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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2487  
13th AF

Former Assignments
5th BG
72nd BS

11th BG
42nd BS

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RNZAF c1943

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the South Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group, 42nd Bombardment Squadron as a replacement aircraft on October 25, 1942. No known nickname or nose art. During the middle of December 1942, piloted by Captain Earl Hall.

On December 16, 1942 one of six took off at 6:45am from Bomber 1 Airfield on Espiritu Santo (Buttons) piloted by Captain Jack N. Levy on a bombing mission led by Captain Earl O. Hall against Munda Airfield. Each bomber was armed with twenty 100 lb fragmentation bombs. Arriving over the target at 11:58 and spotted by enemy fighters that did not attack. After bombing the target, the formation was intercepted by twelve Japanese Zeros.

Later, assigned to the 5th Bombardment Group, 72nd Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

On May 1, 1943 took off from Fiji piloted by Leon Rockwell (5th BG, 31st BS) who noted in his diary "slow time 41-2487 out of Fiji".

On August 27, 1943 Rockwell also noted in his diary that, "We sent three B-17s to Tontouta, New Caledonia to be converted into cargo ships - We are the last of the B-17s in the area only 18 remain".

During late 1943, this was one of at least three SOPAC B-17Es modified as transports, (another was B-17E 41-2463), when the 5th Bomb Group transitioned entirely to operating B-24 Liberators. This B-17 had the top turret removed and stars and bar markings applied for use as a transport and for "fat cat" supply runs to Australia. During 1943, photographed at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.

Possibly returned to Hawaii during 1944. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

Leon Rockwell Diary (5th BG, 31st BS) May 1, 1943 and August 27, 1943
Wings Over New Zealand Forum - The B-17 Flying Fortress in New Zealand page 6
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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