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  B-17C "Skipper" Serial Number 40-2049  
11th BG
38th RS / 431st BS

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USAAF Dec 7, 1941

Pilot  1st Lt. Robert Richards, O-395292 Indianapolis, IN (survived)
Engineer  SSgt Joseph Angelini, 38th RS (survived)
Radio  Vernon "Tommy" Tomlinson, 19030242 Long Beach, CA
Force Landed  December 7, 1941
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the US Army. Assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group, 38th Reconnaissance Squadron. Later, assigned to the 431st Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Skipper" in honor of SSgt Angelini's six week old Scotch terrier mix puppy.

Mission History
On December 6, 1941 this B-17 was part of an unarmed ferry flight that departed Hamilton Field bound for Hickam Field. This bomber had the 50 caliber machine guns installed, but carried no ammunition. On the morning of December 7, 1941 incoming Japanese aircraft detected on radar were dismissed as the expected flight of B-17s. The formation of B-17s arrived during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu.

This bomber was attacked by A6M2 Zero fighters from the Akagi, including A6M2 Zero piloted by PO1c Juichiro Hanyu who mistook the bomber as a transport aircraft. His attack scored hits on the bomber, causing damage and wounding two members of the crew, one severely. Pilot Richards force landed at Bellows Field the nearest alternate location, and was the last B-17 from the ferry flight to land on Oahu.

On the ground, the wounded crew was rushed for medical attention. Doctors stated that the most wounded had been saved, if a landing was delayed longer, he would have bled to death.

It was hoped this B-17 could be repaired. Instead, it was salvaged for parts and the rest scrapped.

Aviation History January 2009 "Harano's Zero" by David Aiken
Other sources state this B-17 was AN524 crashed at Hendricks January 3, 1943 and scrapped
Fortress Against The Sun pages 12, 18, 100, 382

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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