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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-9145  
13th AF
11th BG
26th BS

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-9145. On May 1, 1942 assigned to the 301st Bombardment Group at Geiger Field. On May 31, 1942 flown to Lowry Field. On June 7, 1942 assigned to the 7th Air Force (7th AF) at Hickam Field then flown across the Pacific to the South Pacific.

Wartime History
On July 22, 1942 assigned to the 13th Air Force (13th AF), 11th Bombardment Group (11th BG), 26th Bombardment Squadron (26th BS). No known nickname or nose art.

On January 5, 1943 at 10:00am took off piloted by Captain Thornhill on a bombing mission against Japanese shipping off Tonolei Harbor near Buin on southern Bougainville. Inbound to the target, this B-17 was unable to climb to high altitude and turned back and made a solo bomb run against Rekata Bay on Santa Isabel Island and returned safely.

On October 31, 1944 written off. Ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9145
"9145 delivered to 301st BG, Geiger, May 1; transferred to Lowry May 31, 1942; assigned to 7th AF at Hickam, Hawaii Jun 7, 1942; transferred to 13th AF at Poppy, Jul 22, 1942. W/O Oct 31,1944."
Fortress Against The Sun page 317-318, 440 (footnote 26 Daily Diary 26th BS Jan 5, 1943)
"On January 5, the burden was lessened a bit when the 12 planes sent to Gen. Kenney returned to the South Pacific Area. Having flown only two missions while in the Southwest Pacific, the aircrews felt that their trip to Port Moresby had been a waste of time. "Our force is ready to leave New Guinea," the 26th BS/11th BG diarist had recorded on January 4, 'we feel we're not needed here.' At 10:00am five 26th BS planes, escorted by a small group of American fighters [P-38s], set off to attack shipping in Tonolei Harbor. When Captain Thornhill, B-17E (41-9145), could not reach high altitude, he turned back and made a solo run against Rekata Bay. The other four B-17s continued on an although they met light anti-aircraft fire, they managed to damage one Japanese transport with their 1,000-lb. bombs. At the same time that the 26th BS planes were hitting Tonolei Harbor, a flight of 42nd BS B-17s struck the airport at Kahili."

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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