Battle Damaged B-17s

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Gnomey, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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  2. Lightning Guy

    Lightning Guy Active Member

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    Udet needs to take a look at that site as it merely serves to prove my point from the "best bomber" thread.
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    You may want to check out the story of the "All American". It was involved in a mid-air collision with an FW-190 that almost cut the B-17 in 2. She made it home and the airframe collapsed soon after landing. I wouldn't call it a normal occurrence, but it was amazing!
     

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  4. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I've seen them before but they never fail to amaze me. Those B-17s certainly could take a kicking. I've seen this picture of a waist gunner with a big hole in his FlaK jacket which was caused by a deflected 20mm round that had ricocheted through the fuselage of the -17, luckily he got it in the chest and nowhere else.
     
  5. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    It's unbelievable what some of those Forts took! :shock:
     
  6. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    but allot of them still went down..................
     
  7. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Its still unbelieveable, I cant see lancs taking that much damage and surviving...
     
  8. wmaxt

    wmaxt Active Member

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    I heard (I only heard it once so I may be off a little) that tha original 'Memphis Bell' had

    9 Engine replacements
    2 wing replacements
    1 complete eppenage replacement
    1ea rudder and elevator replacement
    minor stuff every mission

    for 25 missions! This level of maintenance was "normal" :shock:

    One of the reasons the Movie was over the top is that they tried to illistrate too much of this.
     
  9. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    So, in fact, the Memphis Belle wasn't the original Memphis Belle - at all. :lol:
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I really don't think that ANY surviving fortresses were all factory original parts when they returned. I would be real surprised if there were. Like the new sig, plan_d.
     
  11. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    So, the Memphis Belle never finished 25 missions. It just kept leaving bits all over Europe. I would be surprised if any actually made it unscathed. I doubt that's possible, with all the FlaK.

    And thank ya, better if it was a 11 Sqn. Lightning but hey - got to make do.
     
  12. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Well, I guess you could say MOST of the Memphis Belle made it through. It was usually more about the crew making it through than the airplane. There are probably very few, if any airplane from the war on any side that made it through without having something replaced. Combat has a tendency to be a little hard on the equipment.
     
  13. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Yeah, better the equipment gets it tough and lose bits here and there than losing people.
     
  14. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Agreed, you can always make new parts. The B-17s may have had to be scrapped after making it back, but the crews could get another plane to fly more missions.
     
  15. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Question - what happened to the Tail Guner in all of this?
     
  16. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I don't have the full story, but I do have the following:
    A mid-air collision on February 1, 1943 between a B-17 and a German fighter over the Tunis dock area became the subject of one of the most famous photographs of World War II. An enemy fighter attacking a 97th Bomb Group formation went out of control, probably with a wounded or dead pilot. It crashed into the lead aircraft of the flight, ripped a wing off the Fortress, and caused it to crash. The enemy fighter then continued its crashing descent into the rear of the fuselage of a Fortress named All American, piloted by Lt. Kendrick R. Bragg, of the 414th Bomb Squadron. When it struck, the fighter broke apart, but left some pieces in the B-17. The left horizontal stabilizer of the Fortress and left elevator were completely torn away. The vertical fin and the rudder had been damaged, the fuselage had been cut approximately two-thirds through, the control cables were severed, and the electrical and oxygen systems were damaged. Although the tail swayed in the breeze, one elevator cable still worked, and the aircraft still flew-miraculously! The aircraft was brought in for an emergency landing and when the ambulance pulled alongside, it was waved off for not a single member of the crew had been injured. No one could believe that the aircraft could still fly in such a condition. The Fortress sat placidly until three men climbed aboard through the door in the fuselage, at which time the rear collapsed. The rugged old bird had done its job.

    I will see what else I can find out about that crew and mission.
     
  17. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Thanks, thats amazing. I think the Tail and Waist gunners were extremely lucky...
     
  18. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    Ball turret gunners would probably agree with that.
     
  19. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    the stirling could take allot of punishment as well, one came back with a telegraph pole stuck in her once :lol:
     
  20. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The question is why would an airplane that big be flying low enough to get a telegraph pole stuck in her? Foolhardy to be flying a combat mission that low with a plane that big.
     
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