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Aviation History And Aircraft Photography

B-17 — The Flying Fortress Survivors
Museum Static Displays


The recognized authority on the surviving B-17 airframes is a book called Final Cut by Scott Thompson. Thompson researched every B-17 airframe that survived World War Two, and determined their ultimate fates. That is no small feat given that there were nearly 13,000 B-17's produced during the war years.

Aviation historians use the following sets of numbers when discussing the B-17 Flying Fortress. They may have slightly different categories, but the bottom line number of airframes is pretty well agreed upon:

Category Count
Operational Or Airworthy 13
Static Display 21
Under Restoration To Flight 4
Under Restoration To Display 3
In Storage 5
Hulks And Partial Airframes 7
Total Recovered B-17 Airframes 53

I count 15 active, including two Flying Forts that are down for long term maintenance but are basically airworthy. I have high hopes that these B-17's will be back in the air sooner or later. To compensate, I count 19 on static display. Finally, there are perhaps 25 or so known B-17 crash sites that have not been recovered yet.

A list such as this is hard to maintain up-to-date in that these aircraft change owners, change status, and new wrecks are discovered or recovered. Please let me know if you know of additional aircraft or status changes as you hear about them. While I do appreciate people sending photos to me, I generally only use my own photography on this web site. Getting around to visit all of these aircraft in person is the big trick, but it is also most of the fun.


B-17 Flying Fortress On Static Display In The USA

Serial Number Aircraft Type Nickname City State Location Notes
42-3374 B-17F Homesick Angel Bellevue NE Offutt Air Force Base Gate guard displayed outdoors.
42-32076 B-17G Shoo Shoo Baby Dayton OH US Air Force Museum Displayed indoors.
43-38635 B-17G Virgins Delight Atwater CA Castle Air Museum Displayed outdoors.
44-6393 B-17G Return To Glory Riverside CA March Field Museum Displayed outdoors.
44-83512 B-17G Heavens Above San Antonio TX US Air Force History And Traditions Museum Displayed outdoors on the grounds of Lackland AFB.
44-83542 B-17G Piccadilly Princess Polk City FL Fantasy Of Flight Displayed in the museum.
44-83559 B-17G King Bee Ashland NE Strategic Air And Space Museum Displayed indoors.
44-83624 B-17G Sleepy Time Gal Dover DE Military Airlift Command Museum Displayed indoors.
44-83663 B-17G Short Bier Ogden UT Hill AFB Museum Displayed indoors.
44-83690 B-17G Miss Liberty Belle Peru IN Grissom Air Museum Displayed outdoors.
44-83863 B-17G Gremlin's Hideout Valparaiso FL USAF Armament Museum Displayed outdoors.
44-83884 B-17G Yankee Doodle II Shreveport LA 8th Air Force Museum Displayed outdoors.
44-85599 B-17G Reluctant Dragon Abilene TX Dyess AFB Linear Air Park Displayed outdoors.
44-85738 B-17G Preston's Pride Tulare CA AMVETS Post #56 Displayed outdoors, struck by a runaway truck in 2003.
44-85790 B-17G Lacey Lady Milwaukie OR The Bomber Inn Fuselage, wings, engines located above gas station, nose is restored and located in small museum.
44-85828 B-17G I'll Be Around Tucson AZ Pima Air And Space Museum Displayed in 390th Bomb Group Memorial Hangar.
Note—click on the Serial Number to see a photo of each airplane.

B-17 Flying Fortress On Static Display Worldwide

Serial Number Aircraft Type Nickname City State Location Notes
44-83735 B-17G Mary Alice Duxford UK American Air Museum Displayed indoors.
44-83868 B-17G   Hendon UK Bomber Command Museum Displayed indoors.
44-85583 B-17G   Recife Brazil Base Area Of Recife Displayed outdoors.
Note—click on the Serial Number to see a photo of each airplane.

B-17 Flying Fortress In Restoration

Serial Number Aircraft Type Nickname City State Location Notes
40-3097 B-17D The Swoose Washington DC National Air & Space Museum Undergoing restoration at the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio.
41-2595 B-17E Desert Rat Marengo IL   Restoration to flying status, this was the XC-108.
41-9032 B-17E My Gal Sal Cincinnati OH   Restoration for display.
41-9210 B-17E   Arlington WA Flying Heritage Collection Restoration to flying status.
41-24485 B-17F Memphis Belle Dayton OH USAF Museum Restoration for display.
44-83684 B-17G Piccadilly Lilly Chino CA Air Museum Planes Of Fame Restoration to flying status.
44-83790 B-17G   Douglas GA   Restoration to flying status.
44-85813 B-17G   Urbana OH   Restoration to flying status.
Note—click on the Serial Number to see a photo of each airplane.

B-17 Flying Fortress Airframes In Storage

Serial Number Aircraft Type Nickname City State Location Notes
44-8889 B-17G   Paris France Musee de I'Air In storage.
44-83525 B-17G   Polk City FL Fantasy Of Flight In storage.
44-83718 B-17G   Rio de Janeiro Brazil Museo Aeroespacial In storage.
44-83814 B-17G   Washington DC National Air & Space Museum In storage.
Note—click on the Serial Number to see a photo of each airplane.

B-17 Flying Fortress Partial Airframes And Hulks

Serial Number Aircraft Type Nickname City State Location Notes
41-2446 B-17E Swamp Ghost Chino CA Planes Of Fame Recovered from New Guinea in 2005, arrived in USA in 2010.
41-24487 B-17F Eager Beaver Pooler GA Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum Partial airframe.
42-30681 B-17F   Tillamook OR Tillamook Air Museum Partial airframe. Fuselage In Storage.
42-30861 B-17F   Fairbanks AK   Partial airframe. Wings.
42-30861 B-17F   Cincinnati OH   Partial airframe. Aft fuselage.
44-83316 B-17G   Urbana OH   Partial airframe. Parts go to 44-85813.
44-83722 B-17G   Urbana OH   Partial airframe. Parts go to 44-85813.
44-83387 B-17G   Los Angeles CA   Movie prop from 12 O'Clock High. Hung in a bar in Greely, CO, for many years. Moved to CA in 2007. Slated to go on display in new National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
Note—click on the Serial Number to see a photo of each airplane.

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2014, all rights reserved.
For further information, contact: john@johnweeks.com