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Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructor Number 2123. During April 1941 delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17D Flying Fortress serial number 40-3095. Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 7th Bombardment Group (7th BG), 14th Bombardment Squadron (14th BS). No known nose art or nickname. Assigned to pilot Captain Colin P. Kelly, Jr.
During early September 1941 ferried from March Field via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the Philippines with refueling stops across the Pacific including Midway Airfield on September 5, 1941 followed by Wake Airfield then 7 Mile Drome at Port Moresby and Batchelor Field at Darwin and by October 1941 arrived at Clark Field on Luzon in the Philippines.
On December 8, 1941 at noon while parked at Clark Field destroyed during a Japanese bombing raid. Afterwards, written off and stripped for usable parts.
On December 26, 1941 when American personnel withdrew from Clark Field this B-17 was never destroyed and soon afterwards was captured by the advancing Japanese Army. The abandoned aircraft were inspected by Japanese technicians from Giken (Army Aviation Technical Research Institute) and began collecting usable parts for technical evaluation and with the aim of restoring this B-17 to flying condition.
This B-17 was photographed with both wings and the engines removed and was likely restored using parts from other wrecks including B-17D 40-3069. Once repaired, stripped to an aluminum finish or painted light gray with a white vertical stripe on the rear fuselage and Japanese Hinomaru "rising sun" markings on the upper and lower sides of both wings and both sides of the fuselage. Restored to flying condition, photographed while making a test flight. Afterwards, flown by a special Japanese air crew from Clark Field northward to Japan.
During July 1942 displayed at Haneda Airfield as a war prize with six other captured Allied aircraft. This B-17 was used in training films and news reels for the public. Details and photographed of all three B-17s were published in aviation magazines including Koku-Asahi and published books. For one film to demonstrate tactics used by Ki-43 Oscars to attack American bombers, this bomber was repainted in U.S. markings.
By late 1943 this B-17D plus two captured B-17Es from Java including B-17E 41-2471 were based at Tachikawa Airfield for flight testing and experiments by the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF). All three were photographed flying in formation near Mount Fuji. During June 1944 or July 1944 two B-17s were flown to Hamamatsu Airfield.
The precise fate of each of the captured B-17s is unknown. Likely, all three were scrapped or otherwise disappeared before the arrival of American occupation forces in September 1945. Possibly, this B-17D was displayed in a hangar with foreign aircraft at Tokorazawa Airfield and destroyed in a hangar fire caused by U.S. bombing during 1945.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17D Flying Fortress 40-3095
"3095 wrecked at Clark Field Dec 8, 1941 and restored to flyable status by Japanese"
Koku-Asahi article by Hisanojo Ozawa with photos of B-17D and B-17E May 1942
Anatomy of the Enemy’s Aircraft February 1943
Koku-Asahi article with photos of B-17D and B-17E May 1943
Air Classics "Japan's Mystery Fleet of American Bombers" by Robert Mikesh Vol 9, No 5, May 1973
Fortress Against The Sun (2001) pages 152 (capture Clark Field), 383 (SN list), 398 (footnote 92)
December 8, 1941 MacArthur's Pearl Harbor (2003) by William Bartsch pages 137 (photo), 442
Aviation History "The Surprising Story of Japan's B-17 Fleet" by Robert C. Mikesh July 2010
Thanks to Robert C. Mikesh and William Bartsch for additional information
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