B-17E 41-2433

After arriving at Hickam Field, Oahu on December 7th, 1941 during the Japanese air attack, B-17E 41-2433 was repainted with splotches of rust brown, sand, olive drab, neutral grey, medium "willow" green and blue grey. This unique "Hawaiian Air Depot" scheme is only spottily documented, and much about it remains conjectural.

41-2433 served proudly in the Pacific, with her most notable action occurring on October 23, 1942. Taking off from Espiritu Santo with Lt. Edwin Loberg, co-pilot Lt. Bernays Thurston, navigator Lt. Robert Spitzer and bombardier Lt. Robert Mitchell on an anti-submarine patrol mission over the Solomon Sea, 2433 also carried noted war correspondent Ira Wolfert. During the flight, the bomber encountered H6K4 Mavis piloted by Shimo Yamada and engaged in an air-to-air battle with the enemy flying boat. After a battle that lasted forty-four minutes, Spitzer and Mitchell were wounded and the Mavis was shot down and crashed into the sea. Afterwards, this B-17 landed at Espiritu Santo safely. Mitchell was evacuated aboard the USS Solace to New Zealand for further medical treatment. Ira Wolfert documented the battle in vivid detail in his book "Battle for the Solomons". 2433 returned to the United States in September 1944 and was used as a training aircraft. She was scrapped at Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1945.