A Personal Note

During WW II, Boeing manufactured 13 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers every day in that factory (16 per day at the max.)  During the month of March 1944, they delivered 365 of those new bombers to the U.S. Army Air Force  --  in that one month!  That's a lot of airplanes, and a lot of history....

My very first boss at Boeing was a wonderful man named Roy Lundberg.  We remained life long friends.  Although gone for many years, I miss him and think of him often.  A resourceful, wiry old Swede, from the backwoods of Ione, Washington, he got me started off on the right track, and taught me many important lessons about the virtues of hard work and a job well done.  In many ways, I am who I am because of Roy Lundberg.

During the war, Roy used to fly as a mechanic on the first test flights of B-17s produced in that factory.  He used to check the airplane systems and fire all the guns.  All the airplanes got a test flight - and, --  essentially all,  --  got just that one test flight - before they delivered to the USAAF and flew off immediately to war.  Since they were cranking out 13 airplanes a day, Roy (and his fellow crews) had to make 13 First Flight test hops each day.  Sometimes the weather wouldn't cooperate (rain and fog in Seattle, you know!), so the next day after a bad weather day, they'd have to fly 26 airplanes!  Sometimes, the weather would be crummy for a few days at a time - so they'd fly 39 airplanes, and so on.  All in one day!  They had to, as there was no room on the Field for the flood of airplanes coming out of the factory.  Needless to say, some of those test flights weren't very "long."  You might even call them "Short!"  Roy said, they'd land, climb out of one airplane and jump into the next.

    Roy - 2nd from left - and some of his test crew

By war's end, Roy had gone on the First Flights of almost 900 B-17s.......

  God Bless You, Roy.

Copyright 2009 -2010 Robert Bogash.  All Rights Reserved

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Revised 12 Oct 2010