~~~As Above So Below ~~ Be True to Oneself ~~~

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Knockout Dropper: 50th Mission

I've been obsessed with the myriad history of World War II.  Specifically the Flying Fortress of the U.S. Eighth Airforce.  Exactly, about a plane that completed 75 missions, The Knockout Dropper.  It was a B-17 that came through the war with little damage, and was scrapped at Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1945.

My father (1st Lt John P. Manning) was the Knockout Dropper's pilot for it's historic 50th combat mission.  He wasn't one to ever speak much about the war so most of what I know has been through research and old newspaper clippings that I am fortunate to have copies of. He also left a journal of his time at Molesworth, England that I found when he was dying.  All my siblings have copies of it, and my mother has the original.

There were many heroes from the men and women who served in WW II.  I don't mean to dismiss any of them.  This particular blog post is just focused on referral to the U.S. Eighth Airforce that mentions the Knockout Dropper.  Here are some books that I have found that mention the B-17.

These two for sure mention the Knockout Dropper's 50th mission.

These look good also:
My dad's flying history while based in England for the European theatre was probably pretty much like other heroes - it's just that he was my dad, and I have wanted to know more about that plane and that event that seems harder to research as time passes.  Perhaps you would like to know more about it also? There is much more offered in my article, "The Knockout Dropper: 75 Combat Missions," that you may find helpful.


Tiana said...

Great article to inspire anyone who has ever wanted to know more about their family history, so much of our world was shaped by that time in history, so many of our families, it goes beyond one generation and younger generations will be grateful to know where they come from

son of dropper said...

Monica, my dad flew on the Knock Out Dropper during the first 25 missions as the flight engineer. I also didn't hear my dad say much about the war and since we lost him I have tried to find out as much as I can about his time in Molesworth.

Monica - footloose said...

Wow, isn't this an interesting time? I wrote most of what I know in my article referred from my blog, although my dad did leave a journal which I can look through again (I have copy of it at home)...presently I am in New Zealand with a new granddaughter (my 1st grandchild), so it was very pleasant to read your comment son of dropper...keep in touch.

Steve said...

My father SSG Leroy "Shorty" Mace flew 29 missions with your dad, Including the historic 50th mission of the Knockout Dropper! He's still alive today at age 94. He spoke very highly of your father. Here's a picture from the 50th mission, my dad is on the far left.


I have several photos including my dad's mission log that shows your dad as pilot. I'll check back later and see if you respond. Maybe we could exchange photos and/or stories. I'm sure my dad would absolutely love to talk to you! Steve Mace

Monica - footloose said...

Steve, Thank you so much for corresponding and the photo link (I did see it, and might have it downloaded), it was nice to "see" your dad.

I returned an email to you, but don't know if you got it...how should we communicate?

I would love to visit.

Steve said...

Hi Monica! I PM'd you on YouTube. Shoot me your email there and I'll write back. This is very cool! Dad is going to be absolutely thrilled!

Boomer Galaxy is a blog from a baby boomer, about this baby boomer era and all it's relations.