Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress – Snake Hips, 327th BS, 92nd BG, USAAF, RAF Podington 1944
2 in stock
2 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA33320: Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress #42-31713 Snake Hips of 327th BS, 92nd BG, USAAF, RAF Podington, England, February 22nd 1944. Limited Edition of 1124 Pieces.
Length 12.25 inches Wingspan 17.25 inches
B-17G Flying Fortress 42-31713 “Snake Hips” arrived at the USAAF’s 92nd Bombardment Group base at Podington in February 1944 and quickly benefitted from a name and nose artwork that her crew hoped would bring them luck in the air battles to come. The aircraft saw extensive action over the next few months and brought her crew through relatively unscathed, until undertaking a mission to the heavily defended synthetic oil plant at Leuna on 24th August 1944.
On the run in to the target, “Snake Hips” took a direct 88mm flak hit in the bomb bay and whilst the explosion did not detonate the bombs, it did blow a gaping hole in the side of the fuselage and start a hydraulic fire which threatened to engulf the bomber. The aircraft dropped out of formation and headed for home, but on attempting to jettison the bombs, several “hung” and members of the crew were forced to deactivate them, in the midst of all this airborne chaos.
With two engines out and the pilot heading for the relief landing airfield at Woodbridge, he ordered his crew to parachute to safety, knowing he could not leave his station and fearing the landing may result in their injury. Fortunately, he managed to land the bomber without further incident and “Snake Hips” became one of the most heavily damaged B-17s to make it back to the UK during the Second World War.
As US heavy bombers began their strategic bombing campaign against German targets in occupied Europe towards the end of 1942, they were hoping that the heavier calibre of guns used on their aircraft would prove decisive against the threat of Luftwaffe fighter attack, particularly when their bombers were arranged in defensive boxes, bringing the firepower of hundreds of guns to bear.
Assembling hundreds of bombers above the English countryside in all weathers as they rose from their respective bases, would prove to be a huge challenge and collisions were relatively commonplace. Once formed up and heading for their targets, accurate navigation was essential if they were to remain in formation and avoid the murderous flak fields, until they were actually on the run in to the target, all the time knowing that the Luftwaffe were ready to pounce, often in large numbers.
During the early months of the campaign, the bombers would have to run the gauntlet of German defences alone, as Allied fighters lacked the range to escort the bombers all the way to their targets and losses were crippling. Once longer range Lightning, Thunderbolts and Mustangs entered service, the bombers had their protection and as a result both bombing accuracy increased and Luftwaffe fighters began to fall to the guns of their “little friends”.
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.
As of 2020 46 B-17 airframes survive, of which 10 remain airworthy.