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Subdeacon Joe

Spheres of Influence

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I once found a near completely intact ME-109 (Messerschmitt) in the junkyard.  Unbelievable!  I gotta say, there wasn’t much or anything in the way of armor in them.  They had to stay nimble and quick, because from what I saw, one good long burst from one of the .50 caI machine guns on a B-17 very likely would have shredded a ME-109.  I traded for a machine gun and other things out of that ME-109, but I only was able to hang on to the MG for a couple weeks.  

 

My dad took my machine gun, then gave me a M-1919 Browning MG and tripod, spare parts, some tools, and a handbook for about six weeks.  “You better not lose any of those parts, and you better reassemble it correctly!”:angry:  “Yes sir!”:huh:  The .30 was a piece of gear of all kinds they weren’t supposed to have, and that they would hide (along with other weapons, equipment, vehicles, and even extra people) when major inspection time rolled around.  The units were on constant alert, ready to go all the time.

 

Cat Brules

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They flew in a combat box formation, a group of 17s that could support each other against fighter attacks.  They had to keep in formation and that led to problems with AA fire.

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Looks good .......on paper anyway. ;)

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Seemed to work in practice.  I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be faced with having to get out of one going down over Germany or some other unfriendly territory.

 

Cat Brules

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When I was a kid, I used to love to watch WWII movies and shows on tv. Twelve O Clock High was one of my favorites. As a kid, I thought that the B-17 was a huge airplane when watching the shows. When I had the opportunity to see one up close and go inside, I was surprised at how small they actually are. Back then, I was young and fairly skinny, there's no way that I would have fit into the area that the tail gunner had to.

 

Those airmen of the B-17's and all of the WWII aircraft are one of a kind. To know your chances of returning are not good and to suit up anyway to do your job, your mission and your duty required balls of steel.

 

:FlagAm:

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Lots of guns are good. But in practice hitting a small fighter while you're moving 200 mph and he's moving 350 is dang tricky. The AAF took very heavy casualties until the much needed  introduction of long range fighter escorts later in the war.

The newspapers came up with the nickname the Flying Fortress, not the Air Force. It was basically a large, heavily armed target. The crews thanked God for the appearance of the P-51.

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39 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

Lots of guns are good. But in practice hitting a small fighter while you're moving 200 mph and he's moving 350 is dang tricky.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

Lots of guns are good. But in practice hitting a small fighter while you're moving 200 mph and he's moving 350 is dang tricky. The AAF took very heavy casualties until the much needed  introduction of long range fighter escorts later in the war.

The newspapers came up with the nickname the Flying Fortress, not the Air Force. It was basically a large, heavily armed target. The crews thanked God for the appearance of the P-51.

 

Heck, I can't even hit a target that's standing still 40' away with a rifle sometimes.......and no body is shooting at me.

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When Mom flew 17's as a WASP pilot.

She said they were a flying battleship.

Respectfully, 

OLG 

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11 hours ago, Charlie Harley, #14153 said:

It would be interesting to see this diagram in 3-D, or 3-view. 

 

Luke 11:9

fafjr47ctu541.jpg

Image result for b-`17 cones of fire

Amazing they could hit anything in the few seconds they had.  Especially as encumbered as they were:

image.jpeg.5ed0ec37721179e8766e526ea16eaa8d.jpeg

 

Image result for b-`17 gunner in full gear

 

Image result for b-`17 gunner in full gear

 

 

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11 hours ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

They flew in a combat box formation, a group of 17s that could support each other against fighter attacks.  They had to keep in formation and that led to problems with AA fire.

 

How WWII bomber formations avoided FLAK

 

 

 

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As a boy, I went with my Dad to the Sportsman's Show. John Bromfield, the movie actor, drew indian heads and other designs on plywood sheets with his Thompson SMG.  :)

 

I was so impressed that I bought one and practiced drawing indian heads and writing friends' name on plywood. :wub:

 

As a Marine cryptanalyst, I had grunts with Thompsons supposedly guarding me ( "FU Bill and your pissant pistol")  :(

 

I was able to stay in practice during my time so I could still draw indian heads.

 

After discharge, I kept it up. Sadly, the cost of the .45ACP ammo and the plywood sheets soon made my "hobby" unaffordable. :angry:

 

 

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7 hours ago, Cypress Sun said:

When I was a kid, I used to love to watch WWII movies and shows on tv. Twelve O Clock High was one of my favorites. As a kid, I thought that the B-17 was a huge airplane when watching the shows. When I had the opportunity to see one up close and go inside, I was surprised at how small they actually are. Back then, I was young and fairly skinny, there's no way that I would have fit into the area that the tail gunner had to.

 

Those airmen of the B-17's and all of the WWII aircraft are one of a kind. To know your chances of returning are not good and to suit up anyway to do your job, your mission and your duty required balls of steel.

 

:FlagAm:

I saw a B-17 converted to a firefighting chemical bomber sitting on a runway beside two USAFR F-4 Phantoms.  About the same size IIRC.

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15 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

Lots of guns are good. But in practice hitting a small fighter while you're moving 200 mph and he's moving 350 is dang tricky. The AAF took very heavy casualties until the much needed  introduction of long range fighter escorts later in the war.

The newspapers came up with the nickname the Flying Fortress, not the Air Force. It was basically a large, heavily armed target. The crews thanked God for the appearance of the P-51.


That’s the perfect answer, too, Bob!
 

And, trying to judge all the variables, then getting your brain to flash a command to your thumbs to mash the trigger while you’r arms and body are moving the .50’s around........

 

I’ve been in those B-17’s, too.  I’d just stand or sit in them thinking back, before my time.   I always considered them big, for their time.   I always thought that firing at the little ME-109’s was like me slinging a handful of marbles at a passing car going 50-60mph and that I had the better chance of hitting the car.   The only real chance of hitting the 109 was when they were “standing still,” pausing (vulnerable) if you will, to fire a stream of bullets into the big bomber.   (My dad would come back and find me still inside the airplane.)   He never asked what I was doing in there, so I assume he knew.  It could have been him in there, but he was in the Army, not the Army Air Force.   (I really thought that seeing the little ME-109 in the junk yard was kind of sad.).  I’m guessing that there’s only about 4 or 5 of them still flying, and likely, half of each one is a mishmash of modern parts.  Who knows?

 

Cat Brules

 

 

 

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My dad's brother was a tail gunner in an B17  in WWII. He was killed over France when another B17 went down and took out his plane on the way down. 

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