World War Ii

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 amazing 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 known as for brute energy to regulate the plane and striking patience to fly for hours at 20,000 toes at temperatures lower than freezing in unheated, unpressurized cabins. Then there have been Luftwaffe opponents and anti-aircraft fireplace to cope with and it required superb ability and a few good fortune to come from a project unscathed. This booklet is a becoming tribute to those usually uncelebrated heroes who took the struggle deep into the 3rd Reich, in addition to a desirable ancient account of the reviews they went via.

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Initially, as no fighter could escort bombers the entire length of their mission, fighter cover was only 46 provided for as long as the escort could remain in the air with sufficient fuel to enable them to fight and to return safely to base. Eventually the Americans designed fighters that could escort bombers well above 20,OOOft and for missions sent deep into German territory. No single innovation contributed more to the preservation of bomber crews than the development of long-range fighter aircraft.

In reality, accommodation could vary enormously, from country houses with proper beds and sheets, baths and indoor toilets, to tent cities where the men slept on cots under scores of blankets and trudged through the cold, rain and mud to the latrines and showers. Wayne Gatlin, 18, from Duluth, Minnesota, could not believe his good fortune: "We live in a nice old castle - yup, there's a moat filled with water around it and all. We have our mess right in the castle and a lounge and all. " Earl Pate lived on simpler, yet perfectly comfortable terms: a permanent RAF installation without Quonset huts, coal stoves, mud or walks to the latrine.

ABOVE Unleashing death and destruction on a vast scale: B-29s dropping hundreds of incendiary bombs on Yokohama, Japan, during a raid in May 1945. (Corbis) ABOVE RIGHT Bombs make their descent toward a German-controlled bridge in Italy far below. Targets such as this were very difficult to strike, and while advocates of the Norden bombsight claimed that the device was highly accurate, once it was tested under combat conditions the results achieved were not always satisfactory.

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