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  B-17E "Yankee Diddl'er Wouldn't It Root Ya" Serial Number 41-2458  
54th TCW
317th TCG
39th TCS

Former Assignments
43rd BG
65th BS

19th BG
93rd BS
28th BS

6th PRG
8th PRS
USAAF c1943

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle.

Wartime History
Ferried overseas arriving on Java on January 30, 1942 piloted by Captain Algene E. Key of the 19th Bombardment Group, 30th Bombardment Squadron.

Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group, 28th Bombardment Squadron. Operated from Djogjakarta Airfield on Java. Later, the 93rd Bombardment Squadron.

On February 19, 1942 took off at roughly 6:00am piloted by Captain Schwanbeck on bombin mission against a Japanese convoy landing troops on the southern coast of Bali. Arriving over the target at 8:35am and bombing through overcast and anti-aircraft fire from 11,000' then returned to base.

At the end of the Java campaign, this B-17 was evacuated to Australia.

Assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 65th Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to pilot Captain George K. Shako. Nicknamed "Yankee Diddl'er (Wouldn't It Root Ya)" with a reclining nude figure on the side of the nose.

Operated from 7 Mile Drome (Jackson) near Port Moresby.

Later, assigned to the 8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron operating from Port Moresby.

During early November 1943, converted to an armed transport at the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field. The lower turret was removed and cargo bins installed in the bomb bay, engines replaced and the bomber was repainted, including the nose art "covering her risque nude art work and the long row of bombs recording more than 60 missions she had made".

Assigned to the 54th Troop Carrier Wing, 317th Troop Carrier Group, 39th Troop Carrier Squadron with squadron number 25.

On December 19, 1943 the converted B-17 flew its first air drop mission with four quartermaster soldiers aboard to drop the cargo, in addition to the armed transport's crew including pilot Captain Lee Bird, navigator Lt. Seymour M. Schafer, waist gunner Sgt Lewis K. Scott and tail gunner SSgt Paul Blasewitz. Likely, SSgt George Prezioso was the radio operator.

On January 29, 1944 ground looped at Finschafen Airfield and afterwards repaired.

On March 1, 1944 one of five armed transports that took off from Finschafen Airfield on a mission to air drop supplies to US Army forces and strafe enemy positions on Los Negros. The next day, flew another air drop and ground support mission.

Scrapped at Brisbane on January 27, 1945.

Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information
Fortress Against The Sun page 119, 128, 131-132, 369, 385, 412 (notes 19-20), 414 (note 38)

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018


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