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Airplanes of the Eighth

Where to see B-17s and Mustangs for yourself.

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(Continued from page 2)

Air & Space reader Govind Menon kindly suggested another addition to this list: The New Delhi, where visitors can see a rare Consolidated B-24 Liberator. 

Airplanes

Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress”

Entered service: First Y1B-17s in the U.S. Army Air Corps in August 1937; B-17Cs in the No. 90 Squadron of the Royal Air Force in May 1941; first bombing by the Eighth Air Force with 12 B-17Fs of 97th Bomber Group on August 17, 1942 in Rouen, France.

Known for: continuous service throughout WWII, first American bomber in European Theater of Operations, more B-17Gs built than any other type of bomber (8,680) during last two years of war (12,731 total).

Missions flown: 6,945 of the 10,802 (64.29 percent) missions flown by the Eighth Air Force.

The B-17 “Flying Fortress” earned a great deal of aviation fame with its durability and consistent service throughout World War II. It went on its first bombing mission with the Eighth Air Force—a flight of 12 B-17s from the 97th BG over Rouen, France—on August 17, 1942. The “Flying Fortress” was mainly responsible for Eighth Air Force successes from then on. Of the Eighth Air Force’s 47 Bombardment groups, 29 flew B-17s in some capacity.

Consolidated B-24 “Liberator”

Entered service: to RAF in mid-1941; USAAF first delivery in June 1941; first mission with Eighth: October 9, 1942, Lille, France.

Known for: greater flight endurance and bomb-carrying capacity than B-17; longer range than Fortress; 21 groups in Eighth equipped completely or partly with B-24s; 19,000 built.

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