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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2455  
USAAF
5th AF
19th BG

Former Assignments
7th BG

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2455.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group. No known nickname or nose art. Next, assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group, 30th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

This B-17 was ferried overseas piloted by 1st Lt. Philip L. Mathewson from the United States departing MacDill Field via the "Africa route". On January 26, 1942 arrived at Surabaya on Java as a replacement aircraft.

This bomber began flying combat mission over Balikpapan, Celebes, Timor and Bali.

On February 8, 1942 one of nine B-17s that took off Singosari Airfield on Java piloted by Lt. Preston with co-pilot Knudson in the first element. The formation was led by B-17E 41-2456 piloted by Captain "Duke" Dufrane. Over the target, intercepted by a dozen A6M2 Zeros making head-on attacks, with one Zero pulling up 25' over the left wingtip. Lost were B-17E 41-2492 and B-17E 41-2456. Later, this B-17 was hit in the bomb bay fuel tank and jettisoned it while on fire and aborted the mission landed at Djogjakarta Airfield on Java.

On February 20, 1942 during the afternoon parked at Singosari Airfield on Java. Around 3:45pm, nine fighters were spotted over the area below a layer of clouds, but were assumed to be friendly fighters and no air raid alarm was sounded. In fact, they were nine A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai that began strafing runs over the parked B-17 Flying Fortresses.

During their attack, this B-17 was destroyed. Nine personnel were wounded on the ground, two seriously. The five parked B-17s were set on fire and destroyed including three destroyed: B-17E 41-2455 (this aircraft), B-17E 41-2484, B-17E 41-2488 plus two others burned and damaged beyond repair: B-17E 41-2478 and B-17E 41-2498.

Afterwards, salvaged for parts and abandoned when the Americans abandoned the airfield.

Wreckage
This B-17 was captured by the Japanese. Ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

References
Other sources list this B-17 as destroyed on the ground at Malang Airfield.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2455
"2455 arrived from USA via Africa Jan 26, 1942 at Sourabaya. Transferred to 19th BG on Java. Destroyed on ground Java Feb 20, 1942. Salvaged."
Fortress Against The Sun pages 121, 128-129, 141, 385 (Appendix B B-17E 41-2455 19/7 destroyed by strafing at Malang, 20 Feb 42), 409 (footnote 15), 412 (footnote 16, 19)
Echoes From an Eagle page 13

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Information
B-17

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