Tuesday, May 2, 2023

B-17F Hells Angels

B-17F 41-24577 "Hells Angels" was assigned to Bangor on Oct 14, 1942. It completed 48 missions without an abort or a crewman injured. It returned to New Jersey on 10 February 1944 for a War Bond tour. 'Hells Angels' was the first aircraft to complete 25 missions, earlier than the Memphis Belle. The event was important because it proved to flight crews it was possible to survive. The statistics of bomber losses were grim: most crews were gone by their fifth mission. Statistically, a man flying his sixth mission was “on someone else’s time.”
B-17F Hells Angels remained in theater until 1944. Hells Angels dropped more than a quarter of a million pounds of bombs on enemy territory. It was sold for scrap in Stillwater, Oklahoma on 7 August 1945.

On February 3, 1944 GI’s swarm over the Hells Angels, to put their names on the Flying Fortress before its take-off for the US and a War Bond tour.