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  B-17F-25-BO "Fire Ball Mail" Serial Number 41-24551  
5th AF
43rd BG
403rd BS

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Click For Enlargemnt
43rd BG Jan 17, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the US Army on August 4, 1942. Ferried overseas to Australia and assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 63rd. Nicknamed "Fire Ball Mail" and flew combat missions in New Guinea.

Wartime History
On October 25, 1942 took off on a skip bombing mission piloted by Lt. Jack Wilson against enemy shipping off Rabaul. Over the target, this B-17 claimed a hit on on a 5,000 ton cargo vessel. Afterwards, assigned to the 403rd Bombardment Squadron.

On January 17, 1943 while parked in a revetment made of coconut logs at Turnbull Airfield (No. 3 Strip), this B-17 was destroyed during a Japanese air raid.

The entire aircraft was burned, leaving only the tail and engines still intact.

On March 2, 1943, fabric from the rudder of this B-17, B-17E 41-2639 or B-17F 41-24540 was souvenir by Private Clarence C. Evief of the 58th Signal Bat.

Pride of Seattle page 15, 17
Fortress Against the Sun page 288, 392

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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