USAAF Nose Art Research Project


Pistol Packin' Mama
B-17F-105-BO 42-30434

390th Bomb Group, 570th Bomb Squadron

Pistol Packin' Mama

Also known as "Betty Boop", this Fort was hit by flak on a mission to Regensburg on 25th February 1944 and crashed nr St Erme, southeast of Laon France.

It was originally assigned to the crew of Lt J R Geary who flew it from mid August 1943 through to early December. It had flown to Regensburg on the first strike at that target on 17th August and had been hit by flak on that occasion too, though not seriously. Numerous targets through France and Germany followed including Paris, Bordeaux, Emden, Munster, Gelsenkirchen and also Rjukan, Norway.

Lt Robert Bowman's crew then took the ship over and continued the missions suffering more serious flak damage over Kiel on 4th January and another hit over a Noball v-weapon site later in the month. The same crew suffering the fatal hit which exploded a wing. The pilot and tail gunner were killed in the resulting crash and the rest of the crew were taken prisoner after bailing out.

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© Ray Bowden 23 July 2024