B17 "Gallipolis Special" 96thbg 339th bs

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by Bad-Karma, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. Bad-Karma

    Bad-Karma Member

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    Hi all,

    I was able to find a picture of my Grandfather's B17 named Gallipolis Special. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find any pictures with the tail number. Can anyone find out more information on this ship just using the name? I believe it was also a pathfinder b17.

    Many Thanks,
    Brian
     
  2. Bad-Karma

    Bad-Karma Member

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    I was able to do some digging and found the following information:

    B17 43-38991 looks to be a solid match for the plane in my grandfathers pictures. My guess would be it was named "Gallipolis Special" before being transferred over to a new crew? The Z on the tail, vertical stripes, and nose stripe all seem to match.

    Please see picture of "Sweet Seventeen" seen here: Aircraft illustration

    43-38991-color.jpg Grandpab17 group-20150715-202547401.jpg 20150727_095718.jpg 20150730_101519_2.jpg
    In this photo you can still see the white nose stripe that "Gallipolis Special" would have had and "Sweet Seventeen" hasn't been painted on yet. There looks to be 40 missions markers which would put this picture about the time we start seeing "Sweet Seventeen" pop up on this mission list seen at this link: 43-38911 Start Swimming; later Sweet Seventeen

    Do you guys concur with my findings?

    The weird thing is this plane was assigned to the 34th BG which was stationed at a totally different airfield than the 96th at Snetterton. My grandfather's discharge papers say 96th BG 339th SQ which I also remember him telling me. Did they possibly shuffle crew chiefs around back then so that it's possible he was at a different airfield?
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Is that your grandfather's picture standing in front of the B-17 "Gallipoli Special" you had posted earlier on another forum?

    20150727_095727a.jpg
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #4 Wurger, Jul 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
    However the nose strip seems to be either white or yellow or green . The next shots of the "Sweet Seventeen" reveal that clearly. Please note that the B-17 seen in the background ( in the first image ) had the strip of the same colour. Also these three pictures show that the B-17G got the name firstly and then the art was added.
    The colour pic posted above by you presents the art without the name that seems to be removed or overpainted. If it is an origin colour shot but not a coloured one, the strip might have been re-painted with the white for some reason and the name of the plane removed. But why? - I don't know. The white nose strip can be seen in pictures of other B-17Gs but it seems these were taken at a late period of time. It is my opinion.

    43-38991c.jpg

    43-38991b.jpg

    43-38991.jpg

    Therefore, the white for the nose strip of the "Gallipolis Special" is possible.

    GS.jpg
     
  5. Bad-Karma

    Bad-Karma Member

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    Hi Wurger,

    Yes that was one of my Grandfather's pictures. I crossposted this on the armyairforces forum as well.
     
  6. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I see. I would like to pay your attention to the 441 number applied at the B-17 nose. It was an ending of the plane serial applied there often. However there is no strip of any colour seen there. So it might have been different kite. Could you get a better scan of the pic with the "Z" tail and your Grandfather? The serial there isn't seen at all.
     
  7. Bad-Karma

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    Hi Wurger,

    Appreciate the Input I hadn't noticed in those other pictures that the name was already on. Curious why it's not in the color picture maybe that section received some damage?

    The nose stripe was 3 different colors during the aircraft's life (at least according to the mission list on the valor to victory site. It appears during the time I think it was gallipolis special it was assigned to the 4th bs with a white stripe.
     
  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Looking at the colour pictures I would say the inscription with her name was removed to the bare metal. It can be noticed in the enlarged and clipped image. The factory data below the small widow is damaged while there can be seen a different metal shade just below the lady's hand. Also the "S" letter of "Seventeen" that started at the nose strip partially disappeared from the strip. It suggests the strip was either applied again or repainted. But any damages to the fuselage there methinks.

    SS_1.jpg
     
  9. Bad-Karma

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    I've been searching for a kite with a serial number ending in 441 but was only able to find one possible lead that would be assigned to the 34th bg. The problem is according to the master log it was transferred to another bg a day after arriving. 44-8441

    Another issue regarding that number is next to it there is 2 other faded sets of numbers you can only see under magnification. It looks like 436 plus 251 or just 36 with no 4.

    I should have the actual pictures on Sunday so I'll be able to get better scans. I did read that for that bg sometimes they painted over the serial number and painted the f
    last 3 numbers on the nose like where the 441 is.

    Appreciate you working through this with me
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    OK. Having better scans of these images we could use the Photoshop or another graphic program in order to minipulate shades, colours etc. Sometimes it helps a lot.

    Is the pic below an enlarged one of the "Gallipolis Special" factory data?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Bad-Karma

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    Yep, my grandmother's eyes are going so she has this magnifying machine that my parents used to get that close up of the data
     
  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I would say the serial was of 43-38874 to 43-39079 range what was for B-17G-100-BO batch. There is "1" at the end of the serial and the digit before the "1" seems to be "5". As a result the serial may be 43-38951 or 43-39051.
     
  13. Bad-Karma

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    Thanks, I ran all of those serials and none seem to be assigned to the 34th bg. it seems the 34th was the only group to use the kind of markings seen in the pictures.

    My grandfathers buddies in the picture with him are John Wooten and
    Earl Stovall both seem to be connected to the 34th bg as well. What I can't figure out is why my grandfather a member of the 96th bg would be stationed there.
     
  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Yep.. I have checked on these as well.

    The B-17G 43-38951 assigned 603BS/398BG [N7-B].
    The B-17G 43-38891 "Blues in the Night" sent to the 359th BS [BN-H].
    The B-17G 43-38931 assigned 560BS/388BG.
     
  15. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Your pic in negative .... b17-gallipolis-special_3.jpg
     
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