Despite heavy flak damage this B-17 returned to England after a raid over Cologne, Germany, October 1944. The entire crew survived.


This is among the explanations why the B-17 is my all time WWII that is favorite plane. "The tail, wings and nose were all blown appart. The crew that is entire it house." Just how did the bombardier ...



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Some random comments on reddit about Despite heavy flak damage this B-17 returned to England after a raid over Cologne, Germany, October 1944. The entire crew survived.

  • This is one of the reasons why the B-17 is my all time favorite WWII plane.
  • "The tail, wings and nose were all blown appart. The entire crew made it home."
  • How did the bombardier and the navigator not get wasted?
  • Does the bombardier always ride in his bombing position?
  • Most likely, since he would man a gun up there in addition to his bombardier duties over target. I could be wrong though. I will do some research to confirm this. The only circumstance I could think of where the bombardier would leave his primary post would be to help somebody in another area of the plane following his bomb run. But that still does not explain how the navigator survived because he would have stayed up there for basically the entire flight.
  • Yes. That is a "G" model B-17 with a chin turret which was operated by the bombardier from his position when not operating the bombsight. IIRC the navigator was wounded and survived, but the bombardier was killed. This is one of the most famous battle damage pictures of B-17s.
  • I saw this photo in an old Time-Life book I had, and the caption said the bombardier was killed (which I'd consider believable).
  • Yea, I think that is correct despite the source I got it from.
  • I got to fly in a B-17 a few months ago. Before the flight, my co-workers expressed concern. I said it'd be fine. These bad boys flew back to England after being bombarded with flak. Some made it back with chunks of their tails and wings missing. We were flying in great weather. No biggie. What amazing planes.
  • Yes they are.
  • Aluminum Overcast?
  • Read more comments


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