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First B17 sent to Britain

leaselend b17 flying fortress follett bradley

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#1 penzancealan

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 11:57 AM

Hi

 

I have recently acquired a collection of glass negatives and pics, and would like to learn more of their history.

 

They appear to be photos of the first B17s sent to Britain (under lease lend) in 1941. The attached pic is in an envelope saying 'Flying Fortress over Ural Mountains' , I can find no mention of them being used there.

 

The second pic is of a pilot who I would love to identify. Although shown in a spitfire reconnaissance model, I believe he was associated with the B17s

 

Any info would be appreciated.

 

Alan 

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#2 Kutscha

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 11:49 PM

It is possible the B-17 in the photo is being used as a courier a/c on a mission to the USSR.



#3 flying kiwi

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 01:28 AM

I think the number is AN526, and it still seems to exist.

http://www.americana...com/aircraft/72

 

They did fly missions over Norway, and some were shot down there. I think the simplest answer is that someone has just mislabelled the photo. The Urals are to the east of Moscow and I have no idea why an RAF aircraft would have gone there during the war.



#4 penzancealan

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 05:08 PM

Hi Kiwi



#5 penzancealan

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 05:34 PM

Hi Kiwi (sorry about false start)

 

Many thanks for your post and the site you pointed me to. From this I have obtained a short history of the 20 B-17s sent to Britain in 1941.

 

As regards the pic I posted of a flying fortress, it is AM(N) 528. It must have been taken by another aircraft at that time? As to the envelope the glass negative is in, this is interesting.

 

It is within a brown glass negative envelope, from a collection that was in a RAF box.

 

The writing is the same hand as others, which include Churchill, Arc Royal, and others. They are all very good images, professional.

 

So, as to the Urals, this is one mystery of this collection.  

 

But AM(N) 528 arrived in Polebrook 21/4/41 and caught fire on the airport 3/7/41. I am not sure where it flew during these dates.

 

My most pressing interest is AM(N) 522, which we know crashed during a high level trial 22/6/41. The other pic I posted is of an pilot officer. He has a striking resemblance to Lt Follett W Bradley Jn, who was sent as an USA observer, and the son on Major  General Follett Bradley. (He was in charge of delivering lease lend aircrafts to Britain & Russia)

 

Basically I am trying to tie down the history of this collection, most important who took the photographs??

 

Any help or pointers gratefully received

 

Alan



#6 flying kiwi

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 04:29 AM

The most famous aviation photographer of the time was Charles E Brown, whose collection is held by the RAF Museum. Apparently they are digitising them. I can't think that too many photographers were allowed on bases, or in military aircraft, and as far as I know, Brown did use glass negatives. It might be worth a museum visit.



#7 ChrisMcD

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 11:16 PM

Interesting!

 

The Pilot.

 

He appears to be wearing a set of pre-war RAF white overalls.  The flying helmet also looks pre-war and the goggles are definitely non-standard.

 

I am also a bit baffled by the aircraft.  You can see a reflector sight and a huge rear-view bubble in the sliding canopy, but no rear view mirror.  Somehow I have a feeling that it is more likely to be an early, Army Co-operation Mustang with a Malcolm hood than a PR Spitfire, but there is not enough evidence either way.

 

So, looks like a straightforward early-war PR shot.

 

The Flying Fortress.

 

RAF roundels, but no squadron markings.  I reckon this is a publicity photo taken near Seattle with Mount Rainier in the background before they were flown over the Atlantic.

 

Have a look at these:  

 

http://www.seattlepi...hp#photo-646454

 

http://www.axlsairpl...-17_early_model

 

http://www.wondersof...com/part15.html

 

http://linkrandom.bl...-17-flying.html

 

Quite possibly from the same photo shoot?

 

Again a standard PR photo.


Edited by ChrisMcD, 29 December 2014 - 11:23 PM.

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#8 Kutscha

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 01:20 AM

Chris, Mustangs didn't have exterior bullet proof glass.

 

One can see factory test pilots wearing white coveralls as well a senior RAF officers.


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#9 flying kiwi

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 04:37 AM

The plane is almost certainly a Spitfire PR I. It is definitely a Spitfire. If it has guns, as indicated by the gunsight, it's probably a PR IG, otherwise known as PR Mk VII. It could be on a test flight, either from Supermarine or the Photographic Development Unit.



#10 flying kiwi

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 05:00 AM

In fact, here's an article about Alex Henshaw which shows him wearing white overalls in a Spitfire cockpit.

 

http://www.birmingha...shaw-dies-38010






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