43rd BG April 17, 1943
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 3040. On June 11, 1942 delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17F-1-BO Flying Fortress serial number 41-24355.
This B-17 was flown overseas piloted by Captain Kenneth D. McCullar departing Hamilton Field on July 28, 1942 to Hickam Field then across the Pacific flying via Christmas Island Airfield, Canton Airfield, Fiji and New Caledonia before arriving at Brisbane on August 6, 1942. The flight included four new B-17Fs including this aircraft, B-17F 41-24357, B-17F 41-24381 and B-17F 41-24384.
In Australia, briefly assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group at Charleville Airfield for training purposes for the crew to gain experience. Attached to the 30th Bombardment Squadron and later to the 435th Bombardment Squadron "Kangaroo Squadron".
On August 12, 1942 assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 63rd Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to Captain Kenneth D. McCullar. Nicknamed "Dinah Might ?" (with a space before the question mark) painted in yellow on the left side of the nose. Below the pilot's window was a scoreboard with a single row of bomb markings in yellow. Forward of the box were two silhouettes indicating ships claimed and two Japanese flags indicating aircraft claimed. Below was a white rectangle painted as the background with two Purple Hearts indicating crew members injured aboard this bomber.
On October 21, 1942 took off from Mareeba Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Charles N. McArthur, co-pilot SSgt Walter E. Baker (RAAF) navigator 2nd Lt. Frank P. Whiteley and bombardier 2nd Lt. James P. Stringfield at 1:00pm and arrived at 7 Mile Drome at 6:30pm then departed on a night bombing mission against Rabaul armed with eight 500 lbs bombs and 1,700 gallons of fuel. En route to the target via Hood Point to New Britain, the formation encountered low cumulus and thunderstorms flying at 5,000'. Over the target at October 23, 1942 at 3:00am, the weather was clear and this B-17 made three bombing runs, claiming a possible hit and two near misses on shipping while accurate and heavy anti-aircraft fire was encountered from the shore line. Departing at 15,000' the B-17 encountered heavy rains and thick lines of thunderstorms before landing back at base on October 23, 1942 at 7:00am.
On August 21, 1942 damaged by Zeros. Afterwards, during early September 1942 repaired. During late 1942, operated from northern Australia and during 1943 operated from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby.
On February 1, 1943 took off from 7 Mile Drome piloted by 2nd Lt. Robert L. Schultz on a night bombing mission armed with 300 pound and 100 pound wire wrapped bombs as one of five B-17s on a night harassment mission over Rabaul. Earlier in the night, seven B-17s from the 64th BS led by Captain Kenneth D. McCullar harassed the area until departing as this formation arrived. Over the target, the formation bombed Lakunai Airfield causing fires and secondary explosions. At roughly 3:30am, hit by anti-aircraft fire that killed tail gunner Pfc Agnew White who was flying his 13th mission and was hit in the chest and killed by by shrapnel at his station and was not discovered dead until he failed to check in and ball turret gunner SSgt Edwin "Lucky" Stevens went to check on him and found him dead. The shrapnel caused roughly 50 holes in the bomber. Despite the damage, returned to land safely at 7 Mile Drome.
On February 20, 1943 assigned to the 64th Bombardment Squadron.
On April 17, 1943 this B-17 took off from 7 Mile Drome piloted by Captain Charles H. Giddings on a training flight. Near Hood Point, it collided with B-17F 41-24425. This bomber sustained damage to its tail but managed to land safely at 7-Mile Drome. The other bomber crashed into the sea, killing the entire crew. Afterwards, the tail was repaired and returned to service.
On April 17, 1943 took off from 7-Mile Drome piloted by Captain Charles H. Giddings on a training flight. While flying in close formation in the vicinity of Hood Point over the sea, B-17F Flying Fortress 41-24425 crossed over the formation and experienced a sudden down draft that caused its propellers to impact this bomber's tail and damaged the top of the tail and upper portion of the rudder. The other bomber caught fire and dove from 1,500' and crashed into the sea and broke up on impact. Although this B-17 sustained damage to the top of the tail and upper portion of the rudder, it managed to land safely at 7 Mile Drome and was photographed landing with a damaged tail.
Afterwards, the tail damage was repaired by a Service Squadron at 7 Mile Drome and returned flying combat missions.
On July 13, 1943 took off from 7 Mile Drome on a bombing mission against Lae with B-17E 41-2408, B-17E "Queenie" 41-2464, this aircraft and B-17F "Little Poopsie Adele" 41-24548 and a single B-24. This was the last B-17 mission flown by the 64th Bombardment Squadron. This was the last B-17 mission flown by the 64th Bombardment Squadron before they converted to the B-24 Liberator.
On July 22, 1943 transfered to the 65th Bombardment Squadron.
On September 16, 1943 accidentally taxied into a ditch, damaging the bomber. Afterwards, written off. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.
White Killed In Action (KIA) on the February 1, 1943 mission by anti-aircraft fire is buried at Ulcanush Cemetery in Coffeeville, AL.
USAF Serial Number Search Results -
B-17F-1-BO Flying Fortress 41-24355
"24355 (43rd BG, 63red BS, later 19th BG, 435th BS, later 43rd BG, 64th BS) taxied into ditch Port Moresby Sep 16, 1943 and damaged beyond repair."
30th Bombardment Squadron (H), 19th Bombardment Group (H) Narrative Report of Combat Mission. 25 October 1942.
FindAGrave - Agnew White (photo, grave photo) KIA February 1, 1943 mission
Pride of Seattle page 6
Fortress Against The Sun pages 235 (ferry flight arriving August 6, 1942), 357 (July 13, 1943 mision), 390, 430 (footnote 29, ferry flight arriving August 6, 1942)
Ken's Men Against The Empire Volume 1 pages 55, 122, 174 (photos), 280, 314-315, 324, 327, 330, 337, 341 (photo), 343, 390 (index)
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
October 23, 2018