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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2658  
13th AF
5th BG
394th BS

Former Assignments
19th BG
93rd BS
435th BS

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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 41-2658. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG), 93rd Bombardment Squadron (93rd BS). On March 14, 1942 transferred to the 435th Bombardment Squadron (435th BS) at Cloncurry Airfield.

On June 12, 1942 at 1:20pm took off from Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield piloted by pilot Robert B. Irwin, co-pilot John W. Duerst, navigator John M. Menczkowskil bombardier Sam H. Wilson, engineer Leonard O. Simmons, assistant engineer Henry W. Atchue, radio operator Hyman Marder, asst radio operator Michael A. Benna, gunner William R. Eaton on a local flight to test the Automatic Flight Control Equipment (AFCE) then landed at 4:25pm.

Later, three of the better B-17Es from the 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG) were traded to the 13th Air Force (13 th AF), 5th Bombardment Group (5th BG), 394th Bombardment Squadron (394th BS). This aircraft plus B-17E "Crock O Crap" 41-2632 and B-17E "Calamity Jane" 41-2440.

During early 1944, declared war weary and sent back to the United States. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

Fortress Against The Sun page 388, 436
Informal flight log of William R Eaton via William Irwin
"R.B. Irwin; J.W. Duerst; J.M. Menczkowski; 3.08; 6-12-42 Takeoff from PDG [Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield] at 1320, landed at PDG, 1625. A local flight to test the Automatic Flight Control Equipment (AFCE). I am now a student on AFCE maintenance and want to observe it in operation. More or less, I just wanted a ride. Our task force has been formed into the 2nd Provisional Bombardment Squadron (H). There are rumors going around that the outfit is going to Australia, not being a crew member, I may not get to go along. Here's hoping anyhow because I don't want to stay in this place. B-17E # 41-2658"
Thanks to Steve Birdsall and William Irwin for additional information

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Last Updated
February 17, 2024


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