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  B-17D Flying Fortress Serial Number 40-3064  
USAAF
5th AF
19th BG

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2095. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17D Flying Fortress serial number 40-3064. Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG). No known nickname or nose art. Ferried overseas to Java.

Wartime History
On January 11, 1942 at 5:55am took off from Malang Airfield on Java piloted by 1st Lt. William J. Bohnaker armed with Dutch 600 pound bombs as one of seven B-17s on a bombing mission against the Japanese landing force off Tarakan Island. The formation was led by B-17D "Ole Betsy" 40-3067 pilot Major Cecil Combs (C. O. 19th Bombardment Group). Flying at 9,500' the formation encountered a tropical storm over the Java Sea and became separated. This aircraft, B-17C 40-2062 piloted by Lt. Connally and B-17D 40-3067 piloted by Lt. Kurtz managed to stay together and climbed to 27,000'. Reaching that altitude, this bomber experienced supercharger problems and aborted the mission and returned to land at Singosari Airfield.

On January 14, 1942 at 10:00am took off from Singosari Airfield on Java piloted by 1st Lt. William J. Bohnaker as one of seven B-17s led by B-17D 40-3061 piloted by Major Combs on a flight to Palembang Airfield on Sumatra where they were armed and refueled.

On January 15, 1942 took off from Palembang Airfield (P1) on Sumatra on a bombing mission against Sungei Patani Airfield on the western coast of Malaysia. Inbound to the target, the formation experienced severe weather with temperatures -20° C over the Indian Ocean that caused two of the bombers to abort the mission due to mechanical failures. Over the target at 27,000' the five remaining B-17s bombed. First to bomb was B-17D 40-3061 piloted by Major Combs, B-17D 40-3064 piloted by Lt. Bohnaker and B-17D 40-3074 piloted by Captain Parsel. A minute later, this bomber and B-17D 40-3066 bombed, claiming hits on buildings and a hangar at Sungei Patani Airfield. Departing the target, three enemy fighters attempted to intercept but could not reach their altitude. Returning, the formation landed at Lhoknga Airfield an emergency strip on the northwest tip of Sumatra. The next day, the formation flew back to Malang Airfield arriving by 2;00pm.

On January 16, 1942 crashed at Malang Airfield. The crew survived unhurt but the B-17 was written off.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17D Flying Fortress 40-3064
"3064 (19th BG) crashed overshooting strip at Malang, Java Jan 17, 1942 [sic 16]. Crew survived."
Diary of the 19th Bombardment Group
Fortress Against The Sun (2001) pages 99-100, 102-103, 107-108, 404 (footnote 73), 406 (footnote) 407 (footnote)

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Last Updated
November 9, 2019

 

Tech Info
B-17
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