Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Friday, 19 August 2022

Hmmmmmmmm…

 The best way to kill a B17 (so I’ve heard) - is the good ol’ “Texas lung shot”. Get directly behind him, hose him with the machine guns and all the guys get pulped because they’re lined up like ducks in a row. Unless there’s a better shot amongst us… I’ll take the tail gunner’s seat. Second choice might be the copilot’s seat.



14 comments:

  1. The Luftwaffe finally developed the frontal attack. It had the advantage of rapid closure rate and if the pilot shot well, he took out the pilot, co-pilot. No driver, no fly so good.

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  2. I didn't realize that all crew members other than the pilot and co-pilot were also gunners. Eight 50 calibers. Mucho firepower. That had to play on the brains of the Luftwaffe pilots.

    Required reading:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Higher_Call

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    1. It did play on their brains, especially if attacking a formation from the rear. Looked like every gun was tracking them personally.

      Power chin turret-2 guns (usually maned by bombardier)
      Single gun in each cheek (usually maned by navigator)
      Power top turret-2 guns
      radio hatch-1 gun (although later eliminated as un-effective)
      two waist guns
      Ball turret-two guns
      Tail- two guns.

      As many a 13 .50 cal guns.

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    2. Above anon is me, RHT447

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  3. IIRC, numbers show that as far as being hit by enemy fire, the ball turret was safest, mostly because you were a smaller target. For those that don't know, the turret has point the guns straight down for the access hatch to be up in the plane. More than a few gunners survived a mission only to be trapped in a turret jammed from battle damage, and then died when the plane belly landed, ditched at sea, etc.

    The illustration is a bit off--the ball gunner's heels should be even with the gun barrels.

    My dad was a B-17 pilot with this group--

    http://www.447bg.com/

    He flew 35 combat missions over Europe

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    1. I think it's because of your previous posts I have explored that 447 Bomb Group site quite a bit. It's an awesome website with too much info to appreciate in one visit. Thanks for that.

      You might enjoy this, the obituary of the man who was the postmaster of the little town I grew up in. He flew 50 missions in a B-24.
      https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/appealdemocrat/name/leland-pauly-obituary?id=8561521

      I knew Mr. Pauley was an amazing man. I just didn't know how incredible he was until 40 years after I knew him.

      BTW, when I was a young man I fought wildfires on a hand crew, and on one fire a B-17 was making 'borate drops' on the ridge below us, The pilot was eye level with us when we were cutting line on top of the ridge. The sound of that B-17's engines is something I'll never forget.

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    2. God bless your dad. A buddy's dad was a bombardier on a B-24 ETO. Got to read his journal one night. The despair of the crew as missions got increased to 30, then 35. Chilling.

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    3. Glad you enjoyed the 447th website, and thanks for the obit link. Yes, they were made of sterner stuff.

      Back in the late 80's, a partner and I had an alternator rebuild shop in Chico, CA. One day a leather faced old dirt farmer walked in. I had a collection of live rounds on the back of my work bench, a couple of which were 20mm. He looked over and remarked "Well, I've had plenty of those shot at me". Turned out he was Fred Rabo--

      http://482nd.org/h2x-mickey

      He is the pilot in the pathfinder here going down on fire (second photo down). His co-pilot was John Morgan, who had already been awarded the MOH--

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Morgan

      As noted, Morgan's MOH mission is depicted in the opening scenes in the movie "12 O'clock High".

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  4. The problem with the tail gunner's seat is that you are in a ball and rotated into position. If the plane's power systems fail, you get to stay in the ball until ground impact.

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  5. One of the positions? I will take the ground mechanic position, late night work getting the craft to fly, long hours and weather to patch up an old gal, yup mechanic...

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  6. Any spot NOT trapped in a glass ball.

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    That is what I do... Www.SalaryCash1.Com

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  8. The English made great fun of all those guns and "great bags of point 5 inch ammunition." There was even a song about it. But then, they pretty quickly decided that daylight bombing was a very bad idea. Their bombers had few guns, and perhaps a small piece of armor plate behind the pilot's head.

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