The Bloody 100th

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Clipper79, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. Clipper79

    Clipper79 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Anyone familiar with the legend of this bomb group?

    It was the plane of Captain R. Knox that initiated the infamous legend of the "Bloody 100th." Knox found himself in serious trouble after one of the fighter attacks. For a time his plane lagged with one engine out and, practically a stationary target he became the focus of sustained fighter attacks. A second engine went out.

    The wheels of the B17, according to an observer were lowered.This was a signal to the Luftwaffe that the plane had surrendered and, according to the code of the air, once this was done attacks upon the bomber would cease.

    To guide Knox in toward a German airfield a few fighters pulled alongside, forming a little cluster.Then for some reason, possibly because engine trouble cleared up, the gunners aboard the B-17 blasted the escorting fighters. The wheels went up and the bomber made a dash for home.

    Within fifty seconds the maddened fighters tore the plane to pieces and it went down.After the violation of the code of the air ,so the legend went the 100th was marked for extinction by the Luftwaffe.

    It had become a personal grudge the Luftwaffe against the Bloody 100th.

    Does anyone have info on the Luftwaffe perspective of this.Was it a grudge or just an American legend.

    S! Clipper
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    I haven't heard that, but the official 100th BG association website states:
    A little more garnered this:
    Their official website is at:
    http://www.100thbg.com/index.htm

    Probably one of the best Bomb Group Association websites out there.
     
  3. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    I have heard of this before from German side, but can't remember where. But I mean this sort of thing happens in war. Did the bomber crew mean to do this ..... no, is it reasonable for the German pilots to be pissed off when they saw that happen... yes. But like I said its war sh*t happens.
     
  4. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,160
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    I have the book 'A wing and a Prayer' oon the 100th written by Harry Crosby who eventually was the Group Navigator. He started with them and flew 37 missions with them.
    The book is excellent and if you can get a copy I recomend it, as its very honest.
    In the book he discusses this incident and discounts it. He cannot rule out that a plane in trouble may have lowered (or had them lowered by battle damage) without his knowledge but not that he is aware of.
    The losses he firmly puts down to sloppy disipline in the early days up till autumn 1943. There is a moment in the book where he describes a flight when he is flying with another group and the Nav called him up to look at the 100 group. When he got there the Nav said to him, 'now you know why we cheer when we know the 100 are on the mission'. As he looked out he describes how his heart sank at the sight of the 100 Gp spread out over the sky, almost inviting the Germans to attack them rather than any other formation.
    They also had a significant number of accidents on the ground. One one mission as they landed seven planes crashed into each other.

    As you would expect there was a shape up in the leadership and things improved dramatically but they never lost their reputation
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,203
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
  6. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    it wasn't just the bloody 100th really. the story is crap anyway and pure WW 2 fantasy.

    I have interviewed many Luftwaffe single engine day fighter pilots and none of them ever knew the US bomb groups they were attacking only that they attacked B-17's and B-24's. Essentially there was no time for the German fighters to loiter any time of the eyar when attacking a box or even a single US heavy.

    U can easily imagine what the US bomber vets thought of my statements several years ago on the army airforces web-site..............not too happy but understood finally my point.

    let this interesting story just settle in the dust. The 100th got creamed in the air like the 492nd and the 445th, etc..........because they were in an area at the wrong time
     
  7. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Metalurgic Technician
    Location:
    Cordoba - Argentina
    Off course , if a Fw-190 blew apart the hidraulic system, the gear went down for sure.
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,203
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    I agree with Erich - I don't think any Luftwaffe fighter pilot would be out looking for the "Square D" duing an interception!!!
     
  9. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    I agree Erich, like I was trying to above. I have heard of this sort of thing before but all it was is battle damage to a plane. It looks like it was on purpose but it was not. I agree fighters attacking bombers had very little idea if any what squadron they were. Never in all the reading I have done on German pilots have I ever heard or seen one to claim to know who he was attacking. They were just bombers and it was his job to shoot them down, end of story, no grudges or anything they were just the enemy.
     
  10. Hunter368

    Hunter368 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    I have heard of fighters taking damage that caused their landing gear to go down also, then all of a sudden they dive away or attack back to the disdain of the enemy. But it was just battle damage not a plan to deceive anyone. Crap happens in a battle or fight or a hockey game when it is in the heat of the moment.
     
  11. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    Well put, Erich. At those closing speeds, it would have been difficult to ID a particular group specifically. Enemy aircraft are enemy aircraft. Bombers are a target because of what they are on their way to do. Do you think they would pull up at the last minute because the tail didn't have a square D? Not a chance.

    The second quote in my first response came right from the 100th BG assn! Even Adolf Galland said that the story was not true. Once again He (Martin Middlebrook) traced and interviewed the Luffwaffe pilots credited with shooting down PICKLEPUSS and they refute the gear down theme and say they never approached the aircraft with the purpose of leading them to landing. (Adolf Galland, Commander Fighers Luftwaffe, had never heard of any special attention to any Group until after the war.)..pw
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,768
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Interesting and Im with Erich on this.
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,203
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
  14. kodiak

    kodiak New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I met a gentelman up in Bellingham Washington in 1986. He had claimed to have been a B-17 pilot in the 100th during WWll, he had a lot of pictures of the 100th with himself in many of these and other documentation to make his story credible.
    He told me a similar description of events that got the 100th there reputation of the bloody 100th. the differance being that they would be escoredt to an airfield and be excepted to land and then they would open up on the fighters and bomb the hell out of the airfield. This only happened a few times before the Germans wised up and would not allow any B-17 to surrender and would just shoot them down.
    He told me that the Germans reason for allowing B-17s to surrender was that they really wanted a fully intact aircraft. Honestly it sounds like something that Amricans would do to save lives and win the war. I don't now for sure if it was true or not but it sounded pritty cool to me:)
     
  15. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Hamlet, NC, US
    Whether true or not, other groups were not envious of those crews. My uncle wouldn't have flown for them if he were threatened w/ court martial. All anybody knew was that they were getting hammered. As alluded to earlier, that kind of legend is inevitable.
     
  16. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    I heard from Galland that it was ludicrous for the LW to go searching for a 'square D" tail insignia when the objective was to find a weak formation and attack it as quickly as possible - and either reform or get the hell out of there. He specifically never heard of the 100th until long after WWII. When Mustangs appeared it was doubly dangerous to loiter and look around.

    Targets appeared as dots, and the German pilot picked out his 'dot' and closed.

    I have this mental image of a FW 190 stooging around the bomber stream just cruising along for up to 100 miles just to find the 100th BG - it doesn't work well.
     
  17. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    when does the myth as I posted earlier ever get dropped into the ozone ?

    let me repeat the LW never cornered any US bomber group, they were vectored to the bomber pulks and then they were on their own this was from the very onset till the end of the war with the 262 unit JG 7 and whomever was lucky enough to survive flying piston jobs for the LW
     
  18. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,206
    Likes Received:
    2,042
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    The Germans already had B-17s of various models attached to KG200 (along with a large amount of other captured aircraft)
     
  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    The LW had crashlanded B-17s and B-24s all over Germany and France and Holland, some landed with wheels down and little damage save a couple of shot up engines.

    They had enough Forts in low damage state plus spares by mid 1943 to equip a bomb group if they were interested.
     
  20. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    let us not forget so called neutral Switzerland.............. you make your own decision on that, except will say the T.R. had a relationship with the country all through the war.
     
Loading...

Share This Page