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B- 17 "All American"

This is a discussion on B- 17 "All American" within the U.S. Military Services & Veterans forums, part of the Protect & Serve category; B-17 "All American" (414th Squadron, 97BG) flown by Lieutenant Kendrick R. Bragg A mid-air collision on February 1, 1943 between a B-17 and a German ...


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Old 04-18-2012, 02:00 AM   #1
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B- 17 "All American"







B-17 "All American" (414th Squadron, 97BG) flown by Lieutenant Kendrick R. Bragg
A mid-air collision on February 1, 1943 between a B-17 and a German fighter over the Tunis dock area became the subject of one of the most famous photographs of World War II. An enemy fighter attacking a 97th Bomb Group formation went out of control, probably with a wounded or dead pilot. It crashed into the lead aircraft of the flight, ripped a wing off the Fortress, and caused it to crash. The enemy fighter then continued its crashing descent into the rear of the fuselage of a Fortress named All American, piloted by Lt. Kendrick R. Bragg, of the 414th Bomb Squadron. When it struck, the fighter broke apart, but left some pieces in the B-17. The left horizontal stabilizer of the Fortress and left elevator were completely torn away. The vertical fin and the rudder had been damaged, the fuselage had been cut approximately two-thirds through, the control cables were severed, and the electrical and oxygen systems were damaged. Although the tail swayed in the breeze, one elevator cable still worked, and the aircraft still flew-miraculously! The aircraft was brought in for an emergency landing and when the ambulance pulled alongside, it was waved off for not a single member of the crew had been injured. No one could believe that the aircraft could still fly in such a condition. The Fortress sat placidly until three men climbed aboard through the door in the fuselage, at which time the rear collapsed. The rugged old bird had done its job.

B-17 "All American" (414th Squadron, 97BG) flown by
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:27 AM   #2
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outstanding!

outstanding, my fav AC as a kid! nice post armyguy. that's an email fwd!
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:37 AM   #3
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IMO the B-17 is one if the best built air craft to this day. When heavily damaged it still brought home the lives of many when other air craft would be unable to fly. I thank all those that have and are serving.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:23 AM   #4
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Sweet ... thanks for posting.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:32 AM   #5
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Awesome post, thank you.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for sharing, the B17 was a beast! My Grandfather was the flight engineer/top turret gunner on a B17 that went down over Poland on Sep. 13th, 1944 while on a mission to bomb a synthetic oil refinery in Blechhammer, Germany. He endured prison camp at Stalag Luft 4 and over a month of the Black March before being liberated by American forces as they were marched aimlessly in one of Europe’s coldest winters by the retreating Germans who were basically using them as hostages. They don’t make aircraft or men like that anymore IMHO. 15th Air Force, 483rd Bombardment Group, 817th Bomb Squad, B17 44-6412. And they do still remember the price “we” paid for their freedom, a Polish man from the village where the B17 went down wrote a book about the crew and when my Grandfather died his obituary was in many Polish publications ……..

Amazon.com: Blechhammer (9780981682075): Boguslaw Zieba: Books Amazon.com: Blechhammer (9780981682075): Boguslaw Zieba: Books

edited to add the photos, one is the of tail of B17 44-6412 after the crash, the other is one of the German fighter planes that they took out prior to the mid-air explosion on the B17.
Attached Thumbnails
B- 17 "All American"-b17-44-6412.jpg   B- 17 "All American"-zieba_white3_001.jpg  
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Last edited by kvo45acp; 04-19-2012 at 09:39 AM. Reason: edited to ad photos
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
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kov45acp - thanks

thanks for that personal story of your Gdad...couldn't agree more w/your post either.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kvo45acp View Post
Thanks for sharing, the B17 was a beast! My Grandfather was the flight engineer/top turret gunner on a B17 that went down over Poland on Sep. 13th, 1944 while on a mission to bomb a synthetic oil refinery in Blechhammer, Germany. He endured prison camp at Stalag Luft 4 and over a month of the Black March before being liberated by American forces as they were marched aimlessly in one of Europe’s coldest winters by the retreating Germans who were basically using them as hostages. They don’t make aircraft or men like that anymore IMHO. 15th Air Force, 483rd Bombardment Group, 817th Bomb Squad, B17 44-6412. And they do still remember the price “we” paid for their freedom, a Polish man from the village where the B17 went down wrote a book about the crew and when my Grandfather died his obituary was in many Polish publications ……..

Amazon.com: Blechhammer (9780981682075): Boguslaw Zieba: Books
What a fascinating story, thanks for sharing. Your Grandfather has my utmost respect.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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Those birds were held together by American engineering and manufacturing, good steel, and God Almighty. "All American" is proof of the latter - God held her together just long enough to bring her crew home!
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:43 PM   #10
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The B-17 was one tough bird. She brought of crewman home after sustaining unbelieveable battle damage. My dad was a bombardier on a B-24. The 24 could fly farther and faster with more bombload but couldn't take the punishment.
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