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Old 9th September 2008, 02:39
Mark Copeland Mark Copeland is offline
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379th Bomb Group - B-17G Flying Fortress - "Ol' Gappy" Question?????

Hello All!!

I wanted to confirm my research with all of you concerning a particular use of high visibility YELLOW tail flash that was used by the 379th Bomb Group and it's relation to a particular Fortress in the unit, B-17G-10-VE -
42-40003, "Ol Gappy." She flew an astonishing 157 missions with the Group and finished amongst the top of the all time mission number list for 8th Air Force Forts.

In August of 1944, the 379th Bomb Group received orders to paint the tail markings of their aircraft with a large yellow surround to their "Triangle K."
This was obviously a way to better identify the 379th BG, much like the 303rd BG did on their tail markings, only they used a red surround to the "Triangle C."

My question is this. This was a Group practice during the late summer of 1944 until when? Or has anyone seen a photo of those markings being carried throughout the end of the war? In particular, did "Ol Gappy" carry these markings; and, did she wear the yellow surround until the end of the war??

My conclusion is that she wore the yellow surround on her tail, but for long is mystery.

It's an interesting question...and I would appreciate any thoughts.

Mark Copeland
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Old 9th September 2008, 06:15
edwest edwest is offline
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Re: 379th Bomb Group - B-17G Flying Fortress - "Ol' Gappy" Question?????

I don't have the following title but it seems to be a good place to look:


http://www.worldwartwobooks.com/prod...n-world-war-ii




Usual disclaimer,
Ed
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Old 9th September 2008, 19:19
Horst Weber Horst Weber is offline
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Re: 379th Bomb Group - B-17G Flying Fortress - "Ol' Gappy" Question?????

Good evening Mark !

It seems more likely, to be an individual identification sign of the 41st Combat Bomb Wing (CBW). 303rd, 379th and 384th BG's had the same shaped surrounding line, but in another colour. Other CBW's had also significant wide spaced colour shapes on the ac's tail are, but each CBW had it's own shape or figure.

All the best !

Horst Weber
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Old 20th March 2010, 14:15
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cody1947 cody1947 is offline
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Re: 379th Bomb Group - B-17G Flying Fortress - "Ol' Gappy" Question?????

I asked a contact who was a ground crew chief for the 379th. He said that all B-17s of every Group within the 1st Bombardment Division had a large triangle painted at the top of the vertical stabilizer. Each Group was assigned a code letter and it was painted in the triangle. The 379th's planes were assigned the letter K, and became known as the Triangle K Group. He said that the colors for each group came later to make it easier to identify who was in your formation. I guess this also helped stop intruders or help ID them since they would not know which units were flying with each other for that mission. He said as far as he remembers the triangle "K" was there from the units activation to it's disbanding in Africa in 1945. As far as the color being changed after it was initiated he can't remember it being changed.
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Old 20th March 2010, 14:28
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Re: 379th Bomb Group - B-17G Flying Fortress - "Ol' Gappy" Question?????

I have a picture of the ground crewmen of the 524th BS - 379th BG just after they arrived in Africa would you like a copy of it?

swampfire1944@gmail.com
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Old 20th March 2010, 20:51
fsbofk fsbofk is offline
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Re: 379th Bomb Group - B-17G Flying Fortress - "Ol' Gappy" Question?????

In Robert A. Watkins' book referenced in edwest's post above, it states that in Aug 44, existing 379 BG markings were ordered removed and replaced by a 10' triangle made up of 24" wide yellow bands, with the "K" in the center of a central black triangle. In addition, the group removed the side squadron codes and replaced them with a number at the top of the yellow triangle indicating the squadron. There is no mention in the book about any further changes in tail markings during the war.
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