Please help ID Plane and /or squadron

Discussion in 'Aircraft Picture Requests' started by ausnat, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. ausnat

    ausnat New Member

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    Hello, my wife found an old pic in her dads belongings, he served in WWII and Korea. He is not in this picture, but he carried it in his wallet. Could somebody help to shed some light on the plane, or if possible the squadron. I am not even sure if it is an American plane / crew.
     

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  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    It is a B-17.

    I can do some more research when I am not at work.
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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  4. ausnat

    ausnat New Member

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    In looking at WWII planes I thought it was a B-17 based off of tail and position of rear landing gear, but the numbering through me off. I did not see any with this same form of ID on the tail.
     
  5. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    That large number is the individual serial number for that particular aircraft. There should be someone along that can give you info on how to search for the plane with that number.
     
  6. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I agree it's a B-17. Serial Number is likely 42-30670 and this would make it a B-17F. I looked up 43-30670 as the number obscured bu the fella's head could be a two or 3 but the serail number in the 43 series would have made it a C-47 and it's clearly not that. Unfortunately, the source I used here USASC-USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to Present has a gap between 30668 and 30774. Go figure....
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    It's a Boeing-built B-17F-115-BO, from production block 42-30617 to 42-30731.
    The large numerals of the 'last three' of the serial number, in white, below the yellow numerals of the serial itself, and the relatively new look of the leather flying clothing, suggest the photo was taken 'Stateside' at a training establishment, or perhaps just prior to departure for the ETO, as these would not be present in a combat unit, and would be replaced by the unit identifier (for example 'Triangle A' of the 1st BD), and the individual aircraft code letter of that unit.
    I've checked the serial against aircraft serving with the 1st Bombardment Division, 8th USAAF, and although other aircraft from this serial block were assigned to that division, this aircraft was not one of them.
    It's possible that the aircraft was assigned to another combat unit, or it may have remained in the USA with a training unit.
     
  8. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    That serial number is bracketed by B-17F's that went to 8th AF in Sept, 1943 timeframe
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    You're right Bill. Unfortunately, the only complete listing of individual aircraft assignments I have is for the 1st BD, and this aircraft wasn't assigned to any Groups within that Division. As it was assigned to the 8th, I'm presuming it went to another BD.
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    #10 vikingBerserker, May 12, 2013
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
    In 1945 this aircraft was based at Grand Island AAF, NE and was involved in 4 accidents:

    Date Aircraft Type Serial Number Sqdn Group Home Base AF Pilot Country US State Location
    450405 TB-17E 42-30620 242BU Grand Island AAF, NE Pittman, Thomas L USA FL Miami APO, FL
    450715 TB-17F 42-30620 376CCTS Grand Island AAF, NE 2 Laubach, Merritt S USA VA Roanoke Municipal Airport, VA
    451008 B-17F 42-30620 242CCTS Grand Island AAF, NE 2 Whitehead, Samuel H USA OK Tinker Field, OK
    450506 B-17F 42-30620 242AAFBU Grand Island AAF 2AF Love, Robert S USA FL Orlando AAF
    Data from Aviation Archaeology Search Result

    If this is not the time frame you are looking for, then you should see if you can get a copy of the IARC ("Individual Aircraft Record Card") and it will tell you where it was based at the time frame you are looking for.

    Best of luck!
     
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