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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 97323
Last updated: 23 March 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B17 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress
Owner/operator:Air Corps Ferrying Command USAAF
Registration: 41-2482
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Parnamirim airfield near Natal -   Brazil
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Parnamirim airfield, Brazil
Destination airport:
After the USA entered World War II, it became clear that the fastest and most economical method of moving combat aircraft from the factory to the front, which might be 10,000 to 15,000 miles away due to the worldwide nature of the conflict, was to ferry them under their own power. Also, to keep aircraft at their highest efficiency, an air transport system for the rapid delivery of spare engines and parts, auxiliary equipment of all kinds, flight crews, and ground personnel became an absolute necessity, and supplementary to the traditional and considerably slower method of surface transport.

Of the four major air routes developed during 1941 the South Atlantic air ferry route linking the USA with West Africa, the Middle East, India and China, assumed in 1942 an importance far surpassing that of any of the others. Lend-lease aircraft and supplies were sent over the route to the British forces in Egypt and the Russians through Persia, with a smaller volume going via India into China. The earliest heavy bomber reinforcements sent to the US Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific following the Japanese attack traveled over the route, prepared, briefed, and supported by the Ferrying Command, as were most of the aircraft and crews that would form the Ninth Air Force in the Middle East and the Tenth Air Force in India.

The aircraft flying this route used several airports in Central and South America, the last one before the transaltantic flight being Parnamirim airfield near Natal, Brazil. It was there that on 7 February 1942 the B-17E 41-2482, attached to the Air Corps Ferrying Command, crashed on take-off. The plane was fully loaded with gasoline and and was totally destroyed. There was no survivor among the nine men aboard.

Crew (all killed)
2nd Lt John Bradley Rush (pilot)
2nd Lt William Rawls Hogg (co-pilot)
2nd Lt Hubert Roland March (navigator)
S/Sgt Harry E Sturgill (flight engineer)
Cpl Kenneth Bernard Albert (air gunner, of 20th BS)
Pvt James S Brock (radio operator)
Pfc George M Sullivan (of 43rd BG)
Pfc Joepsh Cecho Jr
Pfc Robert M Baker (passenger)


6.The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California, 10 February 1942 7.
9.Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 12 February 1942 10.
17.Shiner Gazette from Shiner, Texas, 19 February 1942 18.

Revision history:

01-Aug-2015 19:52 junior sjc Updated [Location, Nature, Departure airport, Source]
05-Sep-2015 18:09 junior sjc Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Source]
29-Jun-2016 19:48 TB Updated [Total fatalities, Nature, Source]
02-Feb-2018 13:28 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Operator, Total occupants, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Mar-2020 18:01 DG333 Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Source, Operator]

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