By Gregory Fremont-Barnes
Gregory Fremont-Barnes examines the lives of the yank Bomber Crewmen of the 8th Air strength, ''The effective 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 power to regulate the airplane and impressive patience to fly for hours at 20,000 ft at temperatures lower than freezing in unheated, unpressurized cabins. Then there have been Luftwaffe warring parties and anti-aircraft fireplace to take care of and it required exceptional ability and a few success to come from a venture unscathed. This booklet is a becoming tribute to those usually uncelebrated heroes who took the warfare deep into the 3rd Reich, in addition to a desirable historic account of the studies they went via.
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Extra info for American Bomber Crewman 1941-45
Indeed, the casualty rate was so high that crewmen often established strong bonds between them, with distinctions sometimes becoming blurred between officers and non-commissioned officers. Whole crews sometimes went on leave together, and even on the base saluting and military formality was often eschewed except when decorations were awarded or dignitaries visited. 31 Americans on leave were free to travel, though as John Ramsey, a B-17 navigator, discovered, train schedules were not always published, for security reasons, and making a journey such as from Norfolk to Leeds was not easy, requiring frequent transfers and requests for information at numerous stations along the way.
Richards Collection) The briefing officer had the unenviable job of explaining the purpose and details of the mission in a concise and articulate manner, carefully interjecting humor where possible to relieve some of the tension from which the men inevitably suffered. The length of the briefing usually depended on the importance and relative danger of the mission. Prominent or well-defended targets in the heart of Europe, for instance, particularly where the depth of penetration into enemy territory was great, naturally aroused the greatest concern and invariably took longest to explain.
Two hundred to 400 men could be fed at once, so enabling an entire combat group to be readied for their mission. From the mess hall the men were conveyed by covered truck, each carrying two or three bomber crews, to the briefing rooms, which could seat approximately 200 men. Officers and enlisted men were sometimes briefed together, but in many cases they were informed of the details of their mission in separate rooms or buildings. A briefing room usually had a raised podium behind which, on the wall above, hung a large map of the area of operations: Western Europe, the Mediterranean, part of the western Pacific, or Japan and the nearby island groups.