This pin commemorates the B-17 Flying Fortress a U.S. heavy bomber used during World War II primarily in the European theater. The B-17 Fly Fortress was designed by the Boeing Aircraft Company in response to a 1934 Army Air Corps specification that called for a four-engined bomber at a time when two engines were the norm.
The B-17 bomber was intended from the outset to attack strategic targets by precision daylight bombing, penetrating deep into enemy territory by flying above the effective range of antiaircraft artillery. Turbo-supercharged radial engines (a uniquely American development) were to give the necessary high-altitude performance, and heavy defensive armament was to provide protection against attacking fighters.
The B-17 Flying Fortress was equipped with turrets in the upper fuselage, belly, and tail. All but the last turret were power-operated, and each mounted a pair of 0.50-caliber(12.7-mm) machine guns. This increased firepower made the B-17 a formidable opponent for enemy fighters. Designed by the Boeing Aircraft Co. in 1934, it cruised at 35,000 ft (10,700 m) at a maximum speed of 287 mph (462 kph). It was called the Flying Fortress because of the .50-caliber machine guns, 13 in all, at every corner.
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