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On the way home

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Coming off the target to approach the turn for home, a brand new B17 crew leading the mission from Deenethorpe, to bomb Brest Harbour, in the good old (but still brilliant) Microprose B17 The Mighty Eighth. You can just make out below my port wing that the target was hit, that's a tanker in the harbour on fire, and this was in nine tenths cloud layer over the target, so a pretty good shot considering the visibility.

For what is supposedly a bit of a 'milk run', it was something of a baptism of fire for them; the only compartment in the aircraft which didn't get flak damage was the waist, ever other part took some fairly serious hits, two fires broke out in the nose, the bombardier, navigator and pilot were all wounded and there were some holes in the port wing, port aileron and the stabiliser. No fighter opposition for the bombers though, even though there were some 109s about which never made an intercept because we were escorted by P47s and P38s. All eighteen Fortresses on the mission made it back to Deenethorpe. :cool:


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Bouncing Brenda - my B17G in the Mighty Eighth sim - coming home from her second mission; bombing the Heide Synthetic Oil Production facility near Kiel. As you can see she took quite a bit of damage and three crew members were slightly wounded also, including the navigator, so one of the waist gunners took over navigation duties and did pretty well in finding the way back home in spite of it being a long trip across the North Sea, with few visual references to assist him in the task, other than picking a track from the German Bight with an estimation of the wind drift, then identifying where we made landfall in the UK after the sea crossing.

The number one engine got knocked out by either flak or a bf 109 fighter hit on the run in to the target and burst into flames so it was shut down, not sure exactly what caused the engine damage since it was a bit hectic on the bomb run with a fire also breaking out in the nose section at the same time, but we did hit the target pretty well in spite of all that, with most bombs on the mark. The ball turret gunner managed to bag a bf109 too and the escorting P47 Thunderbolts took care of the rest. Two B17s had to turn back with damage prior to the bomb run, after being hit by flak over Kiel and a third - the Liberty Belle - crashed upon return to England with all the crew lost in the crash.

I shut down the number four engine and feathered it to land good old Bouncing Brenda back at Deenethorpe, so that I wouldn't have problems controlling it because there was some issues with roll control from the damage to the starboard wing. But she made it home okay nonetheless in spite of coming in on only two engines.


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