B-17F 42-29636 "X-Virgin"

Originally assigned to the 305th BG, 42-29636 bore the name "The Vanishing Virginian." Her original Navigator, Mal Sweet, suggested renaming her "The Virgin." A flak hit on May 14, 1943, above the "V" prompted yet another name change, de-flowering the plane and warranting the sobriquet "X-Virgin." Captain David Tyler brought her in to a belly-landing after returning from Schweinfurt on August 17, 1943, and the plane was transferred to the 384th Bomb Group. The "X-Virgin" survived her combat tour and was returned to the United States on May 12, 1944.

photographs courtesy of Earl Burke