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Flight (?) School B-17 Class 43-4-G Photo


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Since all of the men in the photo seem to have wings pinned on their shirts, my guess would be that it is a photo of a class of B-17 pilots, taken right after completion of training. It is a really nice photo, I always look out for the yard long photos with vehicles and aircraft in them and that one looks very clear and well preserved.

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If these men are all officers wearing pilot wings, then PacificGunner is probably correct. Can you tell the ranks of the men or the types of wings they are wearing? If they are enlisted wearing aircrew wings this could possibly be a photo of a B-17 flight engineer class.

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If these men are all officers wearing pilot wings, then PacificGunner is probably correct. Can you tell the ranks of the men or the types of wings they are wearing? If they are enlisted wearing aircrew wings this could possibly be a photo of a B-17 flight engineer class.

It looks to me like all of the men are in their "pinks and greens" with the chocolate shirt and khaki pants, and if you look at the closeup photo, some appear to be wearing rank bars on their hats

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43-4-G does not identify the type or location of the school. Most similar schools used the same class identifying codes, with pilot schools generally having a two digit number identifying the year the pilots were to complete their advanced flight training, followed by a letter identifying which class they were in that year (like 43-A or 45-D). Bombardier, navigator and aerial gunner classes used codes with the two-digit year followed by a number (like 43-1 or 45-5).

 

If they are all officers but not wearing pilot wings, this might be a bombardier or navigator class photo. By 1943 they were issuing bombardier and navigator wings not observer wings to the graduates.

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I think the proper term for the organization was B-17 Transition School. Those pilots would have graduated from Primary, Basic and Multi-Engine flight training schools and received their pilot wings. From there they would have been sent to Transition Schools for the particular aircraft which they would be assigned to fly.

 

In the Eastern Flying Training Command, there were at least three such B-17 Transition Schools. They were located at Hendricks Army Air Field at Sebring, FL, Smyrna Army Air Field, Smyrna, TN and Lockbourne Army Air Base located at Columbus, OH.

 

I can't tell from your image where it was taken but some additional digging might reveal that information. You might want to take the picture out of the frame and see if there is any information written or stamped on the back side of the photo.

 

HTH.

 

Regards,

Charlie

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