American Bomber Crewman 1941-45 by Gregory Fremont-Barnes

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By Gregory Fremont-Barnes

Gregory Fremont-Barnes examines the lives of the yank Bomber Crewmen of the 8th Air strength, ''The robust Eighth'', who crewed, maintained and repaired the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and the B-24 Liberators that flew from the airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk and different counties of britain. He highlights the actual and mental pressure put on those courageous males. lengthy bombing missions known as for brute energy to regulate the plane and remarkable patience to fly for hours at 20,000 toes at temperatures lower than freezing in unheated, unpressurized cabins. Then there have been Luftwaffe warring parties and anti-aircraft fireplace to cope with and it required extraordinary ability and a few success to come back from a project unscathed. This ebook is a becoming tribute to those usually uncelebrated heroes who took the warfare deep into the 3rd Reich, in addition to a desirable old account of the reports they went via.

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Fighters were armed with machine guns as well as with cannon and could cause havoc while flying at high speed through bomber formations. While bombers naturally made use of their machine guns to ward off their much more maneuverable opponents, the best form of defense was to have a fighter escort. Initially, as no fighter could escort bombers the entire length of their mission, fighter cover was only 46 provided for as long as the escort could remain in the air with sufficient fuel to enable them to fight and to return safely to base.

No single innovation contributed more to the preservation of bomber crews than the development of long-range fighter aircraft. Frank Morrison, a B-1? navigator, explained the effectiveness of what bomber crews called "little friends" in his description of the harrowing moments when his stricken aircraft nearly failed to make it home: We took a series of flak hits over the target at 26,000 feet, and with two engines out and a broken oxygen line, we could not take evasive action to escape the extremely heavy ground fire.

By this time, any aircraft that had experienced technical difficulties would have aborted the mission and returned to base. In addition, the bombardier instructed the gunners to test-fire their weapons - into the sea if over the Channel for those aircraft operating out of England, or over the Mediterranean or Pacific, if operating in those theaters. The alternative, of course, was simply to fire into the open sky, taking care not to hit other aircraft in the formation. Necessary though their heavy clothing was, it created problems for men wishing to relieve themselves during such stages of the mission.

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