“Big Tail”

The first of the “Big Ass” B-17’s arrived England to equip the US 8th Air Force in July 1942. All the planes had been modified with enlarged gun windows and 0.50-calibre guns on either side of the nose. Further modifications were made to them after they were operational including work on the radio, bomb rack, lighting, oxygen, extinguisher and survival systems. By the time the B-17E had been shipped across the Atlantic, newer models were already coming off the Boeing production line. In fact, the B-17E was only on full combat status for just over two weeks before the appearance of the B-17F’s

The B-17E was not used in great numbers for combat because the F model was so different in performance that it made joint operations, using both planes unlikely. The B-17E took a back seat and was eventually esed as a trainer, a transport and a target-tower. With its armaments removed it could give better handling and speed.

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Random B-17s of this version and their fates

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-2659 / Frank Buck

41-2659 / Frank Buck

19th Bomb Group 30th Bomb Squadron

Delivered Minneapolis 7/3/42; Assigned 30BS/19BG Hawaii 22/5/42; transferred 28BS/43BG Fort Hood, Port Moresby 13/7/42; then 11BG; scrapped at Port Moresby, Written off 31/10/44. TOJO’S JINX aka FRANK BUCK. (?Scrapped at Torrens Creek/Mareeba, Aus. 27/8/43?)

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-2647


Delivered AMC Wright 1/6/42; Newark 15/4/43; Wright 22/4/43; ASF Phillips,MD. 22/4/46.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-9087


Delivered Boise 303BG 10/4/42; Alamogordo 18/6/42; Westover 2/7/42; Wendover 27/7/42; Walla Walla 18/8/42; force landed Burns, OR 21/8/42 with Don Garrett; Written off 4/1/43. (Joe Baugher – Found intact in British Columbia, Canada?)

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