B-17F 42-3441 "Patches II"

photograph courtesy of Ted Abbott.

"Patches II" was an early replacement aircraft for the 547th BS, replacing the
original "Patches" after that plane was salvaged in late July 1943. "Patches II"
flew combat missions throughout early 1944, and was retired in the summer to
serve as the 384th's assembly ship. With this, she was given a high-visibility
paint job of blue polka-dots over white. She was immediately given the nicknames
"Spotted Cow" and "Speckled Hen."

Her mission was to orbit the airbase to allow the rest of the group formation to form
up after take-off. She would definitely be hard to miss!