B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 41-24406 / All American

B-17 #41-24406 / All Americanzoom_in

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



Geschichte der
B-17 41-24406 / All American

Assigned 92BG Bangor 13/7/42; transferred 414BS/97BG Polebrook 6/42; Maison Blanche, Alg. 13/11/42; Tafaraoui, Alg. 22/11/42; Biskra, Alg. 25/12/42; on Tunis mission was rammed by FW190 1/2/43 almost slicing rear fuselage and tailplane off; made it back to Biskra and repaired; transferred 353BS/301BG {3m} St Donat 6/3/43; Oudna, Tun 6/8/43; Cerignola, It. 7/12/43; Lucera, It. 1/2/44; Salvaged 6/3/45. ALL AMERICAN.

B-17 41-24406 / All American Details


On February 1, 1943, bombers of the 414th Bombardment Squadron departed their base near Biskra, Algeria, to attack the German-controlled seaports, Bizerte and Tunis, Tunisia. After dropping their bombloads and returning toward base, the bombers were attacked by German fighters, believed to be Messerschmitt Bf 109s. Two fighters attacked respective bombers, the lead B-17 and the All American which was flying next to it in formation. The bombers‘ machine gun fire downed the first fighter, but the second pressed its head-on attack against the All American. Apparently struck by machine gun rounds, the second fighter could not complete its roll to pull down and away from the All American, the fighter pilot apparently having been killed or disabled. The German pilot was reported as being 16-victory ace Erich Paczia of I/Jagdgeschwader 53.

Out of control, the second fighter’s wing collided with the top rear fuselage of the All American, almost cleaving the bomber’s tail section off, leaving a large diagonal gash from the base of the All American’s tail and severing the left horizontal stabilizer completely off the plane. Metal in the airframe near the right tailplane was the only thing keeping the tail section, housing the rear gunner, attached to the aircraft. The fighter broke apart but left some pieces in the bomber’s fuselage.

The bomber squadron maintained formation to protect the All American until they were beyond range of enemy fighters, with the crew donning parachutes in expectation of having to bail out. However, the aircraft was piloted to a safe landing at its base, and despite damage to the aircraft none of the crew was injured on that mission.

B-17 #41-24406 'All American'

Close-up of the damaged tail of the Boeing B-17F-5-BO (S/N 41-24406) „All American III.“ The left horizontal stabilizer was torn completely off, and the aircraft was nearly cut in half by the collision. By (U.S. Air Force photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The All American was repaired and returned to service as a hack with the 352nd Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy), and flew until its March 1945 dismantlement.

The All American is reputed to be the source of the phrase, „Comin‘ in on a Wing and a Prayer,“ and inspired the 414th Bombardment Squadron’s emblem. An image of a puppy praying atop the rear fuselage formed the unit badge.The aircraft was the subject of what was called one of the most famous photographs of World War II.

Quelle: All American (aircraft), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=All_American_(aircraft)&oldid=770876365 (last visited May 10, 2017).

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B-17 #41-24406 / All American

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B-17 #41-24406 / All American

B-17 #41-24406 / All American

B-17 #41-24406 / All American


B-17 41-24406 / All American Crew

P---Ken Bragg Jr.RTD
CP---G. Boyd Jr.RTD
BOMB---Ralph BurbridgeRTD
ENG/TT---Joe C. JamesRTD
RO---Paul A. GallowayRTD
BT---Elton CondaRTD
WG---Michael ZukRTD
TG---Sam T. SarpolusRTD
------Hank HylandUNKGround crew chief

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