Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
  B-17H "Bulgin Bessie" Serial Number 43-39265  
20th AF
4th ERS

Tech Info
USAAF July 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 10243. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17G-105-BO Flying Fortress serial number 43-39265. Converted to B-17H Flying Fortress for use in the air-sea rescue role with a Higgins A-1 lifeboat attached to the lower fuselage.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 20th Air Force (20th AF), 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron (4th ERS). Nicknamed "Bulgin Bessie". This B-17 operated from Iwo Jima performing air sea rescues for downed air crews off Japan.

On August 3, 1945 took off from Iwo Jima piloted by Burton "Burt" E. Klatt on a mission to provide air sea rescue services off Japan. Over Sagami Bay they successfully released their Higgins A-1 lifeboat to 1st Lt. Mikes who bailed out of P-51D "Mrs. Beak" 44-72561 and was later rescued by USS Aspro (SS-309).

Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

Klatt remained in the U. S. Air Force (USAF) and served in the Korean War and Vietnam before retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away January 29, 1990 and is buried in Cedar City Cemetery in Cedar City, UT.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17G-100-BO Flying Fortress 43-39265
Crew of B-17 #339265 4th ERS Iwo Jima April 27, 1990
Pacific Air Combats WWII Voices From The Past (1993) by Henry Sakaida The Rescue of Ed Mikes pages 81-89, 82 (photo), 87 (crew photo), 93 (map)
FindAGrave - LTC Burton E Klatt (grave photo)

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
August 5, 2020


Tech Info

August 3, 1945
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram