the SAS Hangar > Requests

Field Modified B-17(s)



There are some examples of B-17s modified in the field to house a fixed, pilot fired .50 caliber machine gun in the nose that I think would be a very interesting addition to the sim. 

--- Code: ---B-17E/F Field Modification:
1x .50 caliber machine gun mounted in the nose on the bombardier's deck and fired by the pilot
--- End code ---
Example 1: "Black Jack"
The plane in the photo is  B-17F-20-BO, Serial Number 41-24521.  It was originally named "Black Jack" but was later renamed to "The Jokers Wild".  The pilot was the famous Kenneth D. McCullar of skip bombing fame while the plane was named "Black Jack".  "He was responsible for choosing the nickname "Black Jack" because he was an avid gambler and the B-17's serial number ended in '21'."
Example 2: "Lucy"
The plane flown by the most highly decorated air crew of the war (piloted by Jay Zeamer), a B-17E nicknamed "Lucy" by the crew but known as "Old 666" to many (featured in the history channel's "Long Odds" episode of Dogfights), was known to include a single pilot fired .50 caliber MG as well.  While this plane was heavily modified by the stripping of much weight and the increased amount of guns in other positions, I am currently just focusing on the pilot fired armament.  "He also wanted it well-armed, and it was in that department that Old 666 became justifiably famous.  Taking a cue from other pilots before him, namely his late friend and 43rd legend Ken McCullar, Zeamer had a fixed .50 installed in the nose, mounted to the bombardier's deck, wired so that he could fire it from his control column.  It would give him 'the fortitude', as he would later put it, to face enemy fighters when they inevitably made their head-on passes on the B-17's historically weakly defended nose."

"During late 1943, this B-17 was field modified by McCullar with an extra .50 caliber machine gun rigged into the nose to fire forward that was triggered from the pilot's control yoke."  I believe the muzzle of that extra gun is pictured above protruding out of the aircraft just above and behind the playing card nose art, though I cannot be certain because it may just be a flexible cheek gun.

Above information provided by for "Black Jack/The Joker's Wild" and for "Lucy"

"Taking a cue from other pilotS before him" makes me think that there are several more examples of this sort of modification, though so far I have only been able to turn up evidence on the planes discussed above.  Nevertheless, I believe a B-17E or B-17F with the above field mod would make a superb addition to IL2, and would allow for some very fun historical missions.

Simple, but could lead to some hilarious B-17 dogfighting fun.  ;D


--- Quote from: NobleNerd on February 25, 2020, 05:02:06 PM ---Simple, but could lead to some hilarious B-17 dogfighting fun.  ;D

--- End quote ---

I'd be very interested in attempting to thwart the pesky fighters that try to target the B-17's vulnerable nose, just like Zeamer ;) Or seeing if they can shoot me up with it before I take them down as a fighter, provided the AI actually uses it


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