U.S. Army 8th Air Force 3rd Bomb Division, 4th Bomb
Brief history of "Ol' Scrapiron"
How "0l' Scrapiron" A/C #231582 Got Its Name.
When Lt Dahlgran our original Co-Pilot became a Command Pilot he asked for the remaining original crew members that were left to be assigned to his new crew, my 18th mission. We flew in A/C #231582, thus we took a vote and asked M/Sgt Truxaw if his A/C had a name and he gave us permission to name her "OI'Scrapiron". GOD BLESS Lt. Robert C. Stevenson! I, Jack D Keller, flew only 8 missions with Lt Dahlgran as my Command Pilot: 6 in (#321582), "Ol'Scrapiron", 1 in #297083 and I in #297572. It sure was nice to fly again with some of my original crew members who I had trained with, like being home again with your family, flying with strange crews was very hard!
I was on the original crew that voted and gave the name of "OI'Scrapiron" to A/C #231582 and became the first tail gunner to serve on the newly named B-17, although there were 5 missions under her belt by other crews. In I998 at our reunion in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, I met Byron Schlag, who I found out was the last tail gunner to serve in "OI' Scrapiron". From Byron I had learned that on 3/23/1945, that "Ol' Scrapiron" was cut in two parts by another B-17 from 34th Bomb Group and he was still in the tail position. After coming to, fighting his way out of the tail, bailing out, he was wounded and captured by the Germans and remained a P.O.W. for the duration of the war, he was very lucky for the Yanks came through town and freed him shortly after being captured. He came back to the Greatest Country in this SCREWED UP WORLD, the UNITED STATES of AMERICA! May GOD BLESS, Love all you wonderful folks!
Jack D Keller Tail Gunner Toggleir AlC #231582 "OI'Scrapiron"
|Kneeling (L-R): Lt. Abel W. Dahlgrahn, Co-Pilot; Lt. Robert C. Stevenson, Pilot, (KIA); Lt. Erwin A Smith Navigator;Lt. Gordon T. Todd, Bombardier, (wounded); Standing (L to R): T/Sgt. Kenneth L. Ramey, Gunner Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Albert A. Acuna, Gunner Waist, (wounded); T/Sgt. Lorn B. Heeb, Gunner, Engineer, Top Turret; S/Sgt. Russell T. Hatchett, Gunner, Amorer, Ball Turret; S/Sgt. Jack D. Keller Gunner, A/C Mechanic, Tail & Toggleir (wounded); S/Sgt. William Levinsky, Gunner Amorer, Waist. "OI'Scrapiron" A/C #231582 Years 1944 & 1945.|