42-3487 Bomb’n Belle (possible other A/C number)

B-17F-70-DL 42-3487

709th SQ — E

 

Delivered Denver 10/7/43; Grenier 18/8/43; Assigned 812BS/482BG [MI-E] Alconbury 28/8/43 Pathfinder, with H2X, later removed; transferred 349BS/100BG ( sic); transferred 709BS/447BG [IE-E] Rattlesden, hit when parked by 43-37539 23/6/44;

Salvaged 25/6/44. BOMB’N BELLE

 

No Pilot listed in the caption for this photo, titled: “Crewmembers of the Bomb’n Belle” 447th BG, 709th RAF Rattlesden, United Kingdom

Back row left to right:

2Lt. Joseph Keenan N
Sgt. Robert Sasse LWG
2Lt. Edward Frost CP
Sgt. Raymond McCarthy TG

Front row:

Sgt. Eugene Szulczewski BT
S/Sgt. Paul Dickerson RO
Sgt. Richard Kindic RWG
S/Sgt. Andrew Marsin (Marcin?) TT

 

 

Possible Serial Numbers for the 447 BG B-17G “BOMB’N BELLE”

 

Facts

BOMB’N BELLE assigned to the 447 BG, photo reveals a heavily weathered aircraft with the individual letter code F (possibly E).  The nose window arrangement consisted of three windows of the same size, no evidence of there being “cheek” windows.

The painted over “X” on the waist section is an indication of a Fall 1943 practice to display tactical mission markings in response to the growing number of reports of “captured B-17s” attempting to join formations.  These temporary markings were painted over at the conclusion of the mission.  This indicates that BOMB’N BELL was operational in the Fall of 1943. 

TO BE DETERMINED: Exactly when the use of tactical mission markings began and when they were deleted from SOPs.

Paul Dickerson a 447 BG radio operator became a POW on 20 May 1944, while assigned to 42-37864.

42-37873 (below), a 710 BS B-17, had the individual letter F; there is some indication that it may have been assigned to the 709 BS.  FTR on 11 Jul 1944, interned in Switzerland, aircraft returned to US after the war and ended up at Kingman on or about 13 Sep 1945.

compare to plane with the Bomb’n Belle nose art (below)

 

As of 19 May 1944 the following 447 BG camouflaged B-17s remained in the inventory that were also assigned to the 447th during Fall 1943.

42-31092   A
42-31095 708 F
42-31100 709 B
42-31104 708 G
42-31127 708 P
42-31128 709  
42-31145 708 E
42-31154 708 O
42-31185 708 M
42-31206 709 M
42-31206 711 B
42-31225 709 G
42-31777 709  
42-37854 708  
42-37864 709  
42-37871 711  
42-37873 710  
42-39874 709 H
42-39882 711 L
42-39886 709 J

 

A 388th BG B-17 G, 42-37853, shows a nose arrangement with clear evidence that the “cheek” window being a field modification. Note that some personal markings in yellow on the front window were partially covered up by the “field modification.”

ASSUMPTIONS
Information provided by the son of Paul Dickerson, a radio operator, and crew assigned to the B-17G BOMB’N BELLE on 19 May 1944, is correct.

CONCLUSION
447 BG B-17G BOMB’N BELLE serial number is either 42-37864, which is also reported to be named “Marty” or 42-37873 which has no reported name associated with it.

 

 


 

On the American Air Museum site there is some confusion as to the plane number mentioned as 42-3487.

  • Nicknames: Bomb’n Belle
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Production block number: B-17G-1-DL
  • Manufacturer: Douglas
  • Markings & paint scheme: Olive Drab and Light Grey. 482BG MI-E; 447BG IE-E. Subtitled with double entendre, “I’m layin’ for you” The 100th BG aircraft XR-F is purported to actually be 42-30487, a Seattle B-17F.

 

 

 

 

 


Assgn 482BG 08/43 (H2-X); flew with 447th in June 1944; sal 06/24/44 (B&P, I)