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Radar equipped B-17's

The first development of B-17's with radar were conversions of seven B-17F models in which a British developed H2S (Stinkey) radar or "Oboe" Mark I were installed.
On these ships, the radar antenne was mounted under the nose of the plane and covered by an aerodynamic housing.

H2S equipped B-17F

Later planes were equipped with the American (AN/APS-15/) H2X "Mickey" system which was a further development of the British H2S "Stinky" airborne radar. Development took place by scientists of the MIT Radiation Laboratory. On the first 12 aircraft it was hand crafted into the nose of the aircraft behind the chin turret in a rather crude way.

The suffix "SH" was added to the model number to indicate the presence of an H2X radar system. Suffix for H2S equipped planes was "SO".
Similar suffixes can be found on B-24 airplanes. [1]

The 12 B-17 aircraft modified with this initial version of the H2X were following [2]:

42-3483 B-17F/G MI-A
42-3484   MI-B
42-3485   MI-C
42-3486 B-17F/G MI-D "Invictus", MIA 11.01.44 into IJsselmeer/Zuiderzee, The Netherlands
42-3487   MI-E
42-3490   MI-F, MIA 21.06.44
42-3491   MI-G, "Chopstick G George", MIA 06.03.44 over Berlin
42-3492   MI-H "Paper Doll"
42-3500 B-17F/G MI-J, MIA 04.02.44 near Zwolle, The Netherlands
42-3511   MI-K, MIA 25.04.44 near Precy-sur-Oise, Normandy, France
42-30280   MI-L, “crazy horse”, MIA 21.02.44, into IJsselmeer/Zuiderzee, The Netherlands
42-37745   MI-M

Note, one of them was an F version, the rest were "F" versions modified and re-designated "G" versions, or built as a "G" version.

Initial version H2X equipped B-17F/G

After the initial batch of 12 H2X modified airplanes, subsequent radar modified B-17's were built with the radar dome mounted semi retractable as replacement of the ball turret.

Final version H2X equipped B-17Gs from  96thBG


Another version of radar equipped B-17 was used for maritime reconaissance/ Air Sea Rescue services. A number of these were provided with a lifeboat which was released in the air and lowered by parachute.


[1]   12 0'Clock High forum thread "B-17GSH" 26th April 2018 started by Cees Steijger
[2]   List from  Roger Freeman, information added from the various MACR's of each plane where available.