B-17 Flying Fortress


The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was a four-engined heavy bomber plane used by the air forces of the United States and Britain during the Second World War (1939-45). The B-17 had unusually heavy defensive armament, 13 machine guns in total in some models. B-17s were involved in strategic bombing operations in Europe, the Pacific, and other theatres of the war.

More about: B-17 Flying Fortress


  • Dec 1936
    The first production Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers are flown.
  • 1937
    The first operational Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers are flown by the US Army Air Force.
  • 1939 - 1945
    Over 12,000 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers are built during WWII.
  • 1941
    The British RAF is supplied with 20 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers.
  • 1941
    Four squadrons of B-17 bombers are sent to the Philippines where the USAF has a major air base at Clark Field on Luzon Island.
  • 8 Jul 1941
    The first B-17s to bomb a target hit Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
  • 17 Aug 1942
    The first B-17 bombers to fly US colours in Europe during WW2 attack Rouen in France.
  • Mar 1944
    The P-51 fighter begins to escort B-17 Flying Fortress bombers over Europe.