Boeing B-17G Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby en route to the National Museum of the US Air Force on 10.12.88. Armament: 13 .50-cal. machine guns; bomb load of 6,000 lbs. Engines: 4 Wright Cyclone R-1820s of 1,200 hp each Maximum speed: 300 mph Cruising speed: 170 mph Range: 1,850 miles Ceiling: 35,000 ft. Span: 103 ft. 10 in. Length: 74 ft. 4 in. Height: 19 ft. 1 in. Weight: 55,000 lbs. loaded Serial number: 42-32076 (U.S. Air Force photo) Posted by Charles McCain
This is the first operation to be nicknamed Black Thursday by the US Air Force, and looking at the numbers killed it’s not hard to see why. In 1943, the Allied Bomber Command had decided to hit the ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt. Flying largely without escorts, an attacking force of 291 B-17 Flying Fortresses quickly lived up to their names as they were forced to fight off attacks from all sides by swarms of German fighters.