y1b-17

B-17 heroes ball turret

Everything you need to know about the Ball Turret

… And a controversy. The Sperry ball turret, was a key defensive feature of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber during World War II. Here are some important aspects of the ball turret:   Location: The ball turret was positioned on the underside of the B-17’s fuselage, near the waist of the aircraft.   Design: It was a spherical,

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January 11 1937 – The YB-17 36-149 is flown to Wright field, Dayton for testing

On December 2, 1936, the first Boeing YB-17 bomber, U.S. Army Air Corps serial number 36-149, made its maiden flight.   This followed the crash of the original Boeing Model 299 prototype on October 30, 1935. Despite this setback, the Army had ordered 13 YB-17s for service testing, designated Y1B-17 and serial numbers 36-149 through 36-161. Prior to first flight,

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December 6th 1942: Bombing Mission of El Aouina Airfield

On December 6th 1942, a significant B-17 bombing mission targeted El Aouina Airfield during World War II.   The mission involved B-17 Flying Fortress bombers escorted by P-38s.   The objective was to strike strategic targets and disrupt enemy operations. The mission aimed to degrade enemy facilities and hinder their military capabilities. El Aouina Airfield was a strategic target, and

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October 18, 1944 – Massive Bombing Mission of Berlin.

Berlin was bombed 363 times during World War 2. On October 18, 1944, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) conducted a major bombing raid on Berlin, the capital of Nazi Germany. This raid is considered one of the biggest wartime raids on Hitler’s capital. During the mission, a large armada of American bombers encountered German flak (anti-aircraft fire), which

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80 Years Ago: Black Thursday -The Schweinfurt Bombing Mission

On october 14, 1943 a massive bombing mission took place that would have a lasting impact on future missions during World War 2. This mission, known as the “Second Raid on Schweinfurt” or “Black Thursday,” is considered one of the most devastating and costly air battles of World War II for the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Schweinfurt was

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October 9, 1942: Lille

On October 9, 1942, the 1st Bomb Wing of the United States’ Eighth Air Force conducted a bombing mission against the steel and engineering works at Lille, France. Codenamed “Mission 18”, it set several precedents for future airborne campaigns and marked a vital turning point for the American Armed Forces. The impetus for the mission was the strategic need to

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What Was The Eight Air Force Up To In Europe 81 Years Ago?

In October 1942, the United States Eight Air Force, part of the United States Army Air Forces, was relatively new to the European theatre of World War II, having been activated earlier that year in February. At this early stage of its involvement, the Eighth Air Force was primarily focused on building up its forces, running practice missions, and preparing

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When a Ball Turret Gunner Saved His B-17

It’s May 1, 1943 and 78 B-17’s from the 306th Bomb group are heading over the channel towards France. Their target is the German U-boat pens at St Nazaire. There is heavy cloud cover and the B-17’s let loose their bombs. The mission was shaping up as a huge success. The flak was moderate and the German fighters didn’t seem

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