Boeing B-17G-70-BO Flying Fortress, “Button Nose,” Serial number 43-37704 of 535th Bomb Squadron, 381st Bomb Group, 1st Air Division, 8th Air Force This aircraft was lost on August 8,1944 during a ground support mission to Cauvicourt,France. She was damaged by AAA and set on fire, crash-landing near the British lines close to Caen. The entire crew returned to base at Ridgewell, England safely the next day. — com Hugo E Pancheri e Thomas E. Barnicle.
A quick guide to the survivors, and how to quickly identify them.
Sentimental Journey, 44-83514, CAF Arizona Wing
“Triangle U” fin flash, denoting the 457th Bomb Group, 1st Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force. This aircraft served as a mothership during Operation Greenhouse, a series of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in 1951. She is based out of Mesa, Arizona.
Memphis Belle, 44-83546, Military Aircraft Restoration Corp.
Olive drab fuselage paint with yellow identification markings, lacks a fin flash for unit identification. The aircraft is actually a B-17G modified to resemble the real Belle for the 1990 movie, and carries the markings of the original aircraft. Note the flatter Sperry top turret (not visible in this picture), lack of a chin turret, and larger waist windows. She is based out of Anaheim, California.
Miss Angela, 44-85778, Palm Springs Air Museum
Unpainted main fuselage, bright red forward fin, yellow ring around the nose compartment, the markings of the 34th Bomb Group, 4th Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force. The aircraft was delivered to the 6th Air Force and served post-war in Brazil. She is based out of Palm Springs, California.
Fuddy Duddy, 44-83563, Lyon Air Museum
“Square K” fin flash, denoting the 447th Bomb Group, 4th Air Wing, 8th Air Force. Unpainted main fuselage, yellow fin and control surfaces, double green band on rear fuselage and fin. This aircraft served as a VIP transport in the Pacific at the end of WWII. She is based out of Santa Ana, California.
Nine-O-Nine, 44-83575, Collings Foundation
“Triangle A” fin flash, denoting the 91st Bomb Group, 1st Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force; olive drab fuselage, vertical red bar on fin, aircraft code OR-R, extensive mission markings for nose art. The aircraft was subjected to three nuclear explosions in 1952 before being sold for scrap, then restored. She is painted to resemble the original Nine-O-Nine and is based out of Stow, Massachusetts.
44-85829, Yankee Air Museum
“Triangle L” fin flash, denoting the 381st Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; unpainted main fuselage, red vertical band on the fin and red markings on the wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, aircraft code Y-GD. The aircraft was transferred to the Coast Guard in 1946 where it was stripped and turned into an air-sea rescue plane. She is based out of Belleville, Michigan.
44-85718, Lone Star Flight Museum
“Triangle C” fin flash, denoting the 303rd Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; olive drab fuselage, large group markings on the fin and starboard upper wing surface, aircraft code U-BN. The aircraft is painted to represent the original Thunderbird which flew 112 missions without a crew injury. She is based out of Galveston, Texas.
44-83872, CAF Gulf Coast Wing
“Triangle L” fin flash, denoting the 381st Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; olive drab fuselage, red wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, group markings on the fin and starboard upper wing, aircraft code X-VP. The aircraft served in the Navy as a PB-1W AWACS aircraft before being retired in 1955. She is based out of Spring, Texas.
44-8543, Erickson Aircraft Collection
“Triangle L” fin flash, denoting the 381st Bomb Group, 1st Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force; unpainted main fuselage, red wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, red band on the fin, black/red open band on the starboard upper wing, aircraft code F-JE. The aircraft was converted into a Pathfinder with the H2X radar set before being retired in 1959. She is based out of Madras, Oregon.
From 1979 until 2013 44-8543 wore the colors of Chuckie, “Square W” 486th Bomb Group, 4th Air Wing, 8th Air Force. In these pictures she is painted with a yellow fin, triple yellow bands around the rear fuselage, yellow wingtips and yellow ring around the nose. This is how the aircraft was displayed at my local air museum, and how it is most often pictured.
Aluminum Overcast, 44-85740, Experimental Aircraft Association
“Triangle W” fin flash, denoting the 398th Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; silver main fuselage, red wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, red vertical band on fin, group markings on fin and starboard upper wing. The aircraft was delivered too late to see service in Europe and was sold as surplus, entering the civilian market. She is based out of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
44-85784, B-17 Preservation Ltd.
The aircraft carries identical markings to Memphis Belle, acquired during the filming of the 1990 movie. Her #3 engine cowling (starboard inner) is painted with a yellow-black checkerboard pattery. She is based out of Duxford, England, and is the only airworthy B-17 in Europe.
Several other B-17s are listed as airworthy, including The Pink Lady (44-8846, last flown 2010), Boeing Bee (42-29782, flown 2006 with no plans for further flights), and Shady Lady (44-83785, recently acquired by the Collings Foundation with plans to return to flight by 2017). Several others are under restoration to airworthiness.
Sorry for the long wait but the themes for this year have finally been chosen and thank you to the several people who submitted suggestions they were taken into account. The themes for this years Ruby Bomb are:
Day 1 (1st of July): Eternal Flames Day 2 (2nd of July): Homeworld Day 3 (3rd of July): Fusion/Squads Day 4 (4th of July): Alternate Outfits Day 5 (5th of July): Free Day
If you have any questions about the themes don’t hesitate to ask, thank you for your patience!