Help me identify this plane.

Discussion in 'Basic' started by jjb3kgt, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. jjb3kgt

    jjb3kgt New Member

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    Hello all. I recently came across some pictures of B-17's taken by my grandpa while in the Army Air Corps in WWII. Since he passed on in 2003 I don't have a good resource to really decipher the pictures. My Grandpas name was Oran F Bodle and he was a belly gunner. Flew 49 missions and I am told was stationed in north Africa.

    What is the significance of the nose number as shown below? What does the tail number mean? As you will see I have two pics with the number 757. I am told this is one of his planes and the other below is faint but a readable #447.

    Any help would greatly be appreciated.

    Jonathan
    [​IMG]
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  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #2 Wurger, Aug 20, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
    Welcome to the site mate, greetings from Polans.

    I'm not an expert at bombers here but junging by the serial number on the fin I can say that it was B-17G-60-BO of series 42-102744/42-102978.It means that the bomber was assembled by Boeing factory.757 is the machine number and consists of these three last digitals of the serial.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I can't be certain, but judging by the presentation of the 'last three' on the nose, and repeated under the full serial number on the fin, this B17G might have been with the 15th Air Force, possibly based at Amendola, Italy. The shot from the turret looks like the coastline, and is similar to the Amendola region.
    To find out more, maybe a check of 15th AF web-sites and or Veterans Association or Bomb Group sites could bring up more info. You'll find that many of these have lists of known crew members, from which you may get a start point to dig deeper.
    Sorry I can't be of more help, but the subject is just outside of my main interst source re the USAAF's.
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    In addition , it seems that the B-17 in the third pic is a diffferent one. Looking at the number I've gotten impression it could be 117 or 447 but not 757.
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I'd go with 447 in the third pic.
     
  6. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Me too, 447, clear as a bell. Btw, great info guys!
     
  7. jjb3kgt

    jjb3kgt New Member

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    Most appreciated for all the help gents. Seems I got more info from you all than my family provided.

    Cheers!
     
  8. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    2nd Bombardment Group
    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Served on antisubmarine duty after the US entered World War II.
    Moved to North Africa Mar 1943, assigned to the Twelfth AF.
    Moved to Fifteenth AF Dec 1943.
    Served as part of the occupation
    force in Italy after V-E Day. Inactivated in Italy on 28 Feb 1946.
    20th BS
    49th BS (Former 166th)
    96th BS
    429th BS

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    97th Bombardment Group
    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Constituted as 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942.
    Activated on 3 Feb 1942. Moved to England, May-Jul 1942 with Eighth AF.
    Moved to the Mediterranean theater Twelfth AF Nov 1942. .
    Moved to Fifteenth AF Nov 1943. Inactivated in Italy on 29 Oct 1945.
    340th BS
    341st BS
    342nd BS
    414th BS

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    99th Bombardment Group
    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Constituted as 99th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942.
    Activated 1 Jun 1942. Moved to North Africa, Feb-May 1943,
    assigned to Twelfth AF.
    Entered combat in Mar 1943. Assigned to Fifteenth AF Nov 1943
    and moved to Italy in Dec 1943.
    Inactivated in Italy on 8 Nov 1945.
    346th BS
    347th BS
    348th BS
    416th BS

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    301st Bombardment Group
    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Constituted as 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942.
    Activated on 3 Feb 1942. Moved to England Jul-Aug 1942 assigned to
    Eighth AF. Moved to North Africa Nov 1942 assigned to Twelfth AF.
    Assigned to Fifteenth AF in Nov 1943, moved to Italy in Dec 1943.
    Returned to the US in July 1945. Redesignated 301st Bombardment
    Group (Very Heavy) Aug. 1945. Inactivated on 15 Oct 1945.
    32nd BS
    352nd BS
    353rd BS
    354th BS
    419th BS

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    463rd Bombardment Group
    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Constituted as 463rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943.
    Activated 1 Aug 1943.Moved to Italy, Feb-Mar 1944.
    Inactivated in Italy on 25 Sep 1945.
    772nd BS
    773rd BS
    774th BS
    775th BS

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    483rd Bombardment Group
    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Constituted as 483rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 Sep 1943.
    Activated 20 Sep 1945. Trained with B-17's.
    Moved to Italy, Mar-Apr 1944.
    Inactivated in Italy on 25 Sep 1945.
    815th BS
    816th BS
    817th BS
    840th BS (Former 818th )

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  9. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The 757 was the last three of the USAAF serial number. They often put the last three in larger numbers on the nose and the tail to more easily identify which was which.

    It looks like 42-102757 became a TB-17 sometime after the war before being sent to RFC at Walnut Ridge Arkansas. It's fate is probably the same as many other aircraft at Walnut Ridge, melted down for scrap, and used to make something else.
     
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