American Bomber Crewman 1941-45 by Gregory Fremont-Barnes

By Gregory Fremont-Barnes

Gregory Fremont-Barnes examines the lives of the yank Bomber Crewmen of the 8th Air strength, ''The potent 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 manage the plane and notable persistence to fly for hours at 20,000 toes at temperatures under freezing in unheated, unpressurized cabins. Then there have been Luftwaffe warring parties and anti-aircraft hearth to deal with and it required excellent ability and a few success to come from a venture unscathed. This booklet is a becoming tribute to those frequently uncelebrated heroes who took the battle deep into the 3rd Reich, in addition to a desirable ancient account of the reports they went via.

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Some were fond of reading; others took afternoon tea at the local Red Cross club. The reality of death around the corner meant that everything was shared. There was no sense in hoarding food when you might not survive to eat it, though men did tend to look after their whiskey. Flight crews generally shared items sent to them from home with local people, including chewing gum, BELOW LEFT An American bomber crewman sleeping below a pin-up in Darwin, Australia. Flyers rose early, sometimes well before dawn, had coffee in the mess hall, and then went to the operations room for a briefing.

And there was no chance of getting out... Gasoline was pouring down into the bomb bay and was feeding the fire, so I looked upwards toward the flight deck ... the co-pilot was standing there motioning for me to get out ... [I] grabbed my parachute and snapped it on... Then I turned around on the catwalk and rolled out of the bomb bay. Even if a flyer managed to escape from a crippled bomber, it was hardly the end of the story. Dean Whitaker, a B-17 navigator, had to bailout over enemy territory, with the expected consequences: As soon as I hit the slipstream going by at 160 knots, the flak suit ripped off.

Dean Whitaker, a B-17 navigator, had to bailout over enemy territory, with the expected consequences: As soon as I hit the slipstream going by at 160 knots, the flak suit ripped off. I was free now to put the rest of my chute on but the only problem was that due to the lack of oxygen and the force of the wind I could not get the other side of the chute fastened... As soon as I entered a layer of low stratus clouds, I knew it was now or never time to pull the rip cord. Being half-dazed by the lack of oxygen, it seemed as if I was floating through the air without a worry in the world.

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