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B-17 Flying Fortress

Assigned 368BS/306BG [BO-Q] Westover 25/8/42; Thurleigh 13/10/42; AFSC 1/5/44; was longest serving B-17F in 8th BC; Returned to the USA Tinker 28/7/44; to Williamsport Technical Institute, Patterson Fd, Penn.; 20/6/45 for aeronautical programme, the nose section still on display. EAGER BEAVER.

See article here:

Pennsylvania College of Technology has donated the last remnant of a World War II B-17 bomber to a Georgia Museum to honor a request from its pilot, retired Air Force Col. Marlen E. Reber. The "Eager Beaver," a nose cone from the historic aircraft that had been displayed at Penn College's Kathryn Wentzel Lumley Aviation Center since 1992, recently arrived at its new home, the Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum in Savannah.'

'The plane flew more combat missions (45) than any other B-17 in the European Theater of operations. After the war, Penn College's predecessor, Williamsport Technical Institute, bought the aircraft for $350 for instructional purposes. Most of the plane was scrapped in 1952, but the nose cone featuring a cartoon-like figure was retained. For more information on Pennsylvania College of Technology, visit'



  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 368th Bomb Squadron


  • Charles Bradley

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Flew missions from December 1943 to June 1944 on the 'Eager Beaver'. He flew 30 missions.

  • Neil Brennan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Air Gunner, Togglier/Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 26 November 1943 in B-17 #42-30832, Prisoner of War (POW). He was a POW from 26 Nov 1943 to 04 May 1945 at Stalag 17B, Krems, Austria. Prisoner of War (POW) no. 100388. POW

  • Edward Heintz

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Joined 368th squadron 7-Jul-43. Flew on the 1st bombing mission over Berlin. Flew on 35 x combat missions. Flew on a raid that lost 60 x B-17s. Primary A/C was 'Eager Beaver'. Another was 'Big Noise from Winnetka'. ...

  • George Owen

    Military | Master Sergeant | Ground Crew | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew to England in 1942 on the B-17 41-24487 'Eager Beaver'. He was Communications Chief, which oversaw the work of all of the radio, teletype and other personnel working on communications equipment, etc. ...

  • Marlen Reber

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He completed 25 missions. He flew the 'Eager Beaver' from Westover AFB to England. He had the 'Eager Beaver' throughout his first 15 missions until 3 March 1943 when it got badly shot up by the ball turret gunner on John Reagan's crew. He was the 19th...


  • VIII Bomber Command 85

    19 August 1943
    The German airfields at Gilze-Rijen, Holland and Woensdrecht, Holland are the targets for this mission. The attacks will be made by two elements. The first element is a combined force of 125 B-17s from: 91BG (8); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (19);...


  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...


Event Location Date
Flew to England Westover Air Force Base, Chicopee, MA 01022, USA 25 August 1942
First 8th Air Force aircraft to bomb Berlin 27 January 1943


Date Contributor Update
26 November 2015 18:33:31 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, markings and unit associations

B-17 Groups of the Eighth Air Force by Martin Bowman.

Date Contributor Update
28 April 2015 16:26:11 Lucy May Changes to events and media associations

Date Contributor Update
28 April 2015 15:58:21 Lucy May Changes to description

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:02 AAM AAM ingest

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log