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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Dallas 24//6/44; Langley 27/7/44; Dow Fd 17/8/44; Assigned 4BS/34BG Mendlesham 18/4/44; transferred 850BS/490BG Debach 20/8/44; 332BS/94BG [XM-Q] Rougham 5/45; Returned to the USA 593 BU Charleston 28/10/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 27/12/45. BOBBY SOX. Nose art by Master Sergeant Jay Dee Cowan (490th BG / 851st BS)



  • 490th Bomb Group

    490th Bomb Group

    The 490th Bomb Group, like the 486th and 487th Bomb Groups transitioned from flying B-24 Liberators to B-17 Flying Fortresses, which were used in combat missions from late August 1944. Based at Eye, Suffolk, the Group were focused in the early months...


  • Jay Cowan

    Military | Master Sergeant | 490th Ground Crew Leader | 490th Bomb Group
    Jay Dee Cowan was born on October 11, 1919 in Loredo, Texas. ...


  • Bury St Edmunds

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was purpose-built for American bomb groups and as such had a 2,000 yard main runway that lain in concrete with a tarred and wood-chipped surface. The scale of bases such as this meant that very often the technical, administrative and...

  • Debach

    Military site : airfield
    Debach was one of the last Eighth Air Force heavy bomber bases to be completed. It was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) between late '43 and early '44. Pronounced locally as 'Deb-idge', the base was built to a class A standard with...

  • Mendlesham

    Military site : airfield
    Built in 1942-1943, Mendlesham's first flying unit was the RAF's No. 310 Squadron - a Czechoslovakian unit. The airfield then became home to the USAAF 34th Bomb Group. This unit flew missions from Mendlesham in B-24s and B-17s.


Not yet known


Date Contributor Update
07 January 2019 03:01:34 Bluejay89 Changes to production block number, markings, description, unit associations and person associations

Son of associated ground crew and nose artist Jay Cowan and documents from the 490th historian

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2018 03:48:06 FortCollinsB17 Changes to nicknames

Added name, based on image caption and image itself.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:56 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log