Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Miss Liberty"
Bossier City , LA - Barksdale AFB Museum - Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress "Miss Liberty" - The museum's B-17 was built as Serial Number 44-83884, rolling off the assembly line in July, 1945. It was the second-to-last B-17 assembled by the Douglas Aircraft Company under contract with Boeing. It was produced as bare aluminum with no paint on its skin to save manufacturing time.
After being assigned to the USAAF for just a few days, the plane was transferred to the U.S. Navy as BuNo 77244 and became a PB-1W submarine hunter. It would serve in this role from 1945 to 1956.
In 1957 the airplane was surplused, purchased by a private company, and flown to Love Field in Dallas to receive modifications to convert it into an "Executive Fortress".
This plan never was completed, and the plane sat unused until 1960 when it was purchased by the Aero Union Corporation in California. Aero Union converted it to a "Borate Bomber" named for the fire retardant that it would drop on forest fires. Designated as Air Tanker 19, this aircraft would see service across the U.S. from 1960 until 1977.
After its service with Aero Union, the airplane was soon prepared for its final flight to Barksdale AFB, which occurred on April 11, 1978. It was flown by then Vice Commander of the Eighth Air Force, Major General John J. Murphy.
This B-17 was previously painted and known as "Yankee Doodle II".
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