The 1000th B-17 Aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Plant in California

Serial Number 42-38113

For many years now we have examined the photograph below, knowing that this was Col James Luper with a crew from the 457th Bomb Group, picking up an aircraft at the Douglas Aircraft Plant in California. This was a celebration of the 1000th aircraft produced by that aircraft plant. It was flown by this crew back to the 457th base at Glatton and subsequently renamed "Rene III" (after the Colonel's wife").

Now, thanks to Eric Zemper, grandson of our Group photo officer, Duane Zemper, we have a copy of that book.

What follows is a gallery of photos taken from the book that is being held by Col Luper in the photograph above. Each thumbnail below represents a page from the book.
These pages were much too large dimensionally to scan so Eric Zemper has photographed each page of this book and sent me the photos which appear below. We have decided to reproduce them here just as they appear today. Some will be discolored and difficult to read, some are wrinkled and torn, etc.
The first three rows below are pages created by the Douglas Aircraft workers. The hundreds of handwritten names in row two and three are of the Douglas workers who purchased this aircraft and donated it to the 8th Air Force.
The remainder of the pages were added at Glatton and contain the names of many of our personnell at that time.

To view enlarged thumbnail, just click once on the thumbnail

The front cover of the Book The rear cover of the Book 100th mission. Some comic relief . Signatures and artwork from the Inspection team.
Worker signatures and a B-17 drawing. More worker signatures: "Shooting the Bull". Signatures and caricatures. Signatures from "Dept. 522 - We Built the Wings".
Workers from "Dept. 523 - Win With Wings, Swing Shift". Many workers add encouragement when they sign. Signatures with cowering Hitler and Tojo caricatures. "Experimental Development" signatures, with a poem.
Loading list for the flight across the Atlantic to Glatton. Cover letter to Col. Luper from management at Douglas Aircraft. Press clippings of the 1000th aircraft send-off. Press photo of workers cheering a cable from Col. Luper.
Aircraft No 42-38113, named "Rene III", flew 53 missions with the 457th Bomb Group before her loss on March 21, 1945 on a mission to Hopsten, Germany.

The following pages were added to the book while it was at Glatton.

Here is link to the history of her flights.

Press photo of a worker inside the 1000th aircraft. "Pretty riveter" Juanita Escareno showing her skill. Collage of photos of the 1000th aircraft arriving at Glatton.
Report of battle damage: 21 Feb 44 - 25 May 44 (8 missions). Report of battle damage: 27 May 44 - 16 Jul 44 (11 missions). Report of battle damage: 19 Jul 44 - 4 Aug 44 (7 missions). Report of battle damage: 13 Aug 44 - 30 Oct 44 (5 missions).
Thank you signatures to Douglas employees from 457th airmen. Chasing Hitler away. A thankful 457th airman. Roster of 457th airmen (page 1 of 5).
Roster of 457th airmen (page 2 of 5). Roster of 457th airmen (page 3 of 5). Roster of 457th airmen (page 4 of 5). Roster of 457th airmen (page 5 of 5).
Col. Luper with "Rene III" the 1000th Douglas aircraft in England. Photo of Douglas employees with the plane bought by their war bonds. Col. Luper with S/N 38113, "Rene III", mission No 1. Damaged "Rene III" after one wheel landing at Glatton.
The Last Mission of 42-38113

Mission No. 214
Date - March 21, 1945
Target - Hopsten
Aircraft 42-38113, named "Rene III," was flying deputy lead of the high squadron and piloted by Lt Craig Greason. The plane was hit by flak before reaching the target area and left the formation. #4 engine was hit and the wing was ablaze. The crew bailed out and evaded capture except for Sgt Wagner, the engineer, who was taken prisoner.

Lt Craig P. Greason - EVD
Lt Ralph L. Gray - EVD
Lt Rudolph Haumann - EVD
Lt Thomas E. Madigan - EVD
Aircraft Engineer
Sgt William R. Wagner - POW
Radio Operator
Sgt Ralph s. Ingraham - EVD
Left Waist Gunner
Sgt Garland L. Frost - EVD
Ball Turret Gunner
Sgt Blair Arsenault - EVD
Tail Gunner
Sgt Kenneth L. Hazeltine - EVD