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USAAF Operational and Replacement Training Units (OTUs/RTUs) - Questions

Discussion in 'Ground Commands, Stations, & Bases' started by BobTou, Nov 27, 2016.

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  1. billrunnels

    billrunnels Active Member

    The last point you make is not completely true. I attended Crew Assembly Training during the period of Oct. thru Dec.,1944 at Gulfport and we were still using some B-17F model aircraft that were anything but combat capable. At the 303rdbg, Molesworth, England we still had modified B-17F aircraft flying missions.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  2. terveurn

    terveurn Active Member

    1) very very few B-17F in training - again, most of the surviving B-17F's in the ZOI training units had a very specific purpose - formation monitor, group pilot trainers etc., Historic curiosity etc...

    Vast majority of the early were heavily worn out and quickly retired in April 1944. These worn out early models were for the most part, replaced with B-17G-55-BO serial numbered aircraft (over 150 of this model went directly to ZOI B-17 training). Even the replacement B-17G-55's were getting badly worn out by early 1945, with a large number of landing gear failures attributed this usage.

    2) I can provide you with the 8th AF field order, dated April 1944 retiring all B-17's from combat (except for a few special cases / formation monitor / Aphrodite etc.) -- what 303rd BG B-17F was still on combat duty in Fall 1944 ??

    Only 303rd BG(H) B-17F #, Wabash Cannonball, used to fly as an observer aircraft with the 360BS formation. on 9 Nov 44

    suggest you read the 303rd BG mission report # 152 (page 1) -- 12 May 1944;


    This mission was the final 303rd BG(H) mission to use an “F” model B-17. B-17F #42-3398 Mrs. Satan - Queen of Hell (360BS), piloted by 1Lt Donald M. Johnston, was the last B-17F to fly a 303rd BG(H) combat mission.

    3) As far as I know, only the 15th AF still was using B-17F's operationally..
    25Kingman49 likes this.
  3. BobTou

    BobTou New Member

    Thanks, all, for some very insightful info. Having just returned after two weeks out of the country, I'm only now beginning to sift through your collective inputs. Even on first blush, though, I've already learned much that has corrected my initial misconceptions regarding this confusing (for me, anyway) topic. I really appreciate everyone's help!
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