radio operators unite!

Discussion in 'Basic' started by flakhappy, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. flakhappy

    flakhappy Member

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    Although I've used the forumns for a while this is my check-in, I guess. Not sure how I should go about it.
    I'm a veteran of a B-17 bomb group (97th) of WWII. As a former radio operator I'd like to know if there are other ex-radio operators out there in this little universe who would like, as the saying goes, to tell old lies amid new realities.
     
  2. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Welcome aboard flak happy!!!! May I ask what ship you flew in.
     
  3. Doughboy

    Doughboy Member

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    Welcome to the forum, sir. Happy posting.:D
     
  4. lingo

    lingo Member

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    Welcome indeed, flakhappy. :) You are certain of an attentive audience on this forum.
     
  5. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    Welcome aboard, Flakhappy! Thank you for your service.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Welcome from England, and you indeed have an attentive membership/audience here!
     
  7. flakhappy

    flakhappy Member

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    We weren't assigned to a specific plane, but mostlly flew in a G-model that we named "Magnetic Maggie" because of its proclivity of attracting flak. Her serial was 071, so that's what we called her. Her ground crew chief told me a few years ago that she was still sitting on the field in the summer of 1945. A survivor of all but the wrecking crews.
     
  8. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Many thanks on answering the question. I guess I always thought a crew stayed together unless some one got hurt or otherwise. I had a school teacher years ago that flew in B-17's as a radio man. Sadly at the time I never asked him more questions. He taught at DeVry and his last name was McCarthy.

    If you dont mind talking about it I was wondering what the rotation was for B-17's. Did you fly so many missions and then take a break or did you fly all the time till you hit your total. Please do not answer if this makes you uncomfortable as I am a Gulf war veteran and have a Uncle that did three tours in Vietnam and understand.

    Paul
     
  9. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    Not sure if you've seen this site, Flakhappy....

    97th BG
     
  10. flakhappy

    flakhappy Member

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    Crews were assigned to fly when they were needed, and usually the rotation made allowance for proper rest, etc. But if you understand the military way, you know that doesn't always work. We in the 15th AF when I was in Italy flew 50 missions. That translates into 30 actual missions in my case, though I was credited for 51 missions because of the policy of awarding double credit for some missions north of a given parallel of latitude. It made no sense at all: Ploesti, the toughest target we had, brought us credit for one mission!
    When my crew arrived at the Amendola base in July, 1944, the sqdn. was short of bombardiers and navigators and bombardiers for some reason and instead of giving our two guys a few training flights to break them in, flew them immediately. On the 21st of July our bombardier flew with a crew to Ploesti and the plane was shot down (we learned later that he was a POW). The very next day our navigatorflew with a crew to Brux, Czechoslovakial, and that plane was lost. (We learned later that he was killed.) :You can imagine the near-terror the rest of us felt when we at last wer assigned to our first missions, scattered among other crews for the first five, as I recall. The sqdn. commander lent us his navigator and bombardier when we began flying missions as a crew.
    To illusltrate the irregularity of mission assignments: I was flying with a crew in early December to a target near Vienna. Our fuel tanks on one side were riddled and we had to crash land in then Yugoslavia. Tito's Partisans helped us walk out, and eventually I got back to the sqdn. The crew assignment folks put me on the list to fly the next day! And the next! and the next! I was exhausted, to say the least. A few years ago I asked the guy who was a captain at the time in charge of crew assignments about my experience, and he said it was a very imperfect system and often depended on a bored corporal in the sqdn. office. He said it was his fault, though, and apologized---60 years later.
     
  11. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Wow, many thanks flakhappy. This explains alot on a B-25 Im researching. Thank you for answering my questions and thank you for your service :salute:

    PS Im sure I will come up with more if your willing. Thanks again!!!!
    Paul
     
  12. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Welcome to the forum, flakhappy. I was a radio operator [US Navy], joining in 1951 and retired in '71. In the
    early 50's I was assigned to a Composite Squadron (VC-62) at NAS Norfolk, Va. We flew B-25's, B-26's, A-20's
    PB4Y-2's, B-17's and quite a few transport and cargo types. I was an Aviation Radioman [AL] until the Navy
    decided to do away with the rate, and I had to switch to general service Radioman [RM]. I retired as an E-6.

    Welcome aboard....

    Charles
     
  13. flakhappy

    flakhappy Member

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    Sure. If I can answer any questions I'll give you my best shot.
     
  14. flakhappy

    flakhappy Member

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    Nice to be able to talk radio so someone.
     
  15. zimmerit5

    zimmerit5 New Member

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    Hi Flakhappy,

    Greetings to you. Just want to say hello and say thank you for all the sacrifices that you and your generation that served in the war to stop tyranny. Although I was not born till 62 but I realized what my current world would be if tyrants like Hitler, Mussolini and the empire of Japan had prevailed.
     
  16. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Nothing beats talking to somebody with first hand experience!
     
  17. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard flakhappy..:salute: .....glad to have you with us.:D
     
  18. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum Flakhappy. I am glad you found us.


    Wheels
     
  19. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Welcome to the Forum, Flakhappy! Glad to have you here!
     
  20. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    Pleasure to meet you FLH
    Im only a youngster born in the 50's but I have a interest in 17G's and the lads who flew them I am a member of the Sally B club the UK's privately run memorial B17
    Unfortunately shes grounded again after the 3rd engine failiure in less than a year and with the current ressession on, raising the money,is becoming a hard fought battle. Every year following the Memorial Day service at Madingley American Military Cemetery she does her tribute flypast in respect for the guys who never made it home.
    I'm certainly no RT operator but it's good to hear from a fella who served at the pointy end of the stick
    Cheers mate

    Lee
     
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