Monday, November 22, 2010


The Nine-O-Nine, a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber of the 323rd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, completed 140 combat missions during World War II, believed to be the Eighth Air Force record for most missions, and never lost a crewman as a casualty. B-17G-85-DL, 44-83575, civil register N93012, owned and flown by The Collings Foundation, Stow, Massachusetts, currently appears at airshows marked as the historic Nine-O-Nine.

The original aircraft was a block 30 B-17G manufactured by the Boeing Company, she was nicknamed after the last three digits of her serial number: 42-31909. She was added to the USAAF inventory on December 15, 1943, and flown overseas on February 5, 1944. After depot modifications, she was delivered to the 91st BG at RAF Bassingbourn, England, on February 24, 1944, as a replacement aircraft, one of the last B-17s received in factory-applied camouflage paint.[1]

A former navigator of the 91st BG, Marion Havelaar, reported in his history of the group that Nine-O-Nine completed either 126 or 132 consecutive missions without aborting for mechanical reasons, believed to be a record. M/Sgt. Rollin L. Davis, maintenance line chief of the bomber, received the Bronze Star for his role in achieving the record.

Flying her first combat mission on February 25, 1944, to Augsburg, Germany, she made 18 trips to Berlin, dropped 562,000 pounds of bombs, and flew 1,129 hours. She had 21 engine changes, four wing panel changes, 15 main gas tank changes, and 18 changes of Tokyo tanks (long-range fuel tanks).

After the end of hostilities in Europe, Nine-O-Nine was returned to the United States on June 8, 1945, and was eventually scrapped.

Monday Mystery Bird HERE


1 comment:

  1. Aw man, you guys had my heart goin' there for a bit. Ya see, my neighbor down the street actually flew one of his missions on the original Nine-O-Nine. He was a top turret/ engineer. He was shot down on two different occasions, but as your history states, not on Nine-O-Nine. I was fixing to tell him one of his old rides was still around. SSGT Howard J. Oglesby is a very active 90 years old now, and still kickin!


    W.J. Gibson USN Ret.