Todd Mellema sent in this photo, taken as Aluminum Overcast departed Centennial Airport (KAPA) in Denver. Owned by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the B-17G-VE, serial number 44-85740, travels around the country each year, stopping at airports and giving rides, as well as tours.
Aluminum Overcast was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945, too late to see any action in World War II. Purchased as surplus from the military inventory for $750 in 1946, the airplane has flown more than 1 million miles. It has served as a cargo hauler, an aerial mapping platform, and in pest control and forest dusting applications. In 1978 the plane was bought by “B-17s Around the World,” with the goal to return the B-17 to its former glory. That group donated the plane to EAA in 1983. The next 10 years were spent restoring the iconic airplane.
Aluminum Overcast carries the colors of the 398th Bomb Group of World War II, which flew hundreds of missions over Nazi-held territory during the war. Aluminum Overcast commemorates B-17G #42-102516 which was shot down on its 34th combat mission over Le Manior, France, on Aug. 13, 1944. Veterans of the 398th helped finance the bomber’s restoration, according to EAA officials.