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Lots of pictures I've never seen before - some of them are really amazing.

 

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Lots of pictures I've never seen before - some of them are really amazing.  

The one that is haunting is the pics of the bomber above accidentally dropping bombs on the bomber below. Definitely a accident but if you were the bombardier on the top plane and you released your bo

...chokes a guy up, allright......when you think what those Airmen went through....for us .....now...if they and thousands of others....could   ''take a look at us, today''......what in **** would the

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The Liberators were notorious for burning. The way their hydraulic lines were routed. Read a book written by a bomber navigator who attacked targets in Italy and Romania. He was scared to death of being assigned to a Liberator. Ended up on a B17. Still got shot down but didn't burn to death. The Italian underground got them back to their base.

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4 minutes ago, cedar farm said:

The Liberators were notorious for burning. The way their hydraulic lines were routed. Read a book written by a bomber navigator who attacked targets in Italy and Romania. He was scared to death of being assigned to a Liberator. Ended up on a B17. Still got shot down but didn't burn to death. The Italian underground got them back to their base.

Yeah, there are lots of pics of burning Libs.  I'd seen several of those, but there are a bunch of new to me pics in this video.

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2 minutes ago, mike newman said:

thanks, again, Steve.....powerfull  , poignant  pictures 

Mike

Chokes a guy up, aye?

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That was quite the tribute Steve. 

Somber.

Sobering.

Never forget.

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...chokes a guy up, allright......when you think what those Airmen went through....for us .....now...if they and thousands of others....could   ''take a look at us, today''......what in **** would they think....Makes a grown man cry...just thinking of the futility  of it all............

Mike

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The one that is haunting is the pics of the bomber above accidentally dropping bombs on the bomber below. Definitely a accident but if you were the bombardier on the top plane and you released your bombs and you saw your bombs hit a friendly. That type of stuff really eats at a man provided he survived the war. Classic friendly fire but that stuff sticks with you the rest of your life.

I gave my wife a new understanding of "Its a Wonderful Life " recently. James Stewart's character's meltdown at the world in the movie. This tidbit is not widely known. He wasn't totally acting there. He was letting his PTSD come out. He was a bomber squadron commander in Europe. Flew B-24 Liberator. He managed to fly 20 missions before he was grounded because he went as they called at the time "Flak happy " . He was wound so tight that he couldn't eat or sleep. He was also haunted by those he lost under his command. Particularly one mission where he lost 130 men under his command ( 13 bombers). It's a Wonderful Life was his first acting role since he came back from the war. He was still working through all this during filming.

My Dad's uncle was a ball turret gunner in a B-17. During one mission there plane got all shot up and ended up going down in Nazi occupied France. He got lucky and linked up with the French Resistance who hid him from the Germans and eventually helped smuggle him back to England. Grandma said it had a effect on him. When he came back he was a "Don't give a S---" absolutely fearless man. His thoughts were if he survived the war, he'd survive anything. He was right. He lived til he was 92. Ran a very successful concrete pouring business and had patents on various forms and machines that did this work.

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21 minutes ago, Reichow7120 said:

The one that is haunting is the pics of the bomber above accidentally dropping bombs on the bomber below. Definitely a accident but if you were the bombardier on the top plane and you released your bombs and you saw your bombs hit a friendly. That type of stuff really eats at a man provided he survived the war. Classic friendly fire but that stuff sticks with you the rest of your life.

I gave my wife a new understanding of "Its a Wonderful Life " recently. James Stewart's character's meltdown at the world in the movie. This tidbit is not widely known. He wasn't totally acting there. He was letting his PTSD come out. He was a bomber squadron commander in Europe. Flew B-24 Liberator. He managed to fly 20 missions before he was grounded because he went as they called at the time "Flak happy " . He was wound so tight that he couldn't eat or sleep. He was also haunted by those he lost under his command. Particularly one mission where he lost 130 men under his command ( 13 bombers). It's a Wonderful Life was his first acting role since he came back from the war. He was still working through all this during filming.

My Dad's uncle was a ball turret gunner in a B-17. During one mission there plane got all shot up and ended up going down in Nazi occupied France. He got lucky and linked up with the French Resistance who hid him from the Germans and eventually helped smuggle him back to England. Grandma said it had a effect on him. When he came back he was a "Don't give a S---" absolutely fearless man. His thoughts were if he survived the war, he'd survive anything. He was right. He lived til he was 92. Ran a very successful concrete pouring business and had patents on various forms and machines that did this work.

I love these stories, My mothers father ww1  fathers father ww2 uncles Korea and veitnam all were lucky and made it home

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Thank you for the posting Steve. I would be most scared of being on fire ! I served in the Navy and fire is a very deadly threat there also ! If you don't get put out it's overboard you go with the sharks and you could still be burnt in the flaming oil. OH the courage those boys had !!!!!

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Thanks Steve.

My Father was on an airbase in England as a mechanic. He told many stories of Damaged bombers coming in from missions and of patching up B17's and B24's.  If a plane came in and fired flares before landing it meant their were wounded aboard. He said watching a belly landing was pretty scary, very lucky if it didn't burn.

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1 hour ago, Reichow7120 said:

The one that is haunting is the pics of the bomber above accidentally dropping bombs on the bomber below. Definitely a accident but if you were the bombardier on the top plane and you released your bombs and you saw your bombs hit a friendly. That type of stuff really eats at a man provided he survived the war. Classic friendly fire but that stuff sticks with you the rest of your life.

I gave my wife a new understanding of "Its a Wonderful Life " recently. James Stewart's character's meltdown at the world in the movie. This tidbit is not widely known. He wasn't totally acting there. He was letting his PTSD come out. He was a bomber squadron commander in Europe. Flew B-24 Liberator. He managed to fly 20 missions before he was grounded because he went as they called at the time "Flak happy " . He was wound so tight that he couldn't eat or sleep. He was also haunted by those he lost under his command. Particularly one mission where he lost 130 men under his command ( 13 bombers). It's a Wonderful Life was his first acting role since he came back from the war. He was still working through all this during filming.

My Dad's uncle was a ball turret gunner in a B-17. During one mission there plane got all shot up and ended up going down in Nazi occupied France. He got lucky and linked up with the French Resistance who hid him from the Germans and eventually helped smuggle him back to England. Grandma said it had a effect on him. When he came back he was a "Don't give a S---" absolutely fearless man. His thoughts were if he survived the war, he'd survive anything. He was right. He lived til he was 92. Ran a very successful concrete pouring business and had patents on various forms and machines that did this work.

Jimmy Stewart served in the same B24 squadron in England that my father was in.  Fortunately my father was in what they called "Codes and Ciphers" and not on a flight crew.  on the Schweinfurt raid they lost their entire squadron.  he said it was so depressing waiting for the planes to return and having none of them come back. Some landed at emergency airfields, but most were shot down.  He said the squadron was not operational for a couple months while they replaced the bombers and air crews. he said it had a terrible effect on them morale of the ground crew is well. in the mess hall everyone would congregate in one corner because if you spread out it was so empty it upset everyone.

The whipsaw existence of the air crews also caused a lot of emotional issues.  During a raid you're in extreme danger, but then you went back to the seeming normalcy of the airfield, only to repeat it again the next day. Crew losses in the 8th were very high. While they didn't have the misery of the ground war, the odds of them completing their 25 missions were not good.  Somewhere at my mother's house there is a hard bound book that was put together after the war that commemorated the squadron.  I cannot remember the squatter number right now, but I think it was the 460 something.  I could be wrong about that though.

The bomber that was hit by the bombs from above was probably caused by the area bombing that was conducted later in the war. Only the lead plane used its bomb sight.  A sheet was tied to the first bomb of the load, and when the other bombarders saw the bomb with the sheet attached drop they dropped theirs in unison. I doubt anyone looked below before the bombs were dropped. That is why it was so important to stay in formation.

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I looked it up. The squadron was the 445th out of Tibenham England.  It says they lost 30 planes on the raid in September 1944.  It was the biggest single day loss of any squadron in the USAAF.

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My grandpa bought our farm in 1947. The people who lived here before had a quite a few kids, a couple of them who had got married in our house. My wife and I were married just a 3-4 years and had just did a total house remodel when a couple stopped by and wondered if they could see in house. She grew up in our house and they had got married in right after the war and had moved to Hull, Ia just 25 miles away. Here he was a B24 mechanic on Jimmy Stewarts crew. He said Jimmy was the nicest guy. Looking back I wish I had visited more with him.

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10 minutes ago, cedar farm said:

 Looking back I wish I had visited more with him.

Many of us do that.  I had an uncle who was a mechanic at some airfield in the Philippines.  No combat but came home with fungus in his ears that he never got rid of.

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Uncle Neil was an air crewman in Europe during WWII. He never talked about anything that happened in Europe but gave me his camera he bought while there. After war ended he stayed in a air Corp and was transferred to Japan. He bought a house for his family in the late 40s. He retired around 1970 and returned home. He loved Japan and talked about it alot. Around 1980 he sold his place in Japan for a fortune!

I liked uncle Neil but he was kinda crazy. Probably because of his time in WWII.

Thx-Ace 

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54 minutes ago, Rawleigh99 said:

The whipsaw existence of the air crews also caused a lot of emotional issues.  During a raid you're in extreme danger, but then you went back to the seeming normalcy of the airfield, only to repeat it again the next day. Crew losses in the 8th were very high. While they didn't have the misery of the ground war, the odds of them completing their 25 missions were not good.  Somewhere at my mother's house there is a hard bound book that was put together after the war that commemorated the squadron.  I cannot remember the squatter number right now, but I think it was the 460 something.  I could be wrong about that though.

Ive read about those emotions. One story i read has always stuck with me on this.

When these aircrews were off duty they could go out to a bar or club off base in England. In this case it was a nightclub in London. A pilot had a bit to much to drink and got into a fight and made quite the scene. A Brigadier General who was a staff officer tried to dress him down so to speak. This pilot looked at the general and said "Yesterday at noon, i was over Berlin, where the h--l were you"

The general didn't know what to say. 

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1 hour ago, TomH said:

Thanks Steve.

My Father was on an airbase in England as a mechanic. He told many stories of Damaged bombers coming in from missions and of patching up B17's and B24's.  If a plane came in and fired flares before landing it meant their were wounded aboard. He said watching a belly landing was pretty scary, very lucky if it didn't burn.

I knew of the flare system on dead and wounded. 

Another story i read was especially heart wrenching.

Co pilot was on his last mission before he could get rotated home. On this mission his number came up. Fighter came at him head on and fired. Shot the cockpit up. Pilot survived but the copilot didn't. Took a 20mm shell to the head. You can guess what that looked like.

Got home and the shooting up the cockpit had also set off the flares so they couldn't shoot flares up to notify they had dead and wounded on board. Co pilot was engaged to be married and his fiance ( she was a nurse in the air corp) was waiting for him near the runway after his last mission and the pilot knew this. He landed the bomber in the opposite direction he was supposed to so she wouldn't run up to the plane and see him.

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The US 8th Air Force suffered more casualties than the entire US Marine Corps did in WWII. 
 

I belong to a Facebook group that covers the air war over Europe during WWII. Every picture shown here has been on there. They can pretty much identify any and every US plane that went down over Europe by serial# of the plane, the date it was shot down, and what happened to each and every crewman on every plane that went down. Pretty sobering to say the least. 
 

My uncle was a survivor of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines. He wrote about his experiences just before he died in 1980. 

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50 minutes ago, SDman said:

My uncle was a survivor of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines. He wrote about his experiences just before he died

Had a buddy who his Grandfather was captured on the Correigidor. The Japanese messed him up both in the body and mind. They tortured him for some reason and bore the scars of that. He was one ornery, grouchy, bitter man. Made my Grandpa at his worst look like a piece of cake. Hated the Japanese the rest of his days.

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"Hated the Japanese the rest of his days."  

That seemed to be the general sentiment of those in the war.  It started with the treachery of Pearl Harbor and their brutality was legendary through out the war.  Even those in the European theater felt it.  I know my Dad, who was in the Air Corp in England  and my godfather, who was in the Navy in the Pacific felt it!

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1 hour ago, Reichow7120 said:

Had a buddy who his Grandfather was captured on the Correigidor. The Japanese messed him up both in the body and mind. They tortured him for some reason and bore the scars of that. He was one ornery, grouchy, bitter man. Made my Grandpa at his worst look like a piece of cake. Hated the Japanese the rest of his days.

Had I experienced even a part of some of the brutality the Japanese dishes out I'd probably want to rid the earth of them too.  The Nazis were bad but man the Japanese had absolutely no mercy whatsoever

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What these young men went through is unimaginable to those of us that didn’t. My uncle was a navigator on a B17. He was late coming into the war, and had some close calls that he related to us. What I remember in detail was that at the end of the war he stayed on to drop relief packages over Holland. Uncle Don related in detail one mission drop where they circled the drop zone, the people were running around under the plane until they were so low on fuel they had to drop. He was sure that they dropped on those poor people. When my Dad quietly told him that we had relatives in that area of Holland, Uncle Don got very solemn and had leave the room. Many years later when this came up Uncle Don made it point to tell everyone  that he never flew over Holland. I’m sure it was his way of coping. 
 

Yes we owe all our veterans our debt of gratitude, for we that have not served can’t imagine how much they have given

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1000s of gallons of flammable gasoline,  tons of munitions and a war with opposing forces, a situation for a disaster.

There are no military winners or losers in a war, JUST SURVIVORS.

Coming from a retired US Military guy.

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The aircrew losses the US Army Air Corp sustained in Europe were greater than all of the Marine losses in the Pacific combined.  Pretty horrifying!

This was another friend of mine who has since died.  It was an amazing story to hear in person, but like many he did not want to talk about it.  I learned a lot from his daughter as well as from a friend of mine who was in the Air Force and fished with us.  One night the air force guys stayed up late after they had dismissed us no military types and talked about it.

http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/47511

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