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Combat Crew: A True Story of Flying and Fighting in World by John Comer

By John Comer

Strive against workforce is without doubt one of the top memoirs approximately flying ever written. John Comer vividly re-creates his stories as a top-turret gunner / flight engineer of a B-17 squadron that was once thrown opposed to the simplest pilots the Luftwaffe may perhaps supply. He was once a member of the 533rd Squadron, eighth Air strength, 1st department, 381st workforce. His strong narrative is dedicated to the boys who flew the planes, dropped the bombes, fired the weapons. Their lifestyle is terror and fatigue. Comer recorded all of it in a diary, and the reader stocks the fears of the flight team via their 25 challenge.

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Additional resources for Combat Crew: A True Story of Flying and Fighting in World War II

Sample text

Jim served as second engineer and was fully as capable as I was, and a very solid man. Carroll Wilson, twenty, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was assistant to Balmore in the radio room. Carroll was a likable youngster but had not grown up yet. He had married just before leaving for England. The tail gunner, Buck Rogers, thirty nine, was a rugged individual from a small Ohio town. I am not sure of his marital status. He had many rough experiences, but he was a loner and had little to say about some phases of his life.

The rule for a mission credit was that the formation must do one of three things: fly the course all the way and drop on the target, drop on an alternate target, or engage the enemy in combat. The latter included encountering flak; however, it was never intended to include a sporadic burst or two I am sure. “Navigator to crew — the lead ship reported flak! ” “Bombardier to crew! Did any of you see flak? ” “Navigator to crew! Dammit, don’t argue with the Brass! O. says there was flak, you can be sure there was flak.

Each of us was trying to digest the startling high-loss situation and struggling, with scant success, to translate those figures into what they meant to us individually. At the Squadron Headquarters we were greeted warmly by the Operations Officer. “I’m Lieutenant Franek. Welcome to the 533rd Squadron. ” Carqueville asked, “Have you any information on our four gunners? ” “Yes, we do have information,” Franek answered. ” That was the only good news I was to hear that day it was a great relief to know Jim Counce and the other gunners would definitely rejoin us.

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