B17-F Shamrock Special


'B-17F-60-BO 42-29591 401st Bomb Squadron'

THE SHAMROCK SPECIAL

Originally assigned to 95BG at Framlingham, this B17F was transferred to 91BG in June 1943. Attributed with the name "Easy Aces" by its former operators, the plane became one of those tended by Assistant Crew Chief Gaffney after its arrival at Bassingbourn. Named by Jack, the Fort was a replacement for the recently lost "Invasion No.2". Jack's step-father was of Irish ancestry, hence the new title, and the nude pin-up on the right side clutched a carefully positioned shamrock to preserve her modesty. A second pin-up, kneeling with a bomb, was painted onto the left nose and, when in the sub-depot hangar for repair, a third was painted onto the tail fin. This near-lifesize nude was one of the very few examples of fin artwork to be seen in the 91BG. It was badly damaged in a taxi accident which almost finished Jack as well as "The Shamrock Special" when a another plane over-ran into the parked Fortress.
Repaired and returned to combat, this B17F completed 26 missions before being reassigned to Air Force Service Command due to the lack of long range Tokyo tanks.

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