Author Topic: What makes a good Bomber pilot?  (Read 2014 times)

Offline HB555

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2012, 10:28:50 AM »
Quality escort pilots make bomber pilots look good   :aok

It is always about the fighter pilots, isn't it, Guppy?

Great escorts can keep bomber streams together, much like a good dog will keep his sheep together. It has nothing whatever to do with all the hours of practice most good bomber pilots put in flying together.

Great escorts can gun and help bomber pilots shoot down enemy that "great escorts" can't keep away. It is required we be good gunners because the great escorts are usually to high, to low, to far back, to far in front and generally to far out of position to stop a determined attack.

Great escorts can help bomber pilots set up and time their runs. Many is the time I have had a great escort for a copilot off line or in practice with a stop watch and a clipboard taking notes for me. Usually we hear from escort pilots that we can not do this or that because the great escorts don't have the fuel or don't have the patience, because they are looking for "action", and it is "boring" to have to stay with the bombers for two or three hours.

Great escorts can help bomber pilots drop their ords on target. Again, I sometimes have to lock the cabin to keep the great escorts out of my cockpit while I am lining up an unseen target and then running my calibrations because there are always so many great escort pilots that want to join my plane to help me with these chores. Then I often have to keep running from the bombardier position to a gun position to make sure the really great escorts haven't let an enemy plane sneak in on me or one of my fellow bomber pilots.

Great escorts will always help bomber pilots get home. Nuts. More often than not, they are not even in sight at the time we are over target because they were diverted to "where the action is". This is not usually a bad thing because we have learned to be self dependent, it cuts down on the extraneous radio chatter and it really helps our frame rates not to have all that extra clutter in the air around us.

So, you must be right again, that if it wasn't for you quality escort pilots getting the job done, we bomber pilots would just be taking up valuable server space.

Do I sound offended at your remark in this thread? Well, on behalf of myself and every other bomber pilot I have ever flown with, I am, and we are.

Hello?

Hello?

Dam. What a surprise. He's already out of range. Lets turn 270 degrees for home guys and gals. :aok
Snoopy Bell

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Offline Flossy

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2012, 12:04:59 PM »
Nice response, HB!  All too often the escorts follow the enemy fighters down rather than just chasing them away and rejoining the bombers.  Then when they are really needed, we are left to fend for ourselves!   Please escorts.... escort us to the target and then well on our way home and we may have more chance of actually hitting the target if we get a chance to line up and get a good calibration!  :)
Flossy {The Few}
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Offline Guppy35

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2012, 01:12:40 PM »
Not meant to offend.  Just remembering flying some really good escort in DGS and how much the bomber guys enjoyed getting in, getting out and going home with minimal loss.  We felt quite good about it in our 38s   :)
Dan/CorkyJr
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Offline Flossy

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2012, 06:05:52 PM »
Wish I could have been there.... another late night scenario... :(
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Offline HB555

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2012, 06:39:46 PM »
Not meant to offend.  Just remembering flying some really good escort in DGS and how much the bomber guys enjoyed getting in, getting out and going home with minimal loss.  We felt quite good about it in our 38s   :)

Did not mean to imply that it never happens as planned, but it sure is not the norm, either.
Snoopy Bell

HB555 A gentleman, with a school boys heart, and crazy enough to think he is a cartoon dog.

Offline Daddkev

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2012, 02:09:00 PM »
 :huh :huh :huh I love bombing from 30k waiting........waiting....... ..waiting......2 full pages of damage!  :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:
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Offline HB555

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2012, 06:46:21 PM »
So you're the one who keeps blowing up Skuzzy's crapper. Sure glad I am not you....  :D

Oh, and BTW, You missed SGY's burfday. It was back in January, as I recall.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 07:48:26 PM by HB555 »
Snoopy Bell

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Offline swareiam

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2012, 08:52:57 AM »
I love it when a thread takes on real life.  :D

How long do you think it would have taken for single engine fighter aircraft to win that war? Fighter pilots do get the glamour and the glory. But their root purpose is protection of bombers. When we look at history, I think we see that it was the leadership of fighter protection that must be held accountable for such great loses. A focused escort may not get as many kills, but their true success is measured in how many bombers actually make it back to base.

2 cents...  :aok

 :x
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Offline HB555

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2012, 09:43:47 PM »
The Tuskegee Airmen, 332nd "Redtails".

Please read, at a minimum, the first two paragraphs.
http://acepilots.com/usaaf_tusk.html

The entire artical is worthy of your time to read, however I am going to give you one more quote taken from it, attributed to a B-24 pilot...

"The P-38s always stayed too far out. Some of the Mustang group stayed in too close ... Other groups, we got the feeling that they just wanted to go and shoot down 109s ... The Red Tails were always out there where we wanted them to be ... We had no idea they were Black; it was the Army's best kept secret."

There are your "quality escort pilots"!






Snoopy Bell

HB555 A gentleman, with a school boys heart, and crazy enough to think he is a cartoon dog.

Offline Guppy35

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2012, 02:03:10 AM »
I love it when a thread takes on real life.  :D

How long do you think it would have taken for single engine fighter aircraft to win that war? Fighter pilots do get the glamour and the glory. But their root purpose is protection of bombers. When we look at history, I think we see that it was the leadership of fighter protection that must be held accountable for such great loses. A focused escort may not get as many kills, but their true success is measured in how many bombers actually make it back to base.

2 cents...  :aok

 :x

I think you need to factor in the early on Bomber Doctrine guys who shipped the only escorts with the range to North Africa in 42 so they could prove the Fortress could go deep by itself.  That the Jug could arrive in England without provisions for DTs was insane considering birds like the P39 and P40 had them.  The 38s all get shipped to North Africa and they had the range but instead the bombers get slaughtered.

The guys behind the desks and trying to sell Congress on their needs sure didn't seem to think real hard about the guys getting  chopped down. A lot of lives could have been saved had the decision been made a lot earlier to make escort a priority.

Any number of Fighter Groups were quality escort groups too btw.  I'm a huge Red Tail guy <note Red Tail pilot in avatar> but lets not get too carried away that they were the only ones who knew how to fly escort effectively.

We took great pride in getting the bombers in and out in DGS.  Note the 38s above the 24s.  This is outbound.  The Bomber CO said he'd never had that many survive before.  We had a hard deck we didn't go below and we never chased a LW bird diving away.  Always back to the buffs.  It's fun given the opportunity.   



Took 17s in and out two frames.  The epic run was my XO Delirium and the guys taking 17s to the primary which was clouded over, secondary and then a third target before taking them all the way home.  The guys landed with less then 10 gallons of fuel in the tanks.



Dan/CorkyJr
80th FS "Headhunters
S/L C. Junior DFC, BFD, SOL
91 "Nigeria" Squadron RAF
TFT Dieppe 1942

Offline swareiam

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2012, 07:45:52 AM »
I think you need to factor in the early on Bomber Doctrine guys who shipped the only escorts with the range to North Africa in 42 so they could prove the Fortress could go deep by itself.  That the Jug could arrive in England without provisions for DTs was insane considering birds like the P39 and P40 had them.  The 38s all get shipped to North Africa and they had the range but instead the bombers get slaughtered.

The guys behind the desks and tryinsg to sell Congress on their needs sure didn't seem to think real hard about the guys getting  chopped down. A lot of lives could have been saved had the decision been made a lot earlier to make escort a priority.

Any number of Fighter Groups were quality escort groups too btw.  I'm a huge Red Tail guy <note Red Tail pilot in avatar> but lets not get too carried away that they were the only ones who knew how to fly escort effectively

We took great pride in getting the bombers in and out in DGS.  Note the 38s above the 24s.  This is outbound.  The Bomber CO said he'd never had that many survive before.  We had a hard deck we didn't go below and we never chased a LW bird diving away.  Always back to the buffs.  It's fun given the opportunity.   

(Image removed from quote.)

Took 17s in and out two frames.  The epic run was my XO Delirium and the guys taking 17s to the primary which was clouded over, secondary and then a third target before taking them all the way home.  The guys landed with less then 10 gallons of fuel in the tanks.

(Image removed from quote.)

(Image removed from quote.)

Corky,

I don't believe that HB is making an inference to a specific Fighter Group flying the best escort. What he is making reference to is an entire group of pilots living their mission through doctrine, word, and deed. If all of these ETO and MTO fighter group had faithfully accepted this doctrine.There would have been many more fathers, brothers, and sons returning from the war.

Yes, I do understand historically that the Flying Fortress was suppose to prove its metal. But as you said a bunch of big wigs strolling around D.C., much as they do today, could only introduce their beliefs. They did spend their own dollars or scarifices their childrens lives to prove this point.

But, this is how legends are made.

Fighter escort is about dieing to self to perform a mission and achieve a goal. I'll pick fighter escort over any mission any day. I only wish that I had a large enough squadron to bring this idea to the MA.

Cheers fellas.

 :salute
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Don't let your ego get too close to your position, so that if your position gets shot down, your ego doesn't go with it. General Colin Powell

Offline HB555

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2012, 08:14:00 AM »
"I don't believe that HB is making an inference to a specific Fighter Group flying the best escort. What he is making reference to is an entire group of pilots living their mission through doctrine, word, and deed. If all of these ETO and MTO fighter group had faithfully accepted this doctrine.There would have been many more fathers, brothers, and sons returning from the war."

Exactly.
Just ran into that as the almost perfect example of my previous thoughts on the subject.

Snoopy Bell

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Offline Guppy35

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2012, 12:31:59 AM »
Relax guys we're on the same side :)

Just cause I'm a fighter driver in AH doesn't mean I don't know bomber history too!

A buddy back in Airwarrior put this stuff up.  I spent much of the 90s, before you could find info in a second on the web, researching a couple different bomber crews.  This one was the first and the  most important as it was for the brother of the co-pilot who was killed by flak.  I lived and breathed these guys.  The three survivors after I'd pulled all the info together from anywhere I could find it told me that I was part of thier 'crew' now.  About as proud a moment as I ever had outside of family.

So go easy on the cartoon fighter pilot in me:)

http://www.worldwar2pilots.net/b24intro.htm
Dan/CorkyJr
80th FS "Headhunters
S/L C. Junior DFC, BFD, SOL
91 "Nigeria" Squadron RAF
TFT Dieppe 1942

Offline swareiam

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Re: What makes a good Bomber pilot?
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2012, 12:19:54 PM »
Corky,

We're not jumping on you. It's just that this is a bomber pilot's thread. It has to be convincing?  :D

Happy Birthday again...

 :salute
AKWarHwk of the Arabian Knights
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Don't let your ego get too close to your position, so that if your position gets shot down, your ego doesn't go with it. General Colin Powell