July 30, 2002


This "chase view" of a B-17E, dated July 26, 1942, shows the
plane being worked on (note the mechanic astride the leftmost
engine). It was rearward vulnerability of the Flying Fortress
that led to the E series modification, in which Boeing introduced
a completely new rear fuselage with a manually operated
turret housing two .50-cal machine guns fitted in the extreme
tail. In order to accommodate the tail gun, the fuselage of
the B-17E was a full six feet longer than that of the D.