|Nationaliteit:||United States of America|
|Krijgsmachtonderdeel:||United States Army Air Forces|
|Squadron:||562nd Bomb Squadron, 388th Bomb Group (Heavy), 8th Air Force|
Naam: Blitzing Betsy
|Additionele Informatie:||Geboren te Gatliff, Whitley Co. Kentucky. Onderscheiden met Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal met 3 OLC, Purple Heart|
|Grafreferentie:||Margraten Kavel B, Rij 10, Graf 4|
S/Sgt. Harold A. Brassfield, “Ad” to his friends, was a tail gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress named “Blitzing Betsy.” At the time he served with the 8th AF, it was required that a crew member fly 25 missions to complete his tour. S/Sgt. Brassfield flew his 25th mission on 6 March 1944, which fate had was the first full scale U.S. raid on the German capital of Berlin. S/Sgt. Brassfield and his crew made it to Berlin and dropped their bombs suffering some minor anti aircraft damage. On the return trip to England, “Blitzing Betsy” was attacked by German fighters, set afire which led to a collision with another B-17, and then exploded. During this time S/Sgt. Brassfield reported shooting down a German fighter and immediately being seriously wounded. He was unable to bail out of the spinning, burning B-17 and perished with 3 of his fellow crewmates, one of which probably sacrificed his chance to escape to instead go tend to S/Sgt. Brassfield’s wounds. Harold Brassfield was 20 years old.
S/Sgt. Brassfield was buried with great reverence by Dutch citizens who risked the wrath of their Nazi occupiers to see that S/Sgt. Brassfield and his three crewmates got a proper Christian burial. The original burial location was at Nieuw Dordrecht, Holland. After the war S/Sgt. Brassfield was brought back to Whitley Co. and buried in Williamsburg at Highland Park.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone at all who knew Harold Brassfield during his youth in Whitley and Harlan Counties. I know he had a girlfriend named Betty or Betsy (hence the name “Blitzing Betsy on his plane.. several of the crew had Betty or Betsy’s for girlfriends/wives), who I believe attended Cumberland College. I’d love to know what happened to her. Contact: Chris Brassfield