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B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby"

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ahronshapiro
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2011/05/11 07:23:12 (permalink)
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B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby"

Hi, I have a question about a plane in your group, "Our Baby" 42-31618.
http://www.457thbombgroup.org/NoseArt/noseart.HTML
http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Fate/RLP011.HTML
 
It is listed as a B-17G in the MACR and on these aforementioned web pages, however I have a picture of the plane that may have been taken as late as March 1944 that shows the plane without a chin turret.
This picture was either taken during delivery of the plane to Europe or during training in the USA, and is not a 457th BG crew.
 

 
Does anyone know the history of this plane and can anyone tell me why the plane is identified as a B17-G but lacks the chin turret. Could it have been retrofitted in the field?
 
Thanks
 

Ahron Shapiro, nephew of 2nd Lt Ezra Shapiro, co-pilot with the 305th Bomb Group, 364th Squadron. KIA 29 May 1944 on his 9th mission. 
RSwank
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2011/05/11 07:57:14 (permalink)
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I think more than one plane was called "Our Baby".   Here is a link to a photo being sold on e-bay for a B-17 G called  "Our Baby".
 
http://cgi.ebay.com/Photo-U-S-Army-B-17G-FLYING-FORTRESS-OUR-BABY-/270747295112
 
The photo you have posted does look like a training photo shot, very similar to the many "Good Pickin" photos that can be found.  "Good Pickin" was based in Dalhart, TX.
 
http://www.poorhousephotos.com/goodpickin/
 
http://forum.armyairforces.com/148-Monogram-B17F-quotGood-Pickinquot-m193138.aspx

 
ahronshapiro
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2011/05/11 08:55:19 (permalink)
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Thank you for your speedy reply. 
I appreciate it.
I know that more planes had that name, but the nose art on the plane is identical, and I do mean precisely identical to the very smallest detail, to the one at:
 
http://www.457thbombgroup.org/NoseArt/noseart.HTML
 
See for yourself and tell me what you think.
There are only two conclusions I can come up with - either the picture on the 457th Web site is displaying nose art from the wrong "Our Baby" or the 457th's plane and mine are one and the same - and the chin turret question remains.

Ahron Shapiro, nephew of 2nd Lt Ezra Shapiro, co-pilot with the 305th Bomb Group, 364th Squadron. KIA 29 May 1944 on his 9th mission. 
Joost de Raaf
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2011/05/11 09:11:10 (permalink)
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Looking at Picture with Crew I even think this is not a B-17G but a B-17F concidering the location of loop antenna being under the Nose, and not like B-17G further aft.  I am not sure if 457th ever flew with B-17F model.
Therefore I asume if B-17 shown in Picture is indeed a F model, it can not be 42-31618 / 457th BG

Grtz
Joost
post edited by joost900 - 2011/05/12 04:50:42
glen
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2011/05/11 16:36:08 (permalink)
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That's the photo that I have but the plane was listed as B-17F with the 367th BSQ with The 306th Bomb Group.
Joost de Raaf
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2011/05/12 15:54:24 (permalink)
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Could this B-17 shown in the Picture be B-17F-40-DL  42-3233 of 350th BS / 100th BG?
 
found this link and if you scroll down you will see a crew photo in front of "Our Baby" Must admit, no unit marking are to be seen so it does not prove it actually is a 100th BG plane...
 
Regards
Joost
ahronshapiro
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2011/05/12 20:40:29 (permalink)
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Nice catch, Joost.
There's that exact same plane again!
I've been talking about this with historians about this. Due to the fact that the airman I got my picture from did not even arrive in England until the end of March or early April 1944, it does not make sense that his crew would have flown over a B17-F to England months after the B17Gs went into production.
Nor could they have been standing in front of a plane that had been shot down in August 1943.
I have concluded that the "Our Baby" in all three of these photos was probably a training plane. Given the evidence, I now believe this plane was used as a backdrop for several crew photos during phase training in the USA. 
My theory is that the 457th web site used the nose art image without confirming that it belonged to the "Our Baby" that flew with the 457th.
That's how I'm leaning at the moment.

Ahron Shapiro, nephew of 2nd Lt Ezra Shapiro, co-pilot with the 305th Bomb Group, 364th Squadron. KIA 29 May 1944 on his 9th mission. 
ahronshapiro
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2011/05/12 20:45:20 (permalink)
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glen

That's the photo that I have but the plane was listed as B-17F with the 367th BSQ with The 306th Bomb Group.

 
Which is the photo you have, Glen?

Ahron Shapiro, nephew of 2nd Lt Ezra Shapiro, co-pilot with the 305th Bomb Group, 364th Squadron. KIA 29 May 1944 on his 9th mission. 
delmar
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2011/08/06 00:36:31 (permalink)
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I have found this forum to be quite interesting.  I also have a picture of a B-17 named "OUR LADY" and the flight crew is different than the ones you have shown.  I have several boxes of my fathers time in the Air Force with maybe hundreds of pictures.  Was wondering if I might share with you the picture I have to see if you might be able to assist in identifying this plane and crew further.
 
Most kind regards,
Del
ahronshapiro
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2011/10/31 02:29:18 (permalink)
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Hi Del,
Wow, if you scanned those pictures in that you have, you would be doing a great service to all of us. Let me know if there is any way I can help in this endeavor.
-Ahron 
 

Ahron Shapiro, nephew of 2nd Lt Ezra Shapiro, co-pilot with the 305th Bomb Group, 364th Squadron. KIA 29 May 1944 on his 9th mission. 
Steve Birdsall
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2011/10/31 14:54:43 (permalink)
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The B-17F "Our Baby" in all these photos is serial number 42-3010, a trainer that never left the United States.
 
http://aerovintage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=626&sid=9f049311fac53cd6fe4ae1be435a6aa7
cody1947
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Re:B-17G, 42-31618 "Our Baby" 2012/03/21 08:33:53 (permalink)
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I find it interesting that a nine man crew is pictured? If this Aircraft was a trainer one would assume there would be ten Airmen in the crew. I have no idea when they switched to the nine man crew -AS FAR AS TRAINING- was concerned?
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