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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2648  
USAAF
5th AF
43rd BG
65th BS

Former Assignments
5th BG
394th BS

19th BG

43rd BG
64th BS
403rd BS

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The Battle of Midway
June 4, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2459. Delivered to the U. S. Army as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2648. On March 5, 1942 delivered to Lowry Field (Lowry Air Force Base) and later flown to Hickam Field.

Wartime History
On May 23, 1942 assigned to the 5th Bombardment Group, 394th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

In late May 1942 flown from Hickam Field with an extra bomb bay fuel tank to Midway Airfield on Eastern Island to search for Japanese Naval forces and participated in the Battle of Midway. Afterwards, returned to Hickam Field.

Afterwards, flown across the Pacific to Australia. Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group. This B-17 was equipped with a SCR-521 radar that was later removed.

In early 1943, transfered to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 64th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Stud Duck". This B-17 operated from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby.

During June 1943 assigned to the 403rd Bombardment Squadron and used as a transport and also flew many bombing and reconnaissance missions.

On June 29, 1943 took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a flight to Dobodura to stage for a night mission. On June 30, 1943 after midnight took off from Dobodura on a bombing mission against Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul. The formation included 13 B-17s plus four B-24s from the 90th BG and 380th BG. Four bombers aborted the mission due to engine problems. Flying at 18,000', the formation descended to lower altitude for the bomb run. Over the target, the 403rd BS formation were targeted by anti-aircraft fire and this B-17 sustained damage to the no. 3 engine and left wing but returned safely.

Afterwards, transfered to the 481st Service Squadron for repairs. In the middle of July 1943 transfered to the 65th Bombardment Squadron and renamed "Lil Buster Upper". By the middle of September 1943 transfered out of the squadron during conversion to B-24 Liberators.

Afterwards, this B-17 was flown back to the United States and used as a training aircraft at Tyndall Field for the flexible gunnery school. On November 8, 1946 scrapped at Walnut Ridge.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2648
"2648 delivered Lowry Mar 5, 1942, Assigned to 19th BG in Hawaii May 23, 942. Participated in Battle of Midway. Transferred to Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, England Feb 15, 1943 for unspecified trials [unclear if accurate or in error]. Returned to USAAF Mar 9, 1943. To RFC at Walnut Ridge Nov 8, 1946."
The Battle of Midway (1942) by John Ford includes footage of B-17E 41-2632 taking off from Midway Airfield
Fortress Against The Sun pages 388 (41-2648 lists nickname as Little Buster / Upper / Fat Cat)
Ken's Men Against The Empire Volume 1 pages 237 (June 30, 1943 mission, photos), 238 (June 30, 1943 mission), 329, 331, 341, 343, 346
307, 308, 329, 344, 346
327 (64th BS), 330 (65th BS) 331 (403rd BS), 396 (index Lil Buster Upper), 404 (index Stud Duck)

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Last Updated
December 21, 2018

 

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