B-17 Flying Fortress Mystery: S/Sgt. Leon E. Piatek and the unknown B-17

Original image caption: S/Sgt. Leon E. Piatek, Thorp, Wisconsin poses beside a plane at an air base somewhere in England.

S/Sgt. Leon E. Piatek and the unknown B-17

Source: https://www.fold3.com/image/32145317

S/Sgt. Leon E. Piatek and the unknown B-17 Details


  • The image noted B-17F-55-BO; 42-3XXXX. This is incorrect because B-17F-55-BO: begins with 42-29467 through 42-29531.
  • A B-17 with 45 combat missions or more.
  • Project 3(?)0264

Research results with the support of Flip Marchese:

  • S/Sgt. Leon E. Piatek was with the 99th Bomb Group; 416th Bomb Squadron.
  • consequently the picture was not taken in England, but in North Africa
  • For the period December 1942 to March 1943, there are only two B-17s on the shortlist: B-17F-55-BO #42-29507 “Lady Luck” or B-17F-55-BO #42-29509 “Bad Penny.”
  • S/Sgt. Piatek was mentioned in a 99th Bomb Group Newsletter in connection with the B-17F “Bad Penny.” This information reinforces the assumption that #42-29509 “Bad Penny” is seen in the background.

B-17F-55-BO #42-29509 “Bad Penny” – Confirmed

Steve Birdsall confirmed on my Facebook page a few days ago that the B-17 behind S/Sgt. Leon E. Piatek is B-17F-55-BO #42-29509 “Bad Penny” and attached another photo.

The crew of 42-29509 “Bad Penny” of the 416th Bomb Squadron, 99th Bomb Group. Sgt Leon Piatek is standing on the right.

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

Write comment