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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-9206  
5th AF
19th BG
435th BS

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19th BG Sept 24, 1942
Pilot  1st Lt George F. Newton, Jr. (survived)
Co-Pilot  Lt. Clarence E. O'Connor "Dusty" (survived)
Navigator  Lt. McMahan (survived)
Photographer  Lt. Olson (survived)
Engineer  Pappy" Hale (survived)
Radio/Gunner  Sgt Al Regis (survived)
Radio  Donald Pittenger (survived)
Waist Gunner  "Tex" Williams (survived)
Ball Turret  George White (survived)
Tail Gunner  Sgt Holmes (survived)
Ditched  September 24, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2678. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-9206. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG), 435th Bombardment Squadron (435th BS) "Kangaroo Squadron". No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On September 24, 1942 took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt George F. Newton, Jr. on a reconnaissance mission over Faisi Island in the northern Solomon Islands and Rabaul. During the flight, this B-17 spotted a total of 28 enemy vessels including a cruiser. Returning from the mission, this B-17 got lost in bad weather and ditched in shallow water in Orangerie Bay after twelve hours and ten minutes airborne. None of the crew were hurt in the landing.

Fates of the Crew
The entire crew was transported back to Port Moresby and returned to duty.

Brian O'Connor (son of Clarence E. O'Connor)
"My father was the copilot on this mission. His full name was Clarence E. O'Connor; his nickname was 'Dusty'."

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9206
"9206 delivered to Lowry May 19 1942; assigned to 5th AF at Hickham, Hawaii Jun 7, 1942; made a forced landing in New Guinea, Sep 24, 1942. Salvaged."
Lt. Clarence E. O'Connor Flight Log Excerpts via Brian O'Connor September 24, 1942 "Crashed in Orangerie Bay. Sighted 28 ships at Faisi. Ran over cruiser AA – Just missed us."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9206
Robert Rocker met Al Regis:
"Al Regis was assigned to the 19th BG and was transfered to the 43rd BG when the 19th left New Guinea. Later, he was transfered to the 8th PRS and flew on the B-17 mission's of the 8th PRS."
Thanks to Robert Rocker and Brian O'Connor for additional information

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Last Updated
October 10, 2021


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