Author Topic: B-17 Miracle!  (Read 1278 times)

Offline DMVIAGRA

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B-17 Miracle!
« on: February 01, 2012, 05:34:30 PM »









Offline Soulyss

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 05:37:43 PM »
Absolutely amazing that plane was able to land, but I can't help think what happened to the waist and ball turret gunners.
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Offline Rich52

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2012, 05:56:54 PM »
Looks like it ran into Lusche.
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Offline Ack-Ack

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 08:05:02 PM »
Absolutely amazing that plane was able to land, but I can't help think what happened to the waist and ball turret gunners.


If that was the same B-17 that I had read about that took a direct hit from flak, the gunners in the rear of the plane (save the tail gunner) didn't survive.

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Offline bangsbox

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012, 11:42:48 PM »
If that was the same B-17 that I had read about that took a direct hit from flak, the gunners in the rear of the plane (save the tail gunner) didn't survive.

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how could they... im very surprised that wind speed wasnt able to snap the tail off amazing

Offline 4Prop

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2012, 11:47:58 PM »
what can I say, the B-17 was one tough fother mucker. I've seen pictures of them coming back with almost no rudder, half of a wing, shot out control surfaces, and nose cones blown off. and of course the sad story of the ball gunner who had the hydraulic system blown out and they couldnt raise him back up. unfortunantly they had to land right on him ( the gear wouldnt lower either )

Offline Chalenge

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2012, 11:58:10 PM »
Yes they are widely publicized as being pictures of 8th Air Force B-17 "Sweet Pea" but that is because of the faulty reporting of Andy Rooney who at the time picked it up off the AP and ran with it. This airplane was actually a B-17 of the 2nd Bomb Group 15th Air Force out of Italy. You can read specifics of the event in the book "Shot at and Missed" by Jack R. Myers.
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Offline MarineUS

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 03:07:36 AM »
what can I say, the B-17 was one tough fother mucker. I've seen pictures of them coming back with almost no rudder, half of a wing, shot out control surfaces, and nose cones blown off. and of course the sad story of the ball gunner who had the hydraulic system blown out and they couldnt raise him back up. unfortunantly they had to land right on him ( the gear wouldnt lower either )

Yeah...That story sticks with me and breaks my heart every time I think about it....I watched the special that reporter did and he talked about that.
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Offline colmbo

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2012, 10:14:24 AM »
what can I say, the B-17 was one tough fother mucker. I've seen pictures of them coming back with almost no rudder, half of a wing, shot out control surfaces, and nose cones blown off. and of course the sad story of the ball gunner who had the hydraulic system blown out and they couldnt raise him back up. unfortunantly they had to land right on him ( the gear wouldnt lower either )

The B-17 ball turret didn't raise up.  The B-24 turret did retract into the fuselage but you can enter and exit with it extended -- and in fact that was the normal procedure.  The gear on the B-17 is electric so a hydraulic failure wouldn't be an issue (other than no brakes and the cowl flaps would't operate).
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Offline Chalenge

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 02:08:33 PM »
Lots of stories in the book I mentioned about dropping severely injured men out the side hoping they would get more immediately medical treatment. I never heard a story of anyone that survived that though.
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Offline 4Prop

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 05:21:55 PM »
The B-17 ball turret didn't raise up.  The B-24 turret did retract into the fuselage but you can enter and exit with it extended -- and in fact that was the normal procedure.  The gear on the B-17 is electric so a hydraulic failure wouldn't be an issue (other than no brakes and the cowl flaps would't operate).

i forget the exact details but the story was he was in the ball turret and they couldnt get him out of the ball turret and it stayed down with him in it. the gear wouldnt lower and they landed on him

Offline Butcher

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2012, 07:23:51 PM »
One the scared me the most was in the "Secret weapons of the luftwaffe" manual - a B-17 dropped its bombs and another B-17 was a few hundred feet below it taking one of the aileron's off causing the B-17 to go down.

I've seen another photo of a B-17 where a 500lb bomb went through one of the wings, I can't imagine the horror that went through the crews that dropped on either run.

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Offline Ack-Ack

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 07:40:59 PM »
After a little bit of research, that B-17 in the first couple of pictures posted by DMViagra, the damage wasn't a result of a flak burst.  It was from a collision with an enemy plane.

The B-17 was named "All American" and flew with the 414th Squadron, 97BG and piloted by Lieutenant Kenneth R. Bragg.


Same photo as #2 in DMViagra's post but from a slightly different angle

A picture of All American in flight.


Another shot of it on the ground


One more picture showing the damage to the left side.


The other B-17 seems to be this B-17 that took a direct hit over Debrecen, Hungary, killing or wounding close to half the crew but made it back to England where it broke apart on landing.




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« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 08:01:39 PM by Ack-Ack »
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Offline Tupac

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2012, 07:42:07 PM »
Looks liek the waist gunners may have had a chance.....did they make it?
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Offline Ack-Ack

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Re: B-17 Miracle!
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2012, 07:59:26 PM »
One the scared me the most was in the "Secret weapons of the luftwaffe" manual - a B-17 dropped its bombs and another B-17 was a few hundred feet below it taking one of the aileron's off causing the B-17 to go down.

I've seen another photo of a B-17 where a 500lb bomb went through one of the wings, I can't imagine the horror that went through the crews that dropped on either run.


This series of photographs was taken during a bombing run on May 19, 1944 over Berlin. It shows a mishap which occurred when the bombs from one Flying Fortress struck and damaged one of the horizontal stabilizers of the tail of a B-17 which was beneath it.  The damaged B-17 went straight down and crashed, killing all onboard.









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