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Old 01-22-2015, 05:55 PM   #41
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...
The other thing I noticed about walking around the B17 is the tightness of the space. Like I said I could not walk around with my back pack on my back. While the mid section of the plane was not TOO bad, the tail gun was tight and getting forward across the bomb pay to the cockpit was even worse. The cockpit and forward cabin was tight tight. I can see why many of the crew to the rear of the bomb bay would abandon the plane via the bomb bay. The hatches out of the forward section of the plane were tiny tiny. How anyone bailed out of those hatches amazes me but I guess if your choice is get out or die, you find a way.

...
The crew on my Dad's B-17 favored jumping from the bomb bay. The last three people on the plane were Dad, the pilot, and a waist gunner. The gunner refused orders to bail, so Dad jumped next. The gunner (suffering minor face, head, and leg wounds) refused to jump until everyone else had, jumping immediately after the pilot. The pilot jumped from the forward compartment's hatch following the gunner's physical exhortations. The gunner later said he had often seen the pilot getting stuck between the two pilot seats.

Earlier, the crew assisted the badly-injured radio operator (Sgt. Robert C. Breiling), having to set a static line for opening the parachute. (The plane's fire was in the radio compartment.) He later died from wounds in February 1945, over four months subsequent.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:47 PM   #42
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The most decorated flight crew was on a B17 that fought in the Pacific and not in Europe. The pilot and bombardier were awarded Medal of Honors and the other seven crew members received Distinguished Service Crosses plus some Purple Hearts. Two MOHs and seven DSCs in one flight crew from one flight!

This is a long read but well worth it, Wings of Valor II- Jay Zeamer and Joseph Sarnoski.

They went on a suicide mission but somehow made it back. The plane's number was 666.

If someone made a movie with what these men did, it would not be believed. History is full of events like this where people did things that really were impossible, yet somehow, the people made them possible.

Later,
Dan
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:27 AM   #43
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The most decorated flight crew was on a B17 that fought in the Pacific and not in Europe. The pilot and bombardier were awarded Medal of Honors and the other seven crew members received Distinguished Service Crosses plus some Purple Hearts. Two MOHs and seven DSCs in one flight crew from one flight!

This is a long read but well worth it, Wings of Valor II- Jay Zeamer and Joseph Sarnoski.

They went on a suicide mission but somehow made it back. The plane's number was 666.

If someone made a movie with what these men did, it would not be believed. History is full of events like this where people did things that really were impossible, yet somehow, the people made them possible.

Later,
Dan
Interesting. I must admit, like many, I have let Hollywood's depiction of of the air war color my views, but having said that when did Air Command and Staff College, I was amazed at the number of readings of studies that basically showed that the strategic bombing in europe was a waste of resources, manpower and lives.

In spite of the movies, the Germans were making more ball bearings at the end of the war then in the beginning.

Tactical Air Support won the war in both Asia and Europe.

But the Air Force after WW2 had a lot of leaders who made their bones on the Strategic Air Campaign and thus they wrote the history.
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:14 AM   #44
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Neatest B-17 I ever saw was from underwater. I had just completed one of my first dives in Lake Washington on a sunken PB4Y Privateer, which they had a squadron of at Sandpoint. This one had crashed on takeoff, straight into the Lake. It's a neat WWII era 4 engined bomber, though they entered service too late to be of much note. It was a rather cool plane to visit as the guns were still mounted in the nose and if I remember right in the waist. Anyhow, after an extended decompression due to the cold on the lake bottom, I had just finished my oxygen stops and was looking up at about 15 feet below the surface. the water was clear enough that I could make out a plane flying over. A four engined plane. Just as I surfaced, it became clear I was watching a B-17 going directly overhead. To see one flying, just then, really highlighted the whole experience.

Timing is everything.
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Old 01-24-2015, 02:58 PM   #45
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I understand the Navy carrier pilot crazy comment. 2000 hrs in the Navy's F8 Crusader, the first truly supersonic Jet. 5 carrier deployments, two to Tonkin Gulf. 499 normal carrier landings and 1 into the barricade since I was missing one main gear. 200 mission over Vietnam which I try not to remember. That was the old Navy, however, 1955 to 1975.
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:01 PM   #46
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I understand the Navy carrier pilot crazy comment. 2000 hrs in the Navy's F8 Crusader, the first truly supersonic Jet. 5 carrier deployments, two to Tonkin Gulf. 499 normal carrier landings and 1 into the barricade since I was missing one main gear. 200 mission over Vietnam which I try not to remember. That was the old Navy, however, 1955 to 1975.

Oh man!!!!!! You've been there FP. We all owe you a debt and a tip of the hat. No matter how anyone feels about Vietnam. Nothing can take away from the courage, valor and sacrifice that was almost an everyday occurrence.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:21 PM   #47
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Navy Carrier pilots

Thanks for your thoughts, and 50,000 plus others that didn't make it also thank you.
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:08 AM   #48
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Oh man!!!!!! You've been there FP. We all owe you a debt and a tip of the hat. No matter how anyone feels about Vietnam. Nothing can take away from the courage, valor and sacrifice that was almost an everyday occurrence.
Ditto.

Thank you.

In another book I've read, they touched on the F8 and what a hot bird it was.
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:43 AM   #49
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Thanks for your thoughts, and 50,000 plus others that didn't make it also thank you.
+1 Gunfighter. From your avitar I'm guessing you were VF-84 Jolly Rogers and that's an F8-C, off the Independence? I was an attack guy, A-4E, VA-55 Warhorses off the Hanna. Before we deployed, we studied the 7000 strikes your air wing did up North in only 100 days on Yankee Station, absolutely outstanding. Bravo Zulu and forever Fear the Bones!
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:48 AM   #50
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Ditto.

Thank you.

In another book I've read, they touched on the F8 and what a hot bird it was.


From what I have been told a great A/C

Last of the Gunfighters.

Designed for air to air combat, period.

Before Bob McNamara and the whiz kids screwed things up.
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:22 PM   #51
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Oh man!!!!!! You've been there FP. We all owe you a debt and a tip of the hat. No matter how anyone feels about Vietnam. Nothing can take away from the courage, valor and sacrifice that was almost an everyday occurrence.
Ditto and Bravo Zulu, FP! We're fortunate to have men like you on the leading edge. Thanks for your service to us all.
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:19 PM   #52
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First sqd. was the Jolly Rogers with the "new" F8C. Second sqd. was VF 191 Satan's Kittens off the Tico in the Tonking Gulf.
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Old 02-01-2015, 01:17 PM   #53
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I finished Angels Three Six which was a good read. Amazon then recommended Recollections of a Marine Attack Pilot which I am now reading.

In Recollections, the author mentions two videos that are really recordings from Suafley Field in 1953. Four instructor pilots pretend to be student pilots to mess with the flight instructor.

Have TF pilots heard this? Anyway, I thought it was pretty danged funny.

Its two videos,

I had to find out more information about this and found this page, 1953 Naval Aviation Classic‏

Later,
Dan
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Old 02-01-2015, 03:35 PM   #54
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Dan,

I had not heard this before. I am absolutely in tears! Sending it to all of my former squadron-mates now.

Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:32 PM   #55
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I finished Angels Three Six which was a good read. Amazon then recommended Recollections of a Marine Attack Pilot which I am now reading.

In Recollections, the author mentions two videos that are really recordings from Suafley Field in 1953. Four instructor pilots pretend to be student pilots to mess with the flight instructor.

Have TF pilots heard this? Anyway, I thought it was pretty danged funny.

Its two videos,

I had to find out more information about this and found this page, 1953 Naval Aviation Classic‏

Later,
Dan
WOW oh so funny
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:14 AM   #56
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FP-I was USMC Air Wing-69-73, VMF 225 flying back seat in F4-Js. About 1970, at Cherry Point, NC, we had a cross training program with the USAF F-4s. We were supposed to teach them how to land on a carrier! We did carrier quals on land at Bogue Field,, had a full catapult and arresting gear for them to learn on before we did it on the carrier. It was absolutely hysterical to watch those guys. They just could not get used to bringing the aircraft in 75-100 feet off the ground and just dropping on a wire. As you know, on the cat-head back, feet against the base of the seat, hands holding on to something. One of their guys held on to the "D-Ring" between his legs and ejected himself on takeoff! Fortunately, not killed, but some serious back problems. Lots of chatter on the radio about what a carrier looked like from about 3,000 feet as a place to land!
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:06 AM   #57
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FP-I was USMC Air Wing-69-73, VMF 225 flying back seat in F4-Js. About 1970, at Cherry Point, NC, we had a cross training program with the USAF F-4s. We were supposed to teach them how to land on a carrier! We did carrier quals on land at Bogue Field,, had a full catapult and arresting gear for them to learn on before we did it on the carrier. It was absolutely hysterical to watch those guys. They just could not get used to bringing the aircraft in 75-100 feet off the ground and just dropping on a wire. As you know, on the cat-head back, feet against the base of the seat, hands holding on to something. One of their guys held on to the "D-Ring" between his legs and ejected himself on takeoff! Fortunately, not killed, but some serious back problems. Lots of chatter on the radio about what a carrier looked like from about 3,000 feet as a place to land!
Was Gen. Dick Kuci commander at Cherry Point MCAS while you were there? Dick lived about 2 doors down from my last home. In fact, I built the home he and his wife live in. I have talked with him several times about his days at Cherry Point and flying Marine 1 for Nixon. A close friend still living near him reports that Dick has some health problems. He is an interesting guy.

Maybe you even fished the Marine Corps boat the Tripoli and MCYB. Delmas Willis was the captain. For several years we had a slip opposite.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:51 PM   #58
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I had not heard this before. I am absolutely in tears! Sending it to all of my former squadron-mates now.
There is a book by USN Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery Jr. that details this. It's called Clear the Decks. Well worth the read, as are all his books. Adm. Gallery was the leader of the task force that captured the German submarine U-505 that is now on display in Chicago.

Someday I'd love to see that boat in person. I was "right there" (reading) the capture.

If you like rolicking navy stories with a breath of truth stretched, well, I've enjoyed them. He was one of my first favorite authors.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:03 PM   #59
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Re: Dan Gallery

I've read his books too! Well worth tracking down. I'm also a fan of steel drum music. Admiral Gallery commanded the Naval district in the Carribean back in the 50's & started a Navy steel drum band that was quite a hit. From stories I've found online, it sounds like it was an enjoyable time for all. Due to health reasons, I believe he ultimately resigned, but the band was moved to New Orleans & played on for a numbers of years. They were quite popular.

Legend has it that he was the last US Navy Captain to give the command "Away all boarders" when he & his crew captured the U boat. The leader of the boarding party received the Medal of Honor & Gallery was very instrumental in getting the sub to Chicago.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:34 AM   #60
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Back when I was selling books, the museum bought a First Edition of U-505 from me. I had a newspaper article about the engineer (the one that shut the valves on the sub so she wouldn't sink) -- anyway, there was an article about his passing and I tucked it into the package for the museum. I thought they'd want it too.

There was no acknowledgement so I've often wondered if when the parcel was opened, if the paper was thrown away inadvertently. They might have considered it packing. The Miami Herald (or Fort Lauderdale News -- we subscribed to both, along with the Hollywood rag) had quite a write-up about him.

He was a true American hero.

Last year I re-read the Gallery's I have aboard Seaweed. They were still good though dated. I wished there had been another book, featuring the hot-shot flyer. Wigglesworth was his name as I recall.

Enough reminiscing from me. I enjoy reading and his Cap'n Fatso? Well, it still makes me smile.
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