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Chock

B17F Hell's Angels

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A quick jaunt in the Boeing B17F Flying Fortress which is notable for being the first US heavy bomber to complete 25 missions over Europe during WW2 - Hell's Angels of the 303rd BG...

Taxying out and taking off from Woodford:

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Flying over my house:

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Off for a jaunt over Derbyshire:

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Chock,

              Very nice shots. There is a book called "Hell's Angels" by Jay Stout, about the 303rd Bomb Group. It's a very good read.

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5 hours ago, mwilk said:

Chock,

              Very nice shots. There is a book called "Hell's Angels" by Jay Stout, about the 303rd Bomb Group. It's a very good read.

Yup, it is indeed a very good read, as are these, for anyone interested in the Eighth Air Force:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/0060169419/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=recent

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Mighty+Eighth+war+Diary

https://www.amazon.com/B-17-FLYING-FORTRESS-H-P-Willmott/dp/B002F4WNFE

The first one is a good book from the interesting perspective of a 'Yank' getting used to cultural and languistic differences in England, and being that the author was a navigator, it's a little bit different from most pilot autobiographies. It has a few dubious claims in relation to fighter kills from B-17s, which happened a lot in WW2, because anyone who took a shot at a fighter and had other crew members say they 'saw it go down' tended to be credited with a kill. Often the post-mission debriefers didn't want to waste time corroborating stories, preferring the morale-boosting effect of granting the victories to crews. To be fair, although that tends to inflate the number of total 'kills' bomber crews made, there is no denying that with twelve machine guns on each bomber, all blasting away, and raids numbering almost a thousand bombers on occasion, the chances are pretty good that quite a lot of German fighters genuinely were brought down by the combined ammunition from numerous gunners, rather than just one alone.

The US Army Air Corps were cetainly not alone amongst the Allies in overclaiming kills during WW2 either, the RAF's claims of victories during the Battle of Britain are known to be very inflated, particularly when compared with the German's meticulous record keeping of their losses post-war, but those claims were even questioned at the time by foreign journalists based in London during the Battle of Britain. None of that in any way detracts from the bravery shown on all sides of course, during such a terrible and very bloody period in our world history.

The second book is an incredibly interesting book for anyone interested in the details of operations, well worth a look if you like that sort of really in-depth information.

The third one is a really great book about the B-17, from its development right on through to its final days as a target drone, full of great pictures, diagrams etc. Well worth having if you want a comprehensive but not overly lengthy book about the Fortress; it's one which won't take you years to read, but it still covers all the interesting stuff.

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