• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

Incredible survival of B17 in WW2

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
I'm curious as to why they decided to fly back to the UK instead of to a North African airfield which would have been much closer and would not have involved flying over the Med and then through heavily defended airspace before chancing the Channel. The background in the photos doesn't look very much like East Anglia either and the story says that they covered the distance from Tunis to within forty miles of their base in two and a half hours - I wonder if the second part of the story got muddled up with something else.
 
#10
I'm curious as to why they decided to fly back to the UK instead of to a North African airfield which would have been much closer and would not have involved flying over the Med and then through heavily defended airspace before chancing the Channel. The background in the photos doesn't look very much like East Anglia either and the story says that they covered the distance from Tunis to within forty miles of their base in two and a half hours - I wonder if the second part of the story got muddled up with something else.
I have to agree with you, however all the various google items say "B-17 Pilot, Lt Kendrick R Bragg; 97th Bom,b Group Heavy, 414th Bomb Squadron in England." I suppose after nearly 70 years some facts get muddled, however the photos do show the incredible ammount of damage they sustained!
 
#13
The bomber did land in North Africa, I looked into the story when this story was sent round a while back and although mostly true, a few aspects have been changed to make it cuter for the folks back home.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
The bomber did land in North Africa, I looked into the story when this story was sent round a while back and although mostly true, a few aspects have been changed to make it cuter for the folks back home.
Thanks for clearing that up - I'll award myself the Order of the Green Slime, Third Class. Still a remarkable story - the sheer cold-blooded guts required to use your parachute for aircraft repairs when it's likely to fall out of the sky any minute is astonishing, as is climbing back into the rear section to provide more stability.
 
#16
The original footage of Memphesis Belle showed them coming back worse than that, some with whole tails missing. Worth watching if you can get your hands on it.
 
#18
It's remarkable just how much damage those bombers could take and survive considering that the airframe was built of mainly aluminium that was at Best a few millimetres thick and that the aircraft were designed to last an expected operational life span of about six months!
 
#20
I have to agree with you, however all the various google items say "B-17 Pilot, Lt Kendrick R Bragg; 97th Bom,b Group Heavy, 414th Bomb Squadron in England." I suppose after nearly 70 years some facts get muddled, however the photos do show the incredible ammount of damage they sustained!
I'm afraid this story has been embellished over the years! B-17 "All American" (414th Squadron, 97BG) flown by, the 414th BS were based at Biskra airfield in Algeria at the time of the incident!
 

Latest Threads