B-17 question

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by pxdig, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. pxdig

    pxdig New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I have never posted on this forum before but I have a question that perhaps someone here can help me with. I was at Lackland AFB thsi morning adn while looking at the static displays I found a B-17 with a very different looking graphic on the nose. The bomber had the traditional bomb graphics (for each mission) a couple of nazi swastikas (aerial kills) but there was also a tricolor bomb. Please take a look at the pictures and see if you can figure out what this is suppose to symbolize.

    thanks..

    http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p185/pxdig/Paul in SA/DSCI0042.jpg

    http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p185/pxdig/Paul in SA/DSCI0043.jpg
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I can't be sure if it's the case or not, but the original "Heaven's Above" was part of the 388th BG, based at Knettishall, station 136. Some of the postwar missions included Operation Chowhound (dropping food and supplies to the starving Netherlanders) and Operation Revival (returning the allied POWs that were under Russian control)
     
  3. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Don´t know what´s the meaning of this symbol but try to post your request to ArmyAirForces.com forum. A lot of WW2 vets attending there so I´m sure they could give you an answer.
    BTW, I´m sure you´ve taken more pics of 'Heaven´s above'- could you post them? I´m crazy 4 B-17´s...
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    In doing a bit more reading on the 388th, it appears that they also flew 65 planes on three missions returning 2,000 prisoners to their homes in France and Belgium. I am thinking it is some sort of humanitarian or peaceful action that got that mark.
     
  5. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    think you´re right Eric...
     
  6. pxdig

    pxdig New Member

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    Guys, no offense but a humanitarian mission in the shape of a bomb ???
     
  7. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Interesting shape and color, Ive dont think Ive ever seen that marking before.
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    For Operation Chowhound, I wouldn't be surprised. They were still dropping a payload. It's just the payload happened to be food and supplies.
     
  9. pxdig

    pxdig New Member

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    If you notice the color of the bomb is red white and blue. This is the same paint scheme as the flag of France. If I was guessing I would say it was a deployment tour completed on French soil. To me is sounds much more likely than dropping food and supplies, especially when they would have used C-47, instead of bombers. Of course this would only be my opinion since I dont know for sure what it means.
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    You need to read up about Operation Chowhound then. Just the American 3rd Division alone flew over 2,200 sorties flying B-17s and B-24s to deliver 24 million pounds of food to the starving Dutch. The British, flying Lancaster Bombers flew over 2,300 sorties. Should have used the C-47? Maybe, but the fact is they didn't.

    Red, white and blue is also the color of the Flag of Holland. The French flag, when properly displayed has the blue on the left, not on the right. You are making an assumption based on what facts? The 388th Bomb Group was never stationed in France.
     
  11. pxdig

    pxdig New Member

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    Well, mine was a "gut" guess based on what appeared reasonable to me. But I know it was just a guess.

    Yours was a somewhat "educated" guess, but a guess none the less since you still dont know.

    Again, I wonder if anyone knows what this symbol represents?
     
  12. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Hi pxdig, there is another possibility. The markings on this aircraft are could be incomplete or not accurate or off several different aircraft. Ive found a couple of aircraft with the name Heaven's Above including other B-17's of different units and even a B-24 with the same name. Example 42-31995 if you look it up has the same name and was interned in Switzerland.

    Its just a suggestion but it may be a miss painted aircraft which makes it even harder to figure out. You will need to find the exact historical serial number for this aircraft for this unit and then start researching from there on the history of that aircraft itself.
     
  13. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Something else that's bothering me on this aircraft. Check out this picture taken in 1998 and source of photo. Same picture that you have posted but minus the unusual bomb. Question is why was it added later?
     

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  14. pxdig

    pxdig New Member

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    I spoke to the USAF civilan who is in charge of the museum/static displays. He told me he had obtained that graphic from some early pictures of the actual heaven's above, but even HE did not know the meaning of it.

    He also told me the displays are always in a state of being upgraded and repaired. In other words, if they find a picture of the actual plane that has a detail that is missing on the display they will simply added it in order to present a more acurate plane.
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    A bomb stencil was universal during WW2 to indicate a mission, be it dropping bombs or humanitarian aid and they were modified (colored or additional symbols added) to signify a specific mission - this also depended on the operation and theater. Sometimes brooms were used by fighters to indicate "sweeps." As Eric said, during operation Chowhound there were many bombers used to drop supplies, probably used because there were so many of them readily available and if you think about it by flying those mission it allowed crews to maintain proficiency and more importantly draw flight pay.
     
  16. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    I joined the 388th website and found this info out so far. Including this picture, unfortuently its before it flew all its missions and still idea on the bomb.

    Serial number 42-97328
    Completed missions 134
    First mission 9 April 44
    Last mission 25 may 45
     

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  17. cougar32d

    cougar32d Member

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    call lacklands history dept. they'll tell you anything you need to know.
     
  18. pxdig

    pxdig New Member

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    Cougar32d,

    If you read the first page of this thread, you will see that I did exactly that and even THEY couldn't tell me what this tricolor bomb symbolizes.

    I have sent this same question/pic to several historical organizations and so far, no replies.....
     
  19. cougar32d

    cougar32d Member

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    Oops, sorry missed that one.
     
  20. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    FBJ. FBJ. FBJ.

    The Great Gazoo has spoken. End of thread.
     
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