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  B-17E "Sally" Serial Number 41-2633  
5th AF

Former Assignments
19th BG
93rd BS

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
5th AF c1943

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2444. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2633. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG), 93rd Bombardment Squadron (93rd BS). No known nickname or nose art.

On July 4, 1942 one of six B-17s that bombed Lae. Returning to land at Horn Island Airfield, the B-17's hit fuel drums at the edge of the runway damaging the left landing gear to collapse jamming it up into the no. 2 engine and a tire blowout. Afterwards, repaired at Longreach Airfield. Aboard was ball turret gunner Sgt Edward Dietz.

On October 2, 1942 this B-17 flew General Douglas MacArthur to 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby for his first visit to New Guinea.

During late 1942, assigned to General George C. Kenney as a personal transport and flown between Australia and New Guinea.. Nicknamed "Sally" in a cursive style.

During February 1943 to March 1943, while Kenney was in the United States. The flight crew saw a photo of another general's personal aircraft in natural aluminum finish in a magazine and thought it looked good. Since the crew were not involved in much flying they worked to strip off all the paint to a natural aluminum finish.

During December 1943, transported General Douglas MacArthur from Vivigani Airfield on Goodenough Island on a flight back to 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby.

In April 1945, damaged in a thunderstorm in the Philippines. Afterwards, ground crews decided the wing spars might have been damaged in the storm. In May 1945, scrapped at Brisbane.

Cecile Benjamin adds:
"Dick Graff, the last Sally crew member died in October 2005. He lived in northern New South Wales, ten minutes drive away from the town I grew up."

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2633

"2633 damaged in storm Apr 1945. Flown to Brisbane for scrapping May 1945."
The Forgotten Fifth (2007) Chronology 14, pages 16-17
Echoes From an Eagle (2016) page 45
The Eight Ballers - Eyes of the Fifth Air Force (1999) page 24 (lower right photo with MacArthur), 54 (photo aluminum finish)
Thanks to Cecile Benjamin for additional information

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Last Updated
November 9, 2019


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