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I flew on a B-17 last Sunday - I won the ride in a raffle! (Original Post) Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 OP
great work on the video. zeemike Jul 2012 #1
Memphis Belle is a rather famous B-17... PoliticAverse Jul 2012 #2
The original Memphis Belle is at the USAF Museum, under restoration. Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #4
Thank you for sharing the experience with all of us. FarPoint Jul 2012 #6
Geneseo, NY. It was a great show this year! Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #15
Congrats... ewagner Jul 2012 #3
The fascinating thing about American bombing and British bombing is... Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #13
True..and... ewagner Jul 2012 #38
I Have A DVD That Has The Last Mission Of The Belle TheMastersNemesis Jul 2012 #18
Agreed. What happened in the late thirties-40's is an important lesson that can still be applied... Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #22
I also have "Memphis Belle" ewagner Jul 2012 #39
How cool! NV Whino Jul 2012 #5
After takeoff, I made a beeline to the bombardier position... Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #14
Well done. Thanks for sharing. n/t Hotler Jul 2012 #7
It was truly an unforgettable experience! Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #23
Looks like they kept it at a really low altitude. Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #8
Sadly, no... Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #10
"..but the rest of her was wide open!" Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2012 #30
There's not that many B-17s left flying Major Nikon Jul 2012 #9
Especially this one - their fuel bill is humongous! Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #11
They use almost as much oil as fuel Major Nikon Jul 2012 #12
The oil puddles under each engine certainly prove that! Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #17
We Live Near A Regional Airport TheMastersNemesis Jul 2012 #16
I've been an airport rat since the age of 10... Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #19
My son did that a few years ago. Lugnut Jul 2012 #20
I started out in the Radio Op's posit during the takeoff... Cooley Hurd Jul 2012 #21
So many memmories DreamSmoker Jul 2012 #24
2 kewl icarusxat Jul 2012 #25
Nice video DontTreadOnMe Jul 2012 #26
The sound these planes make is distinctive. hunter Jul 2012 #27
Nicely done. I have two brothers, 'Nam-era A/F veterans who would love this. joanbarnes Jul 2012 #28
Cool! Sherman A1 Jul 2012 #29
I'd pay for a ride like that (if I could) DainBramaged Jul 2012 #31
Many of the old bombers that are still flying take tours around the country and give people rides Major Nikon Jul 2012 #32
Well done. We used to have them fly over my property once a week and since we were on a hill, they freshwest Jul 2012 #33
It looked totally awesome. RebelOne Jul 2012 #34
Very cool! Hassin Bin Sober Jul 2012 #35
Reminds me of an old George Carlin bit demwing Jul 2012 #36
K&R! Beautifully done! Rhiannon12866 Jul 2012 #37
 

Cooley Hurd

(26,877 posts)
4. The original Memphis Belle is at the USAF Museum, under restoration.
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 11:13 AM
Jul 2012

This particular aircraft only played her in the movie. But, a B-17 is a B-17.

FarPoint

(12,893 posts)
6. Thank you for sharing the experience with all of us.
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 11:39 AM
Jul 2012

Where were you flying? It does not look like Dayton Ohio.....they just had their Air Show is why I mentioned it plus the USAF Museum is in Dayton.

ewagner

(18,966 posts)
3. Congrats...
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 11:12 AM
Jul 2012

I wonder how many people know why "Memphis Belle" is so significant to our history.

If I recall, the Air Force lost some 65,000 men over Europe during WWII. On some missions the loss rate was as high as 30% if I correctly remember my history. The bravery required just to climb aboard for one more mission is beyond my feeble powers of comprehension. The crews were required to complete 25 missions before they could return home as instructors. Memphis Belle was one of the few crews that survived 25 missions and rotated back to the states.

Sacrifice and bravery ....that's the significance of Memphis Belle.

 

Cooley Hurd

(26,877 posts)
13. The fascinating thing about American bombing and British bombing is...
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 12:10 PM
Jul 2012

The Brits did it at night - non-precision - which took out more non-military targets compared to the Yanks, who did it during the day. And, with the help of the Norden bombsight, the USAAF bombers were much-more precise in what they hit, which reduced civilian casualties.

However, it was much easier for German AAA to take down the American bombers just by the sheer fact they could see them. Hence the high casualty rates.

ewagner

(18,966 posts)
38. True..and...
Tue Jul 24, 2012, 07:51 AM
Jul 2012

American bombers worked without fighter escort until the introduction of the P-47 (which were almost equal in capability to the ME109s and FW190s) and eventually the legendary P-51 Mustang which was superior to anything else in the air.

 

TheMastersNemesis

(10,602 posts)
18. I Have A DVD That Has The Last Mission Of The Belle
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 12:23 PM
Jul 2012

I have a DVD that has the film of the Belle's last mission. It is 45 minutes long and it really hits hard. That film includes the audio chatter while they are under attack after their mission. It is as real as being in the plane itself. And very few crew made their 25 missions before they could be essentially retired.

Too bad that such footage cannot be shown in our schools. So many Americans are ignorant of what WWII was really like. And the best series about the war was "Victory At Sea". You really understand how the USA and its manufacturing base at the time pretty much supplied the war material for just about all of our allies. And yet we were able to win the Pacific theater almost all on our own on top of that.

Now we have pretty much given all that to the Chinese communists. And Romney would have killed GM which made our tanks and heavy vehicles. Too bad we don't play that meme against him and the GOP. Today we would lose such a war.

 

Cooley Hurd

(26,877 posts)
22. Agreed. What happened in the late thirties-40's is an important lesson that can still be applied...
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 12:51 PM
Jul 2012

...today.

ewagner

(18,966 posts)
39. I also have "Memphis Belle"
Tue Jul 24, 2012, 01:28 PM
Jul 2012

and the complete set of Victory At Sea.

My Father flew anti-sub patrols from Bermuda at the outbreak of the war in the Navy's version of the B-24 Liberator.

Later, he was on PBYs on "plane guard" in the Pacific picking up pilots who had to ditch during missions.

When I was growing up, my Dad and his Navy buddies (they stayed in and retired from the Navy) who had also served in WWII would gather at our house on Sunday afternoons to watch the latest installment of "Victory at Sea". What amazed me then and still does, is how they sat silently through those episodes...never said a word until after the show was over. And then..the conversation was about guys they knew and where they were during the times depicted in the show. I learned a lot from those old, washed-up navy drunkards (as I used to call them)...now I wish I had learned more.

 

Spitfire of ATJ

(32,723 posts)
8. Looks like they kept it at a really low altitude.
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 11:50 AM
Jul 2012

Nice shot of the tail from the top turret. Was the tail gunner area available?

Major Nikon

(36,868 posts)
9. There's not that many B-17s left flying
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 12:01 PM
Jul 2012

The rides they give help keep them flying. Each one is a flying museum.

 

TheMastersNemesis

(10,602 posts)
16. We Live Near A Regional Airport
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 12:16 PM
Jul 2012

I have lived very close to a regional airport and have been to several air shows there. B-17's, B-24's, fighters including a Mig 15 fly around quite a bit in the summer. I have been inside both the B-17 and B-24 where I have many pictures. Surprisingly they did not carry as many bombs as you think. I believe that both bombers carried no more than 8 500 lb bombs. That is why we needed such large formations.

I talked to a 90 year old crew chief who was responsible for the 50 caliber guns in is squadron. He complained that he flew missions for years in England without a scratch even though he had been shot down. His problem was that near the end of the war he got wounded by the shrapnel from a V-2 rocket while on leave in London.

The history is that in one black day the 8th Air Force lost 60 planes in one day. That is over 600 crew. I guess they suspended raids until there was a fighter that could go with them all the way to Germany and back. That was the P-51 Mustang which did not reach service until late in the war.

Anyway is it kind of neat to live where I do. I have seen all sorts of aircraft in 36 years. FYI One of the rarest planes is the B-25 twin engine "Doolittle raid" bomber. I understand there may be only one or two left in the air. And I have seen one landing coming over my house.

 

Cooley Hurd

(26,877 posts)
19. I've been an airport rat since the age of 10...
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 12:23 PM
Jul 2012

You are VERY lucky to have an airshow over your house! There's probably neighbors that don't share your enthusiasm, though...

One thing I'm reminded of at the Geneseo airshow is how quickly we're losing the WW2 vets now. With a minimum age of 86, their ranks are thinning, and the special tent they erect every year for those vets at the airshow is becoming sparsely populated.

Lugnut

(9,791 posts)
20. My son did that a few years ago.
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 12:26 PM
Jul 2012

Like you, he grabbed the bombardier's seat for the ride. He was very humbled by the history of the aircraft and the kids who flew in her.

 

Cooley Hurd

(26,877 posts)
21. I started out in the Radio Op's posit during the takeoff...
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 12:30 PM
Jul 2012

...and I insisted my friend call me Danny Daly for the day.

DreamSmoker

(841 posts)
24. So many memmories
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 01:00 PM
Jul 2012

Thank you for this video..
I loved that Plane since I was a tiny Boy..
Even watched 12oclock High with my dad every week..
I well up thinking of all who flew and Died every time..
This was no exception...

joanbarnes

(1,755 posts)
28. Nicely done. I have two brothers, 'Nam-era A/F veterans who would love this.
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 01:58 PM
Jul 2012

But the older one is not too 'democratic.' Can't share the underground with the right-wing nut job.

Sherman A1

(38,958 posts)
29. Cool!
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 02:36 PM
Jul 2012

I could never afford the flight costs, did walk through a couple over the years and did get a flight on a Ford Tri Motor a few years back. It was fun and well worth doing.

DainBramaged

(39,191 posts)
31. I'd pay for a ride like that (if I could)
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 04:36 PM
Jul 2012

My Dad serviced B-24's and B-25's in North Africa during WWII. What I would give for a ride in either.


I am jealous beyond measure, and also happy for you. Thanks for sharing.

Major Nikon

(36,868 posts)
32. Many of the old bombers that are still flying take tours around the country and give people rides
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 07:13 PM
Jul 2012

We have a B-25 locally in Fort Worth that doesn't travel much, but many of the others do.

The CAF web site is a good place to start.

http://commemorativeairforce.org/?page=cms/index&cms_page=1266

freshwest

(53,661 posts)
33. Well done. We used to have them fly over my property once a week and since we were on a hill, they
Sun Jul 22, 2012, 07:15 PM
Jul 2012

Came pretty close, actually, we could see the plane well. It was generally on a Friday on their way to another base. We would go out and wave and fancied they could see us. My dad was in WW2 so it had extra meaning for me. Thanks for posting. I enjoyed the music, too, very appropriate.

RebelOne

(30,947 posts)
34. It looked totally awesome.
Mon Jul 23, 2012, 05:55 PM
Jul 2012

I would have loved to been up there. I love being in anything that flies. I did some flying myself, but only small planes.

Hassin Bin Sober

(26,460 posts)
35. Very cool!
Mon Jul 23, 2012, 07:13 PM
Jul 2012

So jealous.

The B-17 has always been my favorite WW2 airplane.

My uncle was an engineer on a 17 and flew missions over Germany.

Here he is:

http://www.457thbombgroup.org/AirCrews/JORDAN%20CREW.html

 

demwing

(16,916 posts)
36. Reminds me of an old George Carlin bit
Mon Jul 23, 2012, 08:27 PM
Jul 2012

"Get on the plane? Fuck that, I'M getting IN the plane!"

&feature=related

Rhiannon12866

(211,643 posts)
37. K&R! Beautifully done!
Tue Jul 24, 2012, 02:24 AM
Jul 2012

And the music fits it perfectly. Congratulations on winning, wow! Looks like a spectacular ride, was grateful that I could take it virtually. Thanks so much for sharing this with us...

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