By Gregory Fremont-Barnes
Gregory Fremont-Barnes examines the lives of the yank Bomber Crewmen of the 8th Air strength, ''The strong Eighth'', who crewed, maintained and repaired the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and the B-24 Liberators that flew from the airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk and different counties of britain. He highlights the actual and mental pressure put on those courageous males. lengthy bombing missions referred to as for brute power to manage the airplane and impressive patience to fly for hours at 20,000 ft at temperatures less than freezing in unheated, unpressurized cabins. Then there have been Luftwaffe combatants and anti-aircraft hearth to take care of and it required amazing ability and a few success to come from a challenge unscathed. This e-book is a becoming tribute to those frequently uncelebrated heroes who took the warfare deep into the 3rd Reich, in addition to a desirable old account of the stories they went via.
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Extra info for American Bomber Crewman 1941-45
To check that every member of the crew was receiving oxygen, the bombardier, or sometimes the pilot, periodically spoke to each man to ensure that all was well. This procedure could save a man's life, for an insufficient supply of oxygen would lead to unconsciousness and death after about 20 minutes. Anoxia occurred only gradually, with a man starved of oxygen unaware of the fact as he grew successively more drowsy. By the time the bomber group entered hostile airspace its aircraft had normally reached an altitude of over 20,000ft, roughly between 24,000 and 27,000ft for B-17s and 20,000 and 24,000ft for B-24s, the latter bombers being more difficult to control at the higher altitudes.
The engines of the trucks are kept running and the men are alert at their posts, ready to move into action. Visible on the back of the crash tender is an asbestos suit, which enables the wearer to work in fire for several minutes, giving him enough time to rescue any trapped crew members, should an aircraft catch fire on landing. (Imperial War Museum 015116) Lt. Crockett's ship directly in front of us took a direct hit in the cockpit. Chunks of flesh came back at us, across our windshield. My co-pilot became ill.
Those with the requisite fitness could haul themselves up through the nose hatch door - a difficult task in heavy flying clothes. If entering a B-24 through the rear, crewmen employed a ladder through the floor hatch, or through the open bomb-bay which sat low to the ground. Once inside, access forward to the flight deck was gained across the lO-in. wide catwalk across the bomb-bay and through the waist. The navigator and bombardier entered through the nose wheel hatch. A green flare signaled the time for engines to be started, which carne 25 minutes before scheduled take-off.
American Bomber Crewman 1941-45 by Gregory Fremont-Barnes