by Robert Cutler
At Batchelor Field, near Darwin, an American Flying Fortress lies broken with over 1100 shrapnel and bullet holes in her skin. This war-torn, B-17C bomber has already performed sterling service in the air battle over the Philippines. Stripped of her heavy armament, she is made ready for transport duty to the beleaguered Aussie Diggers along the northern coast of New Guinea. In March 1943, she begins daily transport service, ferrying American GIs from the jungle battlefields of New Guinea to the US Army Rest Area in Mackay, Qld, for R&R leave. On 14 June 1943 she takes off from Mackay Airport on her final, tragic flight.