American Bomber Crewman 1941-45 by Gregory Fremont-Barnes

By Gregory Fremont-Barnes

Gregory Fremont-Barnes examines the lives of the yankee Bomber Crewmen of the 8th Air strength, ''The effective 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 regulate the airplane and impressive persistence to fly for hours at 20,000 toes 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 excellent ability and a few success to come back from a project unscathed. This e-book is a becoming tribute to those usually uncelebrated heroes who took the struggle deep into the 3rd Reich, in addition to a desirable old account of the reports they went via.

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Extra resources for American Bomber Crewman 1941-45

Sample text

Before I hit the 51 ground, a soldier came running... He stopped the civilians from shooting me. Hitting the ground hard dazed me for a few minutes, but when I looked up the German soldier was standing over me with his rifle pointing at me... A stricken bomber will eventually begin its descent in a spin, and the centrifugal force sometimes trapped the crew inside unless the slipstream forced them out, as occurred to Roy Kennett: Now, the sound of being pulled out into the slipstream - you'd almost have to hear it, and a person telling you probably can't describe it either.

The crew chief then entered the cockpit and followed the engine priming procedure to ensure that it was functioning normally. He started the particular engine (of four) which drove the electrical generators before running up each additional engine in turn. These he ran so as to achieve the maximum number of revolutions per minute, in so doing testing oil pressure, turbo-supercharger, and magneto performance. The ground crew also tested the propeller feathering mechanism and all electrical and hydraulic functions that could be monitored while the aircraft was still on the ground.

By the time the bomber group entered hostile airspace its aircraft had normally reached an altitude of over 20,000ft, roughly between 24,000 and 27,000ft for B-17s and 20,000 and 24,000ft for B-24s, the latter bombers being more difficult to control at the higher altitudes. By this time, any aircraft that had experienced technical difficulties would have aborted the mission and returned to base. In addition, the bombardier instructed the gunners to test-fire their weapons - into the sea if over the Channel for those aircraft operating out of England, or over the Mediterranean or Pacific, if operating in those theaters.

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