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Old 02-21-2013, 06:13 PM   #11
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It's hard to put those numbers in perspective. Good post. I wish my grandfathers were here to show them these numbers.

Both served in the army in Europe in ww2. One said he didn't care if he ever touched a gun again, even though he shot blanks in memorial day services. The other believed in self defense, and was prepared.

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Old 02-23-2013, 09:59 PM   #12
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They landed a B 17 for an over night stay at our local airport quite a few years ago. Word got out that it was there and people went to see it. When I stopped after work there was an old guy there with has daughter and her young kids. He had been a crew chief on them in England during WW2. The kids were too young to appreciate his stories, but I followed them as close as I could without intruding and soaked up every word.

Only could get my grandfather to talk about war once, he was in the pacific in WW2 and his reserve unit got called up for Korea. I am pretty sure the story he told was from Korea, but he never talked about any of it except that once shortly before he died.

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Old 02-25-2013, 09:23 PM   #13
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The Russians loved their lend lease P-39 Air Cobras. The 37mm gun made the Air Cobra a fine tank killer.

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Old 02-27-2013, 10:28 PM   #14
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Most folks today are surprised when they learn that aircrew losses were greater than infantry losses.

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Old 02-28-2013, 12:28 AM   #15
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Great read OP! I have loads of special respect for aircrew guys. I used to volunteer years ago at the "Mighty 8th Air Force Museum" outside Savannah, where I literally heard thousands of really amazing stories from the vets themselves. Even got to meet Gen Tibbits who piloted the Enola Gay once. Simply amazing job those guys did. Imagine being in an aluminum can with .50cal and 20mm or flak coming at you at any angle, nowhere to hide, over enemy territory, and being 30000ft up = BALLS OF F'n STEEL!!!

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Old 02-28-2013, 12:58 AM   #16
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Thank you for posting this.

One of my great uncles was a co-pilot on a B-17. He was killed when they had an engine failure on take off. Full fuel, full bomb load. No hope for any kind of engine out procedure.

Another great uncle was a navigator on the B-24. He came home.

Interesting piece of trivia. As attested by their production numbers, the B-24 had the lion's share of the American bomber campaigns. It was faster, newer design, had longer range, but a slightly lower bomb load. So why did the B-17 get all the fanfare? The airbase closest to London (where all the reporters lived) was a B-17 base. It was the media that turned the B-17 into the hero.

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Old 02-28-2013, 01:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottA View Post
Interesting piece of trivia. As attested by their production numbers, the B-24 had the lion's share of the American bomber campaigns. It was faster, newer design, had longer range, but a slightly lower bomb load. So why did the B-17 get all the fanfare? The airbase closest to London (where all the reporters lived) was a B-17 base. It was the media that turned the B-17 into the hero.
The Air Force evaluated both the B-17 and the B-24. The B-24 was faster, had greater range, and carried a heavier bomb load. So why did 8th Air Force select the B-17? Because of its low wing design and less likely to have fires on board. (During testing, several B-24 developed on board fires.) The B-17s low wing design made it more likely to survive a crash landing and be more readily repaired.

In early testing, a B-17 was flown from Seattle to Wright field, Ohio. It was fitted with stress recording instruments. It encountered a storm in route and endured stresses above the recording level of the instruments.

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Old 02-28-2013, 01:46 AM   #18
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Outstanding OP Great read! My Dad was a WWII vet (on the ground not in the air). He didn't talk a whole lot about it but after years of reading about it I can understand why. Still to date the toughest man I have ever met. That whole generation though....Sometimes I wonder if I was just born a little late. Listening to some stories form people that knew him when he was "young and cool" I bet he was a total blast to hang out with back then. sure was when he was around when he was old and not so cool.

Thanks for the dug up memories.

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Old 03-04-2013, 05:26 AM   #19
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My grandad was already in the army when wwII started, by the end of the war he was in charge of an artillary unit. He got called up from the reserves for Korea. He only told one story about his war experiences and the story was about Korea. My middle brother is a doctor and Grandad was convinced that my brother had saved his life during an illness. My brother was the only person Grandad would dredge those memorys up for.

These guys were double heroes, they saved the free world without thinking twice about it. Then they came home and went about the rest of their lives. They didn't brag or swagger they got back to their lives,

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Old 03-04-2013, 06:09 AM   #20
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I lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and remember all vehicle headlights were blacked out over the top half of the lens cover and of course the rationing, and turning in our used cooking oil to the local grocery store. My dad switched our car over from gas to what i believe was LP gas. Hey, I see that there are a few old members on the forum.

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