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B-17F Fortress “The Aztec’s Curse” of the 26th Bomb Squadron immediately after an attack on Ghizo Island in the Solomon Islands, 5 Oct 1942.

Caption   B-17F Fortress “The Aztec’s Curse” of the 26th Bomb Squadron immediately after an attack on Ghizo Island in the Solomon Islands, 5 Oct 1942. ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives via the Bobby Rocker Collection
More on...   
B-17 Flying Fortress   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Solomon Islands Campaign   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Photos on Same Day 5 Oct 1942
Photos at Same Place Ghizo, British Western Pacific Territories
Added By David Stubblebine
Added Date 26 Jan 2013

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (1,600 by 1,238 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain. According to the US National Archives, as of 21 Jul 2010:
The vast majority of the digital images in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) are in the public domain. Therefore, no written permission is required to use them. We would appreciate your crediting the National Archives and Records Administration as the original source. For the few images that remain copyrighted, please read the instructions noted in the "Access Restrictions" field of each ARC record.... In general, all government records are in the public domain and may be freely used.... Additionally, according to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Vh Hurtado says:
5 Oct 2013 06:36:00 AM

I used to watch the Black Sheep Squadron series on TV back in day and I recall the pilots saying the name "Rendova" frequently
2. Joel E. Brown says:
5 Oct 2013 07:13:00 AM

She's beautiful..
3. John O'Brien says:
5 Oct 2013 11:43:00 AM

What an incredible in-flight mission photo of the '17
4. Cy White says:
5 Oct 2013 12:29:00 PM

Would be interesting to find out what the ultimate demise of The Aztec's Curse was. Survived the war, scrapped?
5. Herbert G. Mische says:
5 Oct 2013 12:32:00 PM

Great shot!!!
6. Brian F Harris says:
5 Oct 2013 03:21:00 PM

Magic photo of aerial action
7. John Witzell says:
5 Oct 2013 05:04:00 PM

Great shot.....my Dad was a Flight Engineer on B-17s....after the war they converted them to the SB-17 for long range search and rescue.....he flew on them until 1955 with our last assignment being the 57th Air Rescue Squadron at Lajes Field in the Azores...
8. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
6 Oct 2013 03:36:34 PM

To Vh Hurtado:

As the Allies moved up the Solomon chain, Rendova became an important forward base following the island’s capture in mid-1943. The real-life Black Sheep Squadron (VMF-214) was formed in Aug 1943 and flew in support of the advancing Solomon campaign, with the Rendova base playing an important part of their rear area. The frequent mention of it in the TV series would make sense historically.
9. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
6 Oct 2013 03:37:18 PM

To Cy White:

On Apr 23, 1943 "Aztec's Curse" (#41-24457) experienced brake failure on landing at Momote Field, Admiralty Islands that resulted in a ground loop. The plane was not damaged but a ground tug struck the bomber's tail and the airplane had to be written off.
10. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
14 Nov 2014 04:36:47 PM


B-17 was flown by Captain W.E. Chambers of the 26th Bomb Squadron, 11th Bomb Group and saw action during the Guadalcanal campaign 1942. Capt. later Major Chambers received two Silver Stars during this action. Chambers crew rotated back home to the good old U.S.of A, the Aztec's Curse was left behind tail assembly broken from the fuselage later salvaged to keep other forts flying...
11. Billy K says:
18 Apr 2018 09:33:45 PM

This is not "flying over Rendova Island" as the caption says. The white smoke in the background (just above and forward of the plane's tail) is the waterfront of Gizo town being bombed. All the land on the right side of the photo is part of Ghizo Island. I have been there many times and recognize it clearly. Rendova Island is about 60 miles to the southeast. These planes probably took off from the US base at Rendova.
12. Don Allen says:
20 Oct 2020 01:48:03 PM

Billy K is correct. Approximate location of where this photo was taken:

8°04'21.4"S 156°50'19.4"E

13. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
20 Oct 2020 02:24:25 PM

Billy K and Don Allen (above):
I think you are both absolutely correct. Both the caption and the location pin have been updated to reflect the correction. Thank you for pointing this out.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Ghizo, British Western Pacific Territories
Lat/Long -8.0785, 156.8405
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