The Bomber Gas Station (1947-91) of Milwaukie Oregon was world famous. The aircraft was removed for restoration in 2014. I can proudly say that I did make a point of stopping there for gas on several occasions. I recall that the wings didn’t offer much protection on a windy and rainy day, but who cared.Starting life as 42-102715 (a B-17G), N66573 did a number of odd jobs before crashing as a fire bomber in 1979.Typifying the life of a surplus B-17, N117W started life as a B-17G (44-85806), went to the Coast Guard as a PB-1G, passed through several civilian owners and was destroyed in 1964. These 3 photos show it in when it was flown by the Biegert Bros. of Nebraska as an aerial sprayer.Unlike most civilian B-17’s, those operated by Sweden were combat veterans. SE-BAN (formerly USAAF 42-3490) of Swedish Air Lines came to that country courtesy of the 385th Bomb Group (and German flak) when damaged on a mission to Berlin. Opting for neutral Sweden, the crew was interned and the aircraft put into service at war’s end. Unfortunately it was scrapped in 1950.Another weary B-17G (42-3470) ended its days in 1962 while flying for the Colombian government.
1959 ad from Flying Magazine. I did the math: $15,000 in today’s money is about $130,000.