Download American Bomber Crewman 1941-45 by Gregory Fremont-Barnes PDF

By Gregory Fremont-Barnes

Gregory Fremont-Barnes examines the lives of the yankee Bomber Crewmen of the 8th Air strength, ''The potent Eighth'', who crewed, maintained and repaired the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and the B-24 Liberators that flew from the airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk and different counties of britain. He highlights the actual and mental pressure put on those courageous males. lengthy bombing missions referred to as for brute power to manage the airplane and impressive patience to fly for hours at 20,000 ft at temperatures under freezing in unheated, unpressurized cabins. Then there have been Luftwaffe opponents and anti-aircraft hearth to take care of and it required brilliant ability and a few good fortune to come back from a venture unscathed. This e-book is a becoming tribute to those usually uncelebrated heroes who took the warfare deep into the 3rd Reich, in addition to a desirable ancient account of the studies they went via.

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Library of Congress) 42 i- When a green light was flashed from the flying control van parked off the head of the runway, the pilot of the lead plane released his brakes and the long process of bringing the formation into the air began, each co-pilot advancing all throttles for maximum power. A B-17 or B-24, weighing 65,000Ib, generally lifted off after traveling approximately 3,000ft, by which time it would be moving at about 110-120mph, with aircraft ascending at 30- to 45-second intervals. During the ascent, turret gunners - those who were positioned in the bomber's undercarriage - sat in the radio room in case of a crash which would, of course, place them in greater jeopardy than anyone else aboard.

Dean Whitaker, a B-17 navigator, had to bailout over enemy territory, with the expected consequences: As soon as I hit the slipstream going by at 160 knots, the flak suit ripped off. I was free now to put the rest of my chute on but the only problem was that due to the lack of oxygen and the force of the wind I could not get the other side of the chute fastened... As soon as I entered a layer of low stratus clouds, I knew it was now or never time to pull the rip cord. Being half-dazed by the lack of oxygen, it seemed as if I was floating through the air without a worry in the world.

Then, while the bombardier used a double control knob to hold the horizontal crosshair on the target, the bombsight would measure the speed of the aircraft, moving the crosshair to a new position according to its calculations. In theory, if the speed had been measured accurately and the crosshairs placed in the correct position, the bomb load would hit the target when the plane was directly overhead, a circumstance only possible if the bombs were released a specified distance before the plane reached its target.

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