B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-3441 / Patches II aka The Spotted Cow

B-17 #42-3441 / Patches II aka The Spotted Cowzoom_in



  • RCL: SO-E

Missions: 39


History of
B-17 42-3441 / Patches II aka The Spotted Cow

Delivered to Denver 14/6/43; Kearney 19/7/43; Assigned to the 547th BS, squadron code SO-E, 384th BG, Station 106, Grafton Underwood, UK on 9/8/43; when war weary the ship was used as an assembly ship, painted white with sky blue polka dots; Returned to the USA Grenier 24/9/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 12/12/45 THE SPOTTED COW aka PATCHES II.

Last updated: 18. September 2018


B-17 42-3441 / Patches II aka The Spotted Cow Details

Longest-serving B-17F in the Group, and last B-17F in Group to fly a combat mission (7 June 1944).

“Patches II” was an early replacement aircraft for the 547th BS, replacing the original “Patches” after that plane was salvaged in late July 1943. “Patches II” flew combat missions throughout early 1944, and was retired in the summer to serve as the 384th’s assembly ship. With this, she was given a high-visibility paint job of blue polka-dots over white. She was immediately given the nicknames “Spotted Cow” and “Speckled Hen.”

Her mission was to orbit the airbase to allow the rest of the group formation to form up after take-off. She would definitely be hard to miss!


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