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The Black Bitch


The Black BitchThe Black BitchB-17G-5-VE #42-39914 The Black Bitch, assembly aircraft of the 351st BG, Polebrook, winter of 1945. Initially, #42-39914 was assigned as Lucky Strike marked RQ●S to the 509th BS / 351st BG on 20th January 1944. She completed 38 missions with the Group. When landing at Polebrook on 8th June 1944 a main wheel tore off, and after repair the aircraft was assigned to the group’s Headquarters, stripped of all armaments, and nicknamed The Black Bitch because of its automotive black colour. Some sources note that the aircraft’s code, RQ●S, remained white, though there are no photographs to confirm this information. However pictures taken after the war at Kingman, where
The Black Bitch stood out amongst all the other B-17s awaiting scrapping, clearly shows that there are no code letters painted on it. There is a blue ‘J’ inside the large white triangles on both sides of vertical tail, and national markings only. It was used as the group’s assembly aircraft and a station hack (collecting important things like Scotch Whisky and, on one occasion, the CO’s wife to-be). On 15th April 1945 the machine took part in a mission over Royan with the 351st BG. On 6th June 1945 the aircraft returned to the USA, and on 9th November it was sent to Kingman AFB, AZ and scrapped.