B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies B-17E

“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.


Random B-17E from database

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-9160


Delivered SAAD 2/5/42; Mitchell 29/6/42; Langley 1/7/42; Bolling 6/12/42; Olmstead 18/2/43; Wilmington 16/6/43; Mitchell 4/7/43; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Ontario 11/4/45.

B-17 #41-2401


Delivered Douglas (Vega) as XB-38 with Allison V-1710 liquid cooled four-engine product assigned for USAAF to Lockheed-Vega to study four V-1710-89 V-12 liquid-cooled engines to contrast standard air-cooled Wright Cyclones along with other modifications. It first flew 19-May-43, but crash landed Tipton, Cal. 16-Jun-43 due to engine fire and one passenger killed. Salvaged. Never served in the UK

B-17 #41-9122 / Eager Beavers

41-9122 / Eager Beavers

Delivered Cheyenne ?, Wayne Co Apt, Detroit then to Dorval some five months later for delivery to Britain as [FK198] 303BG Boise 21/4/42; Lowry 21/5/42; Assigned 42BS/11BG Hawaii 9/6/42; used Henderson Fd, Guadalcanal which had Marston Mat runway laid, transferred 26BS/5BG 1/9/452; hit by flak Bougainville near Shortland Harbour 1/2/43 with Capt Frank L. Houx, Co-pilot: Martin Carper, Navigator: George Gammans, Bombardier: Le Verne Hite, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Rich Wayne, Radio Operator: Ernie Koch, Waist gunner: Leon Knights, Joe Garvey,Tail gunner: Ernie Sweigert (9KIA officially 11/1/46); Written off 15/6/44. Missing Air Crew Report 46482. EAGER BEAVERS.

B-17 #41-9024 / King Condor

41-9024 / King Condor

Assigned 414BS/97BG Polebrook 3/42; arrived at Grafton Underwood on 6-Jul-42 crash landed Grafton Underwood 1-Aug-42 with Claude Lawrence, Co-pilot: R.Brown, Navigator: M.Jones, Bombardier: R.Buchana, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: J.James, Radio Operator: H.Birdsong, Ball turret gunner: O.Hester, Waist gunner: C.Cockrell, Waist gunner: C.Watson,Tail gunner: P.Trapani (10 Returned to Duty); ran off runway, through hedge and hit English truck, killing driver John Jimmison; first aircraft Salvaged. KING CONDOR.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-2608


Delivered Ogden 22/2/42; Cheyenne 25/3/42; Wayne Co. 14/4/42; RCAF Dorval 20/4/42; Gander-Prestwick 28/4/42, RAF [FK195]; 206 Sq (VX-L) Benbecula, Scot. 19/8/42, sunk U-boat U-469 off SW Iceland 25/3/43 with Willis Roxburgh; two days later U-169 was sunk with Ian Samuel; then on 9/2/43 with Sq Ldr R. Patrick damaged U-614; Struck Off Charge 27/4/44.

B-17 #41-2472


Delivered McChord 24/12/41; Assigned 7BG Java 15/1/42 with Frederick Key; transferred 28BS/19BG Australia; transferred 30BS/43BG, then 63BS; over 200 missions; Written off 31/8/44. GUINEA PIG.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-9228


Delivered Cheyenne 26/5/42; Wayne 30/6/42; Dorval 1/7/42; Gander-Prestwick 12/7/42 with Dillon Teel, to RAF [FL453]; 206 Sq (VX-A) Benbecula, Scot. 30/7/42; detailed on sub sweep 6/10/42 with Jack Delarue, Co-pilot: Jim Jaeger, Ref Robinson, John Taplin, John Guppy (5 Killed in Action); David Coutts. Jim Hunt (2 Returned to Duty); aircraft stalled avoiding FL457 and crashed into sea off base. Remains still visible at low tide..

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-9067


Delivered Geiger 301st Bomb Group 3/4/42; Alamogordo 18/6/42; Westover 2/7/42; Lowry 19/8/42; Boise 19/9/42; Oklahoma 18/12/42; Gowen 5/12/43; 2137 BU Hendricks 31/3/43; Written off 7/7/44; Recl Comp 3/1/46.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-9030 / Big Punk

41-9030 / Big Punk

Assigned 414BS/97BG MacDill, FL, force landed base with Joe Bernhardt 27/3/42; Grenier, NH with Bill Saunders force landed Buhl, ID 15/6/42; Polebrook 3/42; with Lt. William P. Saunders took part in 8AF 1st raid 17/8/42; transferred 92BG Bovingdon 4/12/42; 310FySqd then 305BG Chelveston /11/43; 27 ATG; 3 SAD Watton, Written off 25/5/45. BIG PUNK.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-2582


Delivered Pendleton 18/2/42; with Vic Modena force landed Walla Walla, OR 19/2/42; Tucson 12/5/42; Ephrata 4/6/42; Alamogordo 16/8/42; Boise 13/11/42; Hendricks 3/4/43; Yuma 18/10/43; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Albuquerque 25/6/45.