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  B-17E "The Last Straw" Serial Number 41-2432  
USAAF
5th AF
43rd BG
63rd BS



Former Assignments
7th BG
40th BS

43rd BG
65th BS

Click For Enlargement
USAAF February 1942

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AWM August 19, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army on November 29, 1941. Departed Boeing Field piloted by Lt. Herbert J. Felton.

Wartime History
On December 6, 1941 took off piloted by 1st Lt. Robert E. Thacker as part of an unarmed ferry flight that departed Hamilton Field bound for Hickam Field. On the morning of December 7, 1941, the formation arrived during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. While landing at Hickam Field, this B-17 was accidentally fired on by American anti-aircraft gunners and blew a tire during the landing.

During December 1941, this B-17 flew search missions off Hawaii. Afterwards, ferried overseas to Australia.

On March 12, 1942 took off on a bombing mission against Salamaua and claimed a Zero shot down.

On July 24, piloted by Lt. Hughey with co-pilot 1st Lt. Gilbert Erb departed Longreach Airfield to Mareeba Airfield.

On September 28, 1942, piloted by 1st Lt Gilbert E. Erb on a flight from Mareeba Airfield to Archerfield Airfield.

Later, assigned to 43rd Bombardment Group, 65th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "The Last Straw". Modified to mount twin 50 caliber machine guns from the tail of another B-17 in the nose for added forward firepower.

During January 1945, this B-17 was scrapped at Brisbane.

References
Gilbert E. Erb Flight Log - July 1942
Fortress Against The Sun pages 14, 19, 20, 155, 428

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-17
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