B-17G of 457th Bombardment Group

B-17G of 457th Bombardment Group


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B-17G of 457th Bombardment Group

Here we see a late production B-17G in flight during a post-war flight. The letter 'U' in a triangle identifies it as an aircraft of the 457th Bombardment Group, 1st Air Division.

Pictures provided by Sgt. Robert S. Tucker Sr. (Member of: The American Air Museum in Britain {Duxford} ).
Robert S. WWII Photo Book, Mighty 8th. AF, Ground Crew


457th Bombardment Group (H) memorial

Colonel James R Luper was assigned B17 sn. 42-38113, Rene III, 749 Squadron, 457th Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Command (named after his third wife) upon his arrival at Glatton.

Detail of the memorial commemorating the water tower used by Glatton airfield, station 130. This monument is on the site of the principal memorial to the 457th BG(H), on a road junction near the village of Conington. The water tower is directly behind this site.

Detail of the rear, at the base, of the principal memorial to the service of the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy). The memorial site is on a roadside junction, close to the site of the original airfield, Glatton Station130.

Detail of the rear of the principal memorial to the service of the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy). The memorial site is on a roadside junction, close to the site of the original airfield, Glatton Station130.

The original water tower used by Glatton airfield, station 130. The airfield was the base of the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy). The water tower is directly behind the principal memorial site.

Detail of the individual commemoration at the foot of the right hand flag pole on the site of the principal memorial to the service of the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy). The site is on the roadside near the village of Conington.

Detail of the individual commemoration at the foot of the left hand flag pole on the site of the principal memorial to the service of the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy). The site is on the roadside near the village of Conington.

Detail of the seat to the left of the principal memorial to the service of the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy). The seat bears two individual commemorations.

Memorial commemorating the water tower used by Glatton airfield, station 130. This monument is on the site of the principal memorial to the 457th BG(H), on a road junction near the village of Conington. The water tower is directly behind this site.

Detail of the seat to the left of the principal memorial to the service of the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy), on the roadside near the village of Conington. The seat bears two individual commemorations.


457th Aircraft History

In December 1943, at Wendover Army Air Base, 71 B-17’s were assigned to the 457th Bomb Group.

A/C 42-31505A/C 42-31588A/C 42-31635A/C 42-38104A/C 42-97466
A/C 42-31517A/C 42-31591A/C 42-31636A/C 42-38110A/C 42-97467
A/C 42-31520A/C 42-31592A/C 42-38021A/C 42-38113A/C 42-97468
A/C 42-31531A/C 42-31594A/C 42-38055A/C 42-97443A/C 42-97469
A/C 42-31541A/C 42-31595A/C 42-38056A/C 42-97450A/C 42-97470
A/C 42-31542A/C 42-31596A/C 42-38057A/C 42-97451A/C 42-97471
A/C 42-31545A/C 42-31607A/C 42-38058A/C 42-97452A/C 42-97473
A/C 42-31547A/C 42-31613A/C 42-38060A/C 42-97455A/C 42-97477
A/C 42-31548A/C 42-31615A/C 42-38063A/C 42-97456A/C 42-97478
A/C 42-31551A/C 42-31618A/C 42-38064A/C 42-97457A/C 42-97481
A/C 42-31552A/C 42-31620A/C 42-38065A/C 42-97458A/C 42-97488
A/C 42-31568A/C 42-31627A/C 42-38066A/C 42-97459
A/C 42-31572A/C 42-31629A/C 42-38073A/C 42-97460
A/C 42-31586A/C 42-31630A/C 42-38102A/C 42-97464
A/C 42-31587A/C 42-31633A/C 42-38103A/C 42-97465

Before the air echelon left Grand Island on the 17th of January, three B-17’s had already crashed:

1. 42 – 31541 William Snow crashed on December 23rd 1943
2. 42 – 31547 Lt. Ashby crashed on January 3rd 1944
3. 42 – 31586 not sure if this A/C number is right

The aircraft left Grand Island 17 January, part of them landing at Presque Isle, Maine and part at Grenier Field, Manchester, New Hampshire. From there the planes flew the transatlantic flight individually, some making landings at various points such as Gander Lake, Newfoundland, Prestwick, Scotland, Nuts Corner and Ireland.

Two aircraft crash landed on arrival at Nutts Corner:

1. 42 – 97443 Lt. Donald Karr crashed on January 20th 1944
2. 42 – 97459 Lt. Tracy Geiger Jr crashed on January 23rd 1944

The first nine aircraft were reported as arrived from the USA on 20th January but when the first daily report of aircraft assigned was made on 22nd January only eight planes were listed. It is thought that the ninth was 42-31572 which was assigned to the 91st Group on 23rd January. Twenty-three aircraft landed in North Platte, and the remaining ships scattered at various air bases in that vicinity. This was due to continued bad weather, all ships being unable to land at Grand Island. Most of the remaining aircraft arrived during the next week but some were delayed into February. The planes were dispatched to Burtonwood over the next three weeks for modifications, some making two visits, the extended period over which the aircraft were being modified at Burtonwood resulted in alternative plans being made to get the 398th Bomb Group, due to arrive in the First Division in April, more speedily into combat.

At the end of March 1944, the 457th had been operational for just six weeks. The group’s most noticeable statistics was that despite being the junior of the Division, it had had more B-17G assigned than any of the other Groups and also had more natural metal finished planes assigned. Both these factors were due to the decision taken early in March that the 457th would become the Eighths first ‘All Silver’ Group as a result many of the original painted aircraft were transferred out. Later in March a change of plans was made and it was decided that the Group would only have half its completement of aircraft ‘silver’ and as a result many of the silver planes assigned in as part of the original policy were then transferred to other groups. The group had 66 operational B-17’s of which 31 in Natural Metal Finish. 26 of these aircraft belonged to the original group that was assigned to the group at Wendover Army Air Base in December 1943.

The group was assigned a triangle U Group marking which was a 72in-sided white equilateral triangle with a 36in Insignia Blue letter U thereon. On the upper surface of the right wing the triangle had 96in sides and the letter U was 57in high, with colors as on the tail. An individual aircraft call-letter, either 36in or 48in high, was painted below the tail number in yellow. The 48in letter was the size most commonly used on replacement aircraft but 36in and 24in letters were also to be seen. All four squadrons used letters in alphabetical order from A, excluding C, E and I. These exclusions are not known ever to have been used as call-letters in the 457th Bomb Group.

Tail markings 1st Bomb Division

The Triangle U on these aircraft was a white letter on black and the call-letter was also in black. In the summer of 1944 the squadrons were distinguished by colored propeller bosses.

– 748th Bomb Squadron RED
– 749th Bomb Squadron BLUE
– 750th Bomb Squadron WHITE
– 751st Bomb Squadron YELLOW

In August 1944 the aircraft call-letter followed by the last three digits of the serial number, was painted in approximately 12in high characters on both sides of the nose, directly aft of the bombardiers Plexiglas the colour was yellow on camouflage and black on bare metal. On some aircraft the call-letter was omitted and this later became general practice relative to nose numbers. A number of aircraft had the call-letter, approximately 20in high, painted on the chin turret sides during the final months of hostilities. In August 1944 a 48in wide Insignia Bleu stripe was painted diagonally across the vertical tail, the lower end forward and the higher end at the top of the rudder. On most aircraft the Group insignia, tail number and call-letter were left with a bare metal margin. This was also the process when painting most replacements, although smaller call-letters were more general and 20in high letters were used on several aircraft, most commonly in the 751st Bomb Squadron. In mid May 1945 the current wireless telegraphy codes were used in the anti-low flying program as an under wing identity marking. This suggests that the 457th Bomb Group squadrons had for some reason been omitted from the SD110 publication.

The W/T (= Wireless Telegraph) codes used, plus the aircraft letter as a sufflix, were as follows:

– 748th Bomb Squadron RUW,
– 749th Bomb Squadron JOB,
– 750th Bomb Squadron PPL
– 751st Bomb Squadron MJA

Close up tail markings 94th Combat Bomb Wing

At the end of the war the inventory of the 457th Bomb Group shows that there were 46 aircraft were still at Glatton. All of these aircraft were flown back to the US where they were sold for scrap.


The B-17 Flying Fortress

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine heavy bomber is one of the most famous and successful airplanes ever built. The B-17 received the name “Flying Fortress” from a Seattle news reporter who commented on its defensive firepower, and said “It’s a Flying Fortress”.

On 8 August 1934, the United State Army Air Corps (USAAC) tendered a proposal for a multiengine bomber to replace the Martin B-10. The Air Corps was looking for a bomber capable of reinforcing the air forces in Hawaii, Panama, and Alaska. Requirements were for it to carry a “useful bombload” at an altitude of 10,000 ft (3,000 m) for 10 hours with a top speed of at least 200 mph (320 km/h).

They also desired, but did not require, a range of 2,000 mi (3,200 km) and a speed of 250 mph (400 km/h). The competition for the Air Corps contract was to be decided by a “fly-off” at Wilbur Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio.

Competing against the Douglas DB-1 and Martin model 146 for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry (prototype Model 299/XB-17) outperformed both competitors and exceeded the Air Corps’ performance specifications. Although Boeing lost the contract (to the Douglas B-18 Bolo) because the prototype crashed, the Air Corps ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation.

From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances, becoming the third most produced bomber of all time, behind the four-engine B-24 and the German multirole, twin-engine Ju88.

B-17 Model Evolution

After several changes on the prototype model 299 (changes models YB-17, YB-17A, B-17B through to B-17D) the B-17E was the first mass-produced model Flying Fortress, carried nine machine guns and a 4,000-pound bomb load. The airplane was several tons heavier than the prototypes and was loaded with armament. It was the first Boeing airplane with the distinctive tail for improved control and stability during high-altitude bombing. Each version was more heavily armed.

The B-17E was indeed an extensive revision of the Model 299 design. The fuselage was extended by 10 ft, and a gunner’s position was added in the new tail. The nose (especially the bombardier’s well-framed nose glazing) remained relatively the same as earlier -B through -D versions, but featured the addition of an electrically-powered manned dorsal gun turret just behind the cockpit. The tail turret eliminated a previous defensive blind spot.

B-17F variants were the primary versions flying for the Eighth Air Force to face the Nazis in 1943. This model had standardized the manned Sperry ball turret for ventral defense, along with an enlarged, nearly frameless Plexiglas bombardier’s nose enclosure for much improved forward vision.

Model B-17G and the 457th Bomb Group

The B-17G was the result of an almost continuous improvement program of earlier B-17 models. Because the B-17F lacked adequate defense against a head-on attack. By September 1943, the Flying Fortress showed its final shape during firepower tests on the XB-40, a modified B-17F with the advantage of a “chin” turret. The success of the chin turret, led to the delivery of the B-17G.

By the time the definitive B-17G appeared, the number of guns had been increased from seven to 13, the designs of the gun stations were finalized, and other adjustments were completed. The B-17G was the final version of the Flying Fortress, incorporating all changes made to its predecessor, the B-17F, and in total, 8,680 were built, the last on 28 July 1945.

The model flown by the 457th Bomb Group was the B17-G model.

Specifications of the B-17G Flying Fortress (final production model)

Armament: 13 .50 cal. machine guns normal bomb load of 6,000 lbs.
Engines: 4x Wright Cyclone R-1820s of 1,200 hp each
Maximum speed: 300Mph
Cruising speed: 170mph
Range: 1,850 miles
Ceiling: 35,000 ft.
Span: 103ft. 10 in.
Length: 74 ft 4 in.
Height: 19ft. 1 in.
Weight: 55,000 lbs. loaded


The Sandwich Bay B-17

The aircraft in Sandwich Bay, B17G 42-31243, was forced to ditch there when it ran out of fuel on its way home from a mission on the 1st of December 1943. Its tanks had been drained of fuel when the aircraft was damaged by flak. Luckily, all of the crew survived the landing and were picked up by British Air Sea Rescue. The aircraft, however, did not survive, and it was left in place.

A B-17G at an airshow in Chino, 2014. (Photo Credit: Airwolfhound / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

It was covered by sand until the 1990s, when the wreck was revealed and subsequently looted. Because of this, the wreckage was excavated to document its condition.

In 2016, the B-17 was uncovered again. Today, the aircraft’s fuselage is missing as well as its engines, but both wings remain as well as a propeller. Inside one of the wings is a Tokyo tank in great condition. Tokyo tanks were self-sealing rubber fuel containers mounted in the outer sections of B-17 wings after 1943, and added 1,080 US gallons of fuel to the standard 1,700, giving it a 40% increase in range.

The tide has distributed pieces around the aircraft, creating a debris field.


B-17G of 457th Bombardment Group - History

Ace of Hearts, dropping bombs on the target at Ludwigshafen on Feb 1st, 1945.

Serial No. 42-106998 Name: Paper Doll

Serial No. 42-32051 Name: Lady Luck

"Crack Up" of the 457th Bomb Group at Glatton before being transferred to the 305BG on May 23rd, 1945.

Serial No. 97190 Name: Hitler's Milkman


Serial No. 42-106998 & 42-107026 Name: Paper Doll & Hamtramack Mama

Paper Doll, being serviced on the hardstand.

Hamtramak Mama just after bomb release over the target.

A closeup view of the nose and name of Lady Luck.

Combat Aircraft:

Col. James R. Luper 4 Jan. 1944 - 7 Oct. 1944, POW.
Col. Harris E Rogner 11 Oct. 1944 - Aug. 1945.

First Mission: 21 Feb 1944
Last Mission: 20 Apr 1945
Missions: 237
Total Sorties: 7,086
Total Bomb Tonnage: 16,916 Tons
Aircraft MIA: 83
Major Awards:

Early History:

Activated 1 July 1943 at Geiger Fd, Wash. Group was assembled at Rapid City, SD. from 9 July 1943 and underwent training. Training continued at Ephrata AAB, Wash. from the 23rd October 1943 to December 1943. Final preparation for overseas service at Wendover Fd, Utah, 4 December 1943 to 1 January 1944.


Contents

Lineage

  • Established as 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943
  • Redesignated 457th Operations Group and activated on 1 July 1993
  • Redesignated 457th Air Expeditionary Group and converted to provisional status in 2003

Assignments

    , 4 July 1943 , 6 October 1943 – 1 January 1944 , 21 January 1944 – 1 July 1945 (for inactivation), 20 July–28 August 1945 , 1 July 1993 – 1 October 1994 to activate or inactivate at any time after 2003 (Date TBD)

Components

    , 1 July 1993 – 1 October 1994
  • 23d Bomb Squadron (Attached), 2003 (Dates TBD) : 4 July 1943 – 28 August 1945 (Red Prop Boss) : 4 July 1943 – 28 August 1945 (Blue Prop Boss) : 4 July 1943 – 28 August 1945 (White Prop Boss) : 4 July 1943 – 28 August 1945 (Yellow Prop Boss)

Stations

    , Washington, 4 July 1943 , SD, 9 July 1943 , Washington, 28 October 1943 , Utah, 4 December 1943 – 1 January 1944 (USAAF Station 130), England, 22 January 1944 – 1 June 1945 , South Dakota, 20 July–28 August 1945 , Oklahoma, 1 July 1993 – 1 October 1994 , England, 2003 (Dates TBD)

Aircraft

Operational history

World War II

Constituted as the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943. Activated on 1 July 1943. Trained for combat with B-17's. [1] Moved to RAF Glatton England, January–February 1944, and assigned to Eighth Air Force. The group was assigned to the 94th Combat Bombardment Wing of the 1st Bombardment Division. Its tail code was Triangle-U.

The 457th Bomb Group consisted of the following operational squadrons:

The 457th Bomb Group flew its first mission on 21 February 1944 [2] during Big Week, taking part in the concentrated attacks of heavy bombers on the German aircraft industry. Until June 1944, the Group engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets, such as ball-bearing plants, aircraft factories, and oil refineries in Germany.

The Group bombed targets in France during the first week of June 1944 in preparation for the Normandy invasion, and attacked coastal defenses along the Cherbourg peninsula on D-Day. Struck airfields, railroads, fuel depots, and other interdictory targets behind the invasion beaches throughout the remainder of the month.

Beginning in July 1944, the 457th resumed bombardment of strategic objectives and engaged chiefly in such operations until April 1945. Sometimes flew support and interdictory missions, aiding the advance of ground forces during the Saint-Lô breakthrough in July 1944 and the landing of British 1st Airborne Division during the airborne attack on the Netherlands in September 1944 and participating in the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945, and the assault across the Rhine in March 1945. The Group flew its last combat mission, number 236, on 20 April 1945. [3]

After V-E Day, the 457th transported prisoners of war from Austria to France, and returned to Sioux Falls Army Airfield, South Dakota, during June 1945.

The 457th was inactivated on 18 August 1945. [4]

Empire State Building

On Saturday, 28 July 1945, Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith lost his way while ferrying a 457th B-25 Mitchell bomber from Bedford, Massachusetts, to Sioux Falls AAF via Newark Airport. Emerging from low cloud at about 9,000 feet (2,700 m) Smith found himself among the skyscrapers of midtown Manhattan. His aircraft crashed headlong into the 79th floor level of the Empire State Building, killing Smith, two passengers and eleven office workers. The B-25 exploded on impact spraying burning fuel into 34th Street below, one of the engines completely passing through the building and out the other side. [5]

Modern era

During 1 July 1993 – 1 October 1994, the 457th Operations Group was an operational component of the 19th Air Refueling Wing, with its headquarters at Altus AFB, Oklahoma. The 457th operated the 11th Air Refueling Squadron and 306th Air Refueling Squadron, flying KC-135R Stratotankers in Southwest Asia from Aviano Air Base, Italy, and Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, supporting Operation Northern and Operation Southern Watch duties as the lead tanker unit.

War on Terrorism

The 457th Air Expeditionary Group was activated as a combat unit as part of the Global War on Terrorism, to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is known that the group supported B-52 Stratofortresses operations, using B-52Hs attached from the 23d Bomb Squadron, Minot AFB, North Dakota, and USAF Reserve 917th Wing, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. The B-52s operated from a "forward deployed location", which was RAF Fairford, England. The unit inactivated sometime after Operation Iraqi Freedom ended active combat operations.


Sentimental Journey
Home page for the B-17G Sentimental Journey operated by the Confederate Air Force, Arizona Wing.

909
Home page for the B-17G 909 operated by the Collins Foundation. Also home to the only flying example of the B-24 Liberator.

Aluminum Overcast
Home page for the B-17G Aluminum Overcast operated by EAA Aviation Foundation.

Texas Raiders
Home page for the B-17G Texas Raiders operated by the Confederate Air Force, Gulf Coast Wing

The Pink Lady
Home page for the B-17F The Pink Lady (also known as Mother and Country) operated out of France by The Association "Forteresse Toujours Volante". Please note, the site is in both French and English but is a little hard to read.

Sally B
Home page for the B-17G Sally B operated by B-17 Preservation Ltd. out of England

My Gal Sal
Home page for the B-17E My Gal Sal under restoration with The Ultimate Sacrifice Memorial Foundation.

Picadilly Lily
Home page for the "Planes of Fame" museum in Chino California. Currently they are working on making their B-17, Picadilly Lily operational. The "Planes of Fame" museum for those of you who don't know, houses one of the best warbird collections and restoration centers outside of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. This museum houses the only complete flying example of a Japanese Zero Fighter.

Miss Angela
Home page for the B-17G Miss Angela operated by the Palm Springs Air Museum.

The Memphis Belle
Home page for the B-17F Memphis Belle under restoration with the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This is the REAL Memphis Belle and perhaps the most famous Flying Fortress of all time.

The Swoose
The oldest B-17 still in existance and the only surviving B-17D model, the Swoose flew missions out of the Philippines on December 7, 1941 and served until 1945 being perhaps one of only a handful of B-17s to server during the entire war. Currently under restoration at the National Museum for the U.S. Air Force.

Shoo Shoo Baby
Information page on the B-17G Shoo Shoo Baby restored to flying condition and maintained by the US Air Force Museum.

Yankee Lady
Home page for the B-17G operated by Yankee Air Force Inc.

Outhouse Mouse
Home page for the Flying Tigers Warbird Museum currently restoring the B-17 Outhouse Mouse.

Chuckie
Home page for the B-17 Chuckie operated by the Vintage Flying Museum.

Flying Fortress #44-83785
Home page for a B-17G operated by the Evergreen Aviation Museum. Home of Howard Hughes Spruce Goose.

Fuddy Duddy
Homepage for the American Airpower Museum, former owners of Fuddy Duddy. This Aircraft currently at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA at the Lyon Air Museum.

Memphis Belle (Replica)
Home page for the B-17G Memphis Belle used in the 1991 movie of the same name and now owned by the Liberty Foundations. This aircraft was converted to an "F" model for use in the movie "Memphis Bell" and is not the real Memphis Belle. This site has little info on the aircraft.

Thunderbird
Home Page for the B-17G Thunderbird operated by the Lone Star Flight Museum.

Liberty Belle (Destroyed by Fire, 2011)
Home Page for the B-17G Liberty Belle ooperated by the Liberty Foundation. This plane had to make an emergancy landing on June 13, 2011 due to a fire while on a flight with paying passengers aboard. All 7 people on board managed to exit safely but the "Liberty Belle" was destroyed by the fire. The frontpage for their site is now displaying information on their new B-17, the movie version of the Memphis Belle.

B-17 Bomb Group Links

2nd Bomb Group
Originally founded in 1918 this group was the pioneers of all heavy bomber groups.

43rd Bomb Group
A site with a ton of information on the 43rd BG which served in the Pacific. While there is a lot of B-24 related information as the group transitioned to the Liberator later in the war, there is pleanty of B-17 information from this "Forgotten War" in the Pacific.

91st Bomb Group
The Ragged Irregulars bomb group stationed at Bassingbourn, England. Was home to the Memphis Belle and many other famous B-17s. A great site with a wealth of information on the group.

94th Bomb Group
The 94th bomb group of the 3rd Air Division. Web site is currently under construction.

95th Bomb Group
The 95th bomb group stationed at Horham, England. The first group over Berlin. A great site with a lot of information.

96th Bomb Group
The 96th bomb group stationed at Snetterton, England. Some interesting information and pictures regarding this group.

100th Bomb Group
The Bloody 'hundreth bomb group stationed at Thorpe Abbotts, England. A fantastic website on a fantastic group. A lot of information on a well designed site.

303rd Bomb Group
The Hell's Angels group stationed at Molesworth, England. Includes section on the famous Thunder Bird which flew over 100 missions. A great site with lots of information.

379th Bomb Group
The 379th Bomb Group was the only unit ever awarded the 8th Air Force Grand Slam, a very unique honor that included recognition of best bombing results (greatest percent of bombs on target), greatest tonnage of bombs dropped on target, largest number of aircraft attacking, lowest losses of aircraft and lowest abortive rate of aircraft dispatched..

381st Bomb Group
The 381st bomb group stationed at Ridgewell, England. A very good site with a lot of information on the group.

384th Bomb Group
The 384th bomb group stationed at Grafton-Underwood, England. A great website with a bunch of information on the unit including individual aircraft histories

390th Bomb Group
The 390th bomb group stationed at Framlingham, England. Some good information on this unit and the museum that keeps its history alive.

398th Bomb Group
The 398th bomb group. A web site with information about the unit.

457th Bomb Group
The 457th bomb group stationed at Glatton, England. Site contains various information on the unit and has a CD ROM available for purchase going into great detail about the history of the unit. A very information rich site.

463rd Bomb Group
The Swoose Group stationed at Foggia, Italy. Part of the 15th Air Force. A good site with some unit information.

487th Bomb Group
The Gentleman from Hell bomb group stationed at Levenham, England. A site with quite a bit of information on the group and its history.

General B-17 Links

Flight Jacket
Commercial site where you can purchase flight jackets and some B-17 bomber squadron patches. Some of the images on our Squadron Page have been provided by the folks at Flight Jacket.

Military Heritage Database
Research site focused on the 8th Air Force Bomber Groups. Over 67,000 veterans are in their searchable database and access to this information is free. Includes some detailed history on individual aircraft as well.

Fold3
Research site that allows you to search for Missing Air Crew Reports (MACR). Pay service to view the reports but a great site for those looking for more information on relatives and veterans.

History of the B-17
Wonderful site from Joe Baugher's "Encyclopedia of American Military Aircraft". One of the resources used when creating this site.

B-17 The Referance Site
Great site for seeing which individual bombers flew with which groups. Covers the 8th AF only and does have images of unit parkings and logos.

United States Army Air Forces
Referance site for all things regarding the USAAF including research material and B-17 information. Includes unit histories and logo information.

Media Sites on the B-17 Flying Fortress

Learn how to fly the B-17!
Vintage training videos on the B-17. You can download clips of these videos for free. Full length videos are offered for sale as well. Also has some wonderful photo details on the B-17's instrumentation and checklists.

List of B-17 Airframes
A wonderful referance that was used in creating this page. This comes to us from the Aero Vintage Book website.


World War Photos

Y1B-17 take off 303rd Bomb Group Airmen posed with B-17G March 1944 B-17G 42-31090 “Nasty Habit” of the 401st Bomb Group B-17G 44-6893 “Looky Looky” of the 490th Bomb Group
B-17F warming up in the snow at Meeks Field Iceland in 1943 B-17G 43-38400 “ALICE BLUE GOWN” of the 490th Bomb Group, 851st BS Boeing B-17 on production line at Vega Factory in Burbank B-17F of the 94th Bomb Group during Muenster Raid October 1943
Crashed B-17G 42-32098 “GI Vergin II” of the 457th BG, 750th BS, Belgium October 1944 B-17F on a training mission over Rapid City in 1944 B-17 41-9082 gifted to General Montgomery by General Dwight D. Eisenhower B-17s of thw 452nd Bomb Group 2
B-17G 42-97636 IY-H of 401st BG, 615th BS after crash landing at Deenethorpe 20 February 1944 B-17G 43-38316 “Hank’s Bottle” of the 493rd BG 860th BS, 22 February 1945 B-17G 44-6153 AW-S of the 96th Bomb Group, 337th BS B-17G of the 457th Bomb Group over Germany 1945
Factory fresh B-17F Flying Fortesses, USA 1942 B-17G 43-38853 N8-L of the 398th BG, 600th Bomb Squadron B-17G 44-8324 LL-R “Blood N’ Guts” of the 91st Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Squadron B-17G 43-38267 “Maximum Effort” of the 401st BG, 613th BS after belly landing 1 December 1944
B-17G 44-8031 3O-K of the 398th BG, 601st Bomb Squadron B-17F 42-30243 in flight B-17G 44-8180 4F-N of the 487th BG, 837th Bomb Squadron 4 March 1945 B-17G 44-8811 N8-C of 398th BG, 600th BS damaged over Halberstadt 8 April 1945
B-17G 42-97249 “How was it? Well?” N8-P of the 398th BG, 600th Bomb Squadron B-17G of the 351st BG hit by 88mm FlaK shell 27 September 1944 B-17F 42-29529 “Nora” of the 384th BG, 545th BS crashlanded at Grafton Underwood in England December 13, 1943 Damaged B-17 Italy 10 March 1944
Damaged B-17G 43-38172 “Lovely Julie” of hte 398th BG, 601st BS. 15 October 1944 2 B-17F 41-24562 “Sky Wolf” of 303rd Bomb Group. Cpt Morales crew May 1943 B-17F frozen at Great Falls Montana 1943 B-17G 42-31166 JD-Z “Miss Billie, Jr” of the 384th BG, 545th BS crashed at Nuthampstead, England March 24, 1944
388th BG, 563rd BS 1st Lt. Belford J Kierstad.s crew with B-17G 2 March 1944 B-17G 42-31106 “Goering’s Nightmare” of the 96th BG at Snetterton Heath 21 July 1944 B-17G 42-97567 MZ-L of the 96th Bomb Group, 413rd BS B-17s of the 398th Bomb Group
388th BG, 563rd Captain Robert Bernard’s crew with B-17G 4 March 1944 B-17F 41-24455 Old Baldy 20 October 1943 B-17 on production line at Vega Factory in Burbank 2 B-17G K8-L and K8-G 42-102593 “Vonnieę of the 398th Bomb Group
B-17 of 401st BG, 615th BS destroyed during Operation Bodenplatte, Melsbroek January 1945 B-17G 43-38702 452nd Bomb Group B-17G 42-31090 “Nasty Habit” of the 401st Bomb Group, 613th BS B-17G 44-6196 of the 99th Bomb Group dropping bombs
B-17 bombers 398th Bomb Group taxiing B-17G 42-97249 “How was it? Well?” N8-P of the 398th BG, 600th BS B-17G N8-N of the 398th BG B-17G of the 486th Bomb Group in flames
B-17F 41-24562 “Sky Wolf” of 303rd Bomb Group. Cpt Morales B-17G 44-6585 “Commando Chief” of the 381st BG, 535th BS Crashed B-17F 42-5459 February 2, 1943 B-17F 42-5300 at Great Falls Montana February 1943
B-17G 43-38775 K8-H of 398th BG, 602nd Bomb Squadron B-17F 42-5234 before being turned over RAF 384th BG, 546th BS Aircrew with B-17G 44-8541 “Buckeye Belle” B-17F 42-30008 “Ready Teddy” of 92nd BG, 407th BS under camo netting at Podington May 26, 1943
388th BG Gunners Prep .50 Cals by B-17 26 October 1943 Formation of B-17 bombers over Bolzano railyards on 10 November 1943 B-17F 41-24455 Old Baldy 3 B-17G over Koblenz 14 March 1945
B-17G 44-8153 SC-Q of the 401st BG, 612th BS B-17F 42-30320 CC-S of the 390th, BG 569th BS “Coy de Coy” Framlingham 1943 B-17 42-30188 TEMPTATION of 96th BG at East Shropham February 1944 B-17 42-31073 of the 384th BG, 547th BS crashlanded at Whittlesey December 31, 1943
B-17F on a training mission over Rapid City in 1944 2 B-17G 43-39125 IN-M of 401st BG, 613th BS dropping bombs 14 March 1945 B-17F DEMO DARLING 42-230738 and SHERMAN B-17s of the 398th BG taxiing for takeoff
B-17F “Hell’s Angels” 41-24577 358th BS, 303rd Bomb Group Wreck of B-17G YB-N from 351st BG, 508th Bomb Squadron B-17F 41-24352 Holey Joe of the 352nd Bomb Squadron, 301st BG B-17G 44-8578 NV-G of 92nd BG, 325th BS raid on Wittenburg 22 February 1945
Lt Gen George Kenny’s B-17E 41-2633 at 7 Mile Drome B-17G 44-8037 2C-F of the 487th BG, 838th Bomb Squadron B-17G “Daring Doris” 42-97153 of the 333rd BS, 94th BG 1944 B-17G 44-8149 and 43-39188 R5-C of the 487th BG, 839th BS
B-17G 42-39769 BN-P “Miss Manooki” of the 303rd BG, 359th Bomb Squadron, 19 December 1943 B-17F 41-24574 “Tuffy” of the 43rd BG, 63rd BS at Lockbourne B-17F 42-5885 Kipling s Error III 413BS 96BG B-17 Auxiliary Military Air Field on Atlantic Seaboard 1942
B-17G of the 401st BG 2 B-17s of the 452nd BG B-17G 44-8822 MZ-N of the 96th Bomb Group, 413th BS Formation of B-17s of 560th BS, 388th Bomb Group 1943
B-17F CANNON II of the 468th BS crashlanded in field B-17s of the 94th BG release bombs over Munich 11 November 1943 B-17G 44-6397 of the 99th BG, 416th BS Burning B-17F 42-29889 FR-E “Rocky” of the 379th BG, 525th BS at Kimbolton, 23 February 1944
Flying Fortress Formation over Laredo Texas 1944 B-17 41-24455 Old Baldy 2 B-17F 42-5718 B-17F on a training mission over Rapid City in 1944 4
B-17F 42-30434 “Betty Boop – Pistol Packin’ Mama” of the 570th BS, 390th BG B-17G 44-6560 of the 452nd BG B-17F Deezil Crashed B-17F 42-5459 February 2, 1943 2
B-17 refueling B-17G N7-L of the 398th BG, 603rd Bomb Squadron B-17 of the 390th BG raid on Bremen November 1943 Cpt Miracles’s crew and B-17 from 96th BG 15 November 1943
MacArthurs XC-108 Bataan 2 Navigator Charging M2 in B-17 of the 388th BG February 1944 B-17F 42-30631 B-17 of the 388th BG with 20mm Battle Damage September 1943
Col Hunter with lead crew B-17 of 398th BG, 13 August 1944 B-17G on assembly line B-17G 42-37826 OE-O “No Excuse” of the 95th BG, 335th Bomb Squadron over Bremen 16 December 1943 XC-108 41-2593 November 1943
B-17C of Materiel Division 2 B-17F on a training mission over Rapid City in 1944 3 B-17F 42-29529 “Nora” of the 384th BG, 545th BS crashlanded at Grafton Underwood in England December 13, 1943 2 B-17G 43-37977 N7-R “Miss X” of the 398th BG, 603rd Bomb Squadron
B-17 bombers from 390th BG MacArthurs XC-108 Bataan Bombs falling from B-17 during raid on Abbeville 1942 B-17 of the 94th Bomb Group over target
Ground Crewmen Repairing B-17 41-2525 “Madame X” of the 31st BS, 5th BG 43 B-17G 44-8629 “Purty Chili” of the 391st BS, 34th Bomb Group B-17G 42-97182 “Ding Dong Daddy” of the 568th BS, 390th BG B-17 of 8th AF head for raid on Bremen Yards December 1943
B-17G 43-37807 of the 452nd BG B-17G 43-38276 of the 493rd BG, 862nd Bomb Squadron over GUSTROW 7 April 1945 B-17G MILLION DOLLAR BABY B-17D February 1941
B-17F “Boomerang” at Great Falls Montana February 1943 2 YB-17 of the 2nd BG in flight B-17F 42-30333 B-17F 42-5135 “Mud Hen” of the 99th BG
B-17G 43-38708 3O-T of the 398th BG, 601st BS B-17F 41-24351 Heinie Headhunters MTO Wreck of B-17G 42-102653 QJ-A of 96th Bomb Group at Poltava 1944 Wreck of B-17G 42-97247 M3-N of the 452nd BG, 729th Bomb Squadron at Poltava June 1944
Remplacement B-17s 457th Bomb Group at Burtonwood 1944 B-17 bombing Schweinfurt 1943 B-17 over Wilhelmshaven during raid on German Naval Base in 1943 B-17 42-107180 “The Eagle’s Wrath” aka “Luck Rebel” of the 410th BS, 94th BG at postwar victory exposition staged beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris 1945
301st BG, 352nd BS B-17 crew at base in England after Frankfurt raid in 1944 Burning B-17 of the 15th AF after a direct hit German FlaK over the oil refinery at Ruhland, Germany 1945 Bombardier manning his M2 .50 MG at his crew position in the nose of the B-17 Flying Fortress Burning remains of 457th BG B-17G “Skunk Hollow” 42-31620 and B-17 “Queen Bea” 42-38056 after collision at Glatton upon return from Rouen raid. 2 June 1944
B-17 lands safely as another burns upon return from Schweinfurt 1943 Brigadier-General Fred L. Anderson and a crew of the 94th BG with their B-17 XM-Z at Bury St Edmunds 19 May 1943 B-17G navigator of 388th Bomb Group, 563rd BS 2nd Lt Phillip Brejensky 29 February 1944 Ground crew watches returning B-17 explode after Schweinfurt 1943
Wounded 96th BG gunner removed from B-17 after Raid on Bremen 1944 B-17 42-97083 of the 452nd, BG 728th BS forced down German Coast, April 11, 1944 Gen MacArthur directs attack from Gun Port of B-17 Markham Valley near Nadzab 5 September 1943 Gunners of B-17 42-30737 “Ohio Air Force” 358th BG, 549th BS after Raid on Munster 1943
Tail gunner Staff Sergeant John Griscom of 388th BG, 561st BS 28 February 1944

B-17 Flying Fortress photo gallery part 5

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Between Huntingdon and Peterborough, in the west of Cambridgeshire lies the small village of Conington. With its beautiful All Saints Church, first mentioned in Domesday Book and rebuilt in the early 16th Century, and remarkably beautiful cottages and homes perched on the edge of the fens, one can hardly imagine that 70 years ago this was the home of four squadrons of B-17 Flying Fortresses, roaring into the air almost daily for targets in Germany and Occupied Europe.

The Control Tower, now demolished, of RAF Glatton, taken on 31 March 1945. In the distance, to the left of the tower, a B-17 is visible on the taxiway. US Air Force Photograph, in the public domain.

In the Second World War, Conington was located next to Royal Air Force Station Glatton, which was constructed to Class “A” standards by engineers to support heavy bombers in 1943 with the intent of being used by the U.S. Army Air Forces in the strategic bombing campaing. The 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrived on 21 January 1944, consisting of the 748th, 749th, 750th and 751st Bombardment Squadrons. The recognizable tail code of the 457th was the “triangle U” painted on the vertical stabilizers of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses which operated from the air base. The 457th Bomb Group operated RAF Glatton from January 1944 until 20 April 1945, when it completed its 237th and last combat mission at the conclusion of the war.

Before June 1944, the 457th operated on attacking stategic targets in Germany – munitions factories, ball-bearing plants, marshalling yards and oil refineries. On D-Day, the 457th flew missions against Cherbourg Peninsula, attacking German positions off the east flank of American forces landing at Utah and Omaha beaches. By July 1944, the 457th had resumed strategic bombing and would continue to focus on German targets through April 1945. However, the 457th provided aerial bombing support to the breakout from St. Lo in northern France, the British 1st Airborne’s landings at Arnhem in the Netherlands, and in support of embattled U.S. Army forces in the Battle of the Bulge.

At the conclusion of the War, the B-17s of the 457th Bomb Group returned to the United States and the airfield was used by No. 3 Group of the RAF Bomber Command flying B-24 Liberators and Avro Lancaster heavy bombers. By 1948, it was decided that the airfield was surplus and the land was returned to agricultural use and demilitarized.

The 457th Bomb Group (H) Memorial, dedicated to the men who flew from RAF Glatton during the Second World War. © cambridgemilitaryhistory.com, 2014

A marker placed at the foot of the watertower, which is a moving remembrance to the men who paid the ultimate sacrifice flying from RAF Glatton in the Second World War. © cambridgemilitaryhistory.com, 2015.

The watertower of the former airfield of RAF Glatton, the only surviving structure from the Second World War. © cambridgemilitaryhistory.com, 2015

Today, one of the Class A runways remains in use as the “Peterborough Business Airport” which is a general aviation facility. It is a testament to the strength of the runways built over 70 years ago that the field remains in limited and lighter use. The only other structure from the Second World War is the watertower which stands near the 457th Bomb Group Memorial, off Great Ermine Street, near the village. In All Saints’ Church, Conington, is a memorial to the 457th Bomb Group which must be visited.

At the end of the Peterborough Business Airport’s runway, still in use from the Second World War as a general aviation facility. A marker placed at the foot of the watertower, which is a moving remembrance to the men who paid the ultimate sacrifice flying from RAF Glatton in the Second World War. © cambridgemilitaryhistory.com, 2015.

To see RAF Glatton, travel up the A1(M) and exit at the B660, signposted to Conington.