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Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA33312: Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress of the 19th BG, Malang, Java, February 1942. Limited Edition of 1,010 Pieces. With superb looking weathered finish.
Length 12.25 inches Wingspan 17.25 inches
PLEASE NOTE: Box has the odd light scuff mark. Model is new
Thirty-five B-17s of the 19th Bombardment Group (BG) were stationed in the Philippines, 19 at Clark Field, Luzon and 16 at Del Monte, on Mindanao. Sixteen were in the Canal Zone. Twelve, of the 5th BG, were at Hickam Field, Hawaii. And, as every student of the attack on Pearl Harbor knows, six more B-17s were approaching Hickam Field on the morning of December 7th. They touched down wherever they could. In the Japanese attack that morning, five B-17s were destroyed and eight were damaged.
In the Philippines, an odd drama unfolded. The bombers at Clark Field were stationed there as a deterrent. Plans were in place for an immediate strike against Japanese bases on Formosa in the event of war. Generals MacArthur and Brereton got prompt word of the attack on Pearl Harbor. But the B-17’s did not attack Formosa; they circled Luzon defensively, then returned to base. The next day, the Japanese struck Clark Field and destroyed or damaged all but one of them. A few damaged planes were repaired and joined up with the squadrons at Del Monte. These few B-17’s launched some ineffectual attacks against the Japanese onslaught, including one mission in which the pilot, Colin Kelly, thought he had sunk the battleship Haruna. He died on landing, but won great acclaim and a DSC. Postwar research indicated that he had slightly damaged a cruiser.
By New Year’s Day 1942, 11 B-17s flew to a new base at Malang in Java. Their main target then was Japanese shipping. These B-17s were reinforced in January 1942 by some LB-30 Liberators and some new B-17Es of the 7th Bomb Group.
Designed to meet a US Army Air Corps requirement for a multi-engined bomber to replace the B-10, the B-17 first flew on July 18, 1935. Best known for its role in the US Army Air Forces’ daylight strategic bombing campaign during World War II, the B-17 could fly high and had a long range, and was capable of defending itself from enemy fighters. It was also tough, withstanding extensive battle damage, and was capable of carrying a 6,000 lb bombload. The B-17 became one of the symbols of Allied air power, equipping 32 overseas combat groups and dropping a total of 580,631 metric tons of bombs on European targets.
The B-17E was an extensive revision of the Model 299 design: The fuselage was extended by 10 ft (3.0 m); a much larger rear fuselage, vertical tail fin, rudder, and horizontal stabilizer were added to the design; a gunner’s position was added in the new tail; the nose (especially the bombardier’s well-framed nose glazing) remained relatively the same as the earlier B through D versions had, but with the addition of a Sperry electrically powered manned dorsal gun turret just behind the cockpit, and the similarly powered (also built by Sperry) manned ventral ball turret just aft of the bomb bay – replacing a relatively hard-to-use, Bendix-designed remotely operated ventral turret on the earliest examples of the E variant, that had also been used on the earlier marks of the North American B-25 Mitchell – resulted in a 20% increase in aircraft weight. The B-17’s turbocharged Wright R-1820 Cyclone 9 engines were upgraded to increasingly more powerful versions of the same powerplants multiple times throughout its production, and similarly, the number of machine gun emplacement locations were increased to enhance their aircraft’s combat effectiveness.
As of 2020, 46 B-17 airframes survive, of which 10 remain airworthy.