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A Fortress IIA from No. Of the 291 attacking Fortresses, 60 were shot down over Germany, five crashed on approach to Britain, . There are very few films left in existence showing the Me 262 in action, especially shooting down allied bombers with P-51 escorts. [225][226], "B-17" redirects here. It should have been a peaceful Sunday morning in Hawaii. All were Allison powered. Though initially surviving the impact, Hill died within a few hours, and Tower on 19 November. Half of the group's B-17s were wiped out on 8 December 1941 when they were caught on the ground during refueling and rearming for a planned attack on Japanese airfields on Formosa. Copy. ", "Durable B-17s hard for pilots to forget: Love for plane outweighs bitter memories of war", "World War II War Production Why Were the B-17 and B-24 Produced in Parallel? The Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) in the European Theater was one of Americas bloodiest campaigns. Yes, for instance, M/SGT Michael Arooth shot down 17 enemy aircraft to reach triple "Ace" status. The B-17 was reported as shot down by observers, but it survived and brought its crew home without injury. 2012-04-07 03:53:31. [72], The B-17 began operations in World WarII with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1941, and in the Southwest Pacific with the U.S. Army. The B-17's armament consisted of five .30 caliber (7.62 mm) machine guns, with a payload up to 4,800 lb (2,200 kg) of bombs on two racks in the bomb bay behind the cockpit. This production rate was, however, surpassed by that of the, This is a commonly misreported error. Only 33 bombers landed without damage. It is part of the USAAC World War II Memorial Flight and makes dozens of appearances across the United Kingdom and Northern Europe. Forty-five planes survive in complete form, 38 in the United States. Gift of Peggy Wallace, 2010.308.044, Group of B-17 bombers over Europe with vapor trail flowing behind them, 1944-45. Air Corps doctrine dictated bombing runs from high altitude, but they soon found only 1% of their bombs hit targets. Britain in WW2 . The aircraft went through several alterations in each of its design stages and variants. The only prototype XB-38 to fly crashed on its ninth flight, and the type was abandoned. [157], Following the end of World War II, the B-17 was quickly phased out of use as a bomber and the Army Air Forces retired most of its fleet. 504-528-1944, Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, Black Volunteer Infantry Platoons in World War II, Kasserine Pass: German Offensive, American Victory, Gallantry against Great Odds: LTC George Marshall and Operation RESERVIST, Prelude to Liberation: Genesis of American Amphibious Assault in the ETO, Black Thursday October 14, 1943: The Second Schweinfurt Bombing Raid, An Exercise in Depravity: The Establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto, Unsung Witnesses of the Battle of Stalingrad, Stalingrad: Experimentation, Adaptation, Implementation. This led to more widespread conversion of B-17s as drones and drone control aircraft, both for further use in atomic testing and as targets for testing surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. [36] Experiments on this aircraft led to the use of a quartet of General Electric turbo-superchargers, which later became standard on the B-17 line. Copilot was Lieutenant Donald Putt, while Boeing chief test pilot Leslie R. Tower was behind the pilots in an advisory role. They could also pose as ground controllers themselves with the intention of steering nightfighters away from the bomber streams. The Coast Guard PB-1Gs served throughout the 1950s, the last example not being withdrawn from service until 14 October 1959. [103] However, due to the slow 715mph velocity and characteristic ballistic drop of the fired rocket (despite the usual mounting of the launcher at about 15 upward orientation), and the small number of fighters fitted with the weapons, the Wfr. "Operation Pointblank: Evolution of Allied Air Doctrine During World WarII". How many helicopters were shot down in Vietnam? Its main use was in Europe, where its shorter range and smaller bombload relative to other aircraft did not hamper it as much as in the Pacific Theater. [152] According to these allegations, the practice was initially successful, but Army Air Force combat aircrews quickly developed and established standard procedures to first warn off, and then fire upon any "stranger" trying to join a group's formation. In years following World War I, the United States was heavily influenced by Italian air-power theorist Giulio Douhet who called for heavy investment in a force of bombers to fly over the front-lines, destroy an enemys infrastructure, and break their will to fight. [178] During the war, the largest offensive bombing force, the Eighth Air Force, had an open preference for the B-17. British authorities were anxious that no similar accidents should again occur, and the Aphrodite project was scrapped in early 1945. The experience showed both the RAF and USAAF that the B-17C was not ready for combat, and that improved defenses, larger bomb loads and more accurate bombing methods were required. Work on using B-17s to carry airborne lifeboats had begun in 1943, but they entered service in the European theater only in February 1945. On 8 August 1934, the USAAC tendered a proposal for a multiengine bomber to replace the Martin B-10. By the time the B-17s and escorting Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighters were about to get airborne, they were destroyed by Japanese bombers of the 11th Air Fleet. Major General Frank Maxwell Andrews of the GHQ Air Force believed that the capabilities of large four-engined aircraft exceeded those of shorter-ranged, twin-engined aircraft, and that the B-17 was better suited to new, emerging USAAC doctrine. Covering 12,000 miles (19,000km) they returned on 27 February, with seven aircraft setting off on a flight to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, three days later. how many b17s were shot down during ww2. Wiki User. A New Orleans native, James Linn first became involved with the institution then known as The National D-Day Museum in 2001 as an eighth-grade volunteer on weekends and during the summer. While the US had less than 200 at the start of the war, more than 12,000 B-17s were produced by the end and served in every theater. Initially, it could carry a payload of 2200 kg along with 5x .30-inch machine guns. [92] On 17 August 1942, 12 B-17Es of the 97th, with the lead aircraft piloted by Major Paul Tibbets and carrying Brigadier General Ira Eaker as an observer, were close escorted by four squadrons of RAF Spitfire IXs (and a further five squadrons of Spitfire Vs to cover the withdrawal) on the first USAAF heavy bomber raid over Europe, against the large railroad marshalling yards at Rouen-Sotteville in France, while a further six aircraft flew a diversionary raid along the French coast. [128], At their peak, 168 B-17 bombers were in the Pacific theater in September 1942, but already in mid-1942 Gen. Arnold had decided that the B-17 was unsuitable for the kind of operations required in the Pacific and made plans to replace all of the B-17s in the theater with B-24s (and later, B-29s) as soon as they became available. Frisbee, John L. "Valor: Crisis in the Cockpit". They were chosen specifically for these missions as being more suitable for this role than other available German aircraft; they never attempted to deceive the Allies and always wore full Luftwaffe markings. The B-17G was the final version of the Flying Fortress, incorporating all changes made to its predecessor, the B-17F,[57] and in total, 8,680 were built,[68] the last (by Lockheed) on 28 July 1945. Instead of building models based on experimental engineering, Boeing had been hard at work developing their bomber and now had versions ready for production far better than would have been possible otherwise. An overwhelming majority of them were women and children. Donald, David. For the video game, see. [7] The USAAF bombers attacked by day, with British operations chiefly against industrial cities by night. The B-17, for all its armor and firepower, was simply unable to continue to fly unescorted against swarms of German fighter aircraft and their sophisticated air defense system. Serial number 44-85784 is the last airworthy B-17 in the United Kingdom and is based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. The RAF entered World War II with no heavy bomber of its own in service; the biggest available were long-range medium bombers such as the Vickers Wellington, which could carry up to 4,500 pounds (2,000kg) of bombs. [175] Six bombers of the 2nd Bombardment Group took off from Langley Field on 15 February 1938 as part of a goodwill flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina. To enhance performance at slower speeds, the B-17B was altered to include larger rudders and flaps. The first Eighth Air Force units arrived in High Wycombe, England, on 12 May 1942, to form the 97th Bomb Group. Artists who served on the bomber units also created paintings and drawings depicting the combat conditions in World War II. The prototype B-17 Bomber was built at the company's own expense and was a fusion of the features of Boeing XB-15 and Boeing 247 Transport Aircraft. Frisbee, John L. "Valor: A Rather Special Award. How many b17 bombers were lost in ww2? The B-17 evolved through numerous design advances[4][5] but from its inception, the USAAC (later, the USAAF) promoted the aircraft as a strategic weapon. coast. [112], On 7 December 1941, a group of 12 B-17s of the 38th (four B-17C) and 88th (eight B-17E) Reconnaissance Squadrons, en route to reinforce the Philippines, was flown into Pearl Harbor from Hamilton Field, California, arriving while the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was going on. [98], Operation Pointblank opened with attacks on targets in Western Europe. As the raids of the American bombing campaign grew in numbers and frequency, German interception efforts grew in strength (such as during the attempted bombing of Kiel on 13 June 1943[96]), such that unescorted bombing missions came to be discouraged. The British had been bombing from the air, but heavy losses forced them to switch to nighttime area bombing, greatly reducing its effectiveness. Though many were shot down, many more severely damaged aircraft were able to return their crews safely to base. The Combined Bomber Offensive was effectively complete. 7071, 83, 92, 256, 26869. Lieutenant General James Doolittle, commander of the 8th, had ordered the second Schweinfurt mission to be cancelled as the weather deteriorated, but the lead units had already entered hostile air space and continued with the mission. [28][31][note 2] In one of their first missions, three B-17s, directed by lead navigator Lieutenant Curtis LeMay, were sent by General Andrews to "intercept" and photograph the Italian ocean liner Rex 610 miles (980km) off the Atlantic coast. 11,846 helicopters According to the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, a total of 11,846 helicopters were shot down or crashed during the war, resulting in nearly 5,000 American pilots and crew killed. [11] It combined features of the company's experimental XB-15 bomber and 247 transport. B-17, also called Flying Fortress, U.S. heavy bomber used during World War II. Kelly's B-17C AAF S/N 40-2045 (19th BG / 30th BS) crashed about 6mi (10km) from Clark Field after he held the burning Fortress steady long enough for the surviving crew to bail out. Many historians have written about the famous Buffalo Soldiers of the all-Black 92nd Infantry Division, who fought with distinction during World War II. [107][108], A third raid on Schweinfurt on 24 February 1944 highlighted what came to be known as "Big Week",[109] during which the bombing missions were directed against German aircraft production. [158][159] Strategic Air Command (SAC), established in 1946, used reconnaissance B-17s (at first called F-9 [F for Fotorecon], later RB-17) until 1949. How many B-17 were shot down over Germany? One of the most significant weapons of World War II would be ready, but only by a hair. Some of the German pilots had been flying in combat since 1936. In October 1943 the Swiss interned Boeing B-17F-25-VE, tail number 25841, and its U.S. flight crew after the Flying Fortress developed engine trouble after a raid over Germany and was forced to land. [222], The Flying Fortress has also been featured in artistic works expressing the physical and psychological stress of the combat conditions and the high casualty rates that crews suffered. [17], At the fly-off, the four-engined Boeing's performance was superior to those of the twin-engined DB-1 and Model 146. In theory, in the words of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin,the bomber will always get through. The Americans believed the B-17, with the Norden bomb sight, could be that bomber. Best Answer. [84], As use by Bomber Command had been curtailed, the RAF transferred its remaining FortressI aircraft to Coastal Command for use as a long-range maritime patrol aircraft. The iconic bomber of the European theater, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, carried the fight to the Germans in the skies over Europe. This. Of those servicepeople, 2,382 were killed while serving aboard UH-1 Iroquois, better known as the ubiquitous "Huey." And of those 276,000 planes, 68,000 were lost. the B-17 was a fourengine heavy bomber aircraft used by the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. [7] Of the roughly 1.5 million tons of bombs dropped on Nazi Germany and its occupied territories by U.S. aircraft, over 640 000 tons (42.6%) were dropped from B-17s.[8]. More than 250 aircraft crashed or made emergency landings in Switzerland during the Second World War. ", Last edited on 24 February 2023, at 16:26, "intercept" and photograph the Italian ocean liner, List of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress variants, a gunner's position was added in the new tail, the campaign against German aircraft forces, raid on the German capital ship Gneisenau, National Museum of the United States Air Force, List of surviving Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, Accidents and incidents involving the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Aircraft in fiction B-17 Flying Fortress, Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, B-17 Flying Fortress units of the United States Army Air Forces, Accidents and incidents involving the B-17 Flying Fortress, List of military aircraft of the United States, "Army's Biggest Bomber Has Rotating Nose. [19][20], On 30 October 1935, a test flight determining the rate of climb and service ceiling was planned. [114], By 1941, the Far East Air Force (FEAF) based at Clark Field in the Philippines had 35 B-17s, with the War Department eventually planning to raise that to 165. [clarification needed] Stories circulated of B-17s returning to base with tails shredded, engines destroyed and large portions of their wings destroyed by flak. Frisbee, John L. "Valor: 'Valor at its Highest'". [93][94] The operation, carried out in good visibility, was a success, with only minor damage to one aircraft, unrelated to enemy action, and half the bombs landing in the target area. However, B-17s were operating at heights too great for most A6M Zero fighters to reach. In early 1942, the 7th Bombardment Group began arriving in Java with a mixed force of B-17s and LB-30/B-24s. 0. An early model YB-17 also appeared in the 1938 film Test Pilot with Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy, and later with Clark Gable in Command Decision in 1948, in Tora! "[141] Martin Caidin reported one instance in which a B-17 suffered a midair collision with a Focke-Wulf Fw 190, losing an engine and suffering serious damage to both the starboard horizontal stabilizer and the vertical stabilizer, and being knocked out of formation by the impact. Frisbee, John L. "Valor: The Right Touch". [78] While the Short Stirling and Handley Page Halifax became its primary bombers by 1941, in early 1940, the RAF entered into an agreement with the U.S. Army Air Corps to acquire 20 B-17Cs, which were given the service name Fortress I. [97], The two different strategies of the American and British bomber commands were organized at the Casablanca Conference in January 1943. Before the advent of long-range fighter escorts, B-17s had only their .50 caliber M2 Browning machine guns to rely on for defense during the bombing runs over Europe. Four B-17s were shot down in these operations.[171]. It also developed a reputation for toughness based upon stories and photos of badly damaged B-17s safely returning to base. As the war intensified, Boeing used feedback from aircrews to improve each new variant with increased armament and armor. Later that year, two groups moved to Algeria to join Twelfth Air Force for operations in North Africa. [28], A total of 155 B-17s of all variants were delivered between 11 January 1937 and 30 November 1941, but production quickly accelerated, with the B-17 once holding the record for the highest production rate for any large aircraft. [138][139][140] Wally Hoffman, a B-17 pilot with the Eighth Air Force during World WarII, said, "The plane can be cut and slashed almost to pieces by enemy fire and bring its crew home. [citation needed] It was subsequently used in various films and in the 1960s television show 12 O'Clock High before being retired to the Planes of Fame aviation museum in Chino, California. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engined heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). [71], Late in World WarII, at least 25 B-17s were fitted with radio controls and television cameras, loaded with 20,000lb (9,100kg) of high explosives and dubbed BQ-7 "Aphrodite missiles" for Operation Aphrodite. Bigger WWII bombers like e.g. The first raid on 17 August 1943 did not result in critical damage to the factories, with the 230 attacking B-17s being intercepted by an estimated 300 Luftwaffe fighters. A sobering statistic: Out of 1,419 Loaches built, 842 were destroyed in Vietnam, most shot down and many others succumbing to crashes resulting from low-level flying. [42] Improved with larger flaps and rudder and a well-framed, 10-panel plexiglas nose, the B-17Bs were delivered in five small batches between July 1939 and March 1940. [100], A second attempt on Schweinfurt on 14 October 1943 later came to be known as "Black Thursday". It was a relatively fast, high-flying, long-range bomber with heavy defensive armament at the expense of bombload. While models A through D of the B-17 were designed defensively, the large-tailed B-17E was the first model primarily focused on offensive warfare. It is the third-most produced bomber of all time, behind the four-engined Consolidated B-24 Liberator and the multirole, twin-engined Junkers Ju 88. [103], To rectify the Fw 190's shortcomings, the number of cannons fitted was doubled to four, with a corresponding increase in the amount of ammunition carried, creating the Sturmbock bomber destroyer version. They were brave. These aircraft had landed with mechanical trouble during the shuttle bombing raids over Germany or had been damaged by a Luftwaffe raid in Poltava. ", Frisbee, John L. "Valor: A Tale of Two Texans.". [160][168] PB-1Ws continued in USN service until 1955, gradually being phased out in favor of the Lockheed WV-2 (known in the USAF as the EC-121, a designation adopted by the USN in 1962), a military version of the Lockheed 1049 Constellation commercial airliner. All of these modifications made the YB-40 well over 10,000lb (4,500kg) heavier than a fully loaded B-17F. ", Frisbee, John L. "Valor: The Quiet Hero.". [221] Both films were made with the full cooperation of the United States Army Air Forces and used USAAF aircraft and (for Twelve O'Clock High) combat footage. [136][137] Luftwaffe fighter pilots likened attacking a B-17 combat box formation to encountering a fliegendes Stachelschwein, "flying porcupine", with dozens of machine guns in a combat box aimed at them from almost every direction. The Americans, on the other hand, were proponents of daylight, precision bombing using their state-of-the-art and top-secret Norden bomb-sight. [160][170], B-17s were used by the CIA front companies Civil Air Transport, Air America and Intermountain Aviation for special missions. in 1970, and in Memphis Belle with Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Billy Zane, and Harry Connick Jr. in 1990. The bombers were assumed either lost by various means or scrapped late in the war for their vital war materials. ", Frisbee, John L. "Valor: One Turning and One Burning. [135] In order to more quickly form these formations, assembly ships, planes with distinctive paint schemes, were utilized to guide bombers into formation, saving assembly time. (U.S. Air Force photo) The Boeing B-17 was one of the primary heavy bombers built by the United States during World War II. It was a four engine, heavy bomber which first flew on July 28, 1935. The B-17F also carried light gray flash letters "RD" and "I" on either side of the fuselage's Swiss national insignia. It had a crew of ten and could carry 6,000 pounds of bombs at 300 miles per hour for a range of 2,000 miles. [90] The device was able to determine, from variables put in by the bombardier, the point at which the aircraft's bombs should be released to hit the target. [75] In the campaign against German aircraft forces in preparation for the invasion of France, B-17 and B-24 raids were directed against German aircraft production while their presence drew the Luftwaffe fighters into battle with Allied fighters.[7]. [citation needed], The B-17 was noted for its ability to absorb battle damage, still reach its target and bring its crew home safely. Many had dozens of aerial victories; some had over 100. Three squadrons undertook Met profiles from airfields in Iceland, Scotland and England, gathering data for vital weather forecasting purposes.