B- 17 "All American"

Discussion in 'U.S. Military Services & Veterans' started by ArmyGuy45, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. ArmyGuy45

    ArmyGuy45 XDTalk 10K Member Founding Member

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    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
     
  2. getanxd

    getanxd XDTalk 2K Member Founding Member

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    outstanding, my fav AC as a kid! nice post armyguy. that's an email fwd!
     
  3. Falcon31

    Falcon31 XDTalk 500 Member

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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.
     
  4. Radio Relay

    Radio Relay XDTalk 4K Member

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    Sweet ... thanks for posting.
     
  5. n3tfury

    n3tfury XDTalk 100 Member

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    Awesome post, thank you.
     
  6. kvo45acp

    kvo45acp XDTalk 3K Member

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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 ……..

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Blechhammer-Boguslaw-Zieba/dp/0981682073"]Amazon.com: Blechhammer (9780981682075): Boguslaw Zieba: Books[/ame]

    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.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  7. getanxd

    getanxd XDTalk 2K Member Founding Member

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    thanks for that personal story of your Gdad...couldn't agree more w/your post either.
     
  8. n3tfury

    n3tfury XDTalk 100 Member

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    What a fascinating story, thanks for sharing. Your Grandfather has my utmost respect.
     
  9. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo XDTalk 100 Member

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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!
     
  10. ptco911

    ptco911 XDTalk 500 Member

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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.
     
  11. getanxd

    getanxd XDTalk 2K Member Founding Member

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    thank your dad for me and great sig line from 'the outlaw josey wales' my fave movie...3:10 to Yuma is now(the modern one).
     
  12. kvo45acp

    kvo45acp XDTalk 3K Member

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  13. doctorpong

    doctorpong XDTalk Member

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    I work as a doc at a VA, and take care of these WW II heroes every day. It's pretty funny, because I remember which aircraft some of these guys flew on. If I want to rile one up, I ask them (if they served on a B-17 or B-24), "Which aircraft did you think was better, the B-24 or B-17? It's amazing, they all have VERY strong opinions after all of these years that their aircraft was the best, and they all have good reasons (B-17 easier to fly, B-24 had bigger payload, etc.). What is also amazing is that most of these aircraft were being piloted by men in their mid-20's (sometimes early 20's).
     
  14. getanxd

    getanxd XDTalk 2K Member Founding Member

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  15. 1lowlife

    1lowlife XDTalk 15K Member Founding Member

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