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The B-17 Flying Fortress - B-17 Crews of WW2

Updated on February 19, 2017

The B-17 Flying Fortress

The formidable B-17 Flying Fortress of WWII was a tough aircraft that helped win the war over Europe. Many of them sustained incredible damage and still managed to bring its crew back home. You will find here some info on the B-17, the crews, the weapons and training. Also included are some videos of the B-17 in flight and an interview with a Navigator.

There is only a handful of these aircraft around that are fully operational, let's hope those dedicated to them will keep them flying far into the future. Hope you enjoy this little bit of info on the B-17 Flying Fortress. Thanks for stopping by.

The B-17 Flying Fortress

The B-17 FLYING FORTRESS became Americas primary heavy bomber during WW2. It proved rugged and able to withstand much damage. The B-17 went through several variations during its life to make it as defense capable as possible. I added links to different website's to cover as many aspects of the FLYING FORTRESS as I can find. You can read about the history of the B-17 Here

Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal
Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal

If you enjoy reading about the air war during WW2 this is a great book that should not be missed.

 

B-17 Crew Training

The FLIGHT CREW's training was based on what their position or duty was to be on the aircraft. The Pilot and Co-Pilot were certified to fly; Navigator, Radio Operator and Bombardier learned their trade and the Gunners went through gunnery school. Check out this link for more info. Crew Duties and Training

Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal

Are you looking for a great book of the stories of those great crews that flew in the Flying Fortress? This book will surely give you the insight as to what they went through.

B-17 during air combat in WW2

Here is a video of a B-17 doing a fly by at an airshow

B-17 Crews Flight Gear

Check out these guys wearing authentic 1944 FLIGHT GEAR. The gear used for the photographs are from someone's collection and the pictures look pretty good.B-17 Flight Gear

Interesting news reel footage of "The Mighty Eighth"

Check out this interesting three part video on YouTube covering the 8th. It shows the Flying Fortress and support fighters and other mission related stuff I don't normally see. It’s worth checking out. If you double click on the YouTube video below you can find parts two and three in the right hand side bar.

Video of Flying Fortress nose art

Check out some of the nose art used on the WW2 aircraft

Thanks for visiting

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    • profile image

      Robert 13 months ago

      I'm looking for any information on John Edward Bloomhuff a B-17 navigator in the South Pacific and later in Europe. He won the Silver Star, but don't know his BG or the names so his planes. Thank you very much!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Karen,

      The National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson Airforce base in Dayton, Ohio. Would be one place that you can contact to make a donation to.

      They can be contacted by e-mail or letter at the following addresses.

      EMAIL: nationalmuseum.donations@wpafb.af.mil

      By letter: National Museum of the USAF

      Collection Management Division

      Attn: Donation Offers

      1100 Spaatz Street

      Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433

      For more information the web-site address is

      ' .nationalmuseum.af.mil/collection/guidelines.asp '

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is a fabulous website! My dad flew those under Patton in WWII. He was a navigator. I have his old war album, and almost feel like I should donate it somewhere. If you're interested, contact me @ kgcle@yahoo.com!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very informative lens about B-17's. I have a lens on B-25's, you should check it out... One B-25 Mitchell, in particular, the Yankee Warrior. Take a look and let me know what you think! Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Dick Nietert was a great Co-Pilot for many crews before taking over his own crew. this was not a progress many made. I am still looking for photos of Richard or any of his crews. He is one of the stories I want to cover in the new website. I have some new stories I may not have covered since we last talked.

    • IamShea profile image

      IamShea 4 years ago

      Great lens. I've been here before and came back to get more info. Incidentally, I just toured the inside of one of the few still flying B-29's yesterday. I always thought they were bigger!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      After tearing apart my yahoo mail account i recovered the E-mails sent to me by Mr. Richard Lewis. It brougt tears to my eyes to have found the information I thought was lost. Thank you again Mr. Lewis for all the info that you sent me. and I am still searching to find out more. and a correction on my last comment the name of the crew was Neitert's Nine. with the 351st and 379th. Thank you it make me feel honored to find out more about these gentelmen. God bless America and our troops.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      If anyone is related to or knows of a flight crew named "Neiders Nine" or "Needers nine" (not sure on spelling) that flew 26 missions over Germany in WWII, please contact me. My grandfather Earl Lon Elrod was the top turret gunner. I had received some great pics and a lot of info from a gentleman on this site but it was accidentally deleted. I was told many stories as a kid but being a kid I diddnt pay as much attention as I should have. I do however remember some stories of this crew and their shananigins. If anyone has any info please contact me at night_deamon@yahoo.com. Thank you again. I love this site.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Contact the 379th BGA or me for info

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you so much for an insight into these incredible machines. My Grandfather was a waist gunner in WW2. I was just unfortunate not to learn about this history from him.

    • profile image

      LuizAvila 4 years ago

      Great lens for a great combat machine!

    • Have2Cruise LM profile image

      Have2Cruise LM 5 years ago

      Great lens! I love reading and learning about WWII planes and this lens was full of great info and resources.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great informative lens! Love these old planes from WW2. Well done!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      This lens was selected for a squidquest featuring something that flys. I enjoyed reading this lens. Angel Blessings!

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      Nice job on this lens - great information about great flying machines and the crews that kept them in the air! Well done!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      I love history so thanks for the info, it is a very informative lens for me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had an uncle (recently deceased) that flew on B-17s during WWII. I'm just now beginning to realize just how dangerous this was. Thanks for the great lens.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Impressive machines. I am glad I never encountered one of them...

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 5 years ago

      You know that I still remember the sound of those plans flying over us. When we go to an airshow and I hear the sound of these planes, I actually get flashbacks feeling like a little girl again in Germany, my mom running to get me into the cellar.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 5 years ago

      @anonymous: SHARON 54 have you ever found this print? it's called "A Higher Call" December 20, 1943 by John D. Shaw and can be easily found on the internet

    • profile image

      Cody1947 5 years ago

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      Cody1947 5 years ago

      @SlipAwayDesigns: Here is a great site for nose Art on the 379th BG:

      https://sites.google.com/site/379thbgnoseart/

    • com2 profile image

      com2 6 years ago

      Amazing aircraft. It must have been something flying these for hours on a mission.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      Rosie the riveter did good work! Great lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • SlipAwayDesigns profile image

      SlipAwayDesigns 6 years ago

      Great lens! I LOVE Bomber nose art, it is a bit of an obsession of mine. Those guys that flew in World War 2 had brass balls!, I just moved back from Schweinfurt, Germany where the allies lost many lives trying to take out the ball bearing factories on "Black Thursday" Thanks again!

    • Dirtfarming profile image

      Dirtfarming 6 years ago

      Cool Stuff, love these old planes.

    • Makoo profile image

      Makoo 6 years ago

      Love these old planes from ww2.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I'am looking for information on James Blaine Crozier, my uncle, who was a navigator on a B17. Most of my info on him has been lost through the years. I remember he was in the Army Air Corps in England, and something about him on temp duty with the RAF. Any information on him (bomb group, plane,ect) would be greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: What was your Dad's name. I have all of the records of the 379th. contact: swampfire1944@gmail.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My dad was a B-17 navigator with the 379th, 525th squadron and POW at Stalag Luft III and Mooseberg. We recently discovered his original POW letters sent from Sagen from October 43 to April 45, and couple letters he received while imprisoned. The letters are a tangible and grim reminder of the sacrifices our fathers endured so we can live free.

      Thank you for designing a website with so much relevant content.

      dbutler101@gmail.com

    • JetAviator7 LM profile image

      John M. White 7 years ago from Michigan

      While I was way too young for the Second World War, I certainly remember all of the early movies about it, and the prominent role the B17 Flying Fortress aircraft played in it.

      A few years back I had the chance to walk through one, and have always wanted to take a ride in one. Maybe some day!

      JetAviator7, ATP Pilot and Aviation Nut!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My dad was a top turret gunner on a B17 during WWII. He was a member of the 388th, I think. I am so proud of who my dad was (he died in December 2003). His plane was shot down and he and the entire crew were prisoners of war at Stalag 17 in Krems, Austra. I thank each of the men and women who faught to give me and my family the freedoms we have today. I enjoyed this website and looking at the B17. Thank you so much.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I missed a letter in my email. It is bigskythree@msn.com

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have an original A.A.F. Publications Pilots Flight Operating Instructions manual for the C-47 (all models), the B-25 and PBJ-1H, the A-20G-1-DO, P70A-2, and P70B-2, Boston IV, and the P-38H, P-38J-5, F-5B-1, the B17F, Fortress II. The manual is complete and in excellent condition. It appears to have been issued to a Lt. H.H. Palmer. bigskyhree@msn.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Looking for anyone who may have been on or had relatives on a B-17 in WWII named NEIDER'S NINE. My grandfather was the top turret gunner.This plane flew 26 misions over germany, and was almost shot down once, made it home on only one engine. If you know of this plane or crew please e mail me @ night_deamon@yahoo.com. thank you

    • profile image

      Cody1947 7 years ago

      @anonymous: What is your Dad's name and unit? I have all records of the 379th BG?

    • profile image

      Cody1947 7 years ago

      @anonymous: What was your Dad's name? Was he in the 8th USAAF? Or is he just a fan of B-17's.

    • profile image

      Cody1947 7 years ago

      I have talked with a few people who have adopted aircraft from the 379th

      and are trying to research their history. What a concept if everyone

      would adopt a B-17 or two and collect it's wartime experiences. We

      would have a history that no Bomb Group or association could match

      because of the man hours it takes to do th...is kind of research. I think

      it would help them preserve the history and events so much more.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Recommend a new book of evocative family letters & memorabilia of a Wilmington, Delaware son's journey ('41-'45) from college boy to B-17 (Blue Hen Chick) pilot out of Rattlesden in Suffolk, England: AN AMERICAN FAMILY IN WORLD WAR II edited by Captain Ralph L. Minker, Sandra O'Connell & Harry Butowsky.

    • profile image

      Cody1947 7 years ago

      I am looking for Info and photos of Air Combat Crews or Ground Crewmen of an aircraft called the "Swamp Fire". If you are a relative of an airman & are not sure, you can go to our website - Missions & Crews Section - scroll down for names of former crewmen. If you recognize any please contact me. Website:

      http://sites.google.com/site/swampfiresite/home

    • profile image

      Cody1947 7 years ago

      I am looking for info and photos of the air combat crews & ground crewmen who flew on a B-17 assigned to the 524th Squadron 379th Bg in Kimbolton, England. Nose art name of "Swamp Fire" - a/c #20292 - s/n 42-32024. If you are a family member and are unsure visit our website and click on the Missions & Crews Section for a list of names:

      http://sites.google.com/site/swampfiresite/home.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Need info on a James Farrar. Flew 50+ missions. Sadly as many of this Great Generation died without recognition.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      [in reply to SHARON 54] Hi Sharon,

      I recently joined the 8th Army Air Force Historical Society which has a quarterly news magazine. When I read your question that story immediately came to mind. I read it in the 8ths mag. Yes, it is true, it was part of "TAPS" (the obituary) section of the magazine. Charles L. Brown died within the last year, the magazine coming out in March 2009. The story: Lt. Charles Brown was on his first mission as a command pilot in a B-17 bomber (379th BG). He was all of 21 years old! His plane was hit heavily by enemy fighters and flak. Limping home, a German fighter intercepted and indicated x2 for them to land. Lt. Brown refused fearing for his mens safety once down ; many of them needed critical medical care.The German pilot recognized the courage in his counterpart. The German fighter escorted the allied bomber to the coast, pointed a compass heading to the U.K., then saluted to his adversary. 45 years later they met and became as close as brothers!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      MY DAD SAW AN EMAIL WITH A PICTURE OF A PAINTING EMBEDDED IN IT. THE PAINTING WAS OF A BADLY SHOT UP B-17 BEING ESCORTED TO THE COAST BY A GERMAN ME-109. THE B-17 WAS CALLED "YE OLD PUB" AND FLEW OUT OF KIMBOLTON ENGLAND. THE PILOTS WERE CHARLIE BROWN AND FRANZ STIGLER. THE PILOTS MET MANY YEARS LATER AT A 379TH BOMBER GROUP REUNION. FACT OR FICTION? I WANT TO BUY THE PRINT FOR MY DAD. CAN ANYONE HELP ME, PLEASE?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      As a son of a b-17 belly gunner and a combat crewman from viet-nam i appreciate the effort and stories of the men from this era. they are my heroes as was my father. He completed all missions over germany untnil his last when he was shot down and spent two years in prison camp.

      i'm proud of my fathers commitment to his country and proud of all of our servicemen for what they accomplish. i'm not proud of the direction our country has taken, nuf said!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      thanks for the helpful information.... hopefully i can win the free ride on the B-17 my squadron is awarding to the most diligent cadet :R

    • Liam Tohms profile image

      Liam Tohms 8 years ago

      Great lens, why not join the Flying and Aviation group today?

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I've been on one of these planes. Awesome! That video of the plane flying is outstanding. Love the lens!

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 9 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      in Big Bear, a resort town above LA, they still have a few waist gunner training simulators (B&W film and a movable carriage) in an arcade. Drifting back in time ...