Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2095. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2459.
Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group. No known nickname or nose art. Ferried overseas by piloted by Captain John L. "Duke" Dufrane, Jr. from the United States via the "Africa Route" to Java. On January 14, 1942 arrived with a LB-30 at Malang Airfield in Java.
On January 16, 1942 took off from Kendari II Airfield around 2:15am piloted by Lt. Dufrane took off with B-17E "El Toro" 41-2461 on a bombing mission against Japanese transports off Menado. Over the target, they were forced to make a second bomb run due to hung up bombs. During the bomb run, anti-aircraft fire hit one engine disabling it. They claimed one transport capsized and another damaged before being intercepted by fourteen Zeros for roughly forty minutes. During the combat, this bomber was hit by more gunfire and a second engine knocked out. Aboard, gunners claimed two attacking Zeros shot down before entering a clouds then landed safely at Kendari II Airfield. While parked on the ground being refueled with the wounded crew members being evacuated, five Zeros arrived and strafed. During the attack, this B-17 took off piloted by Dufrane and was flown to Malang Airfield.
Over the next two days while parked at Malang Airfield, other Zeros attempted to strafe the damaged bomber while repairs were made and three unsuccessful attempts were made to take off. Afterwards, usable parts were salvaged from this bomber before it was salvaged then blown up to prevent it from being captured by the Japanese.
When destroyed, B-17E 41-2459 became the first B-17E model lost in the Pacific. Ultimate fate unknown, likely captured by the Japanese and scrapped or otherwise disappeared.
Fortress Against The Sun pages 107, 111-112, 358 (Appendix B: B-17E 41-2459, 7th BG, Strafedon ground, Kendari. Damaged beyond repair. Burned by U.S. 16 Jan 42. Salvaged. Pilot: Lt. Edward J. Bechtold. Hit B-17E (41-2640).
USAF Serial Number Search Results B-17E 41-2459
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January 9, 2018