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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2649  
USAAF
5th AF
43rd BG
64th BS

Former Assignments
19th BG
28th BS

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5th AF c1942-1943

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New York Journal-American
March 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2649. On March 4, 1942 delivered to Lowry Field. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia arriving in late May 1942.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG), 28th Bombardment Squadron (28th BS). No known nickname or nose art. This B-17 operated from Mareeba Airfield in Queensland and 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby during 1942.

On June 24, 1942 took off from 7 Mile Drome piloted by Lt Jack P. Thompson on a night bombing mission against Rabaul and returned safely.

On October 23, 1942 at 4:30am took off from Mareeba Airfield at piloted by Captain Simpson with co-pilot 2nd Lt. Corrie, navigator Bloomhuff, bombardier 2nd Lt. Caperton armed with four 500 pound demolition bombs, 1/10 second delay fuses with 2,100 gallons of fuel on a flight to 7 Mile Drome landing at 7:45am and was refueled. Took off from 7 Mile Drome at 9:35am took off on an armed reconnaissance mission over the Solomon Islands without results and returned at 6:45pm.

On October 24, 1942 at 8:36am took off from 7 Mile Drome on an armed reconnaissance mission over the Solomon Islands. Bad weather interfered and this bomber to return four hours later at 12:45pm. The No. 4 engine was consumed 14 gallons of oil during the four hour flight and was deemed safe for the return flight, but an engine change would be required. On October 25, 1942 at 06:30am took off from 7 Mile Drome and flown to Mareeba Airfield landing at 11:45am.

Next, transferred to the 43rd Bombardment Group (43rd BG) "Ken's Men", 64th Bombardment Squadron (64th BS) and continued to operate from 7 Mile Drome. No known nose art or nickname.

In late 1943, this B-17 was at the 13th Air Depot (13th AD) in New Caledonia. On the left side of the nose was a large scoreboard with seven rows of bomb markings with thirty bomb markings in each row (7x30) indicating a total of 210 bombing missions flown plus silhouettes of six aircraft claimed by gunners to the left of the bombs plus eight silhouettes of ships claimed as sunk below the bombs. Ahead of the scoreboard was five hearts inside a white rectangle indicated Purple Hearts earned by crew members wounded aboard this bomber.

Afterwards, flown back across the Pacific via Hickam Field to the United States. By March 1944, stripped to bare aluminum finish. Possibly nicknamed "My Oklahoma Gal" and used as a transport assigned to Oklahoma City Air Depot.

Steve Birdsall adds:
"Photographed at Patterson Field, Ohio. The photo was featured in the New York Journal-American on March 17, 1944 and the B-17 was identified as "My Oklahoma Gal", but so far there is no evidence of that or any other nickname being applied to this aircraft while she was in the 5th Air Force. The elaborate nose markings she carried at that time were probably painted on the aircraft not long before her return to the United States. They are remarkably similar to decorations applied to other ex-43rd Bomb Group B-17s B-17s including this aircraft plus B-17E "Loose Goose" 41-2609, and B-17F "The Mustang" 41-24554, which were photographed at 13th Air Depot on New Caledonia late in 1943."

On January 20, 1945, assigned to the 15th Air Force (15th AF) and operated in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO). On August 23, 1945 this B-17 was damaged in a landing accident at Goose Bay, Labrador in Canada and was written off. Ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Fortress 41-2649 states bomber was salvaged in North Africa
Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC) - B-17E 41-2649
28th Bombardment Squadron Narrative Report of Mission flown October 23 and 24, 1942 dated October 28, 1942
New York Journal-American on March 17, 1944 [photo caption identifies as "My Oklahoma Gal"
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

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Last Updated
March 12, 2020

 

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B-17

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