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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2459  
5th AF
7th BG

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2095. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2459.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group (7th BG). No known nickname or nose art. Ferried overseas by pilot Captain John L. "Duke" Dufrane, Jr. from the United States via the "Africa Route" to Java. On January 14, 1942 arrived with a LB-30 at Malang Airfield on Java.

Wartime History
On January 16, 1942 at 2:15am took off from Kendari II Airfield on Celebes (Sulawesi) piloted by Lt. Dufrane with B-17E "El Toro" 41-2461 on a bombing mission against Japanese transports off Menado. Over the target, the pair were forced to make a second bomb run due to hung up bombs. During the bomb run, anti-aircraft fire hit one engine on this bomber, disabling it. After bombing, the pair claimed one transport capsized and another damaged. Next, the pair were intercepted by fourteen Zeros and attacked for roughly forty minutes. During the air combat, this B-17 was hit by more gunfire and a second engine was knocked out. Aboard, gunners claimed two Zeros shot down before entering clouds and managed to landed safely at Kendari II Airfield. While being refueled and the wounded crew members evacuated, five Zeros arrived and strafed. During the attack, this B-17 took off piloted by Lt. Dufrane on a flight back to Malang Airfield on Java.

While parked at Malang Airfield over the next two days, Zeros attempted to strafe this B-17 while repairs were being made. Three unsuccessful attempts were made to take off. Afterwards, this B-17 was stripped of usable parts and destroyed to prevent it from being captured by the Japanese. This bomber became the first B-17E Flying Fortress lost in the Pacific War.

Ultimate fate unknown, likely captured by the Japanese and scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2459
"2459 (7th BG) DBR [Damaged Beyond Repair] on ground at Kendari, Java Jan 16, 1942 during strafing attack. Burned by US Jan 16, 1942 [sic]."
Fortress Against The Sun (2001) pages 107, 111-112, 358 (Appendix B: B-17E 41-2459, 7th BG, Strafedon ground, Kendari. Damaged beyond repair. Burned by U.S. 16 Jan 42. Salvaged. Pilot: Lt. Edward J. Bechtold. Hit B-17E (41-2640)

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Last Updated
November 9, 2019


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