Fortress II for RAF

Last revised March 29, 2004

Nineteen Boeing-built B-17Fs were transferred to the RAF under Lend-Lease as Fortress II. They were assigned the RAF serial numbers FA695 to FA713. FA700 and FA711 were ex-USAAF 41-24599 and 42-5238, but I am unaware of the other USAAF serials.

Most Fortress IIs were issued to RAF Coastal Command for use in patrolling the area around the British Isles in search of German submarines. The Fortress II served with the following RAF Coastal Command squadrons:

No. 59 Squadron 
No. 206 Squadron 
No. 220 Squadron 
No. 251 Squadron (Met.) 
No. 519 Squadron (Met.) 
No. 521 Squadron (Met.) 

The Fortress II also served in small numbers with the following RAF Bomber Command Squadrons:

No. 214 Squadron 
No. 223 Squadron 


  1. Flying Fortress, Edward Jablonski, Doubleday, 1965.

  2. Famous Bombers of the Second World War, Volume One, William Green, Doubleday, 1959.

  3. Boeing Aircraft Since 1916, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1989.

  4. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  5. Boeing B-17E and F Flying Fortress, Charles D. Thompson, Profile Publications, 1966.

  6. American Combat Planes, Ray Wagner, Third Edition, Doubleday, 1982.

  7. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Military Press, 1989.

  8. British Military Aircraft Serials, Bruce Robertson, Ian Allen, 1969.

  9. E-mail from Robert Stitt with No 86 and 517 Squadrons not operating the Fortress II.