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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2455  
5th AF
19th BG

Former Assignments
7th BG

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2266. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2455. Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group (7th BG). Next, assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG), 30th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Wartime History
Ferried overseas piloted by 1st Lt. Philip L. Mathewson from MacDill Field via the "African Route" to Java in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI). On January 26, 1942 arrives at Surabaja Airfield on Java as a replacement aircraft. During late January 1942 until early February 1942 this B-17 flew combat missions over Balikpapan, Celebes, Timor and Bali.

On February 8, 1942 at 7:35am took off from Singosari Airfield on Java piloted by Lt. Preston with co-pilot Knudson armed with seven 100 pound bombs and a bomb bay fuel tank in the first element as one of nine B-17s led by B-17E 41-2456 piloted by Captain "Duke" Dufrane on a bombing mission against Kendari II Airfield on Celebes (Sulawesi). Over the target, a dozen Japanese fighters trailed the formation from behind and made head on attacks with one Zero pulling up 25' over the left wingtip of this bomber. Shot down was B-17E 41-2492 and B-17E 41-2456. Damage was B-17E 41-2482. This B-17 was hit in the bomb bay fuel tank causing it to catch fire and was jettisoned. Afterwards, the remaining B-17s aborted the mission and landed at Djogjakarta Airfield on Java.

On February 20, 1942 during the afternoon parked at Singosari Airfield on Java. Around 3:45pm, nine fighters were spotted over the area below a layer of clouds, but were assumed to be friendly fighters and no air raid alarm was sounded. In fact, they were nine A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai that began strafing runs over the B-17 Flying Fortresses parked on the ground and destroyed this bomber and injured nine personnel with two seriously wounded. The five parked B-17s were set on fire and destroyed including three destroyed: including this aircraft, B-17E 41-2484, B-17E 41-2488 plus two others burned and damaged beyond repair B-17E 41-2478 and B-17E 41-2498.

Afterwards, salvaged for usable parts then abandoned Singosari Airfield when American personnel withdrew. This B-17 was captured by the Japanese. Ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

Other sources list this B-17 as destroyed on the ground at Malang Airfield.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2455
"2455 arrived from USA via Africa Jan 26, 1942 at Sourabaya. Transferred to 19th BG on Java. Destroyed on ground Java Feb 20, 1942. Salvaged."
Fortress Against The Sun pages 121, 128-129, 141, 385 (Appendix B B-17E 41-2455 19/7 destroyed by strafing at Malang, 20 Feb 42), 409 (footnote 15), 412 (footnote 16, 19)
Echoes From an Eagle page 13

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Last Updated
February 8, 2021


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