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B-17 Flying Fortress - Castle Air Museum

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Boeing B-17G "Virgin's Delight"

B-17 Virgin's Delight at Caslte Air  Museum

This B-17G bomber Serial Number: 43-38635, is on static display at the museum and is painted with the markings of the 94th Bombardment Group, which was under the command of Colonel Frederick Walker Castle from 1943 to 1944. After a promotion to Brigadier General, Castle was in command of the 4th Combat Bombardment Wing until he was killed while flying a mission over France. According to museum information, six of the crew were able to bail out and survive before the B-17 exploded, killing Castle and co-pilot, who had stayed onboard in an attempt to control the aircraft. For his heroism, Walker was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. Castle Air Force Base (1941-1977) was also named in his honor.

B-17 tail gun, Castle Air Museum

Photo to the left shows a close up of tail guns with the Cheyenne turret configuration, a modification which was done at Cheyenne, Wyoming.  It added a pumpkin shaped turret for the twin 50 caliber machine guns and larger windows for the tail gunner.

A pre-Cheyenne tail gun on B-17

Compare with the earlier type tail gun in the photo on the right taken with Clark Gable who served as a B-17 waist gunner during WWII. Note the smaller windows and constricted mounting for the twin guns.

The aircraft displays the name Lt. Gen. James P. Mullins below cockpit on left side of plane, and Col. James P. McCarthy on right side. The name S/SGT Ken Kneff, gunner, is displayed above the belly turret and CMS (chief master sergeant) Jerre H. Albright, gunner, is displayed on the tail gun turret.

B-17 Virgin's Delight chin turret

Photo on the right shows the B-17s chin turret and the aircraft name, Virgin's Delight. The G model featured the Bendix chin turret which more effectively countered the frontal attacks by German fighters.

B-17 heavy bomber at Castle Air Museum

This aircraft's most recent service before coming to Castle Air Museum in 1979, was use as a fire bomber to fight forest fires.

B-17G statistics:
Height 19'1"
Length 74'4"
Wingspan 103'9"
Max Weight 65,600 lbs.
Max Speed 288 mph
Crew 10

Also see on our website

Piccadilly Lilly - Planes of Fame
Miss Angela - Palm Springs Air
B-17 flyby - Naval Centennial
B-17 Flying Fortress - American Aircraft