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Glenn Sprouse

Mar 12, 2010
Richmond, VA
Good Afternoon Everybody:

I'm getting ready to do a 1/48 Nine-O-Nine and I am trying to make it as accurate to the real one as possible, not the one flying right now (sorry Collings Foundation). I have found plenty of photos, some even in color, but there is still one area that eludes me, and that is the waist guns. Nine-O-Nine was a B-17G-30-BO 42-31909 which means she left the factory with open waist windows and no cheek guns. Those items were added at modification centers after manufacture. In the photos is is easy to tell that the cheek guns were a later instillation but I can't get a clear look at the waist gun positions. The only photo I have is blurry and inconclusive.

Nine O Nine side.png

Profiles in Squadron Signal books, decal sheets (Microscale, Kits World) and online show the waists with the late single-piece Plexiglas and the K-6 gun mounts, but every other aircraft from that block and the modification centers shows the three-piece window mount. The following picture is another B-17G-30-BO from the same production line and probably the same modification center.

I have a feeling that the profiles are being influenced by the Nine-O-Nine flying with the Collings Foundation, which is a B-17G-85-DL originally 44-83575 that had all those modifications added on the production line. However there is the possibility that, with all of the maintenance, engine changes, and repairs that Nine-O-Nine went through, the ground crews replaced the three piece waist windows with the single piece windows at some time during her career. I wanted to know if anyone had any clear photos of this area of the aircraft or any information on what was installed. I appreciate any help with this. Thanks.

Thanks so much daviemax, fubar57, and mjfur for all of this great information! This is answering all of my questions and I'm learning a bit too.

I picked up some interesting information about the 91st B.G. on HyperScale forums from the members over there. Personal stories about the 91st B.G. from ball turret gunner George Odenwaller. Here is the link:

B-17G Nine O Nine (The original) detail questions.

I really appreciate everyone sharing their knowledge with me. It helps me to better relate to the crew of these airplanes as well as making a better model. Now I need to figure out how to fleece line a ball turret and find a picture of a chaff dispenser on a B-17. :) Wasn't chaff called "window" during WWII, or is that just an RAF term?


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