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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2636  
USAAF
5th AF
19th BG
30th BS

Pilot  Lt. Paul Holdridge (survived) Apache, OK
Navigator  Lt. Perkins (survived)
Crew  Thomas B. Joyce
(survived)
Crashed  July 14, 1942 around 3:40am
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Delivered to Lowry Field on March 5, 1942. Flown to Hickam Field and assigned to the 5th Air Force, 19th Bombardment Group, 93rd Bombardment Squadron. Ferried from Hickam Field across the Pacific to Australia arriving on April 14, 1942.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 19th Bombardment Group, 30th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On July 13, 1942 took off from Cloncurry Airfield to to Horn Island Airfield to stage a bombing mission against Lae the next day.

On July 14, 1942 this B-17 was the fifth B-17 that took off from Horn Island Airfield around 3:35am during a tropical storm and crashed off the end of the runway into the mangrove swamp roughly 300-400m off Horn Island.

During the crash, the right wing broke off from the fuselage and ripped a hole in the B-17. Aboard, two of the crew were killed. Previously, the fourth bomber to take off B-17E 41-2655 crashed into the sea.

Wreckage
The wreckage of this B-17 remains near the shore of Horn Island. One engine with the propeller intact is visible above the water at low tide, with the propeller blade visible at high tide. At low tide, more wreckage is visible.

Relatives
Rusty Joyce (son of Thomas B. Joyce)

References
Horn Island page 197-198
Echoes From an Eagle page 42, 118
Fortress Against the Sun pages 177, 221, 387
Oz@War Crash of a B-17 Flying Fortress near Horn Island, QLD on 14 July 1942
Thanks to Ken Bledsoe for additional information

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-17

Tech Info
0-2m

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