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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2444  
USAAF
11th BG
42nd BS

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors number 2255. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2444. On December 4, 1941 delivered to McChord Field.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group, 42nd Bombardment Squadron based at Hickam Field. Later, ferried across the Pacific to the South Pacific.

On October 21, 1943 departed from Espiritu Santo on a ferry flight of early B-17Es from the squadron back to the United States, led by Major Berton Burns (C. O. 23rd Bombardment Squadron). The formation of four war weary early model B-17s included this bomber, B-17E "San Antonio Rose" 41-2467, B-17E "Knucklehead" 41-9222 plus another unidentified B-17.

When the four bombers were inspected at Oklahoma City, all four were deemed "unfit to fly" and grounded. Sometime afterwards, this B-17 went to Amarillo Army Air Field where it was partially disassembled and used as an instructional airframe and for spare parts.

During February 1944, one of the former crew members, Sgt Theo Davies found this bomber in the reclamation area of Amarillo Army Air Field "on a scrap heap at the air field", recognizing the nickname "San Antonio Rose", bomb markings for missions flown and fifteen Japanese flags. At the time, the wings and landing gear were removed plus other other portions of the fuselage missing after being partially disassembled by students to study the aircraft structures.

The story about Sgt Theo Davies and other former crew members finding their B-17 in the scrap heap was reported in the Associated Press (AP) "Air Vets Get Lumpy Throats When Fort Found In Scrap" released on February 19, 1944 and appeared on newspapers the following day. Davis was quoted as saying "Sure, you become attached to a ship, and that's putting it mildly after you have ridden through attack after attack and it still brings you back. You can imagine our feelings when we saw her... the ship on which we had flown and fought in the Pacific."

The ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared sometime after February 1944.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2444
"2444 delivered to McCord Dec 4, 1941; transferred to 11BG 42BS at Hickam Field, HI Oct 18, 1942; RETUS Oct 17, 1943. W/O Oct 8, 1944."
Fortress Against The Sun pages 367, 385, 477 (footnote 30)

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-17

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