B-17 Flying Fortress Mystery: B-17F ‘Sweet Chariot’

A B-17F of the 97th Bomb Group; 414th Bomb Squadron. Serial number unknown.

B-17F ‘Sweet Chariot’

Source: https://www.fold3.com/image/55702706

B-17F ‘Sweet Chariot’ Details

A crew at the presentation of the medal by Gen. James H. Doolittle. Two different captions exist for this photo or series of photos, in addition to the original caption:

Major General James H. Doolittle pins the Distinguished Flying Cross on T/Sgt. Potter.

A second photo has the following different captions, depending on the source.

Additional caption #1:
Gen. Jimmy Doolittle awards the Purple Heart to the aircrew of Boeing B-17F Flyng Fortress, ‘Sweet Chariot’ in Italy, February 1944 [via Wikipedia].

Additional caption #2:
James Doolittle awarding the Purple Heart to the crew of B-17E Flying Fortress bomber ‘Sweet Chariot’, Chateau-dun-du-Rhumel Airfield, Algeria, Jul 1943 [via ww2db.com].

And then there is another picture caption. The first one with mention of the unit:
Gen. Jimmy Doolittle awards Tillman and others the Purple Heart. B-17 97th BG 414th BS ‘Sweet Chariot’ [via reddog1944.com].

As you can see, there are different dates when this shot was taken. According to the 97th Bomb Group website, Lt. Hermann Tillman received the Distinguished Flying Cross on 09 February 1944, but no Purple Heart.

A T/Sgt. Potter existed only with the 341st Bomb Squadron. But he did not receive a Purple Heart either. Therefore, the date of February 1944 seems to be relatively certain.

Published: 12. July 2021 / Last updated: 24. July 2021

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