B-17 file photo

B-17 Flying Fortress

CountryUnited States
ManufacturerThe Boeing Company
Primary RoleHeavy Bomber
Maiden Flight28 July 1935


The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was first seen on 28 Jul 1935 as E. Gifford Emery and Edward Curtis Wells' Boeing Model 299, flown by test pilot Les Tower. It was designed as a response to the United States Army Air Corps' 1934 demand for a multi-engined bomber, but Boeing had over-done it: the four-engined bomber was so expensive that the Army instead went with the two-engined Douglas B-18 Bolo. The evaluation, though tainted with a fatal accident, impressed some top brass regardless. Through a legal loophole, the USAAC ordered 13 B-17 bombers for testing on 17 Jan 1936. Between that time and the opening of the Pacific War in 1941, fewer than 200 B-17 bombers entered service with the USAAC. Some of the early production bombers went to the British Royal Air Force which began the European War without heavy bombers. In early 1940, 20 B-17 bombers, redesignated Fortress I bombers by the RAF, were transferred to the RAF. Their first operation was against the German Kriegsmarine's facilities at Wilhelmshaven on 8 Jul 1941, and their performance left much to be desired as bombs missed their targets and machine guns froze at the high altitude. While these early B-17 bombers were being relegated to reconnaissance and patrol roles, the experiences shared by the British crews helped Boeing tweak the design of later models; mainly, the British crews expressed the need for these bombers to carry larger bomb loads and better aiming equipment.

The United States entered the war in Dec 1941, and from the start she began building up air forces in Europe. The first 18 B-17E bombers arrived to equip the US 8th Air Force units in mid-1942, and flew their first mission against French rail yards on 17 Aug 1942. With the newly devised Norden Bombsight, this mission was much more successful than the British experience earlier in the European War.

The American direct involvement in war increased production of B-17 bombers dramatically; in fact, they are often considered the first mass-produced modern aircraft. Before the advent of long-range fighter escorts, B-17 bombers flew in box formations so that their machine guns could provide overlapping fields of fire to protect each other, though at a sacrifice of rigidity of flight paths, which led to increased dangers from ground-based anti-aircraft guns. These bombers, after many rounds of improvements, were now known for their extreme durability. Many stories were told where major sections of the bombers, such as the tail fin, nearly destroyed but the crews still made their ways home safely.

During WW2, 26 B-17 bomber groups served in Britain and 6 groups served in Italy. Beginning in 1943, they began a carpet bombing campaign against German targets that targeted German industries. Initially an alarming number of B-17 bombers were lost, but as the war went on, the depleting capabilities of German air defense made the bombing campaigns more effective. Many accused the Western Allies of conducting terror bombing during WW2, and many of the alleged terror bombing missions were conducted with B-17 bombers. On 15 Feb 1945, as part of the aerial operation against the German city of Dresden, 311 B-17 bombers dropped 771 tons of bombs, contributing to the killing of 25,000 people committed by both American and British bombers.

Some B-17 bombers crash-landed or were forced down on German soil, and about 40 of them were put into service by the Luftwaffe. They were designated Do 200 and were used in reconnaissance operations. A few of them kept their Allied markings and were sent to infiltrate Allied B-17 formations to report their position and altitude; initially successful, Allied airmen soon developed methods to challenge unidentified aircraft that tried to join their formations.

Several B-17 bombers were also taken by the Russians who flew them in combat missions despite having little experience with them. Russian opinion toward the B-17 design was generally favorable. Some remained in Russian service until 1948.

Five bomber groups of the US 5th Air Force operated B-17 bombers in the Pacific Theater, with a peak of 168 bombers in Sep 1942. After some time of ineffective high altitude bombing, a tactic of releasing bombs at a very low altitude took shape. Nicknamed "skip bombing", the bomb released struck the water at a shallow angle, bouncing into the sides of targeted ships. The technique of skip bombing scored several sinkings.

When WW2 ended, a total of 12,700 B-17 bombers were built. Peak US Army Air Force inventory, in Aug 1944, was 4,574 worldwide. Besides Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed (via subsidiary Vega) also contributed to that total. After the war General Carl Spaatz commented that "[w]ithout the B-17, we might have lost the war."

After the war, some B-17 bombers made their way to Israel via the black market, some were treasured by collectors in form of museums, while most of them were melted down for scrap. The most famous of the surviving B-17 is arguably the 25-mission veteran of European Theater Memphis Belle, which is now at National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio, United States for restoration and display in the near future.

Source: Wikipedia.

B-17 Flying Fortress Timeline

28 Jul 1935 The company-funded Boeing Model 299 prototype aircraft (later B-17 Flying Fortress), piloted by Leslie R. Tower, made its maiden flight from Boeing Field, Seattle, United States.
7 May 1941 The first of the B-17 Flying Fortress bombers in Britain arrived at RAF Watton.
8 Jul 1941 British B-17 bombers were deployed on a combat mission for the first time as three of them were ordered to attack Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
30 Sep 1941 The RAF withdrew B-17 bombers from service.
1 Jul 1942 B-17E Flying Fortress bomber "Jarring Jenny" landed at Prestwick, Scotland, United Kingdom having flown the 3,000 miles from Maine, United States via Greenland and Iceland. It was the first of hundreds of sister aircraft to be flown to Great Britain to form the US Eighth Air Force.
14 Aug 1942 The B-17E Flying Fortress aircraft "Chief Seattle from the Pacific North West" was launched from Port Moresby, Australian Papua for a reconnaissance mission over Rabaul, New Britain, but the aircraft became missing shortly after launch and was never found. This aircraft was paid for by donations from civilians of the state of Washington in northwestern United States.
13 May 1943 B-17 bomber 'Hell's Angels' of US 303rd Bomb Group became the first aircraft to complete 25 combat missions.
19 May 1943 US B-17F bomber 'Memphis Belle' became the second aircraft to complete 25 combat missions after attacking Kiel, Germany.
20 Apr 1944 No. 214 Squadron RAF (of No. 100 group based at RAF Oulton at Aylsham, England, United Kingdom), established in Nov 1943, flew the first operational sortie with their Fortress Mk. III (SD) aircraft. These were extensively modified B-17G aircraft fitted out with electronic countermeasures and radar jamming devices. This Squadron would fly more than 1,000 sorties up to May 1945 losing just eight aircraft on operations.


Machinery4 Wright R-1820-97 'Cyclone' turbosupercharged radial engines rated at 1,200 hp each
Armament13xBrowning M-2 12.7mm machine guns, 8,000kg of bombs (usually 3,600kg for short range missions or 2,000kg for long range missions)
Span31.62 m
Length22.66 m
Height5.82 m
Wing Area131.92 m˛
Weight, Empty16,391 kg
Weight, Loaded24,495 kg
Weight, Maximum29,710 kg
Speed, Maximum462 km/h
Speed, Cruising293 km/h
Rate of Climb4.60 m/s
Service Ceiling10,850 m
Range, Normal3,219 km


Waist blister turret of prototype bomber XB-17, which was not adopted in the final design of the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, circa Jul 1935Nose turret of XB-17 Model 299 prototype bomber, 24 Jul 1935Crashed B-17 prototype Model 299, 30 Oct 1935Y1B-17 aircraft in flight, circa 1937
See all 169 photographs of B-17 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber

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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Johnny Chen says:
    19 May 2006 10:36:35 PM

    B-17 is the Flying Fortress, http:en.wikipedia.orgwikiB-17
    And the B-29 is Superfortress, http:en.wikipedia.orgwikiB-29
  2. Hobilar says:
    23 Sep 2007 04:20:39 AM

    Contrary to popular belief, the B17 `Memphis Belle was NOT the first USAAF aircraft to complete 25 missions over Europe during World War II.

    That honour apparently belongs to the B17 `Hells Angel of the 303rd Bomber Group based at Molesworth.

    Whilst `Memphis Belle was the first to complete 25 missions AND return to the United States, `Hells Angel went on to fly a further 48 missions before returning home.

  3. crystal says:
    21 Oct 2008 04:37:50 PM

    i dont know who i can contact but me an my husband found some i think ww2 bombsight magazines from kirtland field, new mexico we are wanting to find someone to take them because we know they might be of value to someone an we dont want to throw them away if someone can please contact me if ou know anyone or if you are wanting them yourself. our email is danny_brown68@yahoo.com
  4. BILL says:
    25 May 2009 11:20:10 AM

    The B-17 required 55,00 man hours to build in 1941. By 1944 it took 19,000 man hours to build.
    During World War II the Willow Run plant hit a peak production of 462 B-17's built, that's an average of 63 minutes per bomber.
    Today only 12 B-17's still fly, out of the 12,732 that were built.
  5. BILL says:
    24 Jun 2009 08:16:33 AM

    The B-17s had dropped more bombs than any
    other U.S. aircraft, but at a high cost the
    number of B-17s lost in operations numbered 4,750, or 37% of the 12,732 aircraft built.
    Did you know that: The editor for the local
    Seattle Times, wrote the caption "15 ton Flying Fortress.",The Boeing Co. registered
    "Flying Fortress" as a corporate trade-mark.
    The 5,000th B-17 built was named 5-Grand and
    was signed by factory employees, before the
    aircraft entered service.
    It retained its Boeing employee autographed
    markings, and drew curious crowds wherever it went. The B-17 completed 78 missions and
    returned to the United States in June 1945.
  6. Anonymous says:
    2 Jul 2009 10:25:50 AM

    I know someone that flew the Five Grand and his stories are amazing.. they picked up some prisoners of war and returned them to France and "buzzed" the eiffel tower when they got to Paris (against orders!) because the prisoners wanted to circle it. When they landed, the prisoners just ran away from the plane and they never got to know where they went and if they got home safely.
  7. Floyd McCoy says:
    10 Aug 2009 08:37:14 AM

    Bill where did you get your information that % Grand returned to the US on June 1945. I flew in her last combat missions and was scheduled to return her to the US for a bond tour. Word had it that there were so many upper brass that wanted to fly her that the mission was scraped. All I know was that my crew did not fly her. She was a beautiful aircraft All of the painted signatures weighted so much that it cut her air speed down 5 knots.
  8. Floyd McCoy says:
    10 Aug 2009 01:54:53 PM

    If anyone has information about 5 Grand I would like to correspond with you. We were in sq 338 of bomb group 96 located in Snertonheath. We need to correspond now as our
    numbers ae growing smaller each day.
  9. Bill says:
    9 Nov 2009 08:41:06 PM

    Floyd McCoy request dated: 10 Aug 2009
    154 PM

    Dear Sir:
    Thank you for your interest and your Service
    During World War II.
    Most of my information, comes from Aviation
    Magazines such as Wings and Airpower what I have, go back to the 1970's and information that was available at that time.
    Other info on 5 Grand she had 35,000
    My Father worked in the defence industry, but
    all my Uncles served in the Army.
    You can E-mail me at pdenomie@pahrump.com
    haven't put any info on the B-17, since June
  10. Jenessa says:
    14 Nov 2009 02:47:38 PM

    I have six photos commemorating the 5 Grand that I am putting for sale on craigslist today. I came here doing research on them, and was touched to hear these stories! If anyone is interested call Jenessa at (206) 724-3262.
  11. Bill says:
    19 Nov 2009 03:59:14 PM

    B-17 Bomber production:

    1,000 B-17's parked wingtip to wingtip would
    extend almost twenty (20) miles.

    The total production of 12,731 would also
    extend (250) miles.

    1,000 B-17's, they would carry 2.5 million
    gallons of aviation fuel,carry 10,000 crew-
    men, to deliver 2,000 tons of bombs.

    One B-17 cost $204,370 in 1940's dollars,the
    same B-17 today, would cost $2,452,440 in 2008 dollars to build.

    Aircraft production was 24/7 during W.W.II
    For the United States the war lasted about
    2,433 days.

    Production of Heavy Four-Engine Bombers:
    United States 35,301
    England 15,936
    Germany 1,180
    Italy 24
    Japan 8
  12. Bill says:
    19 Nov 2009 06:22:52 PM

    Losses per month correction:
    331 men killed and 308 aircraft destroyed
    that's about 11 men and 10 airplanes a day.
    From December 1941 through August 1945, the
    U.S. Army Air Forces lost 14,903 pilots,
    aircrew and other personnel plus 13,873
    airplanes inside the Continental U.S. Total
    aircraft accidents 52,651, with 6,039 with
    That's about 1,170 aircraft accidents a month
    about 40 per day!
    Another 1,000 aircraft disappeared en route.
    43,581 were lost overseas due to combat
    missions, accidents and other losses.
    Against the Western Axis.
    In the summer of 1944 the AAF lost 1,100 to
    1,500 aircraft per month in the European and
    Mediterranean theaters of operation.
  13. Bill says:
    20 Nov 2009 07:46:58 PM

    Bomber Production

    Continued from #11
    19 Nov 2009 03:59:14 pm

    Russian four-engine bomber Petlyakov Pe-8
    *********************************************Petlyakov Pe-8's made the first night bombing raid against Berlin on Aug.10,1941
    five (5) of the (8) aircraft reached their targets against the German capitol.
    It is unclear how many Pe-8's were built
    some sources say 79, more reliable russian
    sources say between 93 and 96 aircraft.
    It was an advanced aircraft for its time
    comparing well, at least on paper to its
    Allied contemportary American and British
    heavy bombers.
    The Pe-8 was built in small numbers, and
    made no major contribution to the Soviet war
    effort However, it operated as a long-range transport and made a number of trips from the U.S.S.R. to the U.S.A. and was also used
    in different opernational rolls.
    In the post-war period,the Pe-8 continued to
    operate with Aeroflot into the 1950's before
    being retired.

    The U.S.S.R. inturned three Boeing B-29's
    that made emergency landings on Soviet
    territory after bombing raids against Japan.
    These three aircraft were flown,tested and examined by pilots and engineers.
    Reverse-engineered, they were the basis for the U.S.S.R.'s Strategic Bomber Force in the
    Post-War World the Tupolev Tu-4 code named
    (Bull) by NATO.
  14. Anonymous says:
    29 Nov 2009 07:32:26 PM

    Who is the writer of this??
  15. Tim says:
    1 Jan 2010 09:38:52 AM


    It was interesting to read that you flew in the 5 Grand's last mission. My father-in-law (still alive and healthy) was part of the original crew (Unger's "all bachelor" crew - I think they were called.) There are 2 or 3 of his original crew still left. I'd be interested in any info you might have. What a SHAME the 5 Grand was scrapped!
  16. John MacBride says:
    9 Feb 2010 05:02:00 PM

    My dad flew on the Five Grand (B-17),but I can't find anything on it on this site.I'll try back again. Thanks.
  17. H. Jones says:
    5 Mar 2010 11:43:32 AM

    My father was the pilot in the first combat crew. The crew that flew it to England was reassigned to another aircraft after the landing gear on the Five Grand (B-17) malfunctioned. He flew the first 18 combat missions from Snedderton Heath in England. There was an excellent article in Wings Magazine a few years ago(sorry, I don't have the issue number or date at this time. I'll try to locate it). I have a lot of pictures, articles and combat mission orders related to the Five Grand.
  18. Mike Lenahan says:
    25 Oct 2010 04:12:14 PM

    For those looking for information on 5-Grand, I have a fair amount. My father, James Lenahan, was the bombardier in the original COMBAT crew that flew the first 35 missions in 5 Grand, the last of which was on December 24th 1944 in support of the Battle of the Bulge. BTW, the original COMBAT Pilot was Roy Brockman. Benny Wade, Elmo Allen were also crew members. I think Benny was the Navigator....all great men!!!
  19. Monty Howard says:
    14 Nov 2010 09:01:07 PM

    I frequently wonder how long it took for a crew who survived 25 missions to complete their combat tour. I've looked for that statistic from time to time, but have not seen it yet.
  20. Bill says:
    28 Dec 2010 09:47:30 AM

    Mr. Lenahan,,,I have a friend who was a tail gunner on the Five Grand and would like to get in touch with you ... how could he do that? Thank you for your time.
  21. Doc says:
    2 Jan 2011 04:58:51 PM

    As a medical student about ten years ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of the crew of the Five Grand. After I had finished my required work I would seek him out, sit at his bedside, and listen to his stories.
  22. Johnnie Wearing says:
    5 Jan 2011 12:58:45 PM

    I was the tailgunner with Lenahan.How do I reach his son Mike?
  23. Mike Lenahan says:
    5 Jan 2011 07:04:55 PM

    Connected with tail gunner from first combat crew of 5 Grand (who flew with my father) this evening, Johnnie Wearing...What an honor. Thank you C. Peter Chen for emailing me today with news of John's post. We had a great visit and plan to get together soon. God Bless.
  24. Army Jrotc cadet says:
    25 Jan 2011 07:43:38 PM

    i have a question, im doing a speech for my JROTC class and i want to know how many b-17s are left in the world and how many are still air worthy. thanks for the help, i just cant find anything on the internet.
  25. Bob says:
    9 Feb 2011 01:52:20 PM

    Reg. "5 Grand" - Hello all. Last week I lost my dear friend, patriot, and a vanishing number of our WWII vets, Doug Cox, who told me many stories about Snetterton Heath, England, and the 5 Grand. He stated he flew 24 missions on her as a bombadier and a turret gunner. He mentioned a name, Tom Watson, who may have been his pilot. If anyone has any memories of Doug or Mr. Watson, please let me know.
    Bob in Ballinger, Tx. email: attimberridge@aol.com
  26. Lucky Luckadoo says:
    18 Mar 2011 05:09:46 PM

    I was a co-pilot in the Original "Bloody Hu ndredth" Bomb Group who flew out of Thorpe Abbotts in East Anglia beginning in June 1944. I completed my tour of 25 missions as a pilot & Operations Officer of two sqdns. on Feb. 13,1944, leading a mission on a V-2 emplacement with Bill DeSanders (also an original crew member) in "Alice from Dallas II". Most of my original crew completed their 25 missions on Sept. 16, 1943 -- or approx. 91 days. As far as I know this was the fastest record for a combat tour in the the 8th AF. There are 12 B-17s currently left flying in the world. I visited one this afternoon at the Frontiers of Flight Museum here in Dallas, together with a B24 & a P-51, which are flown around the country to about 100 cities each year by the Collings Foundation.
    Keep 'em flying.
  27. mike blatchford says:
    19 Mar 2011 09:25:34 AM

    my dad bill blatchford was a wing rivet inspector on B17's at the murry plant in detroit mi. he said they received letters from the air crews thanking them for making a great plan. he was very proud of that.
  28. Jeremy Weber says:
    16 Apr 2011 08:47:56 PM

    Hi folks. I am a journalist in Montana and I am currently working on a story with a lady who worked at Boeing Plant 2 in Seattle where Five Grand was built. Can anyone here put us in touch with anyone who was a crew member on that plane?
  29. Jeremy Weber says:
    16 Apr 2011 08:58:35 PM

    I guess contact info would help:

    Jeremy Weber
    903-434-9795 (phone)
    jweber@valleyjournal.net (e-mail)
  30. Joette Bowman says:
    19 Apr 2011 10:05:20 AM

    My Father flew two missions in "Five Grand", aircraft No. 43-37716
  31. Rick Wearing says:
    28 May 2011 01:35:42 PM

    Regarding surviving crew members from B17,5Grand Johnny Wearing tailgunner flew 35 missions and is still kicking here in Detroit,Michigan.He recently was in contact with Michael Lenahan,the son of Mr James Lenahan bombardier 5 Grand and they were able to share memories.Dad would love to hear from anyone from Snetterton Heath Airfield.
  32. Anonymous says:
    28 May 2011 01:38:59 PM

    Johnny Wearing 313-882-5793
  33. Carol says:
    16 Jun 2011 07:28:59 PM

    My dad, Bill Styles, was co-pilot on the "Alice from Dallas" B17, which went down over the North Sea. He survived and was a Pow for over 2 years. He died in 1975, but my mom is still alive and well. Would love to hear from anyone with similar interest.
  34. Carol says:
    17 Jun 2011 08:12:24 AM

    Correction on my previous post - my dad, Bill Styles, flew the "Alice from Dallas" but did not go down on that plane, he was flying a different one that day because the pilot, Bill DeSanders, was not available that day. Dad went down on the "Duration plus Six" on July 25, 1943.
  35. Mike Lenahan says:
    20 Jun 2011 01:47:16 PM

    Mr. Weber: John Wearing is the only surviving member of the original combat crew of 5-Grand as far as I know. He is more than alive and kicking in Detroit...had a conversation a while back with him and he sounded as spirited as ever. My Dad (Jim Lenahan) was the bombardier in the crew with Wearing, Wade, Brockman, Allen, etc...
  36. John Gardner says:
    16 Jul 2011 04:37:58 AM

    My dad was the bombardier on "Hell's Kitchen".Just curious if any crew member might remember him. He passed away in 1994. His name was Jim
  37. walter malott says:
    27 Jul 2011 12:41:11 PM

    Anyone have info on a plane call "the going dawg" My great uncle flew it in england during the war. thanks.
  38. Sean Turpin says:
    25 Mar 2012 07:03:51 AM

    Hello, Looking for any info on "Mayor of Turners Falls". Nose art was a skeleton riding a coffin while smoking a cigar.
  39. Chris Roberts says:
    16 Apr 2012 01:24:39 PM

    How can I find a list of American pilots from WWII, anyone have any ideas?
  40. Chris Roberts says:
    19 Apr 2012 11:43:52 AM

    I have a photo of a B-17 crew with the names of the crew members and even their home towns, but I'm not sure how to track down what happened to them since that photo. I have tried searching the WW2db but have had know luck. If anyone has an idea on how to do this I would appreciate hearing from you.
  41. mike m says:
    6 Jun 2012 02:18:08 AM

    Does any one ahve the picture of the Nose art a skeleton riding a coffin while smoking a cigar?? i seen it before and looking for it again..thanks
  42. rose says:
    7 Jul 2012 07:19:34 PM

    would like to know if anyone knows of the b-17 nicknamed pet waters pet. this was my dads ship. he was a tailgunner/ bomberdeer in the flying fortress. i have all his wings and medals and would like to "talk story" about all that my dad told us. and boy, did he have stories of bravery and things that happened during his 36 missiopns, yes 36! over germany
  43. rose says:
    7 Jul 2012 07:31:23 PM

    forgot to mention, i still have all the phots that my dad took during the war. pictures of the fighting and also the rest periods and how it was to be in england and flying. there are shots from where he was on the ship. theres some with him shooting and looks so unbelievable how my dad survived 36 missions. they had some close calls, trying to land woith only one engine over trees and how my dad had to make the decision who was going to jump over alli territory, poland and after a few weeks hugging and crying with that brave man who had to jump to save the rest of the crew and the ship.i just cant believe how brave these men were! my dasd is gone now but i will never forget how brave they all were.i was just wishing someone was still around who remembers my dad, the only hawaian, from maui. john jardine. i'll gop check his dog dags. there probably have a serial# or something, right?
  44. rose says:
    4 Feb 2013 04:01:58 PM

    i'm trying to contact anyone who wants to share stories about flying the b-17 during ww2. i have alot of photos from my dad while he was a bomberdeir and tailgunner and the stories he told me is so unbelievable and just wanted to share them with anyone. he is gone now but his stories is still so fresh in my mind. please contact me
  45. Gary Weise says:
    30 Mar 2013 08:30:58 PM

    CC 'Louisa Barausky'
    Bruce Weise

    My father Harry V. Weise was the co-pilot on 5 Grand when Roy Brachman was pilot. My brother Bruce & I met Roy and Benny Wade (bombadier or navigator?) at an Air Force reunion in Norfolk in fall of 2002? Bruce visited with Roy & Lee, his wife, sometime later at his home in Rochester NY. Bruce & I also traveled to Snetterton England April 2002. That's the air base that 5 Grand flew from during dad's tour. We were there to participate in the dedication of a monument to all who served from there during WW II.

    Bruce & I would love to connect with Mike Lenahan and any other members or family of that crew or any others who served on 5 Grand. We'd appreciate any help anybody can provide or suggestions anybody has to help make those connections.
    Gary V. Weise
    (904) 739-7447 home, (904) 635-0623 cell
  46. Jim says:
    27 Apr 2013 05:57:51 PM

    The first bomber to complete 25 missions in the 8th Air Force was neither Memphis Belle nor Hell's Angels. I was the B-24 Liberator Hot Stuff.
    It completed 25 missions on Feb. 7, 1943 three and a half months before the Belle.

    The Memphis Belle and Hot Stuff flew on the same mission one time to wilhelmshavin, Germany on March 22, 1943. The Memphis Belle was on her 10th mission. Hot Stuff was on her 30th mission. for more information and a video of Hot Stuff go to the following website: www.b24hotstuff.wikispaces.com

  47. Anonymous says:
    20 Jun 2013 11:07:25 AM

    my dad flew in the 303rdBG(H) they completed 26 missions in just under 8 months - crash landed on 26th mission (all crew POWs). By then the number to complete was 30; I believe it was later upped to 35.
  48. Graham wright says:
    20 Oct 2013 11:45:30 AM

    Does anyone know any information on a B17 called "touch the button Nell"

    It crashed on July 4th 1944 over France. The crash site is near a village in central France close to a village called Pressac. I am very interested to find out more of this plane and its mission etc.

    We have a French holiday home near the site, and being in the RAF for some time years ago I would like to find out more. Recently a memorial has been raised to the memory of the crew on the crash site and names of all the crew are inscribed on the monument.

    Would welcome any information on this plane

    Yours in anticipation
    Graham Wright
  49. David Stubblebine says:
    28 Oct 2013 11:13:00 PM

    Re: Comment #48: The aircraft was actually named “Touch the Button Nell II” a B-17G-30-DL
    #42-38117 of the 535th BS, 381st BG operating from RAF Ridgewell, Essex. On July 4 1944, after a successful bomb run on the airfield at La Riche near Tours, “Touch the Button Nell II” suffered unknown mechanical failure(s) and went down near Persac, France. Seven of the crew were lost:
    1. 2nd Lt. Bobrof, Bob B.; Pilot
    2. 2nd Lt. Devono, George J.; Co-Pilot
    3. 2nd Lt. Cole, Charles D. ; Navigator
    4. 2nd Lt. Goodman, Bernard (NMI); Bombardier
    5. T/Sgt. Dell, George W.; Engineer-Top Turret Gunner
    6. Sgt. Polski, Edward F.; Ball Turret Gunner
    7. S/Sgt. Snyder, Thomas E.; Tail Gunner

    Surviving crewmembers were:
    T/Sgt. Word, Clinton S.; Radio Operator
    S/Sgt. Hitchcock, Kenneth F.; Waist Gunner
    [seems to be short one waist gunner; normal B-17 crew was 10 (?)]
  50. Dave Cannon Jr. says:
    6 Nov 2013 09:55:29 PM

    I am looking for information on an uncle who went down and was killed in a B-17 during the war . Are there any sites online where one could go to obtain info on crews ? Thanks in advance for any info on a direction to start .
  51. Dennis says:
    12 Nov 2013 04:41:46 PM

    My Grandfather was in the 8th Air Force during WW2. He was a ball turret gunner in a B17(?). I have his discharge papers along with other paperwork stating he was in the 848th BS, 490th BG(H).
    I am just curious to learn any information about this, any input would be welcomed.

    PS. I have a pic of him and the crew in front of a bomber named "Thumper II"
  52. Nick Lorch says:
    9 Dec 2013 07:38:12 PM

    Lucky Luckadoo....Contact me please! My grandfather was on Duration Plus Six and Alice from Dallas!
  53. skyler says:
    3 Feb 2014 11:14:30 AM

    my great grandfather fought in world war 2
  54. Gary Weise says:
    26 Mar 2014 02:15:45 PM

    I'd lik to connect with any of the crew or family members of 5-Grand or any other B-17's. Johnny Wearing & I had a great meeting earlier this month. (904) 739-7447 home, (904) 635-0623 cell
  55. Mason Dunn says:
    6 Apr 2014 08:36:27 PM

    My grandfather's name was Jack Finger. I'm not sure what bomber group he was in, but i was told he flew 50 missions over North Africa, Sicily, possibly Italy and Ploeste. Anyone know how I could find out what info there is on what missions he was a part of or the name of his plane/s? Unfortunately my grandfather died in a commercial plane crash Feb 8 1976 when I was 5 yrs old.
  56. Anonymous says:
    24 Apr 2014 12:21:20 PM

    Does anyone have any facts regarding Wilson Bongers, Bombadier? He was on a bombing mission, with his bombing group, over Italy in 1945. His B-17 collided with another B-17 over the Adreatic Sea. Happened Feb. 2 1945. I don't think there were any survivors.
  57. Anonymous says:
    20 May 2014 06:13:37 PM

    To Dave Cannon. Try this site http://www.taphilo.com/history/8thaf/8thAFUnitMarkings.shtml
  58. Billy McAdams says:
    12 Jun 2014 05:50:06 PM

    The Mighty 8th museum in Pooler Georgia can give you any and all information on any mission, b 17, and crew of WW2. It is well worth the trip if you had a family member in the war. The archives up stairs at the museum will help you. My father was flight eng on Horse Fly on the first Ploesti raid.
  59. Lou Ann says:
    26 Jun 2014 07:48:24 PM

    My dad was on the Duration + 6 and Alice From Dallas. Was shot down on Aug 17 and rescued by Resistance Army in Kleine Spouen near Bilzen Belgium. I have photos of the crew and a Rosary and youth swastika armband given to him by resistance fighters.
  60. Dave says:
    19 Sep 2014 01:25:37 PM

    I am looking for any info on a B17 tail gunner named Don Hurst who claims that his B17 crash landed in Germany in 1945 just short of the Swiss border. He claims to have killed 10 Germans, taken 2 prisoners, got 8 injured crew members safely into Switzerland and back to base in England. He claims to have received the silver star & distinguished flying cross. I can find no record of any of these claims
  61. Mike Charteris says:
    27 Sep 2014 05:29:54 PM

    Hi There,
    Mike Charteris from Australia here.
    I am ex-Australian Navy, and also a Radio Ham

    I have read a lot about the B-17's in WW2 and watched a good few documentaries about the gallant men who flew them over the battle skies of Europe.

    I was wondering if it might be possible to make contact with any of these surviving heroes, of the sky. I know its a long shot, but it would be quiet an experience to hear from any of these men who did a great deal to create the free world we all enjoy today.

    I look forward to hearing from you
    Yours sincerely
    Mike from "Down-Under"
    my email address is: mikevk4qs@gmail.com
  62. Robin Minson says:
    28 Oct 2014 07:10:32 AM

    Look for information on my dad Grant Minson, he was a co-pilot on the B-17G, buring the war.Do you know the name of his plane?
  63. John Ricketts says:
    14 Nov 2014 10:03:26 AM

    My Dad flew on B-17, "I Got Spurs", out of Molesworth, England, the 303 BG. He was a Tailgunner and Radio Operator. Anyone out there have any information?.
  64. Anonymous says:
    27 Nov 2014 10:19:15 PM

    Looking for any info on my grandfather's Group and Squadron. He was in 8th Airforce, bombarier/Nav on B-17G in european theater. Bertrand L Eichelberger.
    I have some old negatives he took of bombing formations. Tail number configuration is six numbers over one letter. Aircraft appear to be OD Green paint scheme
  65. tam says:
    7 Dec 2014 10:55:03 AM

    Desperately searching for information on my grandfather Tech sgt. Dewey (no middle name) Thompson from Whiteville NC. He was a tailgunner on a flying fortress but that's all I know- we have a photo of him standing with his crew in front of the plane, but gramma circled him and wrote "MINE" over it, obliterating the name of the plane! Trying to finish the research for Christmas for my family. Can anyone help?
  66. Rose says:
    8 Dec 2014 02:23:58 PM

    My Dad flew in a B17-8 out of the UK during WWII. a picture I have has a nose number 2462. The plane was shot down over or neart Cologne Germany. My Dad was captured by Hitler's Youth Group and held as a POW until the end of the war. My understanding was that all the flight crew except my Dad were killed. Anyone having additional knowledge please contact me. willstrop.mypeace@gmail.com Thank you.
  67. Paul says:
    15 Dec 2014 02:06:55 AM

    For those of you still interested in the 5 Grand. I obtained another copy of LIFE magazine with production photos & story in it. My uncle Jim was the bombadier and it is being sent to my cousin Michael's family & he will have access to it. At this point it is still pretty mint condition
  68. Nick Lorch says:
    5 Jan 2015 07:18:24 PM

    Lou Ann - what was your grandpa's name!? I'm willing to bet my grandpa is in some of those pictures as well. He was on that same plane, shot down and hid for 6 months before being caught a mile from freedom and eventually brought to Stalag Luft. . Please contact me! I have tons of info about his escape, crash, helper lines and pics. Njlorch@gmail.com.
  69. Donald Waelde says:
    8 Jan 2015 05:09:36 PM

    My uncle Lt Frank Derenberg, was shot down over Holland Feb. 24, 1944 in B-17 "San Antonio Rose" he died in the aircraft from wounds from an ME 109 before the aircraft crashed. as witnessed by aircrew. Of course he was in the 8th Air Force but not many photos of him in England. Most probably all that knew him are now gone. Just in case some one out there may have memorabilia from then.
  70. Dave Savage says:
    18 Jan 2015 12:12:07 AM

    I entered a B-17 today at an airshow in Stuart, Florida. Only then did I understand how brave those men were. Very little room inside that aircraft. I knew a Lt. Col. Stanley Hutchins who flew one. I know he retired to San Antonio and has since passed. Anyone know anything about him? He was a big guy, about 6'3' and lived for a long time in Alexandria, Virginia.
    Thank you.
  71. Tommy Reynolds says:
    7 Feb 2015 05:37:39 PM

    My uncle Michael J Sanntinna of New Rochelle, NY crewed on the T-GRAND along with the following.
    American Pilots of the 5 Grand
    Original caption: England: The 5 Grand And Its Crew. Posed in front of the famous Boeing B-17, 5 Grand are its All-American crew. Front row (L to R) Sgt. Victor L. Ruthart, Lehigh, Ia.,; Sgt. Walter J. Nagel, Chicago, Ill.,; Sgt. Frederick W. Meyers, Huntington Park, Calif.,; S/Sgt. Ruel d. Nelson, Bragg City, Missouri; and S/Sgt. Michael J. Santianna, New Rochelle, N. Y. Back row (L to R) Lt. Leonard G. Conly, Jenkintown, Pa.; Lt. Frank S. Carter, Jr., Litchfield, Ill.; Lt. Warren B. Hansen, Waterford, Wisc.,; and Lt. Bryce H. Jones, Payson, Utah.
  72. Bill Byars says:
    8 Feb 2015 03:44:30 PM

    Gathering any and all information on my father's ( Lee M. Byars crew of the B-17 F"Jenny Lou " #42-3077 piloted by James Brewer out of North Africa with the 341st. Thank you in advance.
  73. Geoff Markuson says:
    21 Feb 2015 09:41:38 PM

    my grandpa Harold heegard was a waiste gunner in the b17 over germsny does anybody know how to get the name of his plane?

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Waist blister turret of prototype bomber XB-17, which was not adopted in the final design of the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, circa Jul 1935
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