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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."
I am not 100% positive about this, but I read somewhere that the 8th Air Force (the USAAF group that flew daylight missions over Germany out of bases in the UK) had the highest mortality rate of any US forces in WWII.

About 30 years ago I worked with a guy who was a captain and flew B-24 missions out of North Africa to the German oil fields in Ploiesti, Romania. He said that they partied pretty hard when they returned from missions!

If this subject is of interest to you I suggest that you read Joseph Heller's fictional / satyrical account of B-25 crews who flew out of Italy. It is a great piece of work and my B-24 pilot friend said that, in his opinion, it captured the essence of what he experienced during the war.
 

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How do we get the warrior attitude back in our younger generation? One day this country will go back to war, a big war, and it will be won by old men like myself!
 

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Joseph Heller's fictional / satyrical account of B-25 crews who flew out of Italy. It is a great piece of work and my B-24 pilot friend said that, in his opinion, it captured the essence of what he experienced during the war.
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You're right, Catch 22 is a good read, and a movie - I think it was the first flick to show pubic hair.
 

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One day this country will go back to war, a big war, and it will be won by old men like myself!
It will be won by kids who excel at video games, flying hunter/killer drones in air conditioned buildings.
 

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How do we get the warrior attitude back in our younger generation?
Two of my three sons have served in the most recent conflicts. My oldest was in special forces in Afghanistan. With all of the problems that he has had to endure dealing with upon his return to civilian life after what he witnessed and went through as a Ranger combat medic, no offense, but I wouldn't wish the "warrior" attitude on anyone. I think that the personal cost is too high!
 

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Two of my three sons have served in the most recent conflicts. My oldest was in special forces in Afghanistan. With all of the problems that he has had to endure dealing with upon his return to civilian life after what he witnessed and went through as a Ranger combat medic, no offense, but I wouldn't wish the "warrior" attitude on anyone. I think that the personal cost is too high!
yeah, I can't even imagine. I'd like to thank your sons for their service and I wish them the best.
 

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Two of my three sons have served in the most recent conflicts. My oldest was in special forces in Afghanistan. With all of the problems that he has had to endure dealing with upon his return to civilian life after what he witnessed and went through as a Ranger combat medic, no offense, but I wouldn't wish the "warrior" attitude on anyone. I think that the personal cost is too high!
I commend them. Saving others lives while placing yours second is truly admirable.

95% of what my wife and I saw and did was from the air. We only heard those kids asking for help and laid waste to everything we could for them.

I understand that there are those of us that have had problems transitioning back into the real world and truly feel for them but that "warrior spirit" your sons both have is whats quickly being bred and taught out of our society. Soon we will have a generation unwilling to fight for democracy, even if that fight lands on our own soil. They will crumble and watch it happen.
 

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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.
Cool!! That group has come to our nearby airport a couple times in the past few years. I have not gone but my Father did the B-17 ride a few years ago.
My Grandpa was a bombardier on a B-17 in WW2 over Germany. I have a bunch of his stuff including a journal that he wrote in during his time there. Amazing stuff. Truly they were the Greatest Generation. He passed away in 2004.

I understand that there are those of us that have had problems transitioning back into the real world and truly feel for them but that "warrior spirit" your sons both have is whats quickly being bred and taught out of our society. Soon we will have a generation unwilling to fight for democracy, even if that fight lands on our own soil. They will crumble and watch it happen.
Sadly this is true but there are still warriors amongst our youth. I saw it during my 10 years on active duty as a US Navy officer. If you want to see hope in America's youth go to your nearest military base. If you want to get depressed about America's youth go to your local college campus. LOL!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #30
A few days ago the B-17 that I had the honor to fly in (the 909) crashed and was destroyed. This is a super tragedy. I am so sorry and sad that people lost their lives. As I posted when I started this thread, I had the honor of flying on this plane several years ago with my grandfather who had to jump out of one in WWII. The fact that groups out there try to keep these things flying is astounding. It is like going back in time - and brings you a shocking reality of the hell that it must have been to be stuck in one while getting shot at. Meanwhile since there is no war going on, my experience was combined with total geeking out hysteria and it was the ride of a lifetime.
 

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Huge loss. The B17 is a national treasure in my opinion and there are not many flyable ones left. It was a remarkable aircraft, and despite heavy overall casualties suffered by bomber crews in WWII, I have no doubt that number would be considerably higher if it had been less of an aircraft. Google "B-17 tail almost cut off" to read about the crew that flew this one home.
 

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A few weeks ago they were at the airport 10 miles from us and we heard them buzzing around overhead.

This is the same museum where we had the concourse for the Worcester LOG.

Sad day in many respects
 

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Still one of the prettiest birds ever made. You, indeed had an honor...SIR!
 
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