The Big Boys

In addition to the little bird P51, the Collings Foundation also brought out the big boys – a B24 and B17 to the Frontiers of Flight museum at Love Field.

Truly an awesome experience.  Added to just being able to see the planes themselves, you get to mix and mingle with an ever growing smaller group of WWII vets who come out to visit a tangible part of their memory.

B17 G nose

B17G sepia

B17G waist gun

B24 flying the colors

Split tail

Smile for the camera

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~ by Derrick Birdsall on April 11, 2010.

3 Responses to “The Big Boys”

  1. I really love the sepia one – the sky is just perfect for that tone!!! Sounds like you had an amazing time !!!

  2. My dad flew in B-17s, B-24s and B-29s during WW II. He was a gunnery trainer and fortunately just missed having to go overseas. He had several other near misses. One where a gun exploded on the B-17 and killed the instructor trying to make it fire. Dad had just tried to fire the gun before the instructor and it had jammed on him. I went to the air museum in Palm Springs one time to go up inside the B-17 to see what it was like for purposes of my book. Quite a memorable experience. I sat around outside with a couple of vets who had flown raids over Germany. They told me some pretty wild stories. I’m glad I never have had to go on any of those kind of missions.

  3. Yes, David – the guys in the 8th AF suffered a higher number of casualties than the Marines did in the Pacific. Simply horrid, horrid conditions. I conducted an oral history with a fella who was a B17 pilot over Germany in 1944 and ’45. He told me that the only way his crew could make it back to their huts after a mission was to have a shot of whiskey waiting for them as soon as they left the aircraft.

    I can not even begin to understand what those guys went through and we all owe them a huge debt.

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