B-17 Question

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Njaco, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Is there or has there ever been a comprehensive list of war-time B-17s based on serial numbers with any accompying pics or photos? I just bought a few books published in the 1960s and 1970s with tons of pics about the planes, etc. I wonder if we might be able to do something here because we do get a fair amount of people looking for relatives planes.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I have Volume 1 of 'Fortresses of the Big Triangle First', which is almost what you are asking about Chris. As the title suggests, this deals only with B-17s of the First Bomb Division, but lists every aircraft which served with the various Bomb groups within the Division, with photos where available, and shows their history and ultimate fate.
    This volume covers the period up to February 1944, with the remainder to be covered in Volume 2. I bought Vol 1 when first published, some years ago, but haven't seen Vol 2 - if it ever reached publication stage. (I must check on that, as I'd like to complete the set.)
    Other than that, a few 'smaller' books list the production blocks, and Roger Freeman's 'The Mighty Eighth' lists a great many aircraft, and those he was able to identify by number and 'nose art' name, but not all are covered.
    Additionally, the various Bomb Group Associations attempt to list, and illustrate where possible, aircraft which served with the Groups, but unfortunately, this is a daunting and difficult task to undertake, as not all records are complete, it takes a lot of time (as with the above named book), and, of course, much of the needed material, and photographs if they exist, are, or were, in the possession of the dwindling number of veterans.
    Unless there's someone out there working on a similar book, or books, to the one already mentioned, then I'd guess it's a case of spending many hours trying to cross reference various other books and sources.
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Thanks Terry! I was thinking of an on-line resource. I was just curious if it wouldn't be something we could start here for everyone. Might be unique.
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    You can get the full list of manufactured B-17s on line through Joe Baugher's site, and I think I have the list compiled in a spreadsheet at home on my drive. But to compile a list of all of them is one thing, getting photos of all of them is quite another. I would guess that some of them were never photographed. It's a daunting challenge. Let me see if I have that list tonight.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    You're right Eric, it would be one heck of a challenge to compile a full listing to cover the units etc where each aircraft ended up.
    At least two of my books have the full lists of all B-17s built, by type (eg B-17F), serial, and block number, from each factory. This can be useful for identifying, for example, the exact type, block, and factory, where only a serial number is known, but of course it doesn't cover the history of each aircraft.
    I would think that, to compile such a document, in book form or on-line, even without photos, would be almost a lifetime's work - well, maybe not a lifetime, but a big chunk of one!
     
  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I wasn't really thinking about going that far in-depth. Just a guideline listing either by serial number or by name with a pic or two to match. I see some relatives always come here looking for that info and was just curious if it could be done.
     
  7. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Here is the full list of the 12,730 B-17s made by serial number, type, CN and who made it (Boeing/Douglas/Lockheed Vega, etc). I had started annotating the status/disposition of them as I got info, but it has been a while since I have done anything with this list. It was a project I started a few years ago, but got busy with other things. I also have a list of B-24s.
     

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  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Here is some other info that I was working on with captured B-17s, some notes and a photo. I ended up incorporating this info into a wider presentation called "Captured Eagles" about allied aircraft in Luftwaffe service that I presented at the museum a few years ago.
     

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  9. Airframes

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    Good work there Erich.
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The original list was a work in progress until a move, new baby, etc. Then I never got back to it. I would like to at some point, but there is a lot of info to go through.
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I know what you mean. I have the same thing - sort of - I actually came to this site in search of info for a list I was compiling for a day-by-day account of the Luftwaffe. Siting idle now.
     
  12. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    That was an even more ambitious project than mine, Chris!
     
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