Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress
Joining the static display this year as part of our USAF 75th anniversary celebrations will be the only airworthy example of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in Europe, B-17G 'Sally B'. Over 12,700 B-17s were produced and the type was critical to the USAAF Eighth Air Force bombing campaign. Flying in formation, the Fortresses battled through German defences in daylight raids, suffering heavy casualties until the addition of long-range escort fighters, the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang, and the introduction of the 25-mission limit. Combat crews' lives were measured in weeks rather than months but, despite the high casualty rate, B-17's became famous for returning home with terrible battle damage and were fondly regarded by their crews for this quality. Sally B is maintained through charitable donations so that it can continue to fly as a living memorial to the 79,000 brave Allied airmen that made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War.
Photo Credit: Colin Norwood