B-17G Ruby’s Raiders

During my research in the National Archives for more material on the Ploesti, Romania, oil refineries low-level bombing mission, I came across an original 8" x 10" print of this photo of Ruby’s Raiders. It’s been published in books and on websites before, but I’m offering it here in significantly higher resolution than ever before available.

asdf

(Click to enlarge)

This was a brand-new B-17G named in honor of Corporal Ruby Newell of the 3rd Bomb Division staff, who had been voted as the most beautiful WAC in the ETO in a Stars & Stripes readers’ poll. The nose art was beautifully painted by Corporal Ploss of the 385th Bomb Group with Newell’s portrait on the right side of the nose. As a brand-new ship, no mission or other personalized markings were carried on the left side of the nose.

We know the plane’s serial was 44-6483, her individual letter was “G,” and she carried full 385th Bomb Group markings, but no known photos show the tail. In our decal set shown below, we’ve interpolated the very dependable red checkerboard fin and rudder checkerboard pattern from photos of other unit aircraft. The serial number is the same style as other B-17Gs from Block 50 at the Douglas aircraft plant. The wing and tail stripes are specifically taken from 8th AF documentation.

asdf

(Click to enlarge)

Although usually depicted in black, the name “Raiders” was DEFINITELY NOT black. Closely the black & white photo above. It’s obvious the word "Raiders" is not black as is he outline to the name "Ruby’s."

Now check the photo below, which proves the word "Raiders" is not red or some other bright color–it’s clearly dark blue. Unfortunately the original color photo was shot at the wrong exposure and came out extremely dark. I’ve lightened the image quite a bit so you can more clearly and easily see the color differences.

asdf

(Click to enlarge)

Photos of this bird don’t show whether deicer boots were fitted, but since this was a new ship they undoubtedly were.

As a “staggered waist” B-17G, the national insignia was behind the left waist window and in front of the right waist window.

The nose turret and fairing, being produced by subcontractors, were Neutral Gray. This was extremely common on natural metal B-17Gs, and is confirmed in color photos.

Here are the 1/72 and 1/48 PYN-up Decals sets we created

1/72

asdf

PYN-up Decals B-17 Fortress Chicks Part 2. Truly one of the most dramatically marked B-17s ever, “Ruby’s Raiders,” was a B-17G-50-DL. Cpl Ploss of the 385th Bomb Group painted the dazzling nose art especially for the ceremony honoring Cpl Ruby Newell of the 3rd Bomb Division staff, who had been voted as the most beautiful WAC (Woman’s Army Corps) in the ETO by a Stars & Stripes readers poll. The 385th’s bold red checkerboard tail and broad wing and tail stripes only added to the attention this ship demanded. Brand-new at the time of the ceremony and carrying serial 44-6483, aircraft letter G, she was flown a various times by Frank Blackwell and Harold C. Prang, 550 BS/385 BG, Great Ashford, England, Spring 1945.

$22.97

asf

1/48:

asdf

Fortress Chicks Part 2. Another beautiful PYN-up Decals set with stunning near-photographic quality nose art. B-17G-50-DL, 44-6483, “Ruby’s Raiders,” aircraft letter G, Frank Blackwell/Harold C. Prang, 550 BS/385 BG, Great Ashford, England, Spring 1945. This was a brand-new B-17G that painted especially for the ceremony honoring Cpl. Ruby Newell of the 3rd Bomb Division staff, who had been voted as the most beautiful WAC (Woman’s Army Corps) in the ETO by a Stars & Stripes readers poll. Gorgeous artwork on a shiny new plane!

Add to Goodie Bag
$32.97


asdf

B-17 Standard Insignia #1. Insignia used until August 1942, including 56″ fuselage and 74″ wing cocardes with separate red centers (Freeman “Type 1” US national insignia). These markings were used on B-17s from the start of the program until the introduction of smaller star/blue circle/no red dot cocardes in mid August 1942. This set also includes the “U.S. ARMY” for the wing bottoms in the correct Insignia Blue (they were NOT black!), as well as prop logos and Orange Yellow 15″ individual numbers for the fin serial. Note that officially, the red center dot was removed from US insignia as of 1 June 1942, so it’s possible to see B-17s with the large “Type 1” insignia without the red dot! Please note that we have never seen documentation of a B-17E (including the prototype) with the red/white/blue rudder stripes, so they are not included on this sheet.

Add to Goodie Bag
$14.97


asdf

B-17 Standard Insignia #2: August 1942 to June 1943. This set includes 50″ fuselage cocardes and 70″ wing cocardes (Freeman “Type 2″ national insignia), with separate 3″ and 6” yellow surrounds (Freeman “Type 2A”). It also includes optional light gray stars to replace the white stars in the insignia as was very frequently seen in the field. Prop logos and Orange Yellow 15″ individual numbers for the fin serial are also included. Note that the yellow surround to the cocardes was OFFICIALLY 2″ wide, but most photos we’ve seen show much wider surrounds. These were invariably hand-painted, and wide variations were seen. Please note that these yellow surrounds were NOT Operation Torch (North African invasion) markings as usually reported, but rather were in response to a British request to help make the US cocardes more visible in the ETO. Practically, the “Type 2A” insignia was only painted on aircraft until about December 1942, but some in-service aircraft carried the insignia after that date.

Add to Goodie Bag
$12.97


asdf

B-17 Standard Insignia #3. June 1943 to September 1943 and even later. This set includes 50″ fuselage and 70″ wing stars & bars with RED outline for use until late September 1943 (Freeman “Type 3”), AS WELL AS the same size insignia with lighter blue (faded) cocardes with darker blue surrounds to represent Type 3 insignia converted to “Type 4″ insignia. The set also includes prop logos and Orange Yellow 15” individual numbers for the fin serial. Note that these markings will allow you to show accurate and high-quality star markings on any of your B-17 models from this period, regardless which decals you use, and that most 1/48 Cutting Edge and PYN-up Decal B-17 sets do not include national insignia so we can include the maximum number of specific markings in each set. *** Also please note that I will make the other three types of B-17 national markings (CED48260, B-17E/F Early Insignia (simple cocardes with and without the center red dot used through August 1942, with huge “U. S. Army” for the lower wings); CED48261, B-17E/F Early Insignia used from Aug 42 to June 43 (simple cocarde with and without center red dot, with optional yellow outer ring, and with optional “grayed out” white star); and CED48263, B-17E/F/G Late Insignia with the standard “star and bar” including optional “grayed out” white areas and optional red bars for postwar markings) available at a later time. I will also make available in the near future CED48270, B-29 National Insignia; CED48271, B-24 National Insignia (Early), and CED48272, B-24 National Insignia (Late).

Add to Goodie Bag
$15.97


asdf

B-17 Standard Insignia #4: September 1943 to the 1950s. This set has the 50″ fuselage and 70″ wing stars & bars in Insignia Blue and Insignia White, and includes separate red bars for post-1947 B-17s. In addition, the set has optional separate light gray stars and bars to replace the white for “grayed out” insignia, which was often seen on B-17s, including Forts that left the factory in the natural metal scheme! Prop logos and 15″ black individual numbers for the fin serial. Note that this is the final B-17 national markings set out of the four we created to cover the entire operational history of the Flying Fortress; the other three sets were previously offered to you in past increments.

Add to Goodie Bag
$15.97