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Book Review

B-17G Flying Fortress in Israeli Air Force Service Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2010 Title B-17G Flying Fortress in Israeli Air Force Service
Author Alex Yofe Publisher White Crow Publications
Published 2010 ISBN 0-9774627-2-2
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) TBA


White Crow Publications is a unique company that specializes in publishing monographs covering propeller-powered aircraft in Israeli Air Force service. These titles provide a terrific resource for modelers who want accurate profiles, reference photos, and information to create their next IAF masterpiece.

This title covers the B-17G Flying Fortresses that were acquired rather hastily after the creation of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. The Egyptians didn't like the UN-mandated state inserted near its borders and began bombing targets in the new Israeli state. The Israelis had no air force at that time and went about acquiring the resources to defend themselves. One of those resources was a number of surplus B-17G Flying Fortresses that were purchased on the US market, and then shuttled overseas via Czechoslovakia to evade notice by US authorities. Unfortunately the press got wind of this 'quiet' acquisition and the fourth bomber was eventually seized before it could make it overseas.

This is the story of the first bombers in the new Israeli Air Force, their paths into Israel, their refitting over time back into similar configurations as they appeared over Germany during World War 2, and their combat operations in Israeli service. Coverage of this title is broken down as follows:

  • Acquisition
  • First Mission
  • War of Independence
  • Operation 'Yoav'
  • Operation 'Chorev'
  • After the War
  • Operation 'Kadesh'
  • End of the Line
  • Color & Markings

While the title was originally published in Hebrew, Chris Bucholz translated and edited this English edition and did a great job. The history alone is a great read and this title is well illustrated with period photos to give a rare glimpse of this aircraft's later combat experiences. The title also has a nice selection of color profiles of not only the B-17s, but also other early IAF types.

This is a terrific resource for the modeler and historian alike, with rare glimpses at some of the unique modifications that were eventually applied to the B-17Gs including adapted radar pods and underwing bomb racks. If you are a fan of the B-17 (and I am!) then you'll want to add this title to your library to cover the exploits of these Israeli veterans.

My sincere thanks to White Crow Publications for this review sample!