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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2408  
USAAF
5th AF
43rd BG
65th BS

Former Assignments
7th BG
88th RS

19th BG
40th BS

374th TCG
21st TCS


USAAF c1942

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the US Army on October 29, 1941 at Boeing Field. Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group, 88th Reconnaissance Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Wartime History
On December 6, 1941 took off from Hamilton Field piloted by Lt. Karl Barthelmess on an unarmed ferry flight bound for Hickam Field. 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 against Pearl Harbor and Oahu. During the attack, this B-17 managed to safely land at Hickam Field.

During late December 1942, this B-17 flew reconnaissance missions from Hickam Field to patrol the Pacific Ocean area around Hawaii.

During January 1942, flown on a ferry flight from Hickam Field overseas to Australia. Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group, 40th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

During early February, dispersed from Garbutt Field to Mareeba Airfield, fearing a Japanese air raid against Townsville. Afterwards, flown back to Garbutt Field.

On February 22/23, 1942 took off from Garbutt Field piloted by Harry Brandon on a bombing mission against Rabaul and claimed one Zero shot down (none were lost).  Afterwards, landed at 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby with the left engine out from battle damage and ran out of fuel taxing on the runway.

On March 12, 1942, took off from from Australia piloted by Captain Harold Chaffin on a flight to Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao but mechanical problems caused it to arrive late. This B-17 was one of four bombers used to evacuate General MacArthur, his family and senior staff back to Australia.

During September 1942, this B-17 was briefly assigned to the 374th Troop Carrier Group, 21st Troop Carrier Squadron (TCS) and was overhauled and modified in Australia and then

On November 28, 1942 assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 65th Bombardment Squadron and continued to fly bombing missions operating from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby over New Guinea.

On July 13, 1943 one of four B-17s: this aircraft, B-17F 41-24355 and B-17F 41-24548 and one B-24 that took off on a bombing mission against Lae.

During October 1944, scrapped at Brisbane.

References
Fortress Against The Sun pages 357, 384
Aviation History Magazine July 2016 "Pacific Tramps" by Steve Birdsall page 22, 25

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

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B-17

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