Weapon Wednesday – The History of Nine-O-Nine

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The bomber involved in Tuesday’s fatal crash in Connecticut never made it to war, but served as a search and rescue plane and water bomber.


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  • The original Nine-O-Nine was a decorated veteran of the air war over Europe.
  • The second plane served as a water bomber and nuclear test target.
  • The restored “Nine-O-Nine” crashed in 1987 and was subject to an extensive rebuilding.

Nine-O-Nine, the B-17 bomber involved in yesterday’s tragic crash in Connecticut, was built too late to serve in World War II, but was later rebuilt to resemble the original Nine O Nine, a veteran of the bomber campaign over Europe. The aircraft had a long postwar career, including a stint as a target in nuclear tests, before a lengthy rebuilding process restored her to flying condition. The bomber did have a close call in 1987, when a landing mishap severely damaged the aircraft.

B-17 Bombers In Flight

B-17 bombers of the Eighth Air Force practice flying in formation over England, 1944.

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The original Nine-O-Nine was a Boeing B-17G “Flying Fortress” bomber. Nearly 13,000 B-17s were built over the course of World War II, serving in both the Pacific and European theaters. Each four-engine bomber had a crew of ten, a top speed of 287 miles an hour, and could carry a payload of 4,500 bombs on a long distance bombing mission.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).