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my walk thru a B-17!!!


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#1 bigfun

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:35 PM

Hey everybody!
I thought I would share this with you, I went up to Ft. Meyers Fl. this morning and walked into a B-17G! Quite an experience! Made even better by the fact that sitting under it was a Ball Turret Gunner:
W. Harold Plunkett
49th Sqd.
2nd Bomb Group
12th A.F.
He was talking to everyone about his experiences on the 56 missions he did! He started out in North Afirca, went thru to Italy, bombed Rome, he said without breaking a single church window in the whole city! Then he went on to France.
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Also met a Nick Niccoson who said he was from 101st AB, 506th PIR Easy company! But did not have time to talk! Anyway I got a little time with 2 vets there so that really made my day!!
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#2 PzJgr

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:45 PM

Now that would be awesome. The photos are great. Envious over here.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

#3 TA152

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:02 PM

Great pictures ! The one looking out the nose really makes me think how exposed you would feel with a fighter making a frontal attack !
They really went all out to get the aircraft back to original shape.
Thank you for posting them !
I need a bailout of only $500,000

#4 machine shop tom

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:03 PM

I had a similar happy experience a few years ago with the Collings Foundation B17G and B-24. Took a pile of pictures......

tom

#5 Slipdigit

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:05 PM

You fortunate dog, you!

Pictures?

Edit----I got home and the pictures are not blocked as they are at work. Thanks for posting them Scot.

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

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#6 bigfun

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:10 PM

Hey Tom!!
this is the very same plane! From the Collings Foundation! The were supposed to have a B-24, I think, but it blew an engine, so back to the shop!
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#7 Erich

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:16 PM

sweet to meet the vets isn't it especially when they walk you around and through "their home"

good one Scott, I've been all over that 909 at least twice and had bomber vet freinds attend both and we talked for hours..........wow it was great. will try and post pics later once the digi comes from my bro next month

#8 bigfun

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:23 PM

You're right Erich, Mr Plunkett really got animated when explaining all about his missions and his job! I sat there for close to an hour! I think he enjoyed it as much as I did!
Scott :flag_USA_ww2: :flag_netherlands:

#9 Erich

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:36 PM

Scott if he served through 1943 and 44 he was also in the 15th Air Force the 2nd bg was one of the stars of the heavy AF out of Italy.

#10 272VGD.

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:39 PM

Interesting!!
Eine Lichtung im Walde wo die Sonne scheint.
Eingeschlossen durch Bäume sind wir gefangen,
in dieser Lichtung Gottes...

#11 C.Evans

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:52 PM

Hi Scott, thanks for these amazing pictures and stories. Keep them coming for us less fortunate who don't get to see some of these vets often. I'd send you more points but was told to "spread them around a bit." ;-))
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#12 machine shop tom

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 11:01 PM

Hey Tom!!
this is the very same plane! From the Collings Foundation! The were supposed to have a B-24, I think, but it blew an engine, so back to the shop!


Ha Ha. That would explain why your pictures look so much like mine! I forgot the name of it.

DOH!!

tom

#13 jagdpanther44

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 12:14 AM

Great photographs Scott. The closest i have been to a B-17 was a walk around the outside of the Sally B at the Duxford airshow a few years ago.

The Sally B is the only airworthy B-17 in the UK today and it was wonderful to get up close to it and see it fly later in the day.

B-17 Preservation Ltd - The Sally B Web Site

Whilst at the airshow i also had the privilege of meeting four british wartime pilots, including Battle Of Britain Spitfire pilot Geoffrey Wellum who, at the age of 17, was the youngest pilot in 92 squadron.
Regards
John

"It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see" - Winston Churchill

#14 bigfun

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 02:50 AM

Thanks guys, I fell like a kid in a candy shop at these events!
Hey Tom! That was funny! That thing ws small inside though, didn't you think? I'm a big guy, but wow! they must have been mostly small, or THIN men!! You'll have to post yours Tom!!
Great link John!!

By the way, I found the website, (thanks to Tom for the reminder of the foundation name!) they are going to be at alot of places! Check it out and click on the "Wings Of Freedom" tour.
Tour Schedules - The Collings Foundation
Scott :flag_USA_ww2: :flag_netherlands:

#15 Slipdigit

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 04:19 AM

I got to look at the pics closely. I've been in that plane several years back. She is a beauty, but then, what B-17 isn't?

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

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#16 Herr Oberst

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 04:53 AM

Thanks for the pics, both the B-17 and B-24 have flown over my house:)

Collings has quite a collection including an 88, Fiesler Storch, a F-4 Phantom and a load of antique cars as well as race cars. Glad you enjoyed it.:cool:
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#17 machine shop tom

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 05:19 AM

Thanks guys, I fell like a kid in a candy shop at these events!
Hey Tom! That was funny! That thing ws small inside though, didn't you think? I'm a big guy, but wow! they must have been mostly small, or THIN men!! You'll have to post yours Tom!!
Great link John!!

By the way, I found the website, (thanks to Tom for the reminder of the foundation name!) they are going to be at alot of places! Check it out and click on the "Wings Of Freedom" tour.
Tour Schedules - The Collings Foundation


That's really interesting. I was also struck by that fact that, for such large planes (both the Fort and the Liberator), they were quite cramped inside.

It may be a while before I post my pics 'cause I have to scan them, but I will do so. The day I was there they had a couple of jugs off of one of the engines. That interested be because I am an automotive machinist.

BTW, they offer flights in the plane for 400 bucks. I didn't go myself ($400 divorce?) but I tallked to a fella that did. They flew all over northeast Michigan. I wish I had the chance again.

tom

#18 Martin Bull

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 12:23 PM

Terrific pics of '9-0-9', Scott - I'm very envious ! Like JP44, I'm familiar with 'our' B-17G, 'Sally B' ; I had a 'walk-through' a couple of years back.

As machine shop tom so rightly says, you suddenly realise just how cramped these old bombers are, and you cannot help wondering just what it must have been like to bail out in a hurry......
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#19 bigfun

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 02:12 AM

Wow Martin! I did not think of that, thanks! Yeah, nothing could really happen in a hurry in there could it!
Scott :flag_USA_ww2: :flag_netherlands:

#20 Erich

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 04:26 PM

Scott are they still talking of the B-24 to return to your area or is it when completed/repaired on a different circuit ? wish they would both come back here to south Oregon it has been at least 6-7 years

#21 bigfun

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 12:04 AM

Hey Erich,
The B-24 is going back on the tour they said but I don't where or when! I'm heading back home on Monday, so no more fun with all these great veterans in southwest Florida! back to the cold and reality! I'm keeping an eye on the website though, maybe this summer they will bring those beautiful things up north!!
Scott :flag_USA_ww2: :flag_netherlands:

#22 fsbof

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 02:54 AM

I've walked through several B-17s, and it seemed cramped to me in the summer wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Then, I try to imagine how it must've been for the crew during bail out, encumbered by their heavy and bulky flight jackets and pants, their vision constricted by goggles while looking for their parachute packs to strap on with thick gloves, in a plane that might be diving or in a spin, and trying to make their way to either the rear exit door or to the (perhaps) open bomb bay or to the exit hatch up front. Then I appreciate how cramped it really was.

#23 Miller

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 06:10 AM

I've been in that very same B-17. It came up to Schenectady airport a few years back. Really cool walking through it. Especially across through the bomb bay. Can you imagine doing that at 25,000 feet? I have been in one other B-17 also a few years back that I believe was at Schenectady airport as well. It was at one of these events that the Heinkel 111 that was used in the film Battle of Britain was suppost to show up along with the B-17 but unfortunately could not make it.

The most meaningful part for me though was being inside the nose in front of the aircraft. This is where my Grandpa,as a young lieutenant, sat navigating the plane over the course of 51 missions over Germany. The stories he told me about Fockwulfes diving straight at him took on a whole new meaing when I was actually sitting there where he sat.
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#24 bigfun

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 02:16 AM

Hey Miller!
That sounds like an interesting story! You need to start a thread and let us know about that and other stories in more detail! I would love to read about them!!
Scott :flag_USA_ww2: :flag_netherlands:

#25 Erich

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 02:28 AM

Scott they usually have both 4 engines up together so you should see them this summer on tour from city to city. Miller is your grandad still with us ? What bomb group did he serve with ?

E ~
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