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Boeing B-17F 124559/PU:C, 'Ooold Soljer', of the 360th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group, on 25 January 1943

(Rus)  Apart from the 97th, all Fortress groups arriving in Britain during the late summer and autumn of 1943 were equipped with the improved B-17F model. As in RAF Bomber Command, it was policy to assign a crew to a specific aircraft in which, unless it were unserviceable or under repair, they would normally fly their missions. Seen here taxying on the perimeter track at Molesworth on 25 January 1943, 124559/PU:C, 'Ooold Soljer', of the 360th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group, was the personal aircraft of Capt Lewis Lyle and crew. While flown by another crew it was involved in a collision with another B-17 while assembling a formation on 31 March 1943, crashing near Wellingborough. Lewis Lyle went on to complete two tours, his 70 combat missions being surpassed by only one other Eighth Air Force bomber pilot. (USAAF)


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