B-17

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by carman1877, May 29, 2009.

  1. carman1877

    carman1877 Member

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    Did the B-17 every attack German shipping or do any sort of strafing. I have looked thorugh my books and several sites but known mention any maritime attacks, could someone help me out?

    Pictures or videos would be great
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Bombing of sea-based vessels was certainly something it could have done, but B-17s were not used for strafing. They were way too big and bulky for strafing.
     
  3. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    B-17s were used in the PTO in anti-shipping roles early in the war. I think after the first couple of failed attempts, it was discountinued.

    DBII
     
  4. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    RAF Coastal Command
    used them in the anti-submarine role, once the RAF realised they didn't want to use them for their intended purpose, roughly 40 B-17Es were transferred to the Command as Fortress IIAs.

    I daresay you could strafe a submarine on your way past it but it's not really the same as what you're asking; a B-17 low enough to strafe would get all manner of sh*t thrown at it and would be neither fast enough nor agile enough to dodge any of it, relying on its structural strength to get it out the other side would be a tall order on the crew.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    It could carry up to 6k lbs of bombs and/or depth charges but carried primarily depth charges.
     
  6. mlsco

    mlsco New Member

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    Would there be that much difference between average shipping and and U-boats in terms of their ability to mount effective AA fire?

    The fact that the USN acquired more than 1000 B-24 variants for patrol bombing and ASW suggests there was a respect and need for heavy bombers in this role. (Consolidated PB4Y-1 documents the SN's).

    Presumably, range and payload made the B-24 (and not the B-17) the preferred airplane for maritime use. There, its thinner, higher load wing was much less likely to see the kind of damage routinely induced by fighters over central Europe.
     
  7. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Here's a handy link

    5th AAF, September, 1942

    which documents several instances of B-17s strafing shipping; I guess I was thinking of attacks on convoys where a concerted and determined defence could make things pretty difficult for a B-17 trying to make a strafing pass
     
  8. boeing299

    boeing299 New Member

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    THE LEGEND OF COLIN KELLY

    Do a google search on Colin Kelly. There is a legendary story about Kelly attacking and supoosedly sinking a Japanese battleship early in WW2.
     
  9. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Actually it was a light cruiser, the Ashigara and it was only slightly damaged if I'm not mistaken. The battleship Haruna that was supposedly sunk was hundreds of mile away.

    But Kelly stayed at the controls of his badly damaged B-17 so that the surviving crew members could bail out. For his heroism and bravery, Kelly was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

    TO
     
  10. boeing299

    boeing299 New Member

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    Agreed, but at the time the news media widely reported that Kelly had sunk a battleship. If nothing else it was a tremendous morale booster on the homefront to be able to report that the U.S. was striking back in a time marked by reverses in the Pacific theatre, even though it was later shown that the report was erroneous.

    If memory serves me correctly, there were a few other attempts against shipping by B-17s based in Australia and Midway very early in the war. Some were even flown by C or D models. Level, heavy bombers did not prove to be effective against shipping, although some success was had by B-25 using skip bombing techniques.
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    I'm reading a book ''A war on their own' right now, it describes bomber actions over South Pacific.
    In the book it's stated that B-17s were very successful against Japanese shipping, and even used skip bombing technique.
     
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