Skip to main content
Edit entry 

37-369

B-17 Flying Fortress

First flew 29-Apr-39 from Boeing Fd, turbo superchargers fitted, and used for other static tests such as stress and superchargers, etc.; Assigned Headquarter SQd'n/19BG March Fd 3-Oct-40; with P.W. McIntyre force landed through mechanical failure 8-Mar-41 at Hatchita, NM; with Carl Goldenberg force landed Dow Fd, Me 19-Dec-41; to Geiger 7-Feb-42. Have pix flying over Seattle Fd, 24 Nov 1938. Ultimately it was re-designated a B-17A. This aircraft never served in combat and was never posted to the UK.

Events

Event Location Date
Manufactured Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington 29 April 1939
Assigned March Army Airfield, Perris, California 3 October 1940

19BG
HQ Squadron

Crashed Bangor Army Airfield, Maine 19 December 1941

At 10:30 a.m., on December 19, 1941, a Boeing B-17A (Y1B-17A) (Ser. No. 37-369) crashed and burned on take off from Bangor Air Base. All nine crewmen aboard escaped, however three were seriously injured.
Crew members were identified in the aircraft accident investigation report as:
(Pilot) Major Carl T. Goldenberg
(Co-pilot) 2nd Lt. D. W. Johnson
2nd Lt. D. S. Winslow
(Photographer) (Rank Unknown) J. C. Robinson
(Engineer) T/Sgt. John W. Freeman
(Radio Operator) S/Sgt. T. L. Young
S/Sgt. L. H. Waltman
Cpl. L. P. Lawfer
Pfc. P. S. Keever
Only first initials were used to identify the crew in the accident investigation report with the exception of the pilot and engineer.
This New England military aircraft accident is some-what historically significant due to the fact that the aircraft was one-of-a-kind.
The fuel system for this aircraft had been changed (Upgraded) the previous day by a Master Sergeant who’d been sent to Bangor specifically to do the job. The reason for such an unusual measure was because this B-17 was a testing prototype fitted with superchargers on the engines, and the Army Air Corps, had much time, money, and resources devoted to this project.
At the time of this crash, the Air Corps was in the process of developing a modern four-engine, high-altitude bomber. This B-17 (37-369) was the fourteenth produced by Boeing, but the only one designated an “A” variant, and the first to be equipped with turbo-superchargers, which were considered necessary for the aircraft to operate at higher altitudes with greater speed.
The accident investigation committee tasked with finding the cause of the accident made the following two conclusions which are transcribed here.
1) “A change of the fuel system for this aircraft had been completed the day previous to the accident by M/Sgt. ———– sent to Bangor Air Base by rail from Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, specifically for the purpose of making the change from hydro power to a direct drive fuel pump. A thorough test of the new installation was made previous to the take off and no indication of malfunctioning was revealed. Also, upon examination of the number four engine fuel pump after recovery, the same was found true. The fuel pump drive on all other engines was melted beyond recovery. It is the opinion of the committee that in no way was the fuel system change a contributing factor to the accident”
2) “It is the opinion of the committee that the pilot reduced the power on the right hand side to overcome the yaw to the left, and that the number three and number four engines failed upon reapplication of the power to those engines. It is believed that the failure was only momentary due to choking, but sufficient to cause a violent yaw to the right; also that this engine failure was sufficient to make it impossible for the pilot to pull up the right wing.”
Sources:
U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Report Of Aircraft Accident #42-12-19-1

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 March 2019 00:20:58 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

https://www.newenglandaviationhistory.com/tag/b-17a-37-369-accident/
https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/b-17b/y1b-17a-...

Date Contributor Update
14 January 2019 15:58:02 Emily Changes to serial number
Sources

Removed block number from serial number

Date Contributor Update
16 January 2015 21:50:51 Lee8thbuff Changes to serial number, production block number, manufacturer and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 16-Jan-2015. Added Y block and note to description based on " The B-17 Flying Fortress Story" Roger A. Freeman with David Osborne; converted dates to military-style signification.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:00 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

Share