4 engine heavy bomber
Used primarily in European Theatre against
Eighth Air Force based in England and Italy.
Dropped more bombs than any other US aircraft during
Carried up to 4,800 lbs of bombs
Norden Bombsight/high altitude bombing
5- 50 caliber machine guns
10 man crew
Began operations in 1941 with the RAF.
1/3 of all B-17’s built lost in combat.
12, 731 built
Goal: Bomb the factories at Schweinfurt
230 aircraft attack
36 shot down (24 shot down in another
raid the same day. Total 60)
2nd attempt: October 14, 1943
291 planes attacked.
59 shot down, 1 ditched in the Channel,
5 crashed in England & 12 scrapped due
to damage= 77 lost
8th Air Force lost 176 bombers in Oct.
Luftwaffe figured out that 20 hits from a
20mm gun in the tail section would bring
a B-17 down.
To accomplish this, they would fire over
1000 rounds at the bomber.
Or attack from the front
5 B17 groups in the Pacific Theatre
Used sparingly because they had so
Crews loved them
Legends grew (Memphis Belle)
Today a handful tour the country keeping