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B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Kearney 26/6/44; Dow Fd 9/7/44; Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-A] Bassingbourn 22/7/44 PEGGY 20+m; Returned to the USA Bradley 12/6/45; Sth Plains 14/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 5/12/45. 2m SUNKIST SUE.

Sometime in October, the aircraft had the ball turret removed due to what the pilot thought was a "fundamental airframe fault". Sunkist Sue's first mission with the modification would be the 2 November Merseburg raid, where the crew would claim anywhere from two to five aircraft destroyed. Later on the aircraft would suffer minor battle damage Sterkrade on 22 January. Finally, on the 29 January mission to Niederlahnstein, the Fortress suffered an engine loss over the railyards, resulting in a forced landing that all the crew walked away from. Sunkist Sue would later be sent back to Bassingbourn, but would not fly another mission after that.



  • 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...

  • 401st Bomb Squadron


  • Jack Gaffney

    Military | Master Sergeant | Crew chief | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Assigned to 401BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. In addition to his mechanic duties, Sgt Gaffney created "nose art" for seven different 91st BG Fortresses. He painted nose art for "Invasion II" (42-5070), "The Bad Egg" (41-24484), "The Sky Wolf" (41-24527), ...


  • 494

    25 July 1944

  • 501

    28 July 1944

  • 503

    29 July 1944

  • 507

    31 July 1944
    Flak knocked out #2 engine, the interphone system, the VHF plus other damages. We got back to the base before the formation.

  • 527

    7 August 1944
    STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 4 missions are flown: ...

  • 533

    9 August 1944

  • 552

    14 August 1944

  • 8th Air Force 554

    15 August 1944
    Airfields in NW Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium are the primary targets for this mission. 8th Air Force despatches a total of 932 aircraft. The raid is coordinated with 1,000 Royal Air Force (RAF) heavy bombers and Mosquitos attacking 9 airfields...

  • 8th Air Force 556

    16 August 1944
    Aircraft factories and oil refineries are the primary targets for this mission. A total of 1090 heavy bombers are despatched. See Mission Details for particulars. ...

  • 570

    25 August 1944

Show more


  • 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...


Event Location Date
Delivered Bassingbourn, England 22 July 1944

Assigned to 401BS/91BG

Forced Landing 29 January 1945

Lost engine over Niederlahnstein rail yards and forced to land. Crew walked away fine.


Date Contributor Update
21 September 2021 17:08:54 CastleBren Changes to production block number, manufacturer, markings, description, events and mission associations

Date Contributor Update
22 July 2021 16:40:29 acbernstein1 Changes to nicknames

Date Contributor Update
09 March 2020 01:09:37 jmoore43 Changes to unit associations

Added connections to the 401st BS, 91st BG and 8th AF mentioned in A/C description.

Date Contributor Update
09 March 2020 01:04:00 jmoore43 Changes to nicknames

Added the A/C nickname listed in the A/C “Description”.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:50 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log