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Topic: 38th and 88th reconnaisance squadron missing b-17< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Jeffrey Remick Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 05 2002,1:56  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There was four B-17s from the 38th and 88th reconnaisance  squadron flights from Hamleton Field, CA to Hickam Field which turned back due mechanical problems.  Does any one know which type and  number from each squadron that did not make it to Hawaii?  Any other information on these aircraft would be very helpful.
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 05 2002,9:26 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha Jeffrey,
It took me several years to seek out the crew roster, and aircraft serials of all 16 planes in the shipment of 38th and 88th RS planes through Hawaii. Of the four which did not make the trek, three never left California that night and one turned back to California. My text on this topic is still in work.

I added many appendices to the back of the book, 7 Dec 1941: The USAF Story by Leatrice Arakaki and John Kuborn [Hickam AFB, HI: PacAF Office of History; 1991, reprinted: Washington DC: GPO; 1991]. The B-17 serials and crew roster of all sixteen planes are given there.

An 'on line' copy of the entire book is currently available at: Wright Air Development Center Digital Collection

Be sure to read the Part IV [Appendcies] PDF file

HTH,

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David Aiken, a Director
Pearl Harbor History Associates, Inc.

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Uplandmod Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 12 2004,10:37 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello All,

What was the makeup of the B-17? It seems it was a combination of bot B17D and B-17E models. How many of each? Does anybody have any good photos of what the tail markings are of these planes?
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Leonardo
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 13 2004,11:56 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha Leonardo,
Thirty-Five NMF B-17Ds were to depart to Hickam in May 1941. Of these, fourteen were jerked out of this departure to prepare for another mission. Thus only twenty-one arrived to Hickam Field in May 1941. In September, nine of the B-17Ds were forwarded to the Philippines...leaving a dozen NMF B-17Ds at Hickam [half were used for parts to get the nine sent to the Philippines, thus only six were really in good working order!]

On the morning of 7 Dec, two camouflaged B-17Es and four camouflaged B-17Cs, assigned to the 38th Reconn Squadron, and six camouflaged B-17Es, assigned to the 88th Reconn Sqdn, 7th Bomb Group....advanced to Hickam and arrived during the attack.

Of these camouflaged B-17s, we ONLY know the markings applied on one! The well photographed #49 B-17C which wiped out its landing gear crossing a ditch while landing at Bellows Field. The B-17Es came direct from the factory without any tactical markings [serials were applied from early 1942 at Boeing].

The best ID on the early "Pearl Harbor" B-17s: B-17C had NO cowl flaps, the B-17D did.
HTH,
David
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 24 2007,11:07 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha All,
Ah, yes, the B-17....
My first flight in a B-17 was interesting. Like any old DC-3, when you enter the back door of a 17 you have got to climb up-hill. I went to the radio compartment where a nice breeze was coming from the open bomb bay doors.

There was no bomb load so I could see into the cockpit to view the pilot's hands playing with various knobs. A gear started moving in the bomb bay and the doors closed. Another guy came in and sat across from me.

The loud whine told me that an engine was starting. I wasn't prepared for the airplane to shake so much. After the third engine started, I couldn't hear the fourth. The B-17 engines are that loud.

We began to move while the pilot had his hands cupped around the rungs of a ladder affair in the center console. Another hand appeared from the right to play with four sliding items just below the pilot's hand.

The wait was brief at the end of the runway this sunny Sunday. The engine noise increased and we began to roll. The tail came up and seconds later we were off. No, there was no "seat belt" sign or stewardess with drinks.

The other guy and I just looked out our respective tiny windows across the big wide wings. He yelled to me, "Is this supposed to do that?" Like a monkey swinging from tree to tree -as I grabbed each support spot to keep from falling, I went over to where he was . Looking out his tiny window I noticed a small trickle of clear liquid coming back from the #2 engine. "No" I said, "but if it gets any worse let me know" and in less than two miniutes it was. This time a stream of heavy black oil was pouring out halfway across the wing and a foot wide. The crew chief saw it, went forward screaming for attention, with his one hand cutting his neck and raising two fingers of his other.

As we were coming back toward the airfield with our dead engine, and it is quite unnerving to see that prop feathered, my mind went into overload...

Belly landing...

Crash....

Lots more!

I could just see the airfield under attack, bombs exploding next to the runway. Just level with us and coming across our bow ...I screamed, "Fighters, 11 o'clock" toward the guys at the waist gun positions. I moved to the radio gun position to get a better look. Yes, they were Zeros. Again I yelled back toward the waist, "They're coming in level along the port side...look out, there is one at 7 o'clock coming in for a strafing attack!"

The guys at the waist gun positions turned and aimed their television cameras just as my mind went back in time!

The Zero that was making the mock strafing run was one of several I had provided the paint scheme. It was in the markings of a Zero that strafed Lt Ray Swenson's B-17 on 7 Dec 1941, hitting it in the radio compartment starting the flares burning. I had interviewed two of Swenson's crew whom had been in that radio compartment ...this VERY Zero ...was "strafing" at ME, standing in the radio compartment! The hairs on my neck stood on end.

That Confederate Air Force airshow was too real for me. The dead engine was real, but -to me- the strafing attack was MORE real.


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Cheers,

David Aiken, a Director
Pearl Harbor History Associates, Inc.

Keep the largest WWII website on line!
Join NOW: $25
P.O. Box 1007
Stratford, CT  06615

http://www.pearlharbor-history.org/
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