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  B-17F-25-BO Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-24540  
5th AF
43rd BG
403rd BS

Former Assignments
63rd BS

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Norbert Ruff Jan 17, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the US Army on August 1, 1942. Assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 63rd Bombardment Squadron and ferried overseas to Australia and New Guinea.

Flew missions with the 63rd BS during October 1942 piloted by Lt. Charles Downer. Later, transferred to the 403rd Bombardment Squadron. This B-17 was adorn with 'tiger stripes' on the tail.

Wartime History
On January 17, 1943 parked in a revetment made of coconut logs at Turnbull Airfield (No. 3 Strip) near Milne Bay. While parked on the ground, this B-17 was destroyed during a Japanese air raid by G4M1 Betty bombers escorted by A6M Zeros. The bomber burned completely destroying it.

Afterwards, only the tail section remained. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped. On March 2, 1943, fabric from the rudder of this bomber, B-17E 41-2639 or B-17F "Fire Ball Mail" 41-24551 was souvenir by Private Clarence C. Evief of the 58th Signal Battalion.

Pride of Seattle page 14
Fortress Against the Sun page 330, 392

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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