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  B-17F-5-BO "Caroline / Super Snooper / G.I. Jr" Serial Number 41-24420  
5th AF
54th TCW
375th TCW
58th TCS

Former Assignments
19th BG
28th BS

43rd BG
65th BS
64th BS
403rd BS

Click For Enlargemen
USAAF c1944

Click For Enlargemen
USAAF c1944-1945

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 3105. On June 29, 1942 Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17F-5-BO Flying Fortress serial number 41-24420. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia by late September 1942.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group, 28th Bombardment Squadron and began flying combat mission. On November 16, 1942 assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 65th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Caroline" and began flying combat missions in New Guinea until July 6, 1943.

On November 22 or 23, 1942 this B-17 was one of six or seven that participated in a bombing mission against Japanese ships in the Huon Gulf off Lae.

On November 22, 1942 took off from Torrens Creek Airfield as one of six or seven B-17s on a bombing mission against a convoy of four Japanese destroyers reported off the southern coast of New Britain or in the Huon Gulf off Lae. . Four of the B-17s failed to locate the convoy.

Steve Birdsall adds:
"I think this mission happened on November 22, 1942 in the afternoon or evening, but I am surprised there's so many differing reports. November 23... Combined Headquarters at Townsville has an entry for November 23 noting that six B-17s "attack ships Lae". . . identifies 65th Squadron, and #536 [this B-17 was] "shot down" and #552 "turned back". Other numbers mentioned are 537, 657, 420, 015 and 638. So, maybe seven planes took off to attack Japanese shipping near Lae. B-17F "Listen Here, Tojo!" 41-24552 turned back, B-17E 41-2638, 41-2657, 41-9015, B-17F "Talisman" 41-24537 and B-17F 41-24420 [this aircraft] attacked, and B-17E 41-2536 was shot down. Also, it is possible this mission was on November 21 or 22."

During January 1943 transferred to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 64th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Super Snooper".

On January 9, 1943 took off from 7 Mile Drome (Jackson) near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt. Arthur T. Curren on a reconnaissance mission against Lae. During the flight, this bomber entered a thunderstorm forcing the radio operator to quickly close the radio hatch causing the 50 caliber machine gun to accidentally discharge killing the tail gunner SSgt Jerry M. Walker and wounding two others.

On February 20, 1943 took off from 7 Mile Drome piloted by Captain Stanley G. Salisbury on a photo reconnaissance mission over New Britain. Returning, this B-17 overshot the runway and became suck in mud and took hours to extract. Afterwards, transfered to the the 5th Bomber Command replacement pool for repairs and assigned to the 403rd Bombardment Squadron

On March 5, 1943 during take off from 7 Mile Drome piloted by Major Arthur T. Curren the tail wheel was damaged forcing the B-17 to circle and crash land. Afterwards, this B-17 was to be salvaged but was instead repaired and transfered back to the 65th Bombardment Squadron and continued to fly combat missions until late April 1943.

During early November 1943, converted to an armed transport at the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field. On December 8, 1943 assigned to the 54th Troop Carrier Wing, 375th Troop Carrier Wing, 58th Troop Carrier Squadron. Nicknamed nicknamed "G.I. Jr."

On March 1, 1944, one of four B-17 armed transports that took off from Finschafen Airfield including B-17E 41-2662, B-17F "Harry the Horse" 41-24548 and another B-17 made supply runs dropping weapons, ammunition, barbed wire and blood plasma to the U. S. Army 1st Calvary Division that landed on Los Negros Island at Momote Airfield, and strafed enemy positions in the area.

Returned to the United States and written off during May 1946 (other sources state July 23, 1946). Ultimate fate unknown, presumed to have been scrapped sometime afterwards.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17F-5-BO Flying Fortress 41-24420
"24420 to 28th BS, 194th BG. Transferred to 64th BS, then 65th BS of 43rd BG, Transferred to 54th TCW Nov 1943, later 58th TCS, 375th TCW. Salvaged in 1946."
Pride of Seattle page 8
Fortress Against The Sun page 368-369, 391
Possibly, this B-17 was nicknamed "Caroline" in service with the 54th Troop Carrier Wing.
Ken's Men Against The Empire Volume 1 pages 82, 112, 130, 313-314, 327, 329, 331, 342
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

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Last Updated
October 23, 2018


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