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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 1/6/44; Hunter 10/6/44; Dow Fd 30/6/44; Assigned 323BS/91BG [OR-T] Bassingbourn 31/7/44; 401BG [LL-J]; after 22 missions switched to Carpet Jammer Ops; Returned to the USA Bradley 15/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 28/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 1/12/45. (nose art painted by pilot Dave Hettema) OLD BATTLE AXE.

Initially converted to a "Mickey" radar pathfinder ship, later to Carpet Jammer.



  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 323rd Bomb Squadron


  • Jack Rubenfeld

    Military | Radio Operator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    A radio operator with 401st 91st at Bassingbourn Rubenfeld flew 35 missions with 'The Old Battleaxe' from November 1944 to May 1945. Post war he studied law and practiced in Scranton PA.

  • Michel Schexnayder

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Gunner, Ball Turret | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars


  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents ( , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

  • Deenethorpe

    Military site : airfield
    Deenethorpe was a base purpose-built for American heavy bombers, with the Class A regulation 2,000 and 1,400-yard runways. All the buildings on site,such as the accommodation and administrative blocks, were temporary. In December 1943, several local...


Event Location Date
Manufactured Seattle, WA, USA 1944

Built at Boeing.

Delivered 722, 6207 Missile Dr, Cheyenne, WY 82005, USA 1 June 1944

Delivered Cheyenne AAF 1-Jun-44.

Assigned Bassingbourn cum Kneesworth, Royston SG8, UK 31 July 1944

Assigned 323BS, 91BG, 8AF.

Assigned Deenethorpe, Corby NN17, UK 1945

Transferred to 401BG, 8AF.

Returned ZI Bradley International Airport (BDL), Schoephoester Rd, Windsor Locks, CT 06096, USA 15 June 1945

Returned to the USA Bradley AAF 15-Jun-45.

Scrapped Kingman Airport, 7000 Flightline Dr, Kingman, AZ 86401, USA 1 December 1945

Scrapped Kingman AAF 1-Dec-45.


Date Contributor Update
09 July 2021 20:32:52 acbernstein1 Changes to markings


Date Contributor Update
16 April 2018 11:57:28 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
25 January 2018 15:07:00 PaulSchex Changes to nicknames

Plane Names & Fancy Noses

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:24 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log