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B-17 at Hickam Field | by International Historical Research Associates
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B-17 at Hickam Field

B-17C #40-2074 was one of the 170 American aircraft destroyed in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The B-17, one of 12 bombers from the 38th and 88th Reconnaissance Squadrons being flown from California to Hickam Field, was jumped by Zero fighters before it could land safely. As pilot Capt. Raymond T. Swenson searched for a landing zone at Hickam Field, two Zeros shot up #074 and ignited a box of magnesium flares in the radio compartment, forcing Swenson to crash-land, whereupon the aircraft split in half. It was the first B-17 shot down by Japanese fighters.

(Air Force Association Collection)

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Taken on December 7, 1941