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Classic Wings Magazine Luftwaffe Resource Center WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:12 pm 
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Question....

Does anyone have any information on 2 things...

1. Where was it restored? (at the USAFM or elsewhere)

2. It was acquired by the USAFM in May 1959. How was it moved to the Museum? Trucked or flown?
(YES current policy says they don't fly.. On the other hand this was 58 years ago)...

Reason is I have photos of it at an airshow in 1959. (No I'm not confused either)....

Thanks

Mark H

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:17 pm 
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I dont think it ever was restored and it was flown to the museum from Davis Monthan where it was being stored specifically for the museum.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:57 pm 
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Which airshow? The World Congress of Flight airshow was in April '59 in Las Vegas, but I haven't seen any photos of it there. Could you post what you have?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:57 am 
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The Strawberry Bitch was restored at Davis-Monthan AFB in 1959 after spending 14 years "cocooned" in the boneyard. She was then flown to Wright-Pat. I've heard one person say she made at least one stop along the way, at Bunker Hill AFB in Indiana.

After a decade on outdoor display at the original USAF Museum at Patterson AFB, she was towed several miles by road to the current facility at Wright Field in 1971, and moved indoors. Here are a few photos I've found online or scanned from books.

Here she is just after being pulled from storage at D-M..

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Restoration getting underway..

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Stripped to bare metal..

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And the finished product..

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Flying off to Dayton..

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Cheers!

Steve


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:37 am 
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I seem to recall a Steve Birdsall book from long ago pointing out that the markings on the repaint did not fully represent those that were originally there. That one comment probably unknowingly unlocked my inner rivet counter at an early age. I've been bad ever since.

Ken

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:00 pm 
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I've never seen the one shot of her flying....neat!

One wonders what's been done to her since moving to the new museum complex in 1971? She was moved to the new second building in the 80s and perhaps moved around since then as exhibits were shuffled.
Just out of curiosity, have they done and paint or fabric touch!up, rotated tires or props or just dust as needed?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Wow! Nice pics in general, but VERY nice pic of SB with wind under her wings.

Very cool post.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:42 pm 
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I found these in a collection I was scanning. These slides were faded to where you couldn't tell what was on them, at first that is.

They were taken at an airshow at Bunker Hill AFB in 1959. I looked and didn't find (nor could I think of) any B-24 flying at the time. CAF's was probably still working for Continental Can back then. I basically guessed it must have been painted elsewhere and actually flown to Dayton. I couldn't find anything to back it up. Back in the day, as we know, most of the collection at the USAF Museum was outside. So I'm sure they didn't have a facility to repaint a B-24, and if they didn't have that they didn't have the ability to truck it or fly it (if it would have fit in a C-124) to Dayton. So it must have gone on its own.

Off the right wing of the B-24 is a pair of B-47s. The left wing has a F-89, Navy Cougar, T-33, F-102, F-104, T-28 and maybe a Cub. There are KC-97s in the background across the field.

I can NOT say if it stopped in Las Vegas or not. No idea.

Thanks for the confirmation.

Mark

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QCve1D ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UNEk1O ... sp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y0TDhd ... sp=sharing

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:28 pm 
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Great photos!


Not seen the photo:

Folding chairs
Cell phone photo taking people
Cameras


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:43 pm 
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About it being flown to D-M, remember in 1959 there were still a lot of guys in the Air Force with B-24 time.

Probably seen as not much of a big deal...and a bit of fun and nostalgia for the lucky crew.

AVGAS availability wasn't an issue and neither was engine oil. Most SAC bases then even had a "Prop shop". :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:03 pm 
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Shame they couldn't save the last B32, if i remember correctly she was to be saved but a fowl up at Davis Monthan and she was accidentally sent to the smelters???


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:29 pm 
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I remember a photo (and I don't remember where, maybe an old Air Classics) showing an aerial view of two large rows of aircraft at DM that were saved for the "future" Air Force Museum. Unfortunately very few of them ever made it there.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:53 pm 
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Glad you guys liked the photo of the Bitch flying out of DM.

I found the original medium format transparency when going through Dick Kamm's old photos. You can imagine my excitement. I think I have a few other photos from the ferry flight as well, but the B-24 will not be as larger or clear in them. I will see what else I have to scan for you.

There are several more photos of her on the ground and being prepped for the flight, which I think I have posted to the forum before.

It is about time I added them to the B-24 page of my web site, so I'll get on that and let you know when I'm finished.

August

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:23 pm 
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k5083 wrote:
Glad you guys liked the photo of the Bitch flying out of DM.

I found the original medium format transparency when going through Dick Kamm's old photos. You can imagine my excitement. I think I have a few other photos from the ferry flight as well, but the B-24 will not be as larger or clear in them. I will see what else I have to scan for you.

There are several more photos of her on the ground and being prepped for the flight, which I think I have posted to the forum before.

It is about time I added them to the B-24 page of my web site, so I'll get on that and let you know when I'm finished.

August


I hope you don't mind my posting your photo, August. I deliberately left the watermark on it, so no one would think I was passing it off as mine. Of course, it would have been difficult for me to take it, since I wouldn't be born for another six years!

P51Mstg wrote:
I found these in a collection I was scanning. These slides were faded to where you couldn't tell what was on them, at first that is.


Wow..those are fantastic! Thanks for posting! I had always thought that the Strawberry flew straight from Tucson to Dayton, until someone on Facebook (perhaps it was you) mentioned seeing her at Bunker Hill.

Ken wrote:
I seem to recall a Steve Birdsall book from long ago pointing out that the markings on the repaint did not fully represent those that were originally there. That one comment probably unknowingly unlocked my inner rivet counter at an early age. I've been bad ever since.

Ken


That's probably the same book that I scanned those pics of her in restoration from. The markings were indeed incomplete/incorrect when she was initially restored. The complete, correct unit markings were added around 1980 or so.

SN


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:30 pm 
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Nice that most of these are indoors now ...

Image

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