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Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 10243. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17G-105-BO Flying Fortress serial number 43-39265. Converted to B-17H Flying Fortress for use in the air-sea rescue role with a Higgins A-1 lifeboat attached to the lower fuselage.
Assigned to the 20th Air Force (20th AF), 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron (4th ERS). Nicknamed "Bulgin Bessie". This B-17 operated from Iwo Jima performing air sea rescues for downed air crews off Japan.
On August 3, 1945 took off from Iwo Jima piloted by Burton "Burt" E. Klatt on a mission to provide air sea rescue services off Japan. Over Sagami Bay they successfully released their Higgins A-1 lifeboat to 1st Lt. Mikes who bailed out of P-51D "Mrs. Beak" 44-72561 and was later rescued by USS Aspro (SS-309).
Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.
Klatt remained in the U. S. Air Force (USAF) and served in the Korean War and Vietnam before retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away January 29, 1990 and is buried in Cedar City Cemetery in Cedar City, UT.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17G-100-BO Flying Fortress 43-39265
Crew of B-17 #339265 4th ERS Iwo Jima April 27, 1990
Pacific Air Combats WWII Voices From The Past (1993) by Henry Sakaida The Rescue of Ed Mikes pages 81-89, 82 (photo), 87 (crew photo), 93 (map)
FindAGrave - LTC Burton E Klatt (grave photo)
August 3, 1945
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