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  B-17F-1-BO "Cap'n & The Kids / Miss Em" Serial Number 41-24353  
5th AF
433rd TCW
69th TCS

Former Assignments
54th TCW

43rd BG
63rd BS

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Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 3038. On June 11, 1942 delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17F-1-BO Flying Fortress serial number 41-24353. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia. Flown by Lt. James T. Murphy via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 43rd Bombardment Group (43rd BG), 63rd Bombardment Squadron (63rd BS). Nicknamed "Cap'n & The Kids". The left side of the nose included a scoreboard including Japanese flags indicating aircraft claimed shot down, ship silhouettes and bomb markings for missions flown.

Regularly flown by Captain Edward W. Scott, Jr. a pioneer of "skip bombing" low level bombing to skip bombs on the surface into enemy ships.

On January 21, 1943 piloted by Edward W. Scott, Jr. took off on a mission against enemy shipping off Rabaul. Over the target, dropped a 500lbs bomb alongside a 8,000 ton transport. The explosion caused it to lift out of the water and the crew were observed trying to beach the damaged ship.

On March 13, 1943 this B-17 made a low level skip bomb attack from 200' against a Japanese tanker then continued the bomb run on a second ship nearby, causing both to sink.

On September 5, 1943, this B-17, took off from 7-Mile Drome with Lt. General George C. Kenney aboard to observe the U.S. Army 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment (503rd PIR) paratrooper drop over Nadzab. The flight was dubbed by General Kenney as the "Brass Hat's Flight". Also in the flight was B-17F "The Mustang" 41-24554 carrying General Richard Sutherland, plus B-17F "Talisman" 41-24537 with General MacArthur aboard.

On October 18, 1943 took off piloted by F/O Halbert Miller on a weather reconnaissance over Rabaul, but aborted on the way to the target near Gasmata due to bad weather with a 200' ceiling. This was the B-17's last combat mission with the 43rd Bombardment Group.

In total, this bomber flew eighty combat missions with the 43rd Bombardment Group (43rd BG) based at 7-Mile Drome over New Guinea and the vicinity.

During early November 1943, converted to an armed transport at Garbutt Field by the the 4th Air Depot. During the conversion, the Sperry ball turret was removed and the bomb bay was modified with trays to air drop cargo. On February 23, 1944 assigned to the 433rd Troop Carrier Wing (433rd TCW), 69th Troop Carrier Squadron (69th TCS).

On March 2, 1944 took off from Finschafen Airfield piloted by Captain A. J. Beck on a mission to air drop supplies to ground forces and strafe enemy positions on Los Negros. Over the target, Beck was intercepted by four Japanese fighters including a Ki-61 Tony.

This B-17 continued to serve as an armed transport until August 1944.

Next overhauled and converted into a personal transport for U.S. Army Major General Robert L. Eichelberger. Nicknamed "Miss Em" by Eichelberger in honor of his wife, Emaline whose nickname was "Em" with the nose art of a rose. The flight crew included his personal pilot Major Downer the former C.O. of the 403rd BG plus his former crew including crew chief and engineer MSgt Charles R. Cole.

Based at Hollandia, this B-17 logged a total of 160 flights over 141 days (including 63 combat missions) flying for Eichelberger in New Guinea and the Philippines. Last flown on August 6, 1945 transporting the Eichelberger to Nichols Field near Manila.

During April 1946 scrapped at Tacloban Airfield on Leyte.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - Boeing B-17F-1-BO Flying Fortress 41-24353
"24353 delivered Cheyenne Jun 28, 1942. Assigned to 43rd BG, 63rd BS Charlesville, Australia Jul 31, 1942. Named "Cap'n and the Kids". To Torrens Creed, Australia Aug 27, 1942, To Iron Ridge, Australia Oct 17, 1942, to Mareeba, Australia Jan 21, 1943. To Port Moresby, New Guinea May 11, 1943. In early Nov 1943 convertd to armed transport--ball turret removed and bomb bay modified with trays for air drop cargo. To Dobodora, New Guinea Dec 13, 1943, to Nazab, New Guinea Mar 12, 1944. Transferred 69 TCS, 433 TCG New Guinea Feb 23, 1944. Returned to Australia and named *Miss Em* and used as General R. L. Eichelberger's personal transport. Salvaged Tacloban, Letye Apr 31, 1946."
Oz @ War - Cap'n and the Kids Tail No. 41-24353
Pride of Seattle (1998) page 6-7
Fortress Against The Sun (2001) pages 100 (photo), 317, 365, 368-369, 371, 390, 431 (note 16), 430
Ken's Men Against The Empire The Illustrated History of the 43rd Bombardment Group During World War II Volume I: Prewar to October 1943 The B-17 Era (2016) pages 55, 74, 118, 123, 124, 153, 178, 200, 202, 220, 224, 242, 271-273 (September 5, 1943 photo), 273, 305 (photos upper right, lower left), 308, 324 (63rd BS, 41-24353), 337, 369-370 (profile 21 description, photo), 389 (index Cap'n & The Kids), 398 (index Miss Em)
Ken's Men Against The Empire The Illustrated History of the 43rd Bombardment Group During World War II Volume I: Prewar to October 1943 The B-17 Era (2020) pages 55, 74, 122, 127, 129, 158, 159, 185, 208, 220, 22, 227, 251, 281, 282, 314 (B-17 "Miss Em" flight crew photo), 317, 333, 346, 378, 379, 397 (index Cap'n & The Kids), 407 (index Miss Em)

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Last Updated
February 3, 2024


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