Mar 27, 2021
2 mins read
It is not about showing pictures of B-17. No doubt there are many interesting and great, moving, historical photos from the time.
An example why it is important not to show only a picture. The picture does not show only one airplane or B-17 Flying Fortress. The picture also shows people, even if not directly visible. People who will soon no longer be alive.
What I have been trying to do for 20 years is to accurately capture the history of the B-17, not from a technical point of view - others can do that much better than I can.
It is also clear that it will be impossible to capture and clarify everything exactly. But wherever it is possible or I have the feeling that I can find out more, then I try it. Of course I also make mistakes.
I get a lot of encouragement from relatives and historians. I am happy about that and I am also grateful for it.
We cannot change history. We can learn from it. And if I manage to complete or clarify a small part of history, then I am very happy.
The picture show's B-17 "FDR’s Potato Peeler Kids" on 27 February 1943 and its crew inside that day:
Here is the area of, when #42-5243 is on the way back to England on 27 February 1944. It's over Porsguen, France. Original caption of the black/white photo:
This aircraft was identified by the photographer as B-17F-25-BO (S/N 41-24565) "Idaho Potato Peeler" or B-17F-40-BO (S/N 42-5243) "FDR's Potato Peeler Kids" of the 303rd Bomb Group, 359th Bomb Squadron (BN-P)
Based on 303rd BG website, #41-24565 was damage on 23 January 1943 was under extensive repairs. Returned to combat on 23 June 1943.
Here are the faces of the crew members:
— Crew picture on 18 February 1943
Back row (left to right):
Capt. Ross C. Bales (Pilot) - KIA 14 May 9143
1Lt. Walter E. Dooley (Co-Pilot) - KIA 14 May 1943
2Lt. Paul M. Thomas (Bombardier) - Status unknown. Probably survived war.
2Lt. Richard C. Browning (Navigator) - KIA 31 March 1943
Front row (left to right):
Sgt. Homer T. Perkins (Waist Gunner) - Status unknown. Probably survived war.
T/Sgt. Raymond K. Winter, Jr (Engineer) - KIA 14 May 1943
Sgt. Jack D. Snell (Tail Gunner) - KIA 14 May 1943
S/Sgt. Raymond H. Kilgore (Radio Operator) - KIA 14 May 1943
S/Sgt. Joseph G."Zip" Zsampar (Ball Turret Gunner) - KIA 14 May 1943
S/Sgt. Edward A Van Ravenstein (Waist Gunner) - KIA 14 May 1943
#42-5243 FDR’s Potato Peeler Kids in my database: