USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby
B-17G-35-BO 42-32076

91st Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Squadron

Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby

This Fortress' claim to fame was that it survived 50 years and was renovated to flying condition in the late 1980s. A product of Boeing's Seattle plant, it rolled out in March 1944. It was one of first natural metal (silver) B17s and curiously carried the data panel on the left nose in an olive drab block having been caught in mid-production when the order came through to scrap the paint finish.

Initially, this plane carried the title "Shoo Shoo Baby" in a Gothic script but 91BG's talented Tony Starcer washed that off and produced one of his classic Varga-inspired pin up nose arts and the title received an extra "Shoo".

On one mission, 9th April, Paul McDuffee took the plane to Marienburg on a 12 hour 55 minute mission and on its taxi back to the hardstand all four engines quit with no fuel. When he finished up his mission tour, McDuffee buzzed the field so low in the B17 that it landed with leaves and fence wire entangled in the tail wheel. Robert Guenther flew to Poznan on 29th May, the Fort's 23rd mission, but was hit by flak. Loosing two engines, Guenther headed to Sweden and landed at Malmo. The crew were eventually repatriated but the B17 stayed and was purchased by the Swedish Government for the princely sum of one US dollar. Sold on to Denmark it was extensively converted into a civilian airliner and renamed "Stig Viking".

Later, the Fort was renamed as Store Bjorn (Great Bear) and used for aerial photography over Greenland until 1953. Then the French bought it and flew photo missions over Africa and South America until 1961. Years later, it was sold yet again back to the US Government for just 20 cents and 1972 transported back to Wright-Patterson AFB. In 1988, after 60,000 man-hours of restoration it flew once again and was repainted by Tony Starcer for the second time but this time the whole aircraft was painted in olive drab to preserve it.


© Ray Bowden 9 August 2022