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B-17G-45-BO 42-97265 MS*P "Hell´s Angel" - Flying with stars and bars, but no invasion stripes


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Four and yes! I asked for its eligibility from Robert and Rich a good while beforehand, and got a "yes" by writing this:

 

"I'm asking you as the D-Day GB host would you allow building a heavy bomber, that took part in bombing tactical targets at and immediately after the D-Day? I have a copy of the war diary of the squadron my planned aircraft belonged to, and I know that specific plane was in active service from 4/44 to 3/45. I can´t say in which specific raids it participated, though. I would of course model her in her early 6/44 livery. I understand that many people don´t consider these bombers as weapons of the invasion, but they sure had an effect on it! Here are some clippings of the 535th Bomb Squadron war diary:

 

6. D-DAY. This is what we came over for last June; this is what every heavy bomber group in the ETO has been paving the way for.

The first mission for the squadron was led by Capt Enos, with Lt Yates as his pilot, at the head of a nine-ship formation striking at Ver-Sur-Mer and Courselles-Sur-Mer. The other eight pilots were: Lts Scarborough, Snyder, Flint, Beackley, Schobert, Parkman, Liddle and Becker.

While the first mission was in progress, a smaller formation took off to bomb enemy installations near Caen. Only three ships, led by Capt Armstead and Lt Wilson, along with Lts Nelson and Ringgenberg participated.

Except for moderate to meagre flak the enemy offered no opposition to our support of the Normandy coast landing operation.

7. The Kerlin/sweetheart airfield in France (Bretagne) came in for a pounding today, with nine Forts and their crews from this outfit taking part, and followed the scrubbing of a third intended effort.

8. Today's target was to hit the "Rocket-gun Coast" installations near La Frilliere, where the group bombed by squadrons. Capt Armstead led ours with Lt Flint, the others being: Lts Beackley, Becker, Scarborough, Liddle, Parkman, Snyder and Ringgenberg.

10. The mission today took six squadron Forts for the group to attack military installations near Hardelot, in the Pas de Calais area, those being: Lts Haring, Yates, Schobert, Nelson, Ringgenberg and English.

11. It was back to the Pas de Calais area again. Soon we'll be able to make no more sarcastic remarks about what the B-24 crews do for a living. With the exception of flak, these missions are running quite uneventfully. Today's target, an airfield at Beaumont Le Roger, was attacked by: Capt Armstead with Lts Becker, Snyder, Flint, Parkman, Beackley and Liddle.

12. The Lille/Nord airfield was our target today, nine squadron Forts participating within the group, which pounded its objective. Enemy opposition amounted to no more than moderate by fairly accurate flak.

14. Today brought an attack on the Velun/Villaroche airfield, France, which was successfully hit. Our squadron put up ten Forts and crews as wing leaders, with Major Halsey and Capt Enos heading the formation. Bad weather, some rough flak in the target area and a long haul were the story of the trip. The enemy offered no fighter opposition and our escort was excellent."

 

It appears there were some inaccuracies with some place names, but I could locate all but one of them (funny though, target for the 7/6 was the airfield of Kerlin/B a s t ard, but some autocorrect feature has "cleaned" it up!).

 

The map.

 

More about the actual big beautiful bird later.

Best regards, V-P

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Yes they indeed they did, Dennis, and Lancasters too. They practically decimated the Panzer Lehr division with carpet bombing. Unfortunately many of those bombing operations fell short of their intended targets, and plenty of bombs fell also on American troops.

(Edit: only now I read that wiki link too)

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Okay, slightly off-topic, but...

Meanwhile, on another front, the Soviet 4th strategic offensive was finally getting halted at the Karelian Isthmus in late June, but the attacker was still pushing forward. At Tali, there was an intact bridge very near Finnish frontline that our artillery just couldn't destroy because it was too close to our troops. The commander of the German firebrigade Stuka-squadron that was dispatched to Finland when our frontline had broken, replied to a request to destroy the bridge by divebombing that yes, it could be done but the Stukas need to dive from the Soviet side. He knew bombs, especially dive bombs, tend to fall short rather than go too far. So, the airspace was cleared with fighters for the Ju 87:s, they attacked and destroyed the bridge and not one single bomb hit the Finnish troops. That's professionalism.

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535th BS , the last of the Triangle - L Squadrons to be built ? :)   will it be an F , early G with open windows or a late G with staggered windows (new Airfix kit) , looking forward this build 

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RJ, only the third so far. I still have the 532nd BS to do after this one. I do have the decals and a kit for it, though, so I'm hoping for the Night and Day and the Boeing GB to get enough support to go through the vote!

42-97265

This build will be an Academy kit representing an early-to-mid production B-17G-45-BO. The kit I have is the 15th Air Force edition which for an unknown reason also includes one decal option for an 8th Air Force aircraft, 42-97265, see here for MS*P "Hell's Angel".

2019-05-31_09-18-50

That's a pic of her, taken at Christmas -44, showing a Cheyenne tail position. Did it have one already in early June? There are some pics of aircraft from that production block that have already had their tail converted. So until anyone can show me an evidence it did have a Stinger tail in June... I'll build her with a Pumpkin! The waist positions were non-staggered and had the early window type.

So, can I build and decorate her out-of-the-box then? Unfortunately not! The kit has tail a/c number 297265 and call letter P in white, as it's designed to be built with her July -44 and later 1 CBW red empennage. For a NMF tail I need black numbers and black P. Kits-World delivers the numbers and the letter can be robbed from an Xtradecal D-Day sheet Mustang option - actually an R but easy to cut to be a P! In terms of material efficiency, that Academy tail number can be easily converted to 297625 which was a 535th BS PFF-aircraft :hmmm:.

 

hellsangelnose

The Hell's Angel lost at least one of its aircrew KIA, when three initially stuck 100lbs bombs from an aircraft forward and above in formation got released and all three hit the nose of 42-97265 behind and below. One of those bombs hit the bombardier in the head and fractured his skull, killing him instanteniously 😞. V-P

 

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I hope that removing these B-17C specific parts from the sprues doesn't count as starting to build the kit!? Fortunately, I believe I still have more than 75% to do so should be on the safe side anyway. That's a lot of unnecessary plastic, by the way 😠.

2019-05-31_11-34-42

 

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V-P,

Personally, I don't count bits you won't use as part of the build.  Your B-17should still be good to go on the 6th :)

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On 5/30/2019 at 7:38 AM, vppelt68 said:

Four and yes! I asked for its eligibility from Robert and Rich a good while beforehand, and got a "yes" by writing this:

 

"I'm asking you as the D-Day GB host would you allow building a heavy bomber, that took part in bombing tactical targets at and immediately after the D-Day? I have a copy of the war diary of the squadron my planned aircraft belonged to, and I know that specific plane was in active service from 4/44 to 3/45. I can´t say in which specific raids it participated, though. I would of course model her in her early 6/44 livery. I understand that many people don´t consider these bombers as weapons of the invasion, but they sure had an effect on it! Here are some clippings of the 535th Bomb Squadron war diary:

 

A very appropriate build, I know the 95th BG (my local interest) undertook 3 support missions on D-Day- several of the planes fitting in sorties 1 and 3; I sense that those on sortie 2 felt short-changed because in diaries etc. you can the same sentiment of 'this is what we came to do' and everything else was merely build up

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For those of you expecting glorious in-detail photography and craftsmanship in this build thread, thanks for visiting, but unfortunately I have nothing to offer you 😆.

Instead, very few and very bad pics and some clumsy modelling will be portrayed for all of you wanting a reference for "I´m sure I could do better than that..." :rofl:

As it has become my habit, I started building a Fort by tackling the wings. There are three things I try to fix in the Academy provided plastic:

1) those supercharger intakes were just shallow recesses; I drilled them open but haven´t filed square yet

2) wingtips lack the long range ("Tokyo") fuel tank vents completely; one is now roughly cut and bent but needs finishing

3) the dihedral issue; I´ll follow the instructions provided by master builders in the recent B-17 STGB, thank you!

2019-06-06_09-15-22

These are the virgin wing lower halves. No pics of the progress made. I think the wings can be assembled without further modifications, but the exhausts need some reshaping and opening up... but more about that later. V-P 

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  • vppelt68 changed the title to B-17G-45-BO 42-97265 MS*P "Hell´s Angel" - Flying with stars and bars, but no invasion stripes

Keep up the excellent work on this tribute; but if you want a distraction or incentive I've found the link to the 95BG view of the day.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7u2kFLe3K6IcFdla2htNTBfalE/view

 

Fascinating reading, especially the last couple of pages about how all ships are to be regarded as friendly, the dangers of bombing short. Along with the paucity of opposition a/c

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  • 3 months later...

There's nothing like a good deadline to get you really going. Last sunday I started assembling the angel's fuselage. Academy gives, no forces, you the option of staggered or non-staggered waist gun positions. In case of angel, it would be non-staggered. The plastic was cut roughly...

2019-09-15_06-24-47

...and then filed to accept the window. The next pic is from today. It shows the fuselage interior painted black, which is incorrect colour for a B-17, but there's just nothing to be seen or shown in here!

2019-09-22_12-05-08

I don't like pieces to be inserted but not cemented between fuselage halves, but can't help it in case of this kit. The nose compartments were given a most minimal paint treatment. I did add a pair of ammo boxes for cheek guns, but that's it. Nothing will be seen anyway.

2019-09-22_12-04-35

With everything in-between and the obligatory pics taken, it was time to wrap things up and start joining the halves together. I'm im the process on cementing them stretch by stretch.

2019-09-22_12-34-23

Next sunday is close... But at least I'm trying to make it! V-P

 

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