Biography of George Bragdon
Waist Gunner, U.S.A.A.F.
My father's name is George H. Bragdon. He was a waist gunner in B17s in the Army Air Force. He flew on three aircraft, Sunnies Big Stoop (possibly 42-30452); another aircraft with the same name, and Jimmy Boy II, all B17Fs. They landed in North Africa in I believe August of 1943 after getting lost on the original bombing run.
The photo of Sunny's Big Stoop taken in Bangor Maine on their way to England wasn't the Sunny's Big Sttop they were shot down in. Someone noticed the serial numbers did match the photo and the one they were listed as being shot down in. The one in the photo was destroyed in a crash landing. Which might explain why the flew Jimmy Boy II for a few missions.
He was shot down, I believe on January 8, 1944. He was on his 21st mission. He was shot down the same night the guy who wrote the book "For You the War is Over". He was in Stalag17 Jan 8th or so until the end of the war.
I have a photo of him and another guy drinking in a bar. The other guy was an officer from our home town that was also in part of stalag 17. The other guy drinking turned out to become the minister of our church.
One of his crew mates was named Earl Campbell. They became separated and for 42 years they thought each other was dead. Earl bumped into a woman from our home town at a convention and said he knew a George Bragdon from there that was killed during the war. She said.well I know one still living there that was in the Army Air Corp. She gave him his number and that was 1983 and they have been visiting each other ever since. My father had thought he was dead because he'd heard the tail gunner of that plane had been killed....what he didn't know was that Earl had switched planes.
My father's been to lots of POW reunions in the past 15 years.
Below, Photographs from Mr. Bragdon
B17 F Sunnie's Big Stoop. AC# 42-30452 (possibly, its blurry), Here is Sunnie's Big Stoop in Bangor Maine.....He's standing on far right.....the guy kneeling in the middle with the leather jacket is named Earl Campbell. For 42 years they thought each other was dead....then Earl bumped into a woman from our home town at a convention and said he knew a George Bragdon from there that was killed during the war. She said, well I know one still living there that was in the Army Air Corps...she gave him his number and that was 1983 and they have been visiting each other ever since. My father had thought he was dead because he'd heard the tail gunner of that plane had been killed....what he didn't know was that Earl had switched planes. Earl and George are also in the Photo of Jimmie Boy II. The Air Forces Serial Number on the plane seems to say, though its very blurry, 42-30452. The name under the Bombadier position seems to be HOPE, probably a token of affection for his girlfriend rather than a comment on his accuracy. The writing on the crew hatch is not clear. From the This plane was later destroyed in a crash landing
Group Picture, B17 Crew on B17 Wing. A picture of George Bragdon, USAAF, and his comrades. This was taken when they landed in North Africa in I believe August of 1943, after getting lost on the original bombing run. He'll be the 3rd one in from the left standing on the wing.
This is Jimmie Boy II....my father is George Bragdon sitting on the far right....He was shot down in January 1944, the 8th or so......and spent the last of the war in Stalag 17.
B17F Jimmie Boy II, Photograph, George Bragdon, USAAF
B17F Sunnies Big Stoop, Photograph, George Bragdon, USAAF
Group Photograph, Men on B17 Wing, George Bragdon, USAAF
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