100th Bombarment Group photo gallery

USAAF 8th Air Force emblem

100th Bombarment Group

100th Bombardment Group

Constituted as 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Jun 1942. Used B-17's to prepare for duty overseas. Moved to England, May-Jun 1943, and assigned to Eighth AF. Operated chiefly as a strategic bombardment organization until the war ended. From Jun 1943 to Jan 1944, concentrated its efforts against airfields in France and naval facilities and industries in France and Germany. Received a DUC for seriously disrupting German fighter plane production with an attack on an aircraft factory at Regensburg on 17 Aug 1943. Bombed airfields, industries, marshalling yards, and missile sites in western Europe, Jan-May 1944. Operations in this period included participation in the Allied campaign against enemy aircraft factories during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. Completed a series of attacks against Berlin in Mar 1944 and received a DUC for the missions. Beginning in the summer of 1944, oil installations became major targets. In addition to strategic operations, the group engaged in support and interdictory missions, hitting bridges and gun positions in support of the Normandy invasion in Jun 1944; bombing enemy positions at St Lo in Jul and at Brest in Aug and Sep; striking transportation and ground defenses in the drive against the Siegfried Line, Oct-Dec 1944; attacking marshalling yards, defended villages, and communications in the Ardennes sector during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945; and covering the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for attacking heavily defended installations in Germany and for dropping supplies to French Forces of the Interior, Jun-Dec 1944. Returned to the US in Dec 1945. Inactivated on 21 Dec 1945.

Redesignated 100th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 29 May 1947. Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949.

Squadrons. 349th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949. 350th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949. 351st: 1942-1945; 1947-1949. 418th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949.

Stations. Orlando AB, Fla, 1 Jun 1942; Barksdale Field, La, c. 18 Jun 1942; Pendleton Field, Ore, c. 26 Jun 1942; Gowen Field, Idaho, 28 Aug 1942; Walla Walla, Wash, c. 1 Nov 1942; Wendover Field, Utah, c. 30 Nov 1942; Sioux City AAB, Iowa, c. 28 Dec 1942; Kearney AAFld, Neb, c. 30 Jan-May 1943; Thorpe Abbotts, England, 9 Jun 1943-Dec 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, c. 20-21 Dec 1945. Miami AAFld, Fla, 29 May 1947-27 Jun 1949.

Commanders. Unkn, Jun-Nov 1942; Col Darr H Alkire, c. 14 Nov 1942; Col Howard M Turner, c. 28 Apr 1943; Col Harold Q Huglin, Jun 1943; Col Neil B Harding, c. Jul 1943; Col Robert H Kelly, 19 Apr 1944; Col Thomas S Jeffery, c. 9 May 1944; Col Frederick Sutterlin, 2 Feb 1945; Lt Col John B Wallace, 23 Jun 1945-unkn.

Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Germany, 17 Aug 1943; Berlin, Germany, 4, 6, 8 Mar 1944. French Croix de Guerre with Palm, 25 Jun-31 Dec 1944.

Insigne Shield: Gray, issuing from a base nebuly azure bearing in fess arched reversed six mullets argent, nine billets in chevron sable, surmounted by two lions respectant or langued gules, grasping in saltire a palm branch bend sinisterwise vert and a lightning flash of the sixth. Motto: Peace Through Strength. (Approved 22 Nov 1957.)

100th Bombardment Group

Web Reference: https://www.historynet.com/the-bloody-100th/

The 100th was constituted as a heavy bomber group inside the Eighth Air Force, which, at peak strength on D-Day, June 6, 1944, fielded 40 groups of Boeing B-17s and Consolidated B-24s. The 100th’s tail marking of a bold “D” on a square background was rendered on the vertical stabilizers of its B-17s, whose big, parabolic-shaped tail fins made for an effective if utilitarian canvas. In 2018 the Square D still adorns a Boeing aircraft—the KC-135R—though the 100th is now an aerial refueling wing. Even still, the Square D carries with it the heroic, bloody history of the 100th Bomb Group.

In November 1942, Colonel Darr Alkire was the first commander assigned to head up the 100th. By December, several hundred men formed the initial flying cadre of the group’s four bomb squadrons—the 349th, 350th, 351st and 418th—along with the requisite administrative, engineering and ground support units. While each unit was actively training, the Army Air Forces identified leaders who could forge the ungainly mass of civilians into airmen.

Among the commanders serving under Colonel Alkire were two officers who became synonymous with the unit’s early dashing, devil-may-care notoriety. John “Bucky” Egan was originally the 100th operations officer, and Gale “Bucky” Cleven was the initial commander of the 350th Bomb Squadron. Just two of the several Bucks or Buckys who would serve with the 100th, Egan and Cleven were excellent pilots and charismatic men. More than a few of the 100th’s young airmen came to view the two Buckys as inspirational figures, modeling their own behavior on that of these older leaders.

Left: Majors John Egan (left) and Gale Cleven were among the 100th’s inspirational leaders. Right: Harry Crosby, a 418th Bomb Squadron navigator, later wrote a book about his service in the “Bloody 100th.” (100th Bomb Group Foundation Archives)

On the way to operational readiness, the group trained in Walla Walla, Wash., and, by the end of November, in Wendover, Utah. The third phase of training occurred in Sioux City, Iowa, where the crews focused on formation flying and navigation. In February 1943, the fliers were dispersed throughout the western United States and relegated to the role of instructors for new units. Ground personnel were assigned to the air base at Kearny, Neb. While in limbo, the group’s airmen regressed in their march toward combat readiness.

In April the lack of preparation and three months spent apart manifested in a training mission gone badly awry. Of 21 aircraft scheduled to make the 1,300-mile run between Kearney and Hamilton Field in California, three landed in Las Vegas (including Alkire’s ship) and one flew the opposite direction to Tennessee. The whole group, sans Alkire, who lost this command over the debacle (though he would later lead a B-24 unit), was sent back to Wendover for a much-needed refresher.

One of the more intriguing outcomes of continuing to keep the 100th Stateside for more training was the decision to replace all the group’s copilots with a recently graduated class of multi-engine pilots from Moody Field in Valdosta, Ga. In a recent interview, a member of that class, John “Lucky” Luckadoo, said that breaking up crews who had worked for months to establish camaraderie and trust had a profoundly negative impact on morale. The 96-year-old Luckadoo called the decision “ludicrous” because it forced him and his classmates, who were sitting in the right seat of a B-17 for the first time, to undergo a difficult “learn-on-the-job” experience. Luckadoo recalled that he had accrued less than 20 hours of B-17 flight time prior to making the transatlantic crossing to Britain.

The 100th Bomb Group arrived in England in early June 1943, just one of the dozens of heavy bomber groups comprising the Eighth Air Force’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd air divisions. After a brief stay at an incomplete airbase in Podington, the 100th set up shop at Thorpe Abbotts airfield in East Anglia. The group’s airmen began flying over England and the Channel to get the lay of the land as they prepared for their first mission over enemy territory.

That first mission came on the morning of June 25, 1943, when 30 B-17s took off from Thorpe Abbotts for a raid on the submarine pens at Bremen, Germany. By the end of the day, the group had lost three Flying Fortresses and 30 crewmen, including pilot Oran Petrich and his crew, one of the first assigned to the 100th. The group acquired its reputation as a hard-luck unit very early in its operational history, and it would go on to become known as the “Bloody 100th,” a nickname laden with the weight of sacrifice.

On August 17, less than two months after its initial foray over enemy soil, the 100th flew to Regensburg for the first time. The raid was in the men’s self-interest, for it targeted a factory where Messerschmitt Me-109s—fighters that would torment them in the months to come—were assembled. It was a complex mission, requiring the coordination of two separate masses of Eighth Air Force bombers (the second was headed to Schweinfurt and its ball-bearing works) and Republic P-47 escorts. Ultimately it required the Regensburg-bound bombers to shuttle to North Africa, with a planned return to England at a later date. In the end, the 100th, located at the tail end of a 15-mile bomber stream, was left unescorted when one of the P-47 units never appeared.

As they approached Regensburg, “what seemed to be the whole German Air Force came up and began to riddle our whole task force,” wrote 418th Bomb Squadron navigator Harry H. Crosby in A Wing and a Prayer. “As other planes were hit, we had to fly through their debris. I instinctively ducked as we almost hit an escape hatch from a plane ahead. When a plane blew up, we saw their parts all over the sky. We smashed into some of the pieces. One plane hit a body which tumbled out of a plane ahead.”

The B-17G “Hang the Expense II” returned from Frankfurt on January 24, 1944, in spite of a flak hit that blew tail gunner Staff Sgt. Roy Urich from the plane. He survived to become a prisoner of war. (National Archives)

Of the 24 American bombers lost that day over Regensburg, more than a third bore the 100th’s Square D on their tails. The 100th put up 220 fliers in 22 B-17s, and 90 of those men and nine Fortresses didn’t make the return trip to Thorpe Abbotts.

The group’s reputation as a hard-luck unit was sealed in the second week of October 1943, during missions to Bremen and Munster. On October 8, Lucky Luckadoo put his nickname to the test over Bremen. That day, he was flying in a combat formation position with the darkly humorous nickname of “Purple Heart corner,” the low plane in the low group.

Luckadoo noted that the Luftwaffe favored head-on attacks during those first months of combat flying by the 100th. The German fighters would “get out in front of our formation—in line abreast of 25 or 30 Focke-Wulfs or Messerschmitts—and spray the formation with cannon fire, rockets and .30-caliber machine guns.” As a result, he said, “We suffered tremendous fatalities.” Anti-aircraft artillery also took a toll, and Crosby noted that as they approached Bremen, the group encountered “Flak, a whole, mean sky full of it.” Luckadoo and his crewmates returned to Thorpe Abbots that day, but seven B-17s were lost and 72 aircrew died on the Bremen mission.

Crosby’s shot-up B-17 barely made it back on three engines to crash-land at an abandoned RAF airfield. After catching a ride in a lorry to Thorpe Abbotts, Crosby and his fellow crewmen, who were presumed lost, found their beds stripped and personal possessions removed. “On the bare cot were two clean sheets and two pillowcases, two blankets, one pillow, all neatly folded,” he wrote. “Ready for the next crew.”

Two days later, 21 Forts departed Thorpe Abbotts for Munster, but just 13 reached the target. The losses on the Munster mission were devastating: 12 aircraft and 121 men. A single B-17, Rosie’s Riveters, piloted by Lieutenant Robert Rosenthal, bombed the target and returned to Thorpe Abbotts that day.

The perceived impact of the losses was compounded by the attrition in squadron leadership: 350th Bomb Squadron commander Major Bucky Cleven was shot down over Bremen, and Major Bucky Egan, CO of the 418th Squadron, was downed over Munster on October 10 while trying to exact revenge for his best friend Cleven. The two commanders found themselves at the same POW camp. Legend has it that when Egan arrived, Cleven said, “What the hell took you so long?” The loss of the two Buckys, seen by the rank and file as exemplars of everything that a flier should be, was crushing.

Several days after these disastrous missions, the 100th was able to muster only eight aircraft for a raid that nearly broke the back of the Eighth Air Force. October 14, 1943, became known as “Black Thursday.” On that autumn day, 291 B-17s assembled to make a second raid on the ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt. American losses were appalling: 60 aircraft shot down, 17 written off and more than 100 others damaged. The loss of more than a quarter of the aircraft participating in the raid was clearly unsustainable, both in the eyes of VIII Bomber Command and, perhaps more important, the American people.

In a twist of fate that served to highlight the randomness inherent in warfare, the 100th Bomb Group emerged comparatively unscathed that dreadful day. All eight B-17s that it contributed to the mission returned to Thorpe Abbots.

A mixed squadron of 100th Group Flying Fortresses includes a veteran B-17F (foreground) among the newer camouflaged and bare-metal B-17Gs. (National Archives)

The October 1943 missions wound up being among the last bombing raids deep into German airspace that the Eighth Air Force flew without end-to-end fighter escort. Though the bombers bristled with .50-caliber machine guns (ultimately 13 in the B-17G, with its added chin turret to counter frontal attacks) and adhered rigorously to combat box formation flying to provide mutually supportive defensive fire, it was obvious that the B-17s in the European theater were vulnerable to Luftwaffe hunters. In the end, the primary tool for redressing the imbalance of power between the hunters and the hunted was to import a newer, more capable long-range fighter, the North American P-51 Mustang.

Though the fuel burn of aircraft is typically measured in gallons per hour, it’s also instructive to think in the traditional earthbound measure of miles per gallon. The P-51 was a pilot’s dream in terms of speed and maneuverability, but its real superiority was that it could eke out twice as many miles from a gallon of 100-octane avgas as could a P-47. With the Mustang, Army Air Forces planners finally had a fighter that could stay with the bomb groups all the way to Berlin and back.

Commander of the Luftwaffe Hermann Göring had once pompously bragged that Allied bombers would never be seen in the skies over Germany. By March 4, 1944, Allied bombers weren’t just flying over Germany, they flew all the way to Berlin. On that date, the 100th and their mates in the 95th Bomb Group became the first fliers to successfully bomb the German capital. For its efforts, the 100th was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation.

The ability to provide fighter escorts end-to-end on bombing missions had a profound effect on bomber losses suffered over Germany. The Eighth Air Force had lost nearly 30 percent of the bombers that took part in raids during the second week of October 1943. During what became known as the “Big Week” in February 1944, Eighth Air Force bombers suffered losses of only about 2 percent.

German flak and fighters weren’t the only dangers the heavy bomber crews faced. Flying in the foul English weather along the coast on instruments could be a formidable challenge. John Clark, a copilot in the 418th Bomb Squadron, flew the bulk of his combat missions in the depths of the wet and cold winter of 1944-45. He described instrument flying as “something you’re doing with the aircraft that was unique and important, to get this big device [bomber] through impenetrable fog or night…and bring it down to the ground.”

Danger wasn’t found only in the skies. Simply repairing and maintaining the massive B-17s could be hazardous to one’s health. At a recent gathering of 100th veterans, Master Sgt. Dewey Christopher, a crew chief in the 351st Bomb Squadron, recounted how a live magneto combined with the necessary act of hand-propping a Wright Cyclone R-1820 led to his being tossed 30 feet through the air by a suddenly active propeller as the engine tried to start. He landed on his head and then in the infirmary with a broken shoulder.

While the 100th lost only a single bomber on the first Berlin mission, the use of P-51s to provide air cover over Germany didn’t completely eliminate the group’s propensity for bad days. Two days later, on March 6, the 100th suffered its worst losses of the war—15 aircraft and 150 crewmen—on the second mission to Berlin.

The 100th Bomb Group flew its final combat mission on April 20, 1945, just days before the cessation of hostilities in Europe. As the war in Europe wound down, the 100th and numerous other Eighth Air Force bomber groups celebrated the weeks leading up to V-E Day on May 8 by exchanging their 500-pound general purpose bombs for containers of food, medical supplies, clothing, candy and cigarettes. The so-called “Chowhound” missions dropped thousands of tons of supplies to the long-suffering people of the Netherlands and France. So many 100th fliers wanted to be a part of the humanitarian efforts that the oxygen systems, unnecessary at low level, were removed from the B-17s, freeing up room for as many as four extra crewmen on each plane. The missions helped the 100th put a positive spin on what had been a harrowing experience.

“Did we deserve to be called the ‘Bloody 100th’? Other outfits lost more planes and crews than we did. What marked us was that when we lost, we lost big. These eight missions gave us our notoriety.” –Harry H. Crosby, “A Wing and a Prayer”

Over the course of 22 months of aerial combat, the aircrews of the 100th had served a deadly apprenticeship as they honed their skills and tactics. In an unemotional analysis of the raw numbers, the Bloody 100th’s wartime losses were not the worst suffered by the Eighth Air Force, though they were in the top three of losses by heavy bomber groups. The official history from the 100th Bomb Group Foundation cites 184 missing aircrew reports on 306 missions. In his memoir An Eighth Air Force Combat Diary, 100th copilot John Clark pointed out that “50% of the Group’s losses occurred in only 3% of its missions.” Like a gambler whose luck has gone cold, when the crews of the 100th had a bad day, they had a very bad day.

More than 26,000 Eighth Air Force personnel sacrificed their lives in service to the war effort. The total number killed or missing in action was slightly more than that suffered by the U.S. Marine Corps, and a little less than half the losses sustained by the entire U.S. Navy. Comparisons such as these do nothing to diminish the contributions of other military branches, but rather point out the gargantuan scale of the Eighth Air Force’s effort. The 100th Bomb Group’s portion of those losses was 785 men killed outright or missing in action and 229 aircraft destroyed or rendered unsuitable for flight.

B-17 Flying Fortress units of the United States Army Air Forces

This is a list of United States Army Air Forces B-17 Flying Fortress units of the United States Army Air Forces, including variants and other historical information. Heavy bomber training organizations primarily under II Bomber Command in the United States and non-combat units are not included.

The B-17 Flying Fortress was perhaps the most well-known American heavy bomber of the Second World War (1939/41-1945). It achieved a fame far beyond that of its more-numerous contemporary, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. The first pre-production Y1B-17 Fortress was delivered to the 2d Bombardment Group, Langley Field, Virginia on 11 January 1936; the first production B-17B was delivered on 29 March 1939, also to the 2nd Bombardment Group. A total of 12,677 production Fortresses was built before production came to an end. In August 1944, the Boeing B-17 equipped no less than 33 overseas combat groups.

The last Boeing-built B-17G was delivered to the USAAF on 13 April 1945. Following the end of World War II, the Flying Fortress was rapidly withdrawn from USAAF service, being replaced by the B-29 Superfortress. Literally thousands of Fortresses used in combat in Europe by Eighth or Fifteenth Air Force or in the United States by II Bomber Command training units were flown to various disposal units. A few were sold to private owners, but the vast majority were cut up for scrap.

Aircraft in the final early 1945 production manufacturing block by Boeing or Lockheed-Vega (Block 110) were converted to the B-17H search and rescue model, being modified to carry a lifeboat under the fuselage. Postwar B-17s were used by the Military Air Transport Service Air Rescue Service, in 1948 being re-designated SB-17G. Some RB-17Gs were also used by the MATS Air Photographic and Charting Service (APCS). A few SB-17s were used by the Air Rescue Service in Japan during the Korean War (1950–1953), but all of the postwar B-17s were retired from MATS by the mid-1950s, becoming Air Proving Ground Command QB-17 Drones or DB-17 Drone directors. The drones were operated primarily by the 3205th Drone Group, Eglin AFB, Florida.

The last operational USAF B-17 mission was on 6 August 1959, when DB-17P 44-83684 (Originally a Douglas/Long Beach B-17G-90-DL) directed QB-17G 44-83717 which was expended as a target for an AIM-4 Falcon air-to-air missile fired from an F-101 Voodoo, near Holloman AFB, New Mexico. 44-83684 arrived at Davis-Monthan AFB for storage a few days later. The few DB-17P remaining operational drone controllers remaining on Air Force rolls afterward were transferred to various museums in 1960.

Combat Organizations

USAAF 5th Air Force emblem

Fifth Air Force

Prior to the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday, 7 December 1941, the 19th Bombardment Group had 35 B-17s in the Philippines. By 14 December, only 14 remained. Beginning on 17 December, the surviving B-17s based there began to be evacuated south to Australia, and were then sent to Singosari Airfield, Java in the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia) on 30 December 1941.

The 7th Bomb Group was originally scheduled to reinforce the Philippines in December 1941 from Fort Douglas, Utah, and the ground echelon had already left by ship from San Francisco. The unexpected Pearl Harbor Attack led to the ground echelon being returned to United States and the air echelon remained at Hamilton Field, California, flying antisubmarine patrols over the West Coast along the Pacific Ocean. 9th Bomb Squadron deployed to the Southwest Pacific in mid-December, traveling the long way around by flying east via Florida, Brazil, across the South Atlantic Ocean to central Africa then to the Middle East. The unit continued around the northern coasts of the Indian Ocean via Arabia to Karachi, India via Singapore to Singosari Airfield on Java, joining the 19th BG on 14 January.

Both units would remain on Java until March 1942, taking part in the brave, but ultimately futile, attempts to defend the Philippines on the Bataan peninsula and the island fortress of Corregidor, along with the Netherlands colony in Southeast Asia of the Dutch East Indies. The B-17s were never present in large enough numbers to make any real difference, however, to the course of the campaign. The 19th BG withdrew to Australia with the B-17 survivors of the 9th Bomb Squadron, which was re-equipped with Liberator B-24s in India as part of the Tenth Air Force. Nine of the survivors were eventually sent to the Middle East in July to defend Egypt against the advancing German Afrika Corps in North Africa.

The 19th BG received some replacement aircraft and was joined by the 43d Bomb Group in Australia in March. The two units took part in the campaign on Papua New Guinea, before the 19th BG was moved back to the United States at the end of 1942, transferring its assets to the 43d. The 43d BG flew combat missions with B-17s until August 1943, when they were replaced by B-24s.

7th Bombardment Group

Received B-17Bs, 1939 at Hamilton Field, California (USAAC)
Deployed to Netherlands East Indies, Jan–Mar 1942 with 7 B-17Es
  • 9th Bombardment Squadron operated from Java until withdrawn in Mar 1942.
Squadron reassigned to Tenth Air Force in India.

19th Bombardment Group

Received B-17Bs, 1939 at March Field, California (USAAC)
Deployed to Clark Field, Philippines Oct 1941 with B-17Cs
Operated from Philippines, Australia, Netherlands East Indies, Oct 1941 – Dec 1942
  • 14th Bombardment Squadron (Del Monte Field)*
Designated as Non-Operational, Mar 1942
  • 28th Bombardment Squadron (Clark Field)*
  • 30th Bombardment Squadron (Clark Field)*
  • 93d Bombardment Squadron (Del Monte Field)*
  • 40th Reconnaissance Squadron (Formed Mar 1942 in Australia)**
Redesignated: 435th Bombardment Squadron (Apr–Dec 1942)
Returned to United States as B-17 OTU, B-17s to 43d BG Dec 1942

43d Bombardment Group

Received B-17Bs at Langley Field, Virginia, Jan 1941 (USAAC)
Flew Coastal patrols, Jan 1941 – Feb 1942 under First Air Force (USAAC)
Deployed to Australia, Mar 1942 with B-17Es
Operated from Australia, New Guinea, Mar 1942 – Aug 1943
Converted to B-24 Liberators, Aug 1943
  • 63d Bombardment Squadron
  • 64th Bombardment Squadron
  • 65th Bombardment Squadron
  • 403d Bombardment Squadron

Note* Personnel of squadron not required for flight operations transferred to V Interceptor Command, 24 December 1941. Fought as infantry during Battle of Bataan.

Note** Formed with 7th BG B-17E aircraft and personnel that arrived in Australia, Mar 1942 and 10 Sierra Bombardment Group B-17Es, arrived in Australia c 20 January.

Sixth Air Force

About thirty B-17s (B/D/E/F) served in the Caribbean and Antilles Air Commands during World War II, the first (B-17D 40-3058) arriving in Panama Canal Zone during March 1941. However, usually less ten were operational at any one time. They were mostly R- (Restricted from combat) RB-17Bs and Ds stationed at Río Hato Field, but some were at Albrook Field. Later E and F models no longer suitable for training were obtained as replacement aircraft. Some were based at Waller Field, Trinidad. B-17s were used for long-range antisubmarine patrols over the Caribbean, South Atlantic and Eastern Pacific approaches to the Panama Canal, and for long-distance transport flights to Ecuador, Peru, British Guiana and Brazil. In addition to the Sixth Air Force B-17s, F-9 photo-mapping Fortresses of the 1st Photographic Group were frequently in the command's AOR, as well as in South America on aerial survey and mapping missions.

6th Bombardment Group

Río Hato Field, Panama, 1941 – May 1942
Reassigned to Galapagos Islands, May 1942
  • 3d Bombardment Squadron

9th Bombardment Group

Waller Field, Trinidad, 1941 – May 1942
Reassigned to Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics, May 1942
  • 430th Bombardment Squadron

40th Bombardment Group

Albrook Field, Canal Zone, 1941 – Jul 1943
Reassigned for B-29 Transition Training, Jul 1943
  • 44th Bombardment Squadron

USAAF 7th Air Force emblemUSAAF 13th Air Force emblem

Seventh/Thirteenth Air Force

The B-17 was to achieve its first taste of combat during the Pearl Harbor Attack, when the 5th Bombardment Group based at Hickam Field, Hawaii had 12 B-17Ds parked on the ramp. Five of these B-17s were destroyed, and eight were damaged in the attack. On 7 December, The 38th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group, with four B-17Cs and two new B-17Es was inbound from Hamilton Field, California to Hickam on their way to the Philippines to reinforce the American forces there. They arrived at Hickam at the height of the attack. One was destroyed, three others badly damaged. Remaining in Hawaii after the attack, in June 1942, B-17s from the 5th and 11th Bomb Groups were used in the Battle of Midway, but with little effectiveness.

Both the 5th and 11th Bombardment Groups joined the Thirteenth Air Force during 1942 and took part in the American campaign in the south west Pacific, fighting during the campaigns in the Solomon Islands (including the battle for Guadalcanal) and the return campaign to the Philippines. By the middle of 1943 both units had replaced their B-17s with B-24 Liberators

5th Bombardment Group

Hawaii, Solomon Islands, Nov 1941 – Aug 1943
Converted to B-24 Liberators, Aug 1943
  • 23d Bombardment Squadron
  • 31st Bombardment Squadron
  • 72d Bombardment Squadron
  • 394th Bombardment Squadron

11th Bombardment Group

Hawaii, New Hebrides, Nov 1941 – Aug 1943
Converted to B-24 Liberators, Aug 1943
  • 26th Bombardment Squadron
  • 42d Bombardment Squadron
  • 98th Bombardment Squadron
  • 431st Bombardment Squadron

USAAF 8th Air Force emblem

Eighth Air Force

Was primary operator of B-17 Flying Fortresses in overseas combat theaters during World War II. The B-17 may have first seen combat in American markings in the Philippines, but it would earn its enduring fame with the Eighth Air Force, based in England and fighting over Occupied Europe. The story of the B-17 would become the story of the VIII Bomber Command (later Eighth Air Force) strategic heavy bombardment campaign of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during World War II

Initially equipped with B-17Es in 1942, the Eighth Air Force received B-17Fs in Jan 1943 and B-17Gs in Nov 1943. Flying Fortresses were employed in long-range strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany, August 1942 – May 1945 attacking enemy military, transportation and industrial targets as part of the United States' air offensive against Nazi Germany.

34th Bombardment Group

Coastal patrol B-17s, Jan 1941 – May 1942 under First Air Force
Deployed to ETO May 1944 with B-24s; transitioned to B-17s Sep 1944
RAF Mendlesham (AAF-156), Sep 1944 – Aug 1945 -Inactivated Aug 1945
  • 4th Bombardment Squadron
  • 7th Bombardment Squadron
  • 18th Bombardment Squadron
  • 391st Bombardment Squadron

91st Bombardment Group

RAF Bassingbourn (AAF-121), Oct 1942 – Jun 1945 - Inactivated Nov 1945
  • 322d Bombardment Squadron
  • 323d Bombardment Squadron
  • 324th Bombardment Squadron
  • 401st Bombardment Squadron

92d Bombardment Group

RAF Bovingdon (AAF-112), Aug 1942 – Jan 1943; RAF Alconbury (AAF-102), Jan–Sep 1943; RAF Podington (AAF-109), Sep 1943 – Jun 1945
To: Air Transport Command, Jun 1945, Absorbed into 306th BG, Feb 1946
  • 325th Bombardment Squadron
  • 326th Bombardment Squadron
  • 327th Bombardment Squadron (May–Jul 1943 YB-40 Testing)
  • 407th Bombardment Squadron

94th Bombardment Group

RAF Bury St. Edmunds (AAF-468), May 1943 – Dec 1945 - Inactivated Dec 1945
  • 331st Bombardment Squadron
  • 332d Bombardment Squadron
  • 333d Bombardment Squadron
  • 410th Bombardment Squadron

95th Bombardment Group

RAF Horham (AAF-119), May 1943 – Jun 1945 Inactivated Aug 1945
  • 334th Bombardment Squadron
  • 335th Bombardment Squadron
  • 336th Bombardment Squadron
  • 412th Bombardment Squadron

96th Bombardment Group

RAF Snetterton Heath (AAF-138), Apr 1943 – Dec 1945 Inactivated Dec 1945
  • 337th Bombardment Squadron
  • 338th Bombardment Squadron
  • 339th Bombardment Squadron
  • 413th Bombardment Squadron

100th Bombardment Group

RAF Thorpe Abbotts (AAF-139), Jun 1943 – Dec 1945 Inactivated Dec 1945
  • 349th Bombardment Squadron
  • 350th Bombardment Squadron
  • 351st Bombardment Squadron
  • 418th Bombardment Squadron

303d Bombardment Group

RAF Molesworth (AAF-107), Sep 1942 – May 1945 Inactivated Jul 1945
  • 358th Bombardment Squadron
  • 359th Bombardment Squadron
  • 360th Bombardment Squadron
  • 427th Bombardment Squadron

305th Bombardment Group

RAF Chelveston (AAF-105), Sep 1942 – Jul 1945 Inactivated Dec 1946
  • 364th Bombardment Squadron
  • 365th Bombardment Squadron
  • 366th Bombardment Squadron
  • 422d Bombardment Squadron

306th Bombardment Group

RAF Thurleigh (AAF-111), Sep 1942 – Dec 1945 Inactivated Dec 1946
  • 367th Bombardment Squadron
  • 368th Bombardment Squadron
  • 369th Bombardment Squadron
  • 423d Bombardment Squadron

351st Bombardment Group

RAF Polebrook (AAF-110), May 1943 – Jun 1945 Inactivated Aug 1945
  • 508th Bombardment Squadron
  • 509th Bombardment Squadron
  • 510th Bombardment Squadron
  • 511th Bombardment Squadron

379th Bombardment Group

RAF Kimbolton (AAF-117), May 1943 – Jun 1945 Inactivated Jul 1945
  • 524th Bombardment Squadron
  • 525th Bombardment Squadron
  • 526th Bombardment Squadron
  • 527th Bombardment Squadron

381st Bombardment Group

RAF Ridgewell (AAF-167), Jun 1943 – Jun 1945 Inactivated Aug 1945
  • 532d Bombardment Squadron
  • 533d Bombardment Squadron
  • 534th Bombardment Squadron
  • 535th Bombardment Squadron

384th Bombardment Group

RAF Grafton Underwood (AAF-106), Jun 1943 – Jun 1945 Inactivated Feb 1946
  • 544th Bombardment Squadron
  • 545th Bombardment Squadron
  • 546th Bombardment Squadron
  • 547th Bombardment Squadron

385th Bombardment Group

RAF Great Ashfield (AAF-155), Jun 1943 – Aug 1945 Inactivated Aug 1945
  • 548th Bombardment Squadron
  • 549th Bombardment Squadron
  • 550th Bombardment Squadron
  • 551st Bombardment Squadron

388th Bombardment Group

RAF Knettishall (AAF-136), Jun 1943 – Aug 1945 Inactivated Sep 1945
  • 560th Bombardment Squadron
  • 561st Bombardment Squadron
  • 562d Bombardment Squadron
  • 563d Bombardment Squadron

390th Bombardment Group

RAF Framlingham (AAF-153), Jul 1943 – Aug 1945 Inactivated Aug 1945
  • 568th Bombardment Squadron
  • 569th Bombardment Squadron
  • 570th Bombardment Squadron
  • 571st Bombardment Squadron

398th Bombardment Group

RAF Nuthampstead (AAF-131), Apr 1944 – May 1945 Inactivated Sep 1945
  • 600th Bombardment Squadron
  • 601st Bombardment Squadron
  • 602d Bombardment Squadron
  • 603d Bombardment Squadron

401st Bombardment Group

RAF Deenethorpe (AAF-128), Nov 1943 – May 1945 Inactivated Aug 1945
  • 612th Bombardment Squadron
  • 613th Bombardment Squadron
  • 614th Bombardment Squadron
  • 615th Bombardment Squadron

447th Bombardment Group

RAF Rattlesden (AAF-126), Nov 1943 – Aug 1945 Inactivated Nov 1945
  • 708th Bombardment Squadron
  • 709th Bombardment Squadron
  • 710th Bombardment Squadron
  • 711th Bombardment Squadron

452d Bombardment Group

RAF Deopham Green (AAF-142), Jan 1944 – Aug 1945 Inactivated Aug 1945
  • 728th Bombardment Squadron
  • 729th Bombardment Squadron
  • 730th Bombardment Squadron
  • 731st Bombardment Squadron

457th Bombardment Group

RAF Glatton (AAF-130), Jan 1944 – Jun 1945 Inactivated Aug 1945
  • 748th Bombardment Squadron
  • 749th Bombardment Squadron
  • 750th Bombardment Squadron
  • 751st Bombardment Squadron

482d Bombardment Group

Aug 1943 – May 1945 RAF Alconbury (AAF-102)
Attached to: VIII Composite Command, Feb 1944 – Jan 1945
Composite group with 2 squadrons of B-17s and one of B-24s
Conducted Pathfinder missions using H2X radar Inactivated Sep 1945
  • 812th Bombardment Squadron (B-17)
  • 813th Bombardment Squadron (B-17)
  • 814th Bombardment Squadron (B-24)

486th Bombardment Group

RAF Sudbury (AAF-158), Aug 1944 – Aug 1945
Deployed to ETO, April 1944 with B-24s; Converted to B-17s, Aug 1944 Inactivated Nov 1945
  • 832d Bombardment Squadron
  • 833d Bombardment Squadron
  • 834th Bombardment Squadron
  • 835th Bombardment Squadron

487th Bombardment Group

RAF Lavenham (AAF-137), Jul 1944 – Aug 1945
Deployed to ETO, April 1944 with B-24s; Converted to B-17s, Jul 1944 Inactivated Nov 1945
  • 836th Bombardment Squadron
  • 837th Bombardment Squadron
  • 838th Bombardment Squadron
  • 839th Bombardment Squadron

490th Bombardment Group

Aug 1944 – Aug 1945
RAF Eye (AAF-134), Aug 1944 – Aug 1945
Deployed to ETO, April 1944 with B-24s; Converted to B-17s, Aug 1944 Inactivated Nov 1945
  • 848th Bombardment Squadron
  • 849th Bombardment Squadron
  • 850th Bombardment Squadron
  • 851st Bombardment Squadron

493d Bombardment Group

RAF Wormingford (AAF-159); RAF Debach (AAF-152), May 1944 – Aug 1945
Deployed to ETO, April 1944 with B-24s; Converted to B-17s, May 1944 Inactivated Aug 1945
  • 860th Bombardment Squadron
  • 861st Bombardment Squadron
  • 862d Bombardment Squadron
  • 863d Bombardment Squadron

USAAF 12th Air Force emblemUSAAF 15th Air Force emblem

Twelfth/Fifteenth Air Force

Although less important than the B-24 Liberator in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO), six B-17 Groups did serve in North Africa and Italy, two of them serving from 1942 until the end of the war. Two B-17E groups (97th and 301st) deployed to Morocco and Algeria from VIII Bomber Command in England during November 1942. These were two of the most experienced B-17 units, and their departure from England slowed down the development of the Eighth Air Force's offensive. Later, two newly trained II Bomber Command groups (2d, 99th) deployed from the United States. The four B-17E groups formed the heavy bomber component of XII Bomber Command (and Northwest African Strategic Air Force).

In North Africa Flying Fortresses were used against German and Italian military targets in Algeria and Tunisia, and to attack German shipping in the Mediterranean. Flying Fortresses took part in the bombardment of the Italian stronghold of Pantelleria, the invasion of Sicily and the invasion of Italy.

Once the Allies were firmly established on the Italian mainland, the B-17 squadrons moved Italy, joining the Fifteenth Air Force in November 1943 and were upgraded to B-17Gs. They were joined by two more groups (463d, 483d) in the spring of 1944, bringing the total up to six. At their peak there were 669 B-17 crews stationed in the Mediterranean theater. From bases around Foggia, the Fortresses engaged in long-range strategic bombardment of enemy military, transportation and industrial targets in the Balkans, Italy, Austria, France and southern Germany as part of the United States' air offensive against Nazi Germany. B-17s were also employed in tactical missions, supporting Fifth Army's campaign in Italy itself, most famously bombarding the monastery at Monte Cassino, and also took part in the invasion of southern France.

2d Bombardment Group

Coastal patrol B-17Bs, Jul 1939 Jan 1941 – Oct 1942 under First Air Force
Deployed to North Africa with B-17Fs, Apr 1943
Transferred to Amendola Airfield, Italy (MTO), Oct 1943 – Feb 1946 (B-17G) Inactivated Feb 1946
  • 20th Bombardment Squadron
  • 49th Bombardment Squadron
  • 96th Bombardment Squadron
  • 429th Bombardment Squadron

97th Bombardment Group

Deployed to ETO, RAF Polebrook (B-3/AAF-110), Jun–Nov 1942
Deployed to North Africa with B-17Fs, Nov 1942
Transferred to Amendola Airfield, Italy (MTO), Oct 1943 – Oct 1945 (B-17G) Inactivated Oct 1945
  • 340th Bombardment Squadron
  • 341st Bombardment Squadron
  • 342d Bombardment Squadron
  • 414th Bombardment Squadron

99th Bombardment Group

Deployed to North Africa with B-17Fs, Feb 1943
Transferred to Tortorella Airfield, Italy (MTO), Oct 1943 – Nov 1945 (B-17G) Inactivated Nov 1945
  • 346th Bombardment Squadron
  • 347th Bombardment Squadron
  • 348th Bombardment Squadron
  • 416th Bombardment Squadron

301st Bombardment Group

Deployed to ETO, RAF Chelveston (B-6/AAF-105), Aug–Nov 1942
Deployed to North Africa with B-17Fs, Nov 1942
Transferred to Southern Italy (MTO), Oct 1943 – Jul 1945 (B-17G)
Assigned to Second Air Force for B-29 training, Aug 1945 Inactivated Oct 1945
  • 32d Bombardment Squadron
  • 352d Bombardment Squadron
  • 353d Bombardment Squadron
  • 419th Bombardment Squadron

463d Bombardment Group

Deployed to Celone Airfield, Italy (MTO), Mar 1944 – Sep 1945 (B-17G) Inactivated Oct 1945
  • 772d Bombardment Squadron
  • 773d Bombardment Squadron
  • 774th Bombardment Squadron
  • 775th Bombardment Squadron

483d Bombardment Group

Deployed to Sterparone Airfield, Italy (MTO), Mar 1944 – Sep 1945 (B-17G) Inactivated Sep 1945
  • 815th Bombardment Squadron
  • 816th Bombardment Squadron
  • 817th Bombardment Squadron
  • 840th Bombardment Squadron

USAAF 9th Air Force emblem

US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF)/Ninth Air Force

USAMEAF was a provisional organization formed at RAF Lydda, BritishPalestine on 1 July 1942. It consisted of nine B-17Es and nineteen B-24 Liberators formerly of the 9th Bombardment and 88th Reconnaissance Squadrons, 7th Bombardment Group which arrived from Allahabad Airfield, India to aid British Forces in Egypt after General Erwin Rommel advanced the Afrika Corps toward the Suez Canal. The B-17s transferred to the Middle East were older aircraft that had escaped from the Philippines or were sent from the United States in January 1942 that had fought in the Netherlands East Indies with Fifth Air Force. They would be organized into the 1st Provisional Bombardment Group on 20 July. It was the core of what would eventually become the 376th Bombardment Group, Ninth Air Force, which was transferred to RAF Abu Sueir, Egypt on 12 November.

B-17s would be flown on combat missions from RAF Lyddia and RAF El Fayid, Egypt, attacking the harbor at Tobruk, Libya seven times with day and night raids throughout July, continually raiding the harbor shipping and disrupting Axis storage areas. It is believed that the Fortresses were sent to the secret Gura Army Air Base, Eritrea (Project 19) 15°1′13.764″N 39°02′7.62″E in August for depot-level maintenance, which was not possible at the British bases and had which been deferred since the beginning of the war in December.

The B-17Es would not engaged in combat again until mid-October, when raids on Tobruk began again on 12 October, and attacking a coastal road near Bardia, Libya on 20 October after a mission against Tobruk was canceled due to cloud cover. They were also engaged in attacking harbor facilities and Axis naval targets on Crete and Benghazi, Libya through which Afrika Korps supplies were landed. The B-17s made a final raid against installations at Sousse, Tunisia before being taken out of front-line service with the arrival of newer B-24 and B-25 units from the United States.

United States Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME) was a unified United States Army command during World War II established in August, 1942 by order of General George C. Marshall, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, to oversee the Egypt-Libya campaign.

The small USAFIME was headquartered in Cairo—which simplified liaison with its much larger British counterpart, Middle East Command. USAFIME had command over all United States Army forces in North Africa and the Middle East, except the Army Air Forces Ferrying Command. It was composed of:

Iran-Iraq Service Command, later renamed the Persian Gulf Service Command (PGSC) and then finally the Persian Gulf Command; this was the successor to the original US Iranian Mission and was responsible for US troops manning the Persian Corridor. It was originally commanded by Col. Don G. Shingler, who was replaced late in 1942 by Brig. Gen. Donald H. Connolly.

The North African Mission.

U.S. Army Forces in Liberia, established from June 1942 to build the Robertsfield Airfield and the Freeport of Monrovia, came under control of U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East on 12 September 1943, but continued as a semi-autonomous command for the entire war.

The first commander of the USAFIME was Maj. Gen. Russell L. Maxwell. He was replaced in November 1942 by Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), and in January 1943 by Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton.

Maxwell was an army general because at the time he was appointed it was expected that the Americans would contribute ground troops to assist in the Allied Western Desert campaign. Initially the only US combat forces which were allocated to the Mediterranean Theatre of War were USAAF squadrons. As plans for Operation Torch began to take shape the it became clear that the Americans would not contribute ground troops to the Western Desert Campaign. This was reflected in Maxwell's replacement by Andrews. One of Andrew's first acts was to establish the Ninth Air Force to replace the United States Army Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF). The non-air force administrative functions of USAFIME were taken over by the North African Theater of Operations United States Army (NATOUSA) when the Egypt-Libya campaign ended on 12 February 1943.

USAAF 10th Air Force emblem

7th Bombardment Group

9th Bombardment Squadron operated from Java until withdrawn in Mar 1942.
Squadron reassigned to Tenth Air Force in India.

Specifications (Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress)

Data from The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft[37]

General characteristics

Crew: 10: Pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier/nose gunner, flight engineer/top turret gunner, radio operator, waist gunners (2), ball turret gunner, tail gunner[218]
Length: 74 ft 4 in (22.66 m)
Wingspan: 103 ft 9 in (31.62 m)
Height: 19 ft 1 in (5.82 m)
Wing area: 1,420 sq ft (131.92 m2)
Airfoil: NACA 0018 / NACA 0010
Empty weight: 36,135 lb (16,391 kg)
Gross weight: 54,000 lb (24,500 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 65,500 lb (29,700 kg)
Aspect ratio: 7.57
Powerplant: 4 × Wright R-1820-97 "Cyclone" turbosupercharged radial engines, 1,200 hp (895 kW) each
Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton-Standard constant-speed propeller


Maximum speed: 287 mph (462 km/h, 249 kn)
Cruise speed: 182 mph (293 km/h, 158 kn)
Range: 2,000 mi (3,219 km, 1,738 nmi) with 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) bombload
Ferry range: 3,750 mi (6,040 km, 3,260 nmi)
Service ceiling: 35,600 ft (10,850 m)
Rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.6 m/s)
Wing loading: 38.0 lb/sq ft (185.7 kg/m2)
Power/mass: 0.089 hp/lb (150 W/kg)


13 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns in 9 positions (2 in the Bendix chin turret, 2 on nose cheeks, 2 staggered waist guns, 2 in upper Sperry turret, 2 in Sperry ball turret in belly, 2 in the tail and one firing upwards from radio compartment behind bomb bay)
Short range missions; Internal load only (less than 400 mi): 8,000 lb (3,600 kg)
Long range missions; Internal load only (≈800 mi): 4,500 lb (2,000 kg)
Max Internal and External load: 17,600 lb (7,800 kg)


not known

 Flight Simulators

   IL-2 Sturmovik 'Cliff's of Dover' Blitz - has no 3D model

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   DCS World - has no 3D model



 Thorpe Abbotts, England Map


    CBI Notes

  1. Hess & Winchester Wings of Fame No. 6, 1997, p. 41.
  2. Bowers 1989, pp. 291–292.
  3. Hess & Winchester Wings of Fame No. 6, 1997, pp. 41–42.
  4. GE Turbocharger Manual 'Section XIV' for its B-17-applicable turbochargers, pgs. 113–140
  5. Caidin, Martin (1968). Flying Forts: The B-17 in World War II. New York: Bantam Books. pp. 106–108. ISBN 9780553287806.
  6. 'Fortress I for RAF'.
  7. few moreites/Sierras_B-17C_crash_site.htm
  8. Ethell, Jeff (January 1985). 'Our Still-Flying Fortresses'. Popular Mechanics. p. 124.
  9. Lyman, Troy (May 12, 2003). 'B17 — Queen of the Sky — The B-17F'. b17queenofthesky.com. Troy Lyman's B-17 Flying Fortress Site. Retrieved June 24, 2014. '...factories were trying to fine a more effective solution to the B-17's lack of forward firepower. The solution was the Bendex Chin Turret, originally used on the YB-40 'gunship' project. While the project proved unsuccessful, the chin turret was found to be a major improvement to the B-17's forward firepower. It was fitted to the last eighty-six B-17Fs to come off the Douglas assembly line, starting with block B-17F-75-DL.
  10. 'B-17F-70-DL: 42-3483 to 42-3503 | Production-block | B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies' (in German). Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  11. '42-3492 / Paper Doll | B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies' (in German). Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  12. Graphic of usage and stowage positions for B-17G chin turret control yoke
  13. B-17G Flying Fortress, History of War.org, accessed December 20, 2009.
  14. Cheyenne turret Archived August 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  15. Doyle, David (2021). B-17 Flying Fortress, Vol. 2: Boeing's B-17E through B-17H in World War II. Atglen: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. p. 86. ISBN 9780764361296.
  16. 'Boeing Fortress', Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary
  17. SD for 'Special Duties'.
  18. 'BCCard Notes3'.
  19. Caidin, Flying Forts
  20. PB-1Gs.

    Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Notes

  1. The Air Corps News Letter, however, notes in its edition of 1 January 1938 (ACNL Vol. XXI, No. 1, p. 7 Archived 3 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine) an attempt by the Langley Field correspondent to apply the appellation "Jeep" to the B-17, which it objected to as "not befitting" the aircraft and adding, "Why not let the term 'Flying Fortress' suffice?"
  2. On board the aircraft were pilots Major Ployer P. Hill (his first time flying the 299) and Lieutenant Donald Putt (the primary army pilot for the previous evaluation flights), Leslie Tower, Boeing mechanic C.W. Benton, and Pratt and Whitney representative Henry Igo. Putt, Benton, and Igo escaped with burns, and Hill and Tower were pulled from the wreckage alive, but later died from their injuries.
  3. The idea of a pilot's checklist spread to other crew members, other air corps aircraft types, and eventually throughout the aviation world. Life published the lengthy B-17 checklist in its 24 August 1942 issue.[31]
  4. Quote: "At the peak of production, Boeing was rolling out as many as 363 B-17s a month, averaging between 14 and 16 Forts a day, the most incredible production rate for large aircraft in aviation history." This production rate was, however, surpassed by that of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.
  5. During the crash investigation of Boeing 307 Stratoliner NX19901, it was found that two B-17s had already spun from lack of directional stability. British combat experience with the B-17 was also showing the need for a tail gunner. Boeing was not willing to add a turret because they didn't want to disrupt the clean aerodynamics. The inadequate directional stability exposed by two spin incidents and a crash, brought about a redesigned vertical stabilizer and dorsal fin. A compromise for the tail turret resulted in handheld tail guns. The combination created a successful design. Not only were defensive needs solved, but the improved lateral stability made precision high altitude bombing possible.[57][58]
  6. This is a commonly misreported error. The Rex was 725 miles offshore on her last position report as the Y1B-17s were taxiing for takeoff from Mitchel Field, four hours before interception.
  7. Most sources say that the turret was introduced on the B-17F-75-DL, but photographs indicate that the F-70-DL also had the turret

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  5. Herman 2012, pp. 292–299, 305, 333.
  6. Carey 1998, p. 4.
  7. Parker 2013, p. 41.
  8. Yenne 2005, p. 46.
  9. Tate 1998, p. 164.
  10. Swanborough and Bowers 1963, p. 74.
  11. Hess and Winchester Wings of Fame 1997, p. 41.
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    Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Bibliography:

  • Andrews, C.F and E.B. Morgan. Vickers Aircraft since 1908. London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-815-1.
  • Angelucci, Enzo and Paolo Matricardi. Combat Aircraft of World War II, 1940–1941. Westoning, Bedfordshire, UK: Military Press, 1988. ISBN 978-0-517-64179-8.
  • Arakaki, Leatrice R. and John R. Kuborn. 7 December 1941: The Air Force Story. Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii: Pacific Air Forces, Office of History, 1991. ISBN 978-0-16-050430-3.
  • Birdsall, Steve. The B-24 Liberator. New York: Arco Publishing Company, Inc., 1968. ISBN 0-668-01695-7.
  • Bowers, Peter M. Boeing Aircraft Since 1916. London: Putnam, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-804-6.
  • Borth, Christy. Masters of Mass Production. Indianapolis, Indiana: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1945. OCLC 940290450.
  • Bowers, Peter M. Fortress in the Sky, Granada Hills, California: Sentry Books, 1976. ISBN 0-913194-04-2.
  • Bowman, Martin W. Castles in the Air: The Story of the B-17 Flying Fortress Crews of the U.S. 8th Air Force. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books, 2000, ISBN 1-57488-320-8.
  • Bowman, Martin W. B-17 Flying Fortress Units of the Eighth Air Force, Volume 2. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2002. ISBN 1-84176-434-5.
  • Caidin, Martin. Black Thursday. New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, 1960. ISBN 0-553-26729-9.
  • Caldwell, Donald and Richard Muller. The Luftwaffe over Germany: Defense of the Reich. London: Greenhill Books Publications, 2007. ISBN 978-1-85367-712-0.
  • 'Carey, Brian Todd. ''Operation Pointblank: Evolution of Allied Air Doctrine During World War II''. historynet.com, 12 June 2006. archived version 19 October 2014.'
  • Chant, Christopher. Warplanes of the 20th century. London: Tiger Books International, 1996. ISBN 1-85501-807-1.
  • Cora, Paul B. Diamondbacks Over Europe: B-17s of the 99th Bomb Group, Part Two. Air Enthusiast 111, May/June 2004, pp. 66–73. ISSN 0143-5450
  • 'Craven, Wesley Frank, James Lea Cate and Richard L. Watson, eds. ''The Battle of the Bismarck Sea'', pp. 129–62; The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan, August 1942 to July 1944 (The Army Air Forces in World War II, Volume IV. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1950.'
  • Donald, David, ed. American Warplanes of World War Two. London: Aerospace Publishing, 1995. ISBN 1-874023-72-7.
  • 'Donald, David. ''Boeing Model 299 (B-17 Flying Fortress).'' The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada: Prospero Books, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.'
  • Francillon, René J. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920. London: Putnam, 1979. ISBN 0-370-00050-1.
  • Francillon, René J. Lockheed Aircraft since 1913. London: Putnam, 1982. ISBN 0-370-30329-6.
  • Freeman, Roger A. B-17 Fortress at War. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977. ISBN 0-684-14872-2.
  • 'Gardner, Brian (1984). ''Flight Refuelling... The Wartime Story''. Air Enthusiast. No. 25. pp. 34–43, 80. ISSN 0143-5450.'
  • Gamble, Bruce. Fortress Rabaul: The Battle for the Southwest Pacific, January 1942 – April 1943. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Zenith Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7603-2350-2.
  • Garzke, William H.; Dulin, Robert O. (1985). Battleships: Axis and Neutral Battleships in World War II. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-101-0.
  • Gillison, Douglas. Australia in the War of 1939–1945: Series 3 – Air, Volume 1. Canberra, Australia: Australian War Memorial, 1962. OCLC 2000369.
  • Gordon, Yefim. Soviet Air Power in World War 2. Hinckley, Lancashire, UK: Midland, Ian Allan Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-1-85780-304-4.
  • Herman, Arthur. Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II New York: Random House, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4.
  • Hess, William N. B-17 Flying Fortress: Combat and Development History of the Flying Fortress. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbook International, 1994. ISBN 0-87938-881-1.
  • Hess, William N. B-17 Flying Fortress Units of the MTO. Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing Limited, 2003. ISBN 1-84176-580-5.
  • Hess, William N. Big Bombers of WWII. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Lowe & B. Hould, 1998. ISBN 0-681-07570-8.
  • 'Hess, William N. and Jim Winchester. ''Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress: Queen of the Skies''. Wings of Fame. Volume 6, 1997, pp. 38–103. London: Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-874023-93-X. ISSN 1361-2034.'
  • Hoffman, Wally and Philippe Rouyer. La guerre à 30 000 pieds[Available only in French]. Louviers, France: Ysec Editions, 2008. ISBN 978-2-84673-109-6.
  • Jacobson, Capt. Richard S., ed. Moresby to Manila Via Troop Carrier: True Story of 54th Troop Carrier Wing, the Third Tactical Arm of the U.S. Army, Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific. Sydney, Australia: Angus and Robertson, 1945. OCLC 220194939
  • 'Johnsen, Frederick A. ''The Making of an Iconic Bomber.'' Archived 19 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine Air Force Magazine, Volume 89, Issue 10, October 2006. Retrieved: 14 September 2012.'
  • Knaack, Marcelle Size. Encyclopedia of U.S. Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems: Volume II: Post-World War II Bombers, 1945–1973. Washington, D.C.: Office of Air Force History, 1988. ISBN 0-16-002260-6.
  • 'Ledet, Michel (April 2002). ''Des avions alliés aux couleurs japonais'' [Allied Aircraft in Japanese Colors]. Avions: Toute l'Aéronautique et son histoire (in French) (109): 17–21. ISSN 1243-8650.'
  • 'Ledet, Michel (May 2002). ''Des avions alliés aux couleurs japonais''. Avions: Toute l'Aéronautique et son histoire (in French) (110): 16–23. ISSN 1243-8650.'
  • Listemann, Phil H. Allied Wings No. 7, Boeing Fortress Mk. I. www.raf-in-combat.com, 2009. First edition. ISBN 978-2-9532544-2-6.
  • Maurer, Maurer. Aviation in the U.S. Army, 1919–1939. Washington, D.C.: United States Air Force Historical Research Center, Office of Air Force History, 1987, pp. 406–08. ISBN 0-912799-38-2.
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1950). Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier. History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Vol. 6. Boston: Little Brown and Company. ISBN 0-7858-1307-1. OCLC 10310299.
  • Parker, Dana T. Building Victory: Aircraft Manufacturing in the Los Angeles Area in World War II. Cypress, California, Dana Parker Enterprises, 2013. ISBN 978-0-9897906-0-4.
  • Parshall, Jonathon and Anthony Tulley. Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books, 2005. ISBN 1-57488-923-0.
  • Ramsey, Winston G. The V-Weapons. London, United Kingdom: After The Battle, Number 6, 1974.
  • Roberts, Michael D. Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons: Volume 2: The History of VP, VPB, VP(HL) and VP(AM) Squadrons. Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 2000.
  • Sakai, Saburo with Martin Caidin and Fred Saito. Samurai!. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1996. ISBN 978-0-671-56310-3.
  • Salecker, Gene Eric. Fortress Against The Sun: The B-17 Flying Fortress in the Pacific. Conshohocken, Pennsylvania: Combined Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-58097-049-4.
  • Serling, Robert J. Legend & Legacy: The Story of Boeing and its People. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. ISBN 0-312-05890-X.
  • Shores, Christopher, Brian Cull and Yasuho Izawa. Bloody Shambles: Volume One: The Drift to War to The Fall of Singapore. London: Grub Street, 1992. ISBN 0-948817-50-X.
  • Stitt, Robert M. Boeing B-17 Fortress in RAF Coastal Command Service. Sandomierz, Poland: STRATUS sp.j., 2010 (second edition 2019). ISBN 978-83-65281-54-8.
  • Swanborough, F. G. and Peter M. Bowers. United States Military aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam, 1963. OCLC 846651845
  • Swanborough, Gordon and Peter M. Bowers. United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. London: Putnam, Second edition, 1976. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.
  • Tate, Dr. James P. The Army and its Air Corps: Army Policy toward Aviation 1919–1941. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air University Press, 1998. ISBN 1-4289-1257-6. Retrieved: 1 August 2008.
  • 'Trescott, Jacqueline. ''Smithsonian Panel Backs Transfer of Famed B-17 Bomber.'' The Washington Post Volume 130, Issue 333, 3 November 2007.'
  • Weigley, Russell Frank. The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1977. ISBN 0-253-28029-X.
  • 'Wixley, Ken. ''Boeing's Battle Wagon: The B-17 Flying Fortress – An Outline History''. Air Enthusiast, No. 78, November/December 1998, pp. 20–33. Stamford, UK: Key Publishing. ISSN 0143-5450.'
  • Wynn, Kenneth G. U-boat Operations of the Second World War: Career Histories, U511-UIT25. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1998. ISBN 1-55750-862-3.
  • Yenne, Bill. B-17 at War. St. Paul, Minnesota: Zenith Imprint, 2006. ISBN 0-7603-2522-7.
  • Yenne, Bill. The Story of the Boeing Company. St. Paul, Minnesota: Zenith Imprint, 2005. ISBN 0-7603-2333-X.
  • Zamzow, S. L. (2012). Ambassador of American Airpower: Major General Robert Olds. Biblioscholar. ISBN 978-1-28834434-5.; originally issued as an academic thesis OCLC 405724149.
  • Baugher, J Boeing B-17 Fortress, 1999, American Military Aircraft
  • Baugher, Joe (May 13, 2007), 'Boeing B-17G Fortress', American Military Aircraft
  • Baugher, Joe, 'Boeing B-17 Fortress', American Military Aircraft, archived from the original on January 29, 2010
  • Boeing Model 299, Boeing Y1B-17, Boeing Y1B-17A/B-17A, Boeing B-17B Fortress, B-17C, Fortress , Boeing B-17D Fortress, Boeing B-17F Fortress, BQ-7 accessed on January 12, 2005, B-17E, Fortress IIA, Vega XB-38, Boeing YB-40, Boeing C-108, BQ-7, F-9 Photographic Reconnaissance
  • 'B-17G Variants factsheet'. USAF Museum. Archived from the original on April 11, 2008.
  • Model 299 Crash, Army press release, Intercepting the Rex, Y1B-17, Y1B-17A, B-17B, B-17C, B-17D, B-17D 'The Swoose', B-17F, B-17G, B-17E, XB-38, XB-40
  • Freeman, Roger. The Mighty Eighth War Manual (1991) pp. 148–153. ISBN 0-87938-513-8
  • Bishop, Cliff T. Fortresses of the Big Triangle First (1986) p. 51, ISBN 1-869987-00-4
  • Bowers, Peter M. Boeing Aircraft Since 1916. London: Putnam, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-804-6.
  • Hess, William N. Big Bombers of WWII. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Lowe & B. Hould, 1998. ISBN 0-681-07570-8.
  • Hess, William N. and Jim Winchester. 'Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress: Queen of the Skies' Wings Of Fame. Volume 6, 1997, pp. 38–103. London: Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-874023-93-X. ISSN 1361-2034.
  • Hickey, Lawrence J. (with Birdsall, Steve; Jonas, Madison D.; Rogers, Edwards M.; and Tagaya, Osamu). Ken’s Men Against the Empire: The Illustrated History of the 43rd Bombardment Group During World War II (Volume I: Prewar to October 1943, The B-17 Era). International Historical Research Associates, 2016. ISBN 978-0-9135-1107-7.
  • Jablonski, Edward. Flying Fortress. New York: Doubleday, 1965. ISBN 0-385-03855-0.
  • Johnson, Frederick A. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress (Warbird Tech Series, Volume 7). Stillwater, Minnesota: Voyageur Press, 2001. ISBN 1-58007-052-3.
  • Listemann, Phil H. Allied Wings No. 7 Boeing Fortress Mk. I. www.raf-in-combat.com, 2009. First edition. ISBN 978-2-9532544-2-6.
  • Lloyd, Alwyn T. B-17 Flying Fortress in Detail and Scale. Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers, 1986. ISBN 0-8168-5029-1.
  • O'Leary, Michael. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress (Osprey Production Line to Frontline 2). Botley, Oxford, United Kingdom: Osprey Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-85532-814-3.
  • B-17E 41-2595 History and Restoration
  • Andrade, John M. . U.S Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Leicester: Midland Counties Publications, First edition 1979. ISBN 0 904597 22 9.
  • Swanborough, Gordon and Peter M. Bowers. United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. London: Putnam, Second edition 1976. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.
  • Swanborough, F. G. and Peter M. Bowers. United States Military aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam, 1963

    Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress further reading:

  • Birdsall, Steve. The B-17 Flying Fortress. Dallas, Texas: Morgan Aviation Books, 1965. OCLC 752618401.
  • Calegari, Robert (December 1976). "A vendre: B-17G" [For Sale: B-17G]. Le Fana de l'Aviation (in French) (85): 34–36. ISSN 0757-4169.
  • Davis, Larry. B-17 in Action. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1984. ISBN 0-89747-152-0.
  • Jablonski, Edward. Flying Fortress. New York: Doubleday, 1965. ISBN 0-385-03855-0.
  • Johnsen, Frederick A. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Stillwater, Minnesota: Voyageur Press, 2001. ISBN 1-58007-052-3.
  • Gansz, David M. B-17 Production - Boeing Aircraft: 4 January 1944 - 26 February 1944 B-17G-35 to G-45 42-31932 - 42-32116 and 42-97058 - 42-97407. New Jersey: First Mountain Belgians, 2020. ISBN 978-1734380606.
  • Gansz, David M. B-17 Production - Boeing Aircraft: 26 February 1944 - 25 April 1944 B-17G-50 to G-60 42-102379 - 42-102978. New Jersey: First Mountain Belgians, 2013. ISBN 978-0692365465.
  • Gansz, David M. B-17 Production - Boeing Aircraft: 25 April 1944 - 22 June 1944 B-17G-65 to G-75 43-37509 - 43-38073. New Jersey: First Mountain Belgians, 2017. ISBN 978-0692859841.
  • Lloyd, Alwyn T. B-17 Flying Fortress in Detail and Scale, Vol. 11: Derivatives, Part 2. Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers, 1983. ISBN 0-8168-5021-6.
  • Lloyd, Alwyn T. B-17 Flying Fortress in Detail and Scale, Vol. 20: More derivatives, Part 3. Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: Tab Books, 1986. ISBN 0-8168-5029-1.
  • Lloyd, Alwyn T. and Terry D. Moore. B-17 Flying Fortress in Detail and Scale, Vol. 1: Production Versions, Part 1. Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers, 1981. ISBN 0-8168-5012-7.
  • O'Leary, Michael. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress (Osprey Production Line to Frontline 2). Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-85532-814-3.
  • Stitt, Robert M. & Olson, Janice L. (July–August 2002). "Brothers in Arms: A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Crew in New Guinea, Part 1". Air Enthusiast (100): 2–11. ISSN 0143-5450.
  • Thompson, Scott A. Final Cut: The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress, The Survivors: Revised and Updated Edition. Highland County, Ohio: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 2000. ISBN 1-57510-077-0.
  • Wagner, Ray, "American Combat Planes of the 20th Century", Reno, Nevada, 2004, Jack Bacon & Company, ISBN 0-930083-17-2.
  • Willmott, H.P. B-17 Flying Fortress. London: Bison Books, 1980. ISBN 0-85368-444-8.
  • Wisker Thomas J. "Talkback". Air Enthusiast, No. 10, July–September 1979, p. 79. ISSN 0143-5450

    Magazine References: +

  • Airfix Magazines (English) - http://www.airfix.com/
  • Avions (French) - http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/rubrique10.html
  • FlyPast (English) - http://www.flypast.com/
  • Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) - http://vdmedien.com/flugzeug-publikations-gmbh-hersteller_verlag-vdm-heinz-nickel-33.html
  • Flugzeug Classic (German) - http://www.flugzeugclassic.de/
  • Klassiker (German) - http://shop.flugrevue.de/abo/klassiker-der-luftfahrt
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://boutique.editions-lariviere.fr/site/abonnement-le-fana-de-l-aviation-626-4-6.html
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://www.pdfmagazines.org/tags/Le+Fana+De+L+Aviation/
  • Osprey (English) - http://www.ospreypublishing.com/
  • Revi Magazines (Czech) - http://www.revi.cz/

    Web References: +

  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_B-17_Flying_Fortress

This webpage was updated 1st September 2022