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43rd BG c1943
5th AF May 4, 1944
Neville Mines 1973
Richard Leahy 1998
Justin Taylan 2003
|Pilot Lt. Robert Kennedy (survived)
Force Landed May 4, 1944 at 12:00pm
Built by Boeing at Seattle. On August 1, 1942 delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17F-25-BO Flying Fortress serial number 41-24548 and flown to Cheyenne. On September 4, 1942 took off from Hamilton Field and ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.
On September 28, 1942 assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 403rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Little Poopsie Adele" painted on the right side of the nose. Later, this nickname was over painted.
This bomber had tiger stripes (dark green patches of painted) applied to the tail. On the outer engine cowls were girl's names on the no. 3 outer engine cowling and "Mary" on the number 4 outer engine cowling. While in service with the 43rd Bombardment Group a reinforced mount for a .50 caliber machine gun was added to the center of the nose perspex for additional firepower.
During January 1943 to October 1943 operated from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby.
On January 20, 1943 assigned to the 65th Bombardment Squadron. During the first week of June 1943 transfered to the 64th Bombardment Squadron.
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, B-17F "Dinah Might ?" 41-24355, this aircraft and a single B-24. 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 18, 1943 this B-17 flew its last combat mission with 65th Bombardment Squadron.
On September 24, 1943 assigned to the 63rd Bombardment Squadron.
On October 10, 1943 took off piloted by Captain Jack L. Campbell on an early morning weather reconnaissance over Rabaul. This was the last mission this B-17 flew with the squadron and was removed from squadron by the end of the month.
During early November 1943, converted to an armed transport at the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field. During the overhaul this B-17 was completely repainted with a new coat of olive drab paint and nicknamed "Harry the Horse". Assigned field number "167" painted in yellow on both sides of the cockpit, behind the co-pilot's window. On the outer side of the no. 4 engine cowl was "Betty Jo" with a heart in white. Another name was painted on the no. 3 engine cowl. Afterwards, assigned to the 54th Troop Carrier Wing, 375th Troop Carrier Group, 57th Troop Carrier Squadron and operated from Port Moresby and Nadzab Airfield.
On March 1, 1944 took off from Finschafen Airfield as one of four armed transport B-17s including B-17E 41-2662, B-17F 41-24420 and another B-17 made supply runs dropping weapons, ammunition, barbed wire and blood plasma to the U.S. Army 1st Calvary Division at Momote Airfield on Los Negros Island and strafed enemy positions in the area.
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