June 2016: Boeing Fortress Mk. I – 35 photos

Each photograph is offered at a 300dpi res/13x8cm size making them available for a very good quality digital print, but also for Iphone/IPad, smartphone or computer screen (but should convert the image into a jpeg format for doing so)

Most of those images have been published in SQUADRONS! No. 4 – The Boeing Fortress Mk. I

pdf, Epub and Kindle versions are available in this site: 978-2918590-32-3


Photo Fortress 01: Various photos of Boeing Fortress Mk. I taken in the US before delivery. Here ‘AM528’.

Photo Fortress 02: see above, same aircraft.

Photo Fortress 03: see above, same aircraft.

Photo Fortress 04: see above, same aircraft.

Photo Fortress 05: see above, same aircraft

Photo Fortress 06: Boeing Fortress Mk. I ‘AM521’ seen at the US before delivery.

Photo Fortress 07: Part of the Fortress fleet in natural metal but with the RAF markings painted on. The Boeing mechanics made a mistake in painting tye serials, the Fortresses having received the letters “AM” later corrected to “AN”.

Photo Fortress 08: Boeing Fortress AN529 seen in UK after its long trip over the Atlantic.

Photo Fortress 09: Side view of Boeing Fortress AN531 shortly after its arrival in the United Kingdom in April 1941. All the Fortresses made the flight in temporary American camouflage Olive Drab on the upper surfaces and Light Grey on the lower surfaces.

Photo Fortress 10: Boeing Fortress AN528 seen in flight after having been re-painted.

Photo Fortress 11: Boeing Fortress AN526 taken in flight shortly after receiving the new camouflage scheme. AN526 was also used by the Colerne Station Communication flight for five months after the disbandment of No. 90 Squadron in February 1942. It had become an instructional airframe by autumn 1942.

Photo Fortress 12: Boeing Fortress AN531 was the only Fortress Mk.I to have served at the A&AEE, and was with this unit between 15 April 1941 and 26 August 1941. The A&AEE pilots are waiting to start the engines in preparation for another test flight. The Fortress was painted Dark Green/Dark Earth on the upper surfaces and Sky on the under surfaces. AN531 was one of the few, and possibly the only aircraft of its type to have received this camouflage scheme.

Photo Fortress 13: Boeing Fortress AN530/WP-F in flight. This was captained by Wing Commander J.McDougall on the two Berlin raids in July 1941. The results of three months of bombing were unsatisfactory as almost half of the operational sorties had to be cancelled for one reason or another.

Photo Fortress 14: Another view of the photo 13 above

Photo Fortress 15: Even the first B-17 variants looked massively impressive. This Fortress is beginning to taxi out with a full bomb load and fuel tanks. From this angle no one would have imagined that the Fortress Mk.I would prove so vulnerable.

Photo Fortress 16: With engines warmed up this Fortress Mk. I is ready to taxi out and line up on the runway for another high altitude operation against Berlin, the German capital. This photo was taken on 23 July 1941, as were many others, as it was the day the Prime Minister planned to make a speech in the House of Commons. Had the attack succeeded the raid would have been highly publicised and this would have required many good photographs.

Photo Fortress 17: One Boeing Fortress taking-off for another mission over the Continental Europe.

Photo Fortress 18: Boeing Fortress AN521/WP-K undergoing an engine change in June 1941. It was one of the first to be allocated to No.90 Squadron, which in all, used 19 of the 20 Fortress Mk.Is. Indeed AN524 was never issued, having suffered a flying accident during delivery.

Photo Fortress 19: A No.90 Squadron’s crew arriving at their aircraft for another mission over Occupied Europe. At least one Bf109 could have been claimed as damaged off Norway, on 8 September, 1941, but the crew was lost before it could be reported.

Photo Fortress 20: ‘Ready to go’. The crew is about to release the breaks and to taxi for a take-off.

Photo Fortress 21: A crew coming up in his Fortress Mk. I.

Photo Fortress 22: A crew posing for the photograph in front of Fortress AN529/WP-C.

Photo Fortress 23: Two members of the crew of AN530/WP-F, at Polebrook. This aircraft, captained by Wing Commander McDougall, was being prepared for the attack on Berlin on 23 July 1941.

Photo Fortress 24: RAF crewmen arriving at dispersal.

Photo Fortress 25: Boeing Fortress AN521/WP-K parked on the grass at Polebrook airfield prior to being readied for another sortie.

Photo Fortress 26: P.M. Winston Churchill looking at a Fortress heading towards its target over Continental Europe.

Photo Fortress 27: The remains of Boeing Fortress AN528 after it burned on the ground on 3 July 1941.

Photo Fortress 28:  Boeing Fortress AN531/WP-O seen on its arrival at Nutts Corner (Northern Ireland). No. 90 Squadron had now been disbanded and the aircraft began a new life with No. 220 Squadron, a Coastal Command unit.

Photo Fortress 29: Only two Fortresses were equipped with racks for depth charges for anti-submarine patrols, AN537/NR-L was one of these. Note that the censor has retouched the photo to erase “NR” from No.220 Squadron’s code and aerials. AN537 is probably seen later on when it was performing trials with the CCDU.

Photo Fortress 30: A nice shot of Boeing Fortress AN532/J in Egypt early in 1942. This Fortress was flown to India in July 1942 and transferred to the USAAF on 1 December of that year. It was then allocated the USAAF serial number 40-2079.

Photo Fortress 31: Boeing Fortress AN529/C lying in the Libyan desert after it ran out of fuel.

Photo Fortress 32: In February 1942, with the disbandment of No .90 Squadron, the detachment had to alter its squadron code from “WP” to “MB”. According to No.220 Squadron’s records, the official date seems to have taken place on 1 February. Consequently AN518 became MB-B.

Photo Fortress 33: Four Fortresses were sent to the Middle East and were based at Shallufa in Egypt. However, as in Europe, the results were unsatisfactory.

Photo Fortress 34: A close-up of the nose with its American 0.30-in light machine gun, totallly obsolete and inefficient.

Photo Fortress 35: View of the waist gun position with its 0.50-in gun (left and below left). This heavy machine gun was new to the RAF which appreciated its hitting power.