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World War II: USA
Aircraft of the United States in WWII.
Hosted by Rowan Baylis
B-17 379th BG July 29 1943 0935 42-5810
amoz02t
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 02:23 AM UTC


I worked with a friend whose father was an 8th Air Force pilot and POW. As a fan of B-17s, I wanted to learn more about the events he had experienced. So I found the Missing Air Crew Report 1363, the 1943 report of the 379th Bomb Group's 16th mission of July 29th and related books. My friend shared family photos and scrapbook telegrams that gave interesting insight into the time.
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 02:23 AM UTC
There is a lot of good documentation from the 8th Air Force historians. Just look at Brian O'Neill's excellent research and work here. Very inspirational!
https://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=221261

I tried a couple of 1/72 scale models of the plane 42-5810 that went down. But I still struggled with who saw what from where at the time of the shoot down. Looking harder at where each reporting crew was in the Thursday July 29, 1943 formation at 0935 over Heligoland.
amoz02t
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 02:28 AM UTC
I wondered what a 379th BG 1943 formation would look like. From the mission report, they recorded "Position over target"



amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 02:37 AM UTC
I started looking at the 1/700 scale options for B-17F small size. As there are the old Pit Road kits, many 3D offering on eBay and Shapeways, this 700 scale seemed promising. Not only models, but aftermarket decals are available for ship model carrier planes and such.
amoz02t
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 02:43 AM UTC
Based in United States, soxfox2 has been an eBay member since Aug 04, 2012. They do excellent 700 scale items.


As aircraft 42-5810 was brought down by EA, the ME-109G-6, ME-109T, and FW-190 in 1/700 scale from Pit Road and 3D print vendors would add something to the scene.



amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 02:49 AM UTC
I used the typical process for 3D printed item. Wash and clean. Prime with Tamiya Fine spray, then highlight, then OD base & gray. Brush details for canopy, engines, gear & guns. Future clear coat, decals, another clear coat. Finish coat was Dull coat from the rattle can.
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 02:52 AM UTC


amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 02:58 AM UTC
At this 1/700 scale I could not figure out nose art. I had to accept that nose bomb mission markers and tail serial numbers will only appear with some crude photo shop work! Please send some ideas on smaller decal options, (like a new line from Archer perhaps?) My attempts at tail S/N...



Lead 1-1 42-3212 piloted by 379th BG Louis Rohr



42-29829 Sons of Satan
amoz02t
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 03:31 AM UTC
I decided to add a printed dog tag to the display for each position.

They are color coded for LEAD planes in yellow, HIGH in blue, and LOW formation in green. The planes that returned early due to mechanical issues were printed in dark red.

This gives the pilot's name for that day, tail number, the missing air crew report (MACR) number for the aircraft (as all of these B-17s were lost in the following weeks and months), the squadron and plane ID, the formation position, and finally the individual crew target results recorded for that July 29 mission.


amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 03:37 AM UTC
After looking at the records for the Curtis Emerson LeMay plans for bomber formation, I started working out a 3D wire idea of how to place the individual planes.

amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 03:45 AM UTC
The formation was recorded as "straggling" so I assumed more space for the 379th BG for that day, on their 16th mission.

There is a lot of reference material available for each aircraft out there. For example 42-3325 "Paddy Gremlin" was LEAD 2-1 position that day.

amoz02t
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 04:04 AM UTC
The 379th group was the LEAD of the three bomb groups that day. The 303rd BG was HIGH and the 384th BG was LOW group for the wing.

After the aborts, there were only 14 planes left of the 379th after the Wing diverted to Heligoland due to weather.

amoz02t
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 04:08 AM UTC
The 379th had five planes that called abort and returned early for various reasons. One of the 20 did not take off due to a run away prop.


amoz02t
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 04:20 AM UTC
After diverting for 10/10 cloud at the coast, the entire bomber wing turned for Heligoland as a target of opportunity. Just before reaching the island at 9:35 am, the FLAK, aerial bombs, fighters with rockets, and tail on fighters hit the group. The B-17F 42-5810 fell away from the formation with two engines out.

amoz02t
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 04:25 AM UTC




amoz02t
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 10:26 PM UTC
Nine of the 10 crew members were recovered from the North Sea to become POWs. Four bailed out and the others stayed with 42-5810 to ditch. I am adding a German S-100 Class Schnellboot in 700 scale to imply their recovery at sea.

from MACR 1363


amoz02t
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Posted: Tuesday, April 07, 2020 - 08:02 AM UTC


Redhand
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Posted: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 - 01:38 AM UTC
I was about to put up this set of formation illustrations from you know where and see you beat me to it. I'm following this project with interest. I'm not sure I've seen anyone else try it. I'm no animator, but it might be a good subject for a YouTube video as well.
amoz02t
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Posted: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 - 03:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I was about to put up this set of formation illustrations from you know where and see you beat me to it. I'm following this project with interest. I'm not sure I've seen anyone else try it. I'm no animator, but it might be a good subject for a YouTube video as well.



Thank you for looking in Brian. Means a lot to me as I have been rereading your books before starting on the 20 planes of the 303rd BG high group part of this project. The 303rd had no aborts and no losses that day on their July 29, 1943 (Combat Mission Number 55) . I assume the 303 BG was a tighter group formation with their more experienced crews?

Hope you don't mind the link I placed earlier to your LL build?
You and HG are creating a work of art that has been a learning tool. So much information collected to document that history and much appreciated.
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 - 07:40 AM UTC
I don't know about YouTube videos or how that works. Richard Lewis of Kentucky also mentioned trying to put together some sort of video showing the 42-5810 story. I have no skills to do that but have found a PC editor that flashes photos with music. Very much a work in progress as there is still much I want to add to make up the 65 some odd B-17s of the Combat Wing (379th BG LEAD, 303rd BG HIGH and 384th BG LOW) plus attacking fighters.

I will look at putting some kind of rough video together later.

This is a listing I found for the 303rd BG (Triangle C) in the HIGH wing position on that Thursday July 29, 1943. I thank Brian O'Neill for his excellent color reference book including most of these 303rd Bomb Group aircraft. Highly recommended!

42-5341 Vicious Virgin
42-3131 Flak Wolf
42-29754 Shangri-La ‘Lil’
42-3158 Max
42-29846
42-3002 The Old Squaw
42-29931 Satan's Workshop
42-5393 Thumper Again
42-5434 Lady Luck
42-29738 Upstairs Maid
42-5788 A.O.G. Not in Stock
42-5854 Alley Oop
42-29955 Mr. Five by Five
42-29635 Augerhead
42-29571 Charley Horse
42-5360 Old Faithful
41-24605 Knockout Dropper
42-5257 Miss Bea Haven
42-5482 Cat-O-Nine Tails
42-29640 Ol’ Ironsides
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 - 10:33 AM UTC
Need to find help to figure out how to do this YouTube stuff. Perhaps a narrative would make a collection of photos more understandable. This is only a rough trial video for my learning. This 4 minute video is only intended to honor those who served. Many thanks to the Collings Foundation for their B-17 909 interior photos. Thanks to all the others whose photos and material that I have stolen with no intent to misuse. Please enjoy and (gently) comment.

https://youtu.be/p_hcawM8kcM

amoz02t
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 08:45 AM UTC
Some more shots to show the formation of the 14 remaining 379th Group that made it to the target of opportunity. The airbase at Heligoland was targeted with about a minute from the improvised initial point (IP).





amoz02t
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 08:50 AM UTC
Lead squadron had 4 planes remaining



amoz02t
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 08:57 AM UTC
High squadron only had 3 aircraft left


amoz02t
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Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 09:03 AM UTC
Low squadron had 6 remaining over the Heligoland island