My quest for Sweet 17 Info **COOL STORY PICS**

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by unpunk01, May 23, 2005.

  1. unpunk01

    unpunk01 Member

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    Some of you may have read in my intro that I am really into hot rods and WWII planes. When two of my passions collided I began to model my 1932 Dodge truck after a B-17. More specifically, I chose to model my truck after a plane that had some real accomplishments but might not have received notarity. After searching and searching for the perfect plane and crew, I came across the Sweet 17 (91st BG / 323rd sq. / Bassingborne, Eng). I was fortunate enough to speak with the tailgunner (Bert Mullins - Cypress, TX) and he explained to me that there were only two of them left...Bert and the Pilot (Alex Thomas - St. Louis, MO). After a great talk with Bert, I called Alex and had an equally great talk with him! These guys were the BEST. Provided all kinds of info and some excellent stories!
    Unfortunately, about two weeks after speaking with Bert, he passed away. It's funny how you can speak to someone once...and still feel the sadness of their loss. Well, to make a long story short, in a round about way this website really made Alex happy yesterday. When looking through the posts, I found the only color picture know to be in existance of the Sweet 17...and in formation, too! I got the e-mail back from Alex saying that he remembered them shooting color photos of the planes in formation but he had never seen them. He was REALLY happy to see those photos!
    I'm probably preachin' to the choir but if you know any of these WWII vets...take a few minutes and listen to their stories! If you would like to know if a Me109 was more fierce than a Spitfire....ask them! They know...FIRST HAND! If they are anything like Bert, Alex or my grandfather...they would love to talk about it with someone who is interested! I'll get off my soapbox and give up the pics. Enjoy, fellas!

    PS - The widow of the flight engineer sent me a copy of his fight diary. On the left page of every entry is a newspaper clipping of every bomb run and on the right page is all the flight data. Alt., city, target, flight time, take off time, armorment, air temp, etc. VERY VERY COOL THING TO HAVE!

    [​IMG]

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    As far as Alex could remember, that was Bert, Alex and the boys in the second natural metal plane from the left.
     
  2. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    have had contact with a few 91st bg veterans for our web-pages.

    Can you please give a missions listing for the crew perchance ?

    thankx !

    E ~
     
  3. unpunk01

    unpunk01 Member

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  4. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    not quite. I note a March 27, 1944 mission and then it talks of the 5th mission but no date.

    The mission listing will give every target with a date that the crew was invbolved on. I note three particualr missions that were quite eveil for the 91st bg in particular and am curious if this crew flew any of them.

    July 20th, 1944

    and November 2, 1944 over Mersberg
     
  5. unpunk01

    unpunk01 Member

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    March 27, 1944
    Target: St. Jean D'Angely Airfield
    Take Off: 1120
    Landed: 1900
    Temp: -24 degrees
    Alt: 21000
    On Oxygen: 5 1/2 hours
    Mileage: 800
    Flight Time: 7:40

    The other dates wer after Robert Fife completed his tour of duty on June 24, 1944. Hope that helps! What info do you have on their 4th mission? That was the one where they got shot up pretty bad (lost the whoel #4 engine and a good size portion of the wing) but still dropped two FW-190s (I think thats what they were...not 100%) on the way home
     
  6. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    yes and no. I have nothing on this crew. Am trying to find out if they flew onward during the summer/fall of 44 and took part in the two missions I mentioned ?
     
  7. unpunk01

    unpunk01 Member

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    From what I know...another crew took over. I found this info:
    http://www.91stbombgroup.com/sweet17a.html

    July 20, 1944
    Flown by Carl Rizer Edward Stone
    Leipzig
    Airfield

    That leads me somewhere else completely! I never thought of trying to contact any of the second crew to take over the Sweet 17!
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Good stuff, unpunk! Speaking with the vets is indeed a treat. But I can tell you, a few minutes is often an understatement. I spoke with a guy that I had spoken to before and just called him to ask a few questions. Two and a half hours later, we got off the phone! But the time flew and he did almost all of the talking. The really cool thing is that once they get going, you can almost see the years fade away. It is truly remarkable.

    Good idea to talk to the second crew as well!

    If possible, it's always good to record the conversation to go back to for reference.
     
  9. unpunk01

    unpunk01 Member

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    Erich...here's the entry from Sgt. Robert Fife's (Pittsburgh, PA) journal from Mar. 28th, 1944:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    intersting and yes if you want more on the B-17 I would make it a definate to interview that second crew ! July 20th 44 was not a good day for the 91st bg.

    Erich
     
  11. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Friend IV.Sturm/JG 3 armed with the Fw 190A-8/R2 attacked the 91st bg from the rear on 20 July 44 claiming 8 B-17's of the unit. The SturmFw unit lost 3 Fw's in the attack with 2 pilots killed.

    E
     
  12. unpunk01

    unpunk01 Member

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    What happened on July 20th, 1944?
     
  13. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    ???

    July 20, 1944 the 91st bg went to Leipzig and was attacked by Sturm Fw's and lost 8 which tallies with the German accounts as well. As the 91st bg association and they will tell you it was a blood-letting on the bombers

    U also mentioned that the B-17 you are looking into was flown on that mission by the second crew. any damge to it via this mission ? time for more research and I am just giving you a little historical background for your data base

    E
     
  14. unpunk01

    unpunk01 Member

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    I think our posts crossed paths...I didn't see your post on what happened until after I posted mine.

    I have already began the process of contacting any surviving crew members of the second crew of the Sweet 17. I will keep you posted if I have any luck. I know somewhere there is a detailed flight log of the second crew as well...I just can't find it!

    PS - can you tell me the difference between a machine gun and a cannon?
     
  15. unpunk01

    unpunk01 Member

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    Erich...I just noticed on the flight log of the Sweet 17 (crew #2) that she flew the 20th and then again on the 24th so I doubt she had any major damage caused by the FW-190s. If I do find some of the crew members, I will certainly ask them for you!
     
  16. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    mg vs a cannon ? in what context ?

    I would be interested in the 2nd crews cmments regrading the 20 July 44 mission if you would be so kind to ask them ?

    the 24th was over France
     
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