The Swoose: Odyssey of a B-17 Collection consists of materials collected during research by Herbert Brownstein, the author.
Scope and Content:
This collection consists of materials collected by author Herbert Brownstein during his research for the book The Swoose: Odyssey of a B-17. Fifty-four of the images collected were used in the book. These images feature the aircraft, its crew, its insignia, air fields where it was stationed and maps of the flights of The Swoose. Mr. Brownstein collected approximately six hundred additional photographs from former crew members and other sources which were not used in the book. Included among these are images of air bases including Milne Bay, New Guinea; Marreba, Australia; Clark Field, Philippine Islands; Port Moresby, New Guinea; Del Monte, Philippine Islands; Randolph, Texas; Wheeler, Hawaii; Brooks, Texas; and Kelly, Texas. Aircraft featured include the Bell P-39, Douglas C-47, Boeing B-17B, Boeing B-17G, North American B-25B, Curtiss P-40, North American N4J Pensacola Trainer, and Boeing B-17 Suzy-Q. Aviation field maps include those for Northeast Australia, Malaya, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and the Philippine Islands. Individuals represented include Henry Godman, Weldon S. Smith, Lyndon B. Johnson, Frank Kurtz, Sir Charles Burnett, Brigadier General George Acheson and several group shots of crew. There are also histories of the 14th and 19th Bombardment Groups, operations, battle honor lists, damage reports, debriefing reports, and crew lists as well as periodical articles about the aircraft and its crew.
The collection has been organized into three series:
SERIES 1: Photographs Used in The Swoose: Odyssey of a B-17
SERIES 2: Photographs Collected but not Used in The Swoose: Odyssey of a B-17
SERIES 3: Official Government Documents, Periodical Articles, Miscellaneous Material
The Swoose was the name given to Boeing B-17D Flying Fortress serial number 40-3097 by Weldon H. Smith, one of its crew members. The aircraft flew four historic trans-Pacific flights: California to Hawaii, May 13-14, 1941; Sidney, Australia to Hawaii and back, May 17-30, 1942; and Brisbane to Washington, DC, August 4-12, 1942. It was stationed in the Pacific theater during the first two years of World War II (1941-1943) and was assigned to both the 14th and 19th Bombardment Groups. In the Pacific, The Swoose carried out bombing and transport operations in the Philippines, Java, and Australia. In 1943, the aircraft was stationed in Panama. The aircraft remained in service until 1953, when it was transferred to the National Air and Space Museum. In 2008, The Swoose was transferred to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
Herb Brownstein, gift, 1994, 1996, 2000, 1994-0024