Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sparkling New Fortresses

Fifteen B-17Fs lined up (don't miss the one behind the hangar)
awaiting delivery.
When I found today's glossy 8x10 photo at a swap meet, it was the end of the day, I only had $5 in my pocket, and the vendor was packing up to go home. He'd wanted a lot more for it, but reluctantly gave it up for my five spot. It's a little bit wrinkled and battered, but a gorgeous image, nonetheless.

In the photo are no less than fifteen Block 27 Boeing B-17F Flying Fortresses, either just before or just after delivery in 1942 (because of the lack of an Army Air Corps stamp on the back, I'm guessing that this is a Boeing Company photo). Note the tight grouping of serial numbers, and the lack of guns installed in the waist positions. And then there's the guy on the bicycle...like couldn't the photographer have waited just a few more seconds for the dude to get out of the frame?

From what I could find, the Block 27 F-models were built in Seattle, but this photo was clearly not taken there (here, for instance, is a view of B-17s on the Seattle ramp). I'm thinking maybe Wichita? If anyone has better location information, please comment below.


  1. Your blog is a real pleasure, and I love the images you profile. Thank you.

  2. This photo was taken at the Douglas plant in Tulsa, and the airplanes were converted to YB-40s in Tulsa.