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Discussion Starter #1
A year ago my childhood dream of flying in a B-17 finally came true. As if that was not enough, I was SO LUCKY and HONORED to be able to fulfill that dream with my family and most importantly with my grandfather in law who actually experienced being shot down in a B-17.

In preparation of the 68th anniversary of the event I finally posted the video on the web so that I can share it with him next month. I already mentioned this event on LotusTalk before, but I just got the idea that I would like to also try to solicit that some comments be posted on the YouTube site that he will see when he views it.

The video starts with news coverage of the flight, then if you are interested it continues with my home video of the experience. God Bless that generation and all that they did for us! If you agree please post something in the YouTube comment page for the video. Thank you!

 

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Such Moderate
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Awesome. I bet it was a rough ride. I rode in a c-130 and it was pretty rough. I think they actually do flights here in a b-17, I see one flying around quite often during the summer.
 

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Fantastic and thank God for the Greatest Generation. I pray we will see another rise from the complacency that has seized ours.
 

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Very nice. I've been fortunate enough to have flown on all three of the Collings Foundation's bombers. The last was "Tondelayo", their B-25; I flew right seat on the 65th anniversary of the Doolittle raid, April 18th, 1942. On both my other flights we got to share the ship with veterans and the families of veterans who spent time in battle on these aircraft. Truly amazing and thank goodness there are folks like Collings and Commerative Air Force and the like that preserve our flying history.
 

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Outstanding video. thank you for sharing!

Last true generation of Warriors that felt they needed to defend our country and did it selflessly.

Back then they would brief a bombing raid, note the fact "only half of you will return", ask for volunteers and all hands went up.

Nowadays you could try it and 2/3rds of your pilots would walk out. Then complain because they didn't get a medal.
 

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I second that sentiment, Gunpilot. Those guys had serious stones to even go up in those old birds (no heat at that altitude except for your suit) and I have guys on my boat that bitch about the temperature when it gets too cold. Sometimes I think we as a country have lost something.


Corvus
 

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I envy you guys who had a chance to fly in one of those flying fortress or other heavy bombers that won WW2. I once saw a B17 fly by at low altitude in Santa Monica with it's four radial engines droning - like a F1 car flying by, you could feel the vibrations in your chest. It was an impressive sight.
 

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Two pics from my visit to Duxford a couple of weeks ago:



And two pics taken at the entrance to the track at Snetterton in the U.K.....

Snetterton is the former home of the 96th Bomb Group (Heavy) of the 8th USAAF and only a few miles from the home of Lotus at Hethel. Among other missions launched from this base, was the infamous one targeting aircraft factories in Germany at Regensburg, where Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters were built, and ball bearing manufacture at Schweinfurt, on 17 August 1943. This mission was a shuttle operation, whereby the aircraft took off from bases in the U.K. and landed (hopefully) in French North Africa. It is generally referred to as the Schweinfurt-Regensburg raid and included a total of 347 B-17 aircraft with 60 of them lost. Maj Gen Curtis LeMay, in command of the 4th Bombardment Group, led the 146 plane Regensburg attack with 21 planes each from the airfields at Snetterton, Knettishall, Bury St. Edmunds, Great Ashfield, Horham and Thorpe Abbotts with Framingham sending 20 B-17s. 24 of these aircraft were lost. The 4th Bombardment Wing, using B-17s equipped with "Tokyo (fuel) tanks" for longer range, flew on to bases in Telergma and Bône, Berteaux in French Algeria after the attack. Amazingly, only LeMay's Snetterton based group came away relatively intact with no aircraft lost on the raid. This memorial is dedicated to the memory of all of the men and women who served at Snetterton:



And lastly, a Messerschmitt 109, also in the collection at Duxford:
 

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This is awesome stuff. The WWII bombers are some of the coolest looking machines on the planet. I'm not too far from Camarillo Airport where the Commemorative Air Force flies and Fifi was out not too long ago.

Just a week or two ago, four planes flew over my house in formation and I think they did the missing man formation or something like that. I'm not enough of a plane guy to know what they were, but they looked WWII era.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I want that Snetterton monument in my front yard, it is beautiful!
I will never forget the experience I got to share with my Grandfather. Nor the sacrifices made by that generation.

Just wanted to share other WWII Bomber related experiences I have had -

Kind of ironic, my mother is German and grew up in East Prussia (now Poland) and to escape the Russians her family made their way to Germany during the end of the war.. those that stayed (my other relatives) were killed. She knows/cares so little about airplanes she does not know the difference between a jet or a propeller. However, when I was around 12 years old I was in the living room with my parents... we heard a plane coming (not uncommon)... I didn't think twice about it but my mom's eyes got as big as saucers. I was looking at her strangely wondering WTF was going on. She looked at me and said, "that is a bomber" (in German). I was shocked she had any clue but I immediately went outside to witness a B17 fly over head (Addison airport is home to many WWII planes). She totally remembered the B17s flying over head and bombing them - she knew the sound.

In Oct '14 I was lucky enough to see FiFi -the last remaining flying B-29 in the world again. This time at its base in Texas. I got to climb through the interior!
For topping on the cake, the very next weekend I found myself at the Smithsonian and got to see the Enola Gay for the 1st time in person! I just had to share - I thought it was so awesome to be lucky enough to experience that.

If you get the chance make sure you check FiFi out on it's tour (or the B-17 909 I got to fly in) - bring $ and they give rides! Who knows how long we will get to experience the sights and sounds of the 1940's.
 

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Those lads were brave, the odds of completing 25 missions were not good.

"In 1942, during the first three months of America’s combat flights over Europe the average bomber crew was expected to complete 8-12 missions before being shot down or disabled. This in mind, the US Army Air Force decided that 25 missions while serving in a heavy bomber of the 8th Army Air Force would constitute a “completed tour of duty” because of the “physical and mental strain on the crew."
 

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Wow guys....Great thread!
Greatest generation is right.
 
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