305th Bomb Group
305th Bomb Group
|Aircraft for : 305th Bomb Group|
|A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by 305th Bomb Group. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Number Built : 12677
In the mid-1930s engineers at Boeing suggested the possibility of designing a modern long-range monoplane bomber to the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1934 the USAAC issued Circular 35-26 that outlined specifications for a new bomber that was to have a minimum payload of 2000 pounds, a cruising speed in excess of 200-MPH, and a range of at least 2000 miles. Boeing produced a prototype at its own expense, the model 299, which first flew in July of 1935. The 299 was a long-range bomber based largely on the Model 247 airliner. The Model 299 had several advanced features including an all-metal wing, an enclosed cockpit, retractable landing gear, a fully enclosed bomb bay with electrically operated doors, and cowled engines. With gun blisters glistening everywhere, a newsman covering the unveiling coined the term Flying Fortress to describe the new aircraft. After a few initial test flights the 299 flew off to Wright Field setting a speed record with an average speed of 232-mph. At Wright Field the 299 bettered its competition in almost all respects. However, an unfortunate crash of the prototype in October of 1935 resulted in the Army awarding its primary production contract to Douglas Aircraft for its DB-1 (B-18.) The Army did order 13 test models of the 299 in January 1936, and designated the new plane the Y1B-17. Early work on the B-17 was plagued by many difficulties, including the crash of the first Y1B-17 on its third flight, and nearly bankrupted the Company. Minor quantities of the B-17B, B-17C, and B-17D variants were built, and about 100 of these aircraft were in service at the time Pearl Harbor was attacked. In fact a number of unarmed B-17s flew into the War at the time of the Japanese attack. The German Blitzkrieg in Europe resulted in accelerated aircraft production in America. The B-17E was the first truly heavily armed variant and made its initial flight in September of 1941. B-17Es cost $298,000 each and more than 500 were delivered. The B-17F and B-17G were the truly mass-produced wartime versions of the Flying Fortress. More than 3,400 B-17Fs and more than 8,600 B-17Gs would be produced. The American daylight strategic bombing campaign against Germany was a major factor in the Allies winning the War in Europe. This campaign was largely flown by B-17 Flying Fortresses (12,677 built) and B-24 Liberators (18,188 built.) The B-17 bases were closer to London than those of the B-24, so B-17s received a disproportionate share of wartime publicity. The first mission in Europe with the B-17 was an Eighth Air Force flight of 12 B-17Es on August 12, 1942. Thousands more missions, with as many as 1000 aircraft on a single mission would follow over the next 2 ˝ years, virtually decimating all German war making facilities and plants. The B-17 could take a lot of damage and keep on flying, and it was loved by the crews for bringing them home despite extensive battle damage. Following WW II, B-17s would see some action in Korea, and in the 1948 Israel War. There are only 14 flyable B-17s in operation today and a total of 43 complete airframes
|Signatures for : 305th Bomb Group|
|A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
Colonel William Lawley
Click the name above to see prints signed by Colonel William Lawley
| Colonel William Lawley |
Flying a 305th Bomb Group B-17 on 20th February, 1944, Bill Lawley’s co-pilot was killed in a head-on fighter attack. Injured in the face, weak and in shock, with 7 of his crew injured, Bill Lawley flew his crew home, crash landing with only one engine. He was awarded the Medal of Honor. Lawley died in his home town of Montgomery, Alabama on June 1st 1999, at the age of 78.
Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Nutter
Click the name above to see prints signed by Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Nutter
| Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Nutter |
Ralph Nutter was a student at Harvard Law School when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and enlisted in the Army Air corps the following day. Training as a navigator, he was posted to the 8th Air Force in Europe, joining the 366th Bomb Squadron, 305th Bomb Group and flying his first mission in November 1942. He flew with Major General Curtis Lemay on the first bombing mission to Germany, and Lemay made him Group Navigator. After completing his tour in Europe he transferred out to the Pacific and was picked by Major General Haywood Possum Hansell as his lead navigator on B29 Superfortresses. He took part in some of the largest and most significant B29 raids on Japan, completing a total of 30 missions.
Staff Sergeant Ben Roberts
Click the name above to see prints signed by Staff Sergeant Ben Roberts
| Staff Sergeant Ben Roberts |
Flying with the 364th BS, 305th Bomb Group, Ben Roberts was a B17 ball turre gunner. Flying his first mission on 5 October 1943, his fifth mission was the 14 Octobe raid to Schweinfurt, during which his aircraft was shot down. Bailing out he wa captured and taken to Stalag Luft 17B until the war's end.
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