385th Bombardment Group photo gallery
385th Bombardment Group
385th Bombardment Group
Constituted as 385th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 25 Nov 1942. Activated on 1 Dec 1942. Trained with B-17's. Moved to England in Jun 1943 and assigned to Eighth AF. Operated primarily as a strategic bombardment organization until the war ended, striking such targets as industrial areas, air bases, oil refineries, and communications centers in Germany, France, Poland, Belgium, Holland, and Norway. Received a DUC for bombing an aircraft factory at Regensburg on 17 Aug 1943 after a long hazardous flight over enemy territory. Led the 4th Wing a great distance through heavy and damaging opposition for the successful bombardment of an aircraft repair plant at Zwickau on 12 May 1944, being awarded another DUC for this performance. Other strategic targets included aircraft factories in Oschersleben and Marienburg, battery works in Stuttgart, airfields in Beauvais and Chartres, oil refineries in Ludwigshafen and Merseburg, and marshalling yards in Munich and Oranienburg. Sometimes supported ground forces and struck interdictory targets. Attacked coastline defenses in Jun 1944 in preparation for the Normandy invasion and hit marshalling yards and choke points during the landing on D-Day. Bombed enemy positions in support of ground forces at St Lo in Jul 1944. Attacked German communications and fortifications during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Bombed troop concentrations and communications centers in Germany and France, Mar-Apr 1945, to assist the final thrust into Germany. After V-E Day, hauled prisoners of war from Germany to Allied centers and flew food to Holland. Returned to the US in Aug. Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.
Squadrons. 548th: 1942-1945. 549th: 1942-1945. 550th: 1942-1945. 551st: 1942-1945.
Stations. Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, 1 Dec 1942; El Paso, Tex, 21 Dec 1942; Geiger Field, Wash, 1 Feb 1943; Great Falls AAB, Mont, 11 Apr-Jun 1943; Great Ashfield, England, Jun 1943-Aug 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, Aug-28 Aug 1945.
Commanders. Col Elliot Vandevanter Jr, 3 Feb 1943; Col George Y Jumper, 24 Aug 1944; Col William H Hanson, 2 Jun 1945; Maj Totton J Anderson, c. Jul 1945-unkn.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Germany, 17 Aug 1943; Zwickau, Germany, 12 May 1944.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Crew: 10: Pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier/nose gunner, flight engineer/top turret gunner, radio operator, waist gunners (2), ball turret gunner, tail gunner
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)
- Flight Simulators
IL-2 Sturmovik 'Cliff's of Dover' Blitz - has no 3D model
IL-2 Great Battles Series IL-2 - has no 3D model
DCS World - has no 3D model
Thorpe Abbotts, England Map
- Hess & Winchester Wings of Fame No. 6, 1997, p. 41.
- Bowers 1989, pp. 291–292.
- Hess & Winchester Wings of Fame No. 6, 1997, pp. 41–42.
- GE Turbocharger Manual 'Section XIV' for its B-17-applicable turbochargers, pgs. 113–140
- Caidin, Martin (1968). Flying Forts: The B-17 in World War II. New York: Bantam Books. pp. 106–108. ISBN 9780553287806.
- 'Fortress I for RAF'.
- few moreites/Sierras_B-17C_crash_site.htm
- Ethell, Jeff (January 1985). 'Our Still-Flying Fortresses'. Popular Mechanics. p. 124.
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- 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?"
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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- 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
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