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B-17Gs in search of nose art


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So I have pretty much exhausted all my resources looking for pictures of specific B-17s from WWII. I have one more resource coming in the mail but I figured that perhaps there is someone out there that might have access to some books or photo collections that I haven't seen yet.

 

All of these planes are from the 8th Air Force, 390th Bomb Group, 568th Bomb Squadron and based out of Framlingham in England

 

Serial Number Name

42-39819 Anoxia Queen (B17G)

42-3472 Shoot a Pound/The Paper Doll/The Vulture (I have a picture of the later vulture nose art) (B-17F)

42-31262 Ole Smoke (B17G)

42-37891 Minnie-So-Tan (B17G)

42-37890 Rovin Ramona II / Big Friend (B17G)

42-38048 Bomb Bay Ann / Dorothy Dee (B17G)

42-37906 Wild Children II / Angel in Di Skies / Angel in Disguise (B17G)

42-31732 Paper Doll II

42-38040 Little Butch / El Lobo

 

Bomb Groups and Squadrons typically dropped the 4 out of the serial number when applying it to the aircraft. Official records use the entire serial number. Some names like Paper Doll are fairly common, so if you find a picture of Paper Doll you have to be sure its the right aircraft.

 

I have done lots of searches on the net (which is why the list is down to 9 from the orginal 11). And yes I did find the website for the 390th Bomb Group and I have been in contact with them about these planes.

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I can tell you from experience these folks are really nice and quite helpful, especially with their resources & connections to museums, historical archives, restoration/preservation efforts, etc. See: http://www.libertyfoundation.org/index.html. I may have some of the business cards I picked up from those other exhibitors when the Belle was here, but I'll have to check. In the meantime, give 'em a call, see if they can point you in the right direction. Oh, and don't forget historical modelers' societies & groups online and in print.

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Reply to this old post from 2009, Auctioneer,   I have photos of the Vulture , perhaps you have the same nose art, but my dad was on that plane for 15 missions, I have a shot of him on the top turret, in front with crew and good shot of nose art, as well as the other side which has The Dull Tool, with ground crew in front, Kind of uncommon and confusing for a ship with a couple of names at the same time. The Vulture record shows a lot of missions, and two Captains that flew a lot of them, Capt Sabel, and Capt Strawn. Dad flew missions with each of them , especially Sabel.....the missions listed show Strawn flying a lot more after my Dad finished his missions. The two captains might explain the two different names.  I have my Dad's leather bomber jacket with the Vulture emblazoned on the back. Email me at [email protected] for digital copies if you are still around and interested.

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I'm always interested in more information on any of the bombers my great uncle flew in. He only flew in the Vulture once, he flew almost half his missions in Rovin Ramona II/Big Friend. Naming of the bombers is a bit of a mystery as well, I have read in more than one source that the ground crews named the planes as they were "permanently" assigned to each bomber where as crews could be assigned to any bomber for any mission. This makes sense when you look at bombers that had flown a lot of missions. I suppose the pilots may have been able to put "dibs" on a specific plane for a mission, I haven't read anything about it. 

 

What you are saying about your dad is interesting. There is usually not a lot of movement between crews. You pretty much stayed with the crew (my great uncle was in crew 08) you were assigned to with replacements coming in due to casualties or furloughs (as an interesting side note there were no casualties to crew 08 during the time my great uncle was part of it, till mission 30 when he was wounded along with the tail gunner, quite the lucky bunch).

 

Cpt Sabel flew missions from 11/43 to 2/44 as a member of crew 4 (13 missions on the Vulture), Cpt Strawn flew missions from 9/43 to 5/44 (19 missions on the Vulture) as a member of crew 7. My g uncle flew from 12/43 - 4/44 (1 mission on the Vulture) as a member of crew 8. So all three of the officers flew during the same period with Strawn taking the longest time to get to mission 30.

 

I'll send an email to you, I would love to have copies of the pictures.

Edited by Heisler
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One of my best childhood friend's Dad was the tailgunner on a B17 called Red Gremlin. His Captain was Paul Tibbets, whose crew later transitioned to B29s and flew Enola Gay, the B29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. My buddy's Dad was wounded on their 21st mission and missed the final missions with them and they transferred home before he could rejoin the crew.

Edited by Corsair
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You might also check with the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson.  They have the 390th memorial museum on site and I know that they have a pretty extensive reference library.  There is also a 390th memorial museum website that goes along with so there is another resource to contact.  Last time I was there, an old boy who served in the squadron during the war still occasionally volunteered.  I suspect that he is no longer with us. 

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23 hours ago, snitchythedog said:

You might also check with the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson.  They have the 390th memorial museum on site and I know that they have a pretty extensive reference library.  There is also a 390th memorial museum website that goes along with so there is another resource to contact.  Last time I was there, an old boy who served in the squadron during the war still occasionally volunteered.  I suspect that he is no longer with us. 

 

When I visited Arizona a few years ago I visited that museum, loved it!

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On 4/7/2022 at 12:44 PM, Glitterwolf said:

 

When I visited Arizona a few years ago I visited that museum, loved it!

That is my home town.  Grew up gong to that museum back before they expanded and built the hangers.

Edited by snitchythedog
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