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  B-17E "Old Faithful" Serial Number 41-2657  
5th AF
54th TCW

Former Assignments
19th BG
30th BS

43rd BG

USAAF c1942

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2657. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia arriving on April 17, 1942.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 19th Bombardment Group, 435th Bombardment Squadron. Later, to the 30th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Old Faithful".

On August 7, 1942 took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by Fred F. Wesche as one of thirteen B-17s on a mission against Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul, but aborted the mission due to engine failure.

On November 22, 1942 or November 23, 1942 one of six or seven B-17s that participated in a bombing mission against Japanese ships off Lae in Huon Gulf.

Steve Birdsall adds:
"I think this mission happened on November 22, in the afternoon or evening, but I am surprised there's so many differing reports. November 23... Combined Headquarters at Townsville has an entry for November 23 noting that six B-17s "attack ships Lae". . . identifies 65th Squadron, and #536 [this B-17 was] "shot down" and #552 "turned back". Other numbers mentioned are 537, 657, 420, 015 and 638. So, maybe seven planes took off to attack Japanese shipping near Lae. B-17F "Listen Here, Tojo!" 41-24552 turned back, B-17E 41-2638, 41-2657 [this aircraft], 41-9015, B-17F "Talisman" 41-24537 and B-17F 41-24420 attacked, and B-17E 41-2536 was shot down. Also, it is possible this mission was on November 21 or 22.

Afterwards, assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group.

During early November 1943, converted to an armed transport at the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field. Afterwards, assigned to the 54th Troop Carrier Wing.

On June 21, 1945, this B-17 was scrapped in Manila.

Fortress Against The Sun pages 168, 227, 368, 388, 391, 428
Possibly, during 54th Troop Carrier Wing, this B-17 was nicknamed "Caroline"

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Last Updated
June 11, 2020


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