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  B-17E "El Toro" Serial Number 41-2461  
19th BG
30th BS

Former Assignments
7th BG
11th BS

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors number 2272. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2461.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group (7th BG), 11th Bombardment Squadron (11th BS). Nicknamed "El Toro". Ferried from the United States piloted by Major Conrad F. Necrason via the Africa route and arrived in Java during January 1942 in Java.

On January 16, 1942 took off from Kendari II Airfield piloted by Necrason along with B-17E 41-2459 on a bombing mission against Japanese transports off Menado, and made two bomb runs due to hung up bombs. Leaving the target area, the two B-17s were attacked by 14 enemy fighters but landed safely at Kendari II Airfield.

On January 31, 1942 took off piloted by Jack W. Bleasdale (who switched ships) on a bombing mission over Balikpapan. Over the target, this B-17 was shot up by four A6M2 Zeros wounding two of the crew: Shipley and Sgt John A. Potters who died later that day.

On February 23, 1942 at 5:30am took off from Madioen Airfield piloted by Lewis as one of three B-17s, with B-17E "Tojo's Jinx" 41-2462 and a third that aborted the mission. The two remaining B-17s bombed Denpasar Airfield from 27,000' through thick clouds.

On March 1, 1942 took off on a night mission piloted by Barr over Japanese transports bombing from 10,000' and experience anti-aircraft fire.

When the Allies withdrew from Java, this B-17 was flown to Darwin. Next, assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG), 30th Bombardment Squadron (30th BS) and continued to fly combat missions until the middle of 1942.

Ultimate fate unknown, likely written off, scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

Sgt John A. Potters who was wounded on January 31, 1942 died of his wounds later that day. Postwar, he was buried at Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery in Des Moines in Iowa, IA at Block 6, Lot 68, Grave 4.

Note, several sources including On Wings We Conquer, Fortress Against The Sun and Joe Baugher's USAF Aircraft Serial Number state B-17E 41-2461 was destroyed April 25, 1942 incorectly, that was B-17E 41-2641.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2461
Fortress Against The Sun (2001) pages 102, 106, 149, 144, 178, 385, 410, 414
FindAGrave - Sgt John Andrew Potters (grave photo)
Thanks to Edward Rogers, William Bartsch and Steve Birdsall for additional information

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Last Updated
September 30, 2021


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