|Model: B-17F-50-DL |
Construction: 8310 (-DL)
42-3374 was built by Douglas Aircraft at Long Beach, California. It rolled from the production line on 26 May 1943 and was accepted by the Army. It was assigned to the 373rd Sub Depot at Dyersburg, Tennessee. Available military records are unclear as to it utilization at Dyersburg or other duty locations. It was placed in Class 26 on 08 September 1944 which made it available for non-flying roles, such as technical schools or other training uses, or scrapped.
After the war, it was transferred to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio to be used in making the movie Footprints in the Sky. The film was never made and 42-3374 sat in storage at MGM until the 1960s. When MGM decided to reorient its corporation to hotel operation, it wanted the lot where 42-3374 and a large group of other warbirds were located. MGM decided to give away all the airplanes to anyone who would remove them quickly and scrap what was left.
It was saved by Ed Maloney's Planes of Fame air museum and trucked off to Chino airport where the fuselage was displayed on its belly. In 1981, Ed Maloney traded the plane to the Beale AFB museum. The plane was again trucked to Beale AFB, where it was assembled and rested on its landing gear for the first time since 1945. At some point in time a B-17E nose piece had been fitted to this B-17F. When the National Air & Space Museum learned of this, it struck a deal to trade a late B-17 nose piece for the B-17E nose that it needed for Swoose in storage at NASM. Although Offutt AFB. already had a B-17 in the SAC Museum, in 1989, it was trucked to Offutt AFB. as a gate guardian where it is currently on display.