Old Hickory was a Lockheed/Vega B-17G-15-VE Flying Fortress, serial number 42-97509, from the 358th Bomb Squadron, shot down on the US 8th Army Air Force’s 303rd Bomb Group’s Combat Mission 115 in March 1944.
The main target of the raid was the VKF ball bearing works, Frankfurt, Germany. They encountered only moderate flak and about 20 Me Bf 109 fighters, most of which were chased off by the American P51 Mustang long-range escorts. But it is thought two of the 109s hit Old Hickory on the way to the target, knocking out its Number 1 (port outer) engine. The bomber turned back but came down in Belgium. Two of the crew were killed. The other eight became prisoners of war – several of them after evading capture for weeks, many aided by local people.