Aircraft

SB-17H

BOEING B-17H




Boeing SB-17G

Boeing SB-17G of the 5th Rescue Squadron,
Flight D. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Boeing SB-17G

Top view of Boeing SB-17G (S/N 44-83722)
with Stinson L-5 (S/N 42-98578).
(U.S. Air Force photo)

Boeing SB-17G

Boeing SB-17G low-level pass.
(Courtesy of Lt. Col. (Ret.) Ted Morris)

Boeing SB-17G

Boeing SB-17G-95-DL (S/N 44-83773) in flight over
Diamond Head,
Oahu, Hawaii. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Boeing SB-17G

Boeing SB-17G-105-VE (S/N 44-85746) in the
Rub Al Khali desert,
Saudi Arabia, in 1950.
(Courtesy of Lt. Col. (Ret.) Ted Morris)

The Boeing B-17H (redesignated SB-17G in 1948) was a rescue conversion of a B-17G. The major addition to the aircraft was the capability to carry an A-1 lifeboat under the forward fuselage. The lifeboat was designed for airborne drops. Once a downed airman was spotted the rescue aircraft released the A-1 lifeboat which descended to the water by parachute.

After the end of World War II, the defensive armament of the B-17H was gradually removed. The chin turret was replaced by an airborne search radar, and by the late 1940s, the aircraft was flown unarmed. During the Korean Conflict, some of the defensive armament was restored. The tail and waist gunner positions were used along with cheek gun positions and top turrets in some cases. The SB-17G remained in service until 1956.


Type Number built/
converted
Remarks
B-17H 130 (planned conversions) Became SB-17G in 1948