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Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress (N9323Z)

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23 Mar 2019
Thunder & Lightning Over Arizona

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Greg ByingtonPhoto Uploader
More info from Joe Baugher:

44-83514, Douglas/Long Beach B-17G-85-DL Fortress, Taken on strength with the Army Air Force on 13 March 1945 and assigned to the Pacific Theater of Operations. At the end of the war it was placed in storage in Japan. In ca.September 1947 the plane was transferred to Clark Field in the Philippines and converted to RB-17G for photo-mapping. In 1950 it was transferred to Eglin Field, FL, and converted to DB-17G for Air Sea Rescue operations. In March 1951 the plane was reassigned to the 3215th Drone Squadron at Patrick AFB, FL, and converted to DB-17P drone director — a mother ship controlling B-17 drones. (The drones were used to collect radioactive cloud samples and to measure blast and thermal effects of nuclear bomb tests.) It was finally retired to Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ in January 1959. In July 1959 Acme Aircraft Parts of Compton, CA purchased the plane and resistered as N9323Z and in November 1960 it was sold to Western Air Industries of Anderson, CA, who converted to a fire tanker; for the next 16+ years it fought forest fires (a new owner in June 1962 was Aero Union Corp. of Redding, CA). In 1977 it was converted back to military configuration, and was acquired by the Confederate Air Force (later renamed Commemorative Air Force) in January 1978. From 1981 to 1985, with the help of Boeing, it was brought back to full WWII factory military standards and flying as N9323Z.
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