Back to HMcS Computers My Flight in a B-17G Flying Fortress
October 5, 2003
Allegheny County Airport
Pittsburgh, Pa.

The Most Beautiful Airplane Ever Built!

History of the B-17 "Nine O Nine"

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Thank A Veteran for Your Freedom!

Three missions were flown
two in the
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress
"Nine O Nine"

one in the
Consolidated B-24J Liberator
"Dragon and His Tail"
"All American"

Pittzburgh was the target with
9 Rubber Neckers on each mission

____________________ Movies ____________________

My loving wife bought me a new camcorder just for the flight.
 - 54 minute movie = 2Gig file size -
I searched for and bought software to break it up into website size video clips.
I also had to reduce the quality of the clips to reduce file size.

- Ground Crew -

What They Were Fighting For

Pulling The Props Through

Oil drains down into the bottom cylinders of radial engines. 
If started with this condition the hydraulic forces will blow the cylinder caps off. 
"Pulling Them Through" gently forces the oil out.

Wind 'em Up!
Number 1
Number 2
Number 3
Number 4
Start Your Engines

Take Off
Listen to the distinctive sound of a B-17 going by at full power.
Puts the hair up on the back of my neck!

End of the first mission

- The Flight -
We had the free roam of the ship except the Tail Gunner Position and Bendix Ball Turret.
If anybody my size got into either place they would probably have to Can Opener them out!

Take Off
View from the Radio Room window
Full Power: 4 X 1200 = 4800 Horse Power!
After leveling out, a bank to the right
Target: Pittzburgh Industrial Complex.  Well it was in 1944!
(4 - Wright R-1820 Engines)

Head in the Clouds
Stupid sticks his head out of the top hole of the Radio Room into a 200MPH breeze!

Bendix Ball Turret
It's beyond me how a man could get into the dam thing???
The Original Video Game:
Working the controls on this thing to get the guns on a fast moving target (ME-109 or FW-190)
Diary Of A B-17 Ball Turret Gunner

Bomb Bay
Think of the Madness!
Ten young  men fighting there way from England to Germany and back every day to rain death and destruction!
Typical Destruction of German Cities
At first 25 missions and then more.

A Big Birds Eye view of the heart of Pittsburgh, "Three Rivers"

Radio Room
I had a couple of the "Command Set" transmitters (smaller aluminum boxes in the beginning of the movie) 35 years ago
when I wanted to become a Ham Radio Operator (military surplus).  They had one 807 type tube in them with enough
high voltage on the top of the tube to kill you if you got it between your one hand and the other!  Each box had a small
motor-generator set on the back that converted 24Volts DC to 600Volts DC. 
When these babies were made transistors weren't even a theory!

Waist Gunners
50 caliber Browning Machine Guns, Where the Action Was At!
I don't think I've been this excited since I lost my Vxxxxxxxy!

Top Turret
Think of the Shittin' Yourself Excitement when they heard on the intercom,
"Jerry coming in at Two O'clock!  Get that Top Turret on Him"

Nose1: Bombardier/Navigator
Tight place to get into and around in.
It was a real struggle for me to get into and out of the Bombardier's chair

Nose2: Bombardier/Navigator
Bombs Away!
Note the Large Executive type desk the Navigator used

200 gallons of gasoline burned up in a half hour flight.  100 gallons just on take off!
I paid for the gas on this trip!

Top Hole in the Radio Room
For the life of me I can't figure out the purpose of a 3' X 8' open hole in the top of an airplane?

13 machine guns with 400 rounds of ammo for each gun = 5200 rounds per plane
Loaded for Bear! (Messerschmitt ME-109s and Focke-Wulf FW-190s)

____________________ Pictures ____________________
Click on a picture for full screen view

____ B-17G ____

____ B-24J ____

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____________________ Links ____________________

John Briol's Webpage -MUST SEE!
Diary of a Ball Turret Gunner serving with the 457th BG (H) 
8th Air Force in World War II
The 8th AF portion of a website dedicated to the U.S Army Air Force in WW2.  Contains a large amount of data about 8th AF BG's and veteran's organizations.  One of the best.
Bob's B-17 HomePage
Probably the best known of the B-17 websites.  A great collection of Flying Fortress related reference books, photographs, movies, scale models, stories, etc.
Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum
The Official Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum website is a public resource that lists ninety-six (96) separate Heavy and Very Heavy Bombardment Groups and their points of contact. Here you can find tips on how to do research, locate people, obtain important documents and contact veteran's associations.
B-17 Combat Crewmen.
An organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the gallant airmen, both living and dead, who served in the mighty Air War of WW-II and to the memory of their vehicle, the famous B-17 Flying Fortress.
East Anglia: The Air War
The primary purpose of this site is to show East Anglia as it once was to those who spent some of the most intense moments of their lives here, but who now find it hard to make the pilgrimage to their old haunts.
Battle Damaged B-17's
This website is dedicated to the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and the men who flew her into combat. It is a photographic chronicle of the damage that the "Queen of the Skies" could sustain and still bring her crews home.
12 O'Clock High: UK Airfields of the RAF and 8th AF
The WW2 Airfields of the RAF and the US 8th and 9th Army Airforce
Aero Vintage Books
Offers a dedicated page on B-17 books
Samoloty Wojskowe Wiata: MIA Project (Polish Aircraft Archeaology)
This Polish language site hosts the Aircraft MIA Project, a group of volunteers seeking to solve the mysteries of WW2 airplane crashes and emergency landings in wartime Poland.   Currently they are working on a 379th B-17G that force landed on 18 Mar 1945.
Planes and Pilots of World War 2
An Online World War 2 Aviation History Magazine
Kokadjo's B-17 BOQ
A site dedicated to the B-17 Flying Fortress and the crew of World War 2 Heavy Bombers.  Contains information about the making of the movie, "The War Lover" and the National Warplane Museum's "Fuddy Duddy."
Lost Images of World War II
Here you will find original photos taken in Europe during World War II including never before seen images of German, American and British aircraft and vehicles; devastated villages, ancient cathedrals and breathtaking views of the French and German countryside.
457th Bomb Group Page
A page is dedicated to the memory of the men who served during World War II as members of the Eighth Air Force, First Division, 94th Combat Wing, 457th Bomb Group.
A page detailing the internment of some B-17's in Sweden.
The Wild Hare
A site dedicated to a B-17 of the 8th AF, 457th BG (H) and her crew.
The 446th Bomb Group Website
This website chronicles the history of the 446th, who's men bravely served in Europe in World War II. There are stories written by the men themselves and a memorial to the over 500 flyers who's missions never ended. You can read about the missions they flew over Nazi occupied Europe and about the B-24 Liberator, the airplane that served as their "office in the sky".
German Pilot's Perspective
The Luftwaffe came to know the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress intimately.

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