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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2668  
13th AF

Former Assignments
5th AF
19th BG
93rd BS

5th BG
394th BS

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 41-2668. Ferried to Panama then flown overseas via Hickam Field across the Pacific via Fiji.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Bomb Group (5th BG), 394th Bomb Squadron (394th BS). No known nickname or nose art. Afterwards, flown to Australia and 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 October 15, 1942 this aircraft was parked at Mareeba Airfield and photographed during an awards ceremony for men from the 19th Bombardment Group attended by Major General George C. Kenney (C.O., 5th Air Force), Brigadier General Kenneth N. Walker (Commanding General, 5th Bomber Command, wearing sunglasses) and Lt Colonel Richard H. Carmichael (C.O. 19th Bombardment Group, holding cane).

On August 6, 1942 took off from Horn Island Airfield piloted by Captain Harl Pease during the evening on a flight bound for 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby to stage for a bombing mission planned for August 7, 1942 against Rabaul. Roughly fifty miles into the flight, an engine valve failed forcing this B-17 to abort the flight and landed safely at Mareeba Airfield. Back on the ground, Pease and his crew boarded B-17E "Why" Don't We Do This More Often 41-2429 instead and took off from Mareeba Airfield and flew to 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby to participate in the mission.

Afterwards, this B-17 was repaired and transfered to the 13th Air Force (13th AF) in the South Pacific (SOPAC). Ultimate fate unknown, not lost to combat or accident. Likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

Fortress Against The Sun pages 236, 424, 431, 436
Kenneth N Walker - Photos by George Strock, LIFE Magazine October 15, 1942
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

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Last Updated
May 29, 2020


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