AAF to England Because of severe shortages of planes, personnel, supplies and equipment, the Army Air Forces was not able to send any units to England immediately. The first contingent of 1,800 personnel sailed from Boston for Liverpool on April 27, 1942. The first airplanes, 18 B-17s, left the United States on June 23, and by flying the main ferry route through Labrador, Greenland and Iceland, the first airplane reached England on July 1. By the end of August, 386 planes (119 B-17s, 164 P-38s and 103 C-47s) had successfully crossed the North Atlantic. Click here to return to the World War II Gallery. Find Out More Related Fact Sheets Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Douglas C-47D Skytrain Lockheed P-38L Lightning Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.