sent from 100th BG to Headquarters but has not been confirmed by other sources. --- King Bee


1943-06-01   Denver (Date uncertain)
1943-06-01  Accepted into inventory
1943-08-10  Presque Isle
1943-08-30  Assigned to UK
1943-10-04  REM - #2 prop feathered
1943-10-20  REM
1943-11-13   REO
1943-11-19   REM
1943-12-27   NCS - landing accident with 26094 and 237772
1944-01-31  Salvaged
1944-01-31  Salvaged

Pilot Info

Crew: N/A

Related Info: : N/A, N/A


    “Delivered Denver 6/43; Gd Island 10/8/43; Assigned 351BG/100BG [EP-B] Thorpe Abbotts 1/9/43 KING BEE; after training flight with Ray Monrad, Co-pilot: Claud Schindler, Navigator: Arthur Dehan, Navigator: Frank Maguire, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Sid Cary, Radio Operator: Talbert Spenhoff, aro-Buthrie Head, ae-Art Lenfest, g-Nick Perovich,Tail gunner: Bill Wells (10 Returned to Duty), crash landed base and into two other aircraft involved in earlier accident, Salvaged 31/1/44. KING BEE.”  (Source:

“King Bee had arrived in England on the last day of August 1943 and made its first operational sortie on 26th September, to Paris. It is not clear from available records if the ship completed the mission to Saarlautern on 4th October. It failed to bomb the target due to an overheated No. 3 engine but no indication is given as to whether the mission was credited or not. Four days later, flak caused serious damage when Maurice Beatty took King Bee over Bremen.”  (Source: Plane Names and Bloody Noses, The 100th Bomb Group (Heavy), United States Army Air Force, Thorpe Abbotts, England, 1943-1945 by Ray Bowden, Plane Names Vol. 2, 2000, Design Oracle Partnership, Dorset, England; p. 123)

 “Two more early returns are recorded in the files. Ice caused a turn back from Bremen on 13th November and another overheating engine six days later prevented an unknown crew from bombing the target at Gelsenkirchen.

In mid-December, the infamous Frank Valesh took the plane to Emden as a replacement for one of his several damaged Hang the Expense ships. Navigator on the crew, John Johnson, noted, ‘The flak was inaccurate, there were no fighters (friend or foe) so why did we miss? …Once again the bombay doors would not close and had to be cranked shut by hand.’ Salvaged before the year was out, King Bee was almost certainly one of the 351st Squadron’s B17s embellished by Sgt. Frank Stevens who later applied a nearly identical nose art to the plane’s namesake.” (Source: (Source: Plane Names and Bloody Noses, The 100th Bomb Group (Heavy), United States Army Air Force, Thorpe Abbotts, England, 1943-1945 by Ray Bowden, Plane Names Vol. 2, 2000, Design Oracle Partnership, Dorset, England; pp. 123-124.)	


 December 27, 1943 taxi accident at Thorpe Abbotts. 23474 is "KING BEE". (100th Photo Archives) 

 King Bee after collision on Dec 27, 1943 at Thorpe Abbotts with 2 other aircraft. Photo courtesy of Sandra J. Herl, Daughter of Sgt Bob Jones 418th Communications - July 2007 

December 27, 1943 taxi accident with King Bee, Flyin' Jenny, and  26094 LD-Q

King Bee tail damage (from the collection of Bill Carleton)

Photo of King Bee after a landing accident on Dec 27, 1943 (from the collection of Anthony Pecyk)

 Glenn W. Rake crew. Standing from left; Robert L. Mishler, Edward C. Rogers, Francis L. Cate and Robert J. Bourquin, Kneeling; Glen W. Rake, Earl E. Evans, Douglas R. Drysdale, Louis Tekel David M. Pflaum and Leo A. Miller. (Note - This is a composite photo. Picture was not original posed with "KING BEE" ) Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

23474 King Bee involved in Landing Accident on Dec 27, 1943.  See Accident Reports for full details. Photo courtesy of Tony Pecyk CollectIon

 William "Bill" Chell; holding the airplane prop and the ground crew for "KING BEE" Photo courtesy of Dan Chell