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 Post subject: 401BG "Mickey Ships" photo gallery
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:07 pm 
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Here, eventually, I hope to be able to post photos of all the PFF "Mickey" equipped B-17s assigned to the 401BG.

Current known allocated aircraft: 17
Current photographed aircraft: 14
Last updated: 12th January 2014

B-17G-20-VE 42-97600
Ex-94CBW PFF aircraft.
Allocated 401BG 614BS IW-Y 20th August 1944.
Transferred to 613BS IN-Y, date unknown.
Lost in Action 21st November 1944.

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B-17G-25-VE 42-97636
Ex-94CBW PFF aircraft.
Suffered Category 3 damage as a result of a landing accident 8th August 1944, Lt. William C. Mannix (613th Squadron) flying.
Aircraft repaired and brought back into service.
Allocated 401BG 615BS IY-H 26th August 1944.
Suffered Category 3 damage as a result of a landing accident 18th February 1945, Capt. Paul E. Campbell (615th Squadron Operations Officer) flying.
Aircraft repaired and brought back into service.
Smoke-laying equipment installed at some point, removed May 1945 prior to transfer to 305BG for Project Casey Jones.

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Seen at the far end of the dispersal
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Aftermath of the 18th Feb 45 accident
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B-17G-40-VE 42-97947
Suffered Category 3 damage as a result of a taxying accident at Denver Municipal Airport 14th April 1944, just two days after delivery to the USAAF, Leon H Pringle of the 6th Ferrying Group in command.
Ex-94CBW PFF aircraft.
Allocated 401BG 612BS SC-U 7th August 1944.
Suffered unspecified damage in a ground accident whilst parked 5th February 1945, repaired and flew as High Sqn. Lead the next day.
Transferred to 615BS IY-U end of February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in August (May?) 1945 for Project Casey Jones.
Most likely to be the true identity of "Snooper" seen downthread.

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Note the Instrument Landing System indicator and associated equipment installed top right.
The SCS-51 ILS indicator was only fitted to lead bombers in this position, and was used in conjunction with mobile ground stations to show the bombardier the forward position of friendly ground forces, i.e. "The Bomb Line".
The instruction to install this indicator for this purpose in all lead aircraft was issued by Division HQ in the week ending 25th December 1944.
Image

B-17G-45-VE 44-8033
Allocated 401BG 614BS IW-C 17th August 1944.
Transferred to 615BS IY-C end of February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones.

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B-17G-50-VE 44-8153
Allocated 401BG 612BS SC-Q 18th August 1944.
Transferred to 615BS IY-O end of February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones.

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B-17G-55-VE 44-8258
Allocated 401BG 615BS IY-A 4th October 1944.
Force-landed Melsbroek, Belgium on December 11th 1944.
Destroyed on the ground at Melsbroek by German fighters, 1st January 1945.

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B-17G-55-VE 44-8259
Allocated 401BG 614BS IW-G 17th November 1944.
Transferred to 615BS IY-K end of February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones.

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And in her post-war 305BG service, with the ghost of the 401st stripe still visible on her fin:

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B-17G-60-VE 44-8371 "Badland Bat II / Freckles"
Allocated 401BG 615BS IY-M 30th November 1944.
Suffered unspecified damage in a ground accident whilst parked 8th February 1945.
Lost in Action, 16th February 1945.
(Second aircraft from front)

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B-17G-65-VE 44-8449
Allocated 401BG 613BS IN-P 9th November 1944.
Suffered Category 3 damage as a result of a take-off accident 20th November 1944, Lt. K.A. Baker flying.
Aircraft repaired and brought back into service.
Transferred to 615BS IY-F end of February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in April 1945 for Project Casey Jones

No photos yet.

B-17G-65-VE 44-8454
Allocated 401BG 613BS IN-C 19th November 1944.
Transferred to 615BS IY-T end of February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones

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B-17G-70-VE 44-8550
Allocated 401BG 613BS IN-Q 1st January 1945.
Transferred to 615BS IY-D end of February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones

Seen here hiding behind 43-38758 IN-P "Fast Company":

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B-17G-75-VE 44-8648
Allocated 401BG 613BS IN-M January 1945.
Transferred to 615BS IY-Nend of February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones

No photos yet.

B-17G-75-VE 44-8653
Allocated 401BG 615BS IY-S 20th January 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones

Seen here in formation with 44-8708

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B-17G-80-VE 44-8707
Allocated 401BG 615BS IY-M 17th February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones

No photos yet.

B-17G-80-VE 44-8708
Allocated 401BG 615BS IY-G 17th February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones
(As she's flying alongside IW-N 43-38738 "Be Comin' Back" this is either the 10th March 1945 mission #225 to Hagen marshalling yards, or the 10th April 1945 mission #246 to Oranienburg ordnance depot)

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In her 305BG colours at St. Trond, Belgium, during Project Casey Jones

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B-17G-85-VE 44-8812 "Beat Me Daddy"
Allocated 401BG 615BS IY-A 19th February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG as XK-A in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones

17th March 1945
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(This is believed to be '812 in April 1945, but not yet confirmed)

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From the unusual double-line mark visible on the leading edge of the wing, this seems to be the same aircraft:

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B-17G-85-VE 44-8825
Allocated 401BG 614BS IW-J 19th February 1945.
Transferred to 615BS IY-J end of February 1945.
Transferred to 305BG in May 1945 for Project Casey Jones.

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Seen here on the bomb run with radome extended.
44-8033 IY-C is on her starboard wing as reserve PFF ship, with 44-8767 IN-W on the port wing.

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'825 after transfer to the 305BG, during removal of the armament and 401st markings.

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"Snooper"
I've not yet confirmed this as one of the "Mickey Ships", but from the photos so far examined it seems only the 401st's PFF aircraft had the cheek guns removed and plated over. The name and nose art are rather apt for a BTO ship too.
Furthermore, there appears to be additional equipment installed above the front cheek window (note the non-standard bolts/rivets) in a similar position to the ILS indicator mounting bracket seen in 42-97947 upthread.

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Unknown aircraft, showing the plates over the cheek gun ports.

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Unknown aircraft, showing the paired antennae for the SCR 718 Radar Altimeter under each wing (the little T-shaped things below each engine):

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The same antennae arrowed in the possible 44-8812 photo:

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Nice detail of the scanner radome:

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"Little Larry"
Not a "Mickey Ship", but I'll post this photo here for now as it shows another of the electronic warfare devices used by the 401st.
In this case, the distinctive "fish hook" AS-69 Antenna used with the AN/APT-2 "Carpet I" and the AN/APQ-9 "Carpet III" Radio Countermeasures Sets can be seen in front of the open nose hatch.
This device was designed to jam the German Wurtzburg and Flak gunlaying radar equipment.

Image

Image

All the best,
PB

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Paul Bellamy

401BG Association: Director & Hon. Life Member
401BG Historical Society: Life Member
1AD HQ Historical Society: Founder Member
ARG Archive: Archive & Collections Officer

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 Post subject: Re: 401BG "Mickey Ships" photo gallery
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:39 am 
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Paul,

Regarding the repeater bracket fasteners you noted on 42-97947 and Snooper, I took these photos of the same four screws on Chuckie this afternoon. More evidence of similar modifications!

Image

Image

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: 401BG "Mickey Ships" photo gallery
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:28 pm 
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Thanks Scott,

I have a nagging worry about what fits on those four fasteners, on some B-17Gs the bombardier's heated suit rheostat is fitted there, mounted either vertically or horizontally. I wonder if the spacings match the boltholes on a rheostat box.

The ILS repeater bracket has two rows of three fasteners and is mounted above the forward corner of the window, no sign of those on Chuckie that I can see I'm afraid. :(
Then again, it could have been a unit- or division-level modification.

All the best,
PB

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Paul Bellamy

401BG Association: Director & Hon. Life Member
401BG Historical Society: Life Member
1AD HQ Historical Society: Founder Member
ARG Archive: Archive & Collections Officer

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 Post subject: Re: 401BG "Mickey Ships" photo gallery
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:00 pm 
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In-flight photo of 42-97947 added.

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Paul Bellamy

401BG Association: Director & Hon. Life Member
401BG Historical Society: Life Member
1AD HQ Historical Society: Founder Member
ARG Archive: Archive & Collections Officer

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 Post subject: Re: 401BG "Mickey Ships" photo gallery
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:46 pm 
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More additions:
Post-accident photo of 42-97636 added.
In-flight photo of 44-8708 added.

12 down, 5 to go. :D

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Paul Bellamy

401BG Association: Director & Hon. Life Member
401BG Historical Society: Life Member
1AD HQ Historical Society: Founder Member
ARG Archive: Archive & Collections Officer

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 Post subject: Re: 401BG "Mickey Ships" photo gallery
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:05 pm 
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Bomb run photo showing both 44-8825 and 44-8033 added.

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Paul Bellamy

401BG Association: Director & Hon. Life Member
401BG Historical Society: Life Member
1AD HQ Historical Society: Founder Member
ARG Archive: Archive & Collections Officer

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 Post subject: Re: 401BG "Mickey Ships" photo gallery
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:40 pm 
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Paul Bellamy wrote:
Note the ILS repeater and associated equipment installed top right.
Image

Just updating the info on this image.

The SCS-51 Instrument Landing System indicator was only fitted to lead bombers in this position, and was used in conjunction with mobile ground stations to show the bombardier the forward position of friendly ground forces, i.e. "The Bomb Line".
The instruction to install this indicator for this purpose in all lead aircraft was issued by Division HQ in the week ending 25th December 1944.

_________________
Paul Bellamy

401BG Association: Director & Hon. Life Member
401BG Historical Society: Life Member
1AD HQ Historical Society: Founder Member
ARG Archive: Archive & Collections Officer

Image


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 Post subject: Re: 401BG "Mickey Ships" photo gallery
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Big series of updates to the list itself this evening, with new photos also added. :)

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Paul Bellamy

401BG Association: Director & Hon. Life Member
401BG Historical Society: Life Member
1AD HQ Historical Society: Founder Member
ARG Archive: Archive & Collections Officer

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 Post subject: Re: 401BG "Mickey Ships" photo gallery
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:04 pm 
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Photo of 44-8653 finally found and duly added to the list. :)

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Paul Bellamy

401BG Association: Director & Hon. Life Member
401BG Historical Society: Life Member
1AD HQ Historical Society: Founder Member
ARG Archive: Archive & Collections Officer

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