303rd Bomb Group B-17G Bonnie-B taxis out for engine replacement test flight
Dedicated to the ground personnel whose tireless efforts kept the combat aircraft flying day after day, the painting shows 303rd Bomb Group B-17G Bonnie-B taxiing out of it's hardstand area onto the Molesworth, England base's East-West runway for "slow timing" - running-in a newly replaced engine. All of the 359th Bomb Squadron's aircraft can be seen on their hardstands early on this day of respite in mid 1944.
When B-17G 42-31483 was delivered to crew chief Bill Zachar in January 1944, the first aircrew assigned was led by 1st Lt. G. Neil Bech. When MSgt Zachar heard of the birth of Lt. & Mrs. Bech's baby daughter Bonnie, he named # 483 Bonnie B. Bonnie B was to fly 93 combat missions between January 4 and September 5, 1944 when she lost a propeller and, on two engines, landed at an emergency field near Paris. Her crew was safe, but she never flew again.