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HistoryEdit

23659 was damaged by flak during a raid on Naples, and forced to land at an emergency strip, where the plane and crew were captured by Regia Aeronautica.[N 3] The plane was repaired and transferred to Centro Sperimentale at Guidonia, where it was extensively tested by Italian personnel as I-RAIN,[N 4] before being passed to Germany on 19 June 1943 and to KG200. [N 5] During flight by German personnel the undercarriage collapsed and the plane was damaged. Allied personnel found the aircraft in heavily damaged condition at Rechlin.[5]

NotesEdit

  1. The St Michael Book Aircraft of World War 2 lists the serial number as 41-23859[1]
  2. The name was also used by B-17G-90-BO 43-37869. Completed in the Seattle plant on August 12, 1944, and assigned to the 710th Bomb Squadron, 447th Bomb Group, on September 17. After the loss of 43-37869 Blonde Bomber, this aircraft assumed the name Blonde Bomber II.[3]
  3. This made it the first B-24 to be captured by the Axis.[4]
  4. The aircraft received a white fuselage band and white tail fin crosses at some point during it's time in Italian hands.[1]
  5. The aircraft is believed to have gained full German insignia over it's original 'Desert Pink' colour scheme.[1]

SourcesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gunston, Bill. Aircraft of World War 2. Published by St. Michael/Octopus Books, 1982. ISBN 0862730147 Page 45
  2. http://www.ww2incolor.com/italian-forces/BLONDEBOMBERIIcatturato.html
  3. http://www.447bg.com/43-38524.htm
  4. http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/album/profiles/p3899-b24-blonde-bomber-ii-in-italian-markings.html
  5. http://cgibin.rcn.com/jeremy.k/cgi-bin/gzUsafSearch.pl?target=41-23659&content=