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Aircraft: 239867

National Archives Photo of HANG THE EXPENSE II. 239867 EP-E.  With only ragged pieces of tail left, this B-17 Fortress was brought back safely to England. and landed at Eastchurch.  Crews of other planes had seen the Fortress, "Hang the Expense II", have its tail almost entirely shot off over France and figured it had crashed inside enemy territory, but it showed up later as "Boeing Belle"

Boeing Belle Profile done by Jan Zdiarsky

Boeing Belle Profile done by Jan Zdiarsky

NAMES: Hang the Expense II
Boeing Belle


PILOTS:   N/A  N/A
MACR: SQUADRONS: 351 EP-E
351 EP-Z

NOTES

Aircraft names: Boeing Belle [2.44] (351 EP E -and Z) --- Hang the Expense II [12.43] (351 EP E)

HISTORY

1943-09-22   Accepted into inventory
1943-09-24  Long Beach
1943-11-06  Grand Island
1943-11-10  Assigned to UK
1944-01-24  RFO - Lt. Frank Valesh - 1 POW
1945-06-19  Returned Zone of the Interior - Bradley
1945-06-22   South Plains
1945-12-13   Kingman, Arizona
0000-00-00  
0000-00-00 
0000-00-00  
1945-12-13  Kingman, Arizona

Pilot Info

Crew: N/A

Related Info: : N/A, N/A

Comments

    cannot find informaiton of this plane flying with the 100th BG after Dec 2, 1944.	

PHOTOS:

351st 42-39867 "HANG THE EXPENSE II" back in England after taking flak hit at Frankfurt, Germany 24 Jan 44, literally blew Roy Urich, the TG out of the aircraft. Big Frank Valesh and his crew assumed Roy had been killed. They were happily surprised to receive a letter from the POW camp informing them he was not injured. At 100th reunions decades later other members of the 351st say they saw Roy flying through the formation sitting on the TG's bicycle seat still holding the handles of his twin Brownings.   (100th Photo Archives)

 351st "BOEING BELLE" - she was originally one of the "HANG THE EXPENSE II" aircraft. (100th Photo Archives) 

 "BOEING BELLE" (100th Photo Archives)  

 This is one of the 100th's greatest photographs. "HANG the EXPENSE" is back in England, the East Church fighter base. This was the Jan 24, 1944 Frankfurt mission in which Roy Urich was blown out of "HANG the EXPENSE" tail section. Urich, to everyone's surprise survived and became a POW. Legend has it the 100th crews saw Roy hurling through the formation still in his seat and his guns still firing. Dick Johnson Collection 

 Ground Crew for the "BOEING BELLE", Elvin Burgess, Ervin Duncon, Edgar Smith and Carl Johnson Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 BOEING BELLE 

 Hang the Expense II after repairs at East Church 2/24/44. For a while this aircraft and Our Gal Sal carried the same code letter "E". Finally, 239867 was given a new call sign "Z" and name "Boeing Belle". Photo courtesy of Jack O'Leary 

 "BOEING BELLE" (100th Photo Archives) 

 National Archive photo of HANG THE EXPENSE II. 239867 EP-E. This A/C had its tail assembly shredded of most of its surface and the tail gunner's compartment completely shot away by direct flak hits. The big Fortress was piloted safely back to England by 2nd Lt. Frank E. Valesh, who made his fourth emergency landing in less than four weeks. 

 National Archives Photo of HANG THE EXPENSE II. 239867 EP-E, later to become Boeing Belle,  with AAF Repair Depot Caption. 

Boeing Belle over normandy beaches june 5, 1944

239867 Hang the Expense II EP-E after repairs at East Church. Official caption on front of print: "265-(44). WPU - 2.29.44. Eastchurch. B-17G - 42-39867. FA-FSAD." A profile picture of the B-17G Flying Fortress (EP-E, serial number 42-39867) of the 351st Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group at Eastchurch airbase on the 29th of February 1944. Handwritten on reverse of print: '100th Bomb Group, 13th Combat Wing, 3rd Air Division, E?-E.[EP-E]' On reverse: USAAF Photographic Section Station 595

A B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-39867) nicknamed "Hang the Expense II" of the 100th Bomb Group with two airfield vehicles. Official caption printed on image: '264 (44). WPU-2-29-44 East Church . B-17G- 42-39867. FA. FSAD.' Image stamped on reverse: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH, Photographic section AAF Station 595.' [stamp] First handwritten caption on reverse: '100th Bomb Group, 13th CW.' Second handwritten caption on reverse: 'D possibly black.'

Boeing Belle EP-Z
Painted by Ron Leigh © 2006
Presented to Everett R. Kennedy (CP on the Edgar W. Wolf crew)

 "BOEING BELLE" and Richard Hallock (100th Photo Archives) 

 Ground Crew for the "BOEING BELLE", Edgar Smith and Carl Johnson Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 This is Hang the Expense after battle damage on Jan 24, 1944. Code letters EP-E 239867. Big Frank Valesh Crew.  TG Roy Urich was blown out of the tail and believed KIA until a letter  arrived from Roy to Ernest Jordan said he was OK and a POW. Letter can be seen down below.    Photo courtesy of Jack O'Leary 

William J “Pop” Howard next to Boeing Belle. Colorized by Nathan Howland
This is S/sgt William J. 'Pop' Howard (Lt. Ed Wolfs crew) standing next to his right waist gunner position on the B-17G  42-39867, 'EP-Z', of the 100th BG - 351st BS known as 'Boeing Belle'. Her early dark outlined insignia and desination 'Z' are testament to a previous life where she served with the same unit under the name ' Hang The Expense II' as 'EP-E'. Her tail was so badly destroyed but a flak hit during this time, other pilots reported that it was she must have crashed over Europe.

However, she managed to make it back to East Church, and landed safely.  This story is all the more extraordinary in that taking a flak hit over Frankfurt, Germany on 24th Jan 44, this literally blew Roy Urich, the TG out of the aircraft. 2nd Lt. Big Frank Valesh and his crew naturally assumed Roy must have been killed instantly. They were happily surprised to receive a letter from a POW camp informing them he was not injured. 

At 100th BG reunions, decades later, other members of the 351st would all claim they saw Roy flying through the formation sitting on the TG's bicycle seat still holding the handles of his twin Brownings.

After extensive repair and replacement of the damaged tail, she was re-assigned  and renamed.

The original image (see below) was rather faded, lacked a great deal of definition, and was slightly out of focus. 

Credit: Ron Leigh Private Colllection - All Rights Reserved.

Image repair, and colourisation - Nathan Howland - HowdiColour.

351st Ground Crew: Standing from left: E. Duncan, E. Smith, E. Burgess, C. Johnson is kneeling and is the Crew Chief. (from the collection of Bill Carleton)