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Tail gunner set record for German jets felled


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#1 Kai-Petri

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:17 PM

Tail gunner set record for German jets felled - The Denver Post

On a March day in 1945, 20-year-old Babe Broyhill found himself sitting exposed as the tail gunner on "Big Yank," a B-17 Flying Fortress in the skies over Berlin.

The plane was bringing up the rear in a 28-plane formation. Near the mission target, the Daimler-Benz tank works, Broyhill watched Luftwaffe ME-262 jet fighters swarm like hornets toward Big Yank's tail.

"They were about 1,000 yards away when I started cutting loose with my guns," he recalled for a military history. "The first made a pass at 200 yards, and my tracers were going right into its fuselage.

"Suddenly it went down in flames. The second came into my sights after the first had dropped. I kept shooting away, because he was getting into my hair. Suddenly it also spiraled down."

Broyhill, who in the years after the war became a Virginia real estate developer, died Nov. 21 of congestive heart failure at his home. He was 83.

The Big Yank crew set a record for the number of German ME-262 jets destroyed by one crew on one mission — three — and Broyhill individually set two records that day over Berlin: most German jets destroyed by a single gunner in one mission (two) and most German jets destroyed by a single gunner during the entire war (two).
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#2 Erich

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 07:40 PM

hate to say this ...very doubtful. Bomber crews shot down 262's during their run through the bomber pulk not from the rear actions. the jet angle was too great the speed too extreme, the downings occurred through mass of waist and top turret positions all firing at once and a withering of fire the jets had to pass through

I'm covering such events in my future book

the date is suppose to be March 24, 1945 though approved in the 15th AF history books it does not seem to co-incide with the correct mission reports from JG 7 who met them attacking jet bases in Bavaria, but in a short note it mentions tank factories being attacked near Berlin. the 15th AF history says only 2 B-17's were downed but JG 7 claims some 10 B-17's of the massive group. JG 7 attacked in two separate waves. 8 262's were claimed by 15th AF Mustangs of the 31st and 332nd though some 3 jets were actually shot down. no jets shot down by the 15th AF heavies.........

in effect the 15th AF bomber unit that Broyhill was attached to mentions shooting down 6 262's with short .50 cal bursts on the 24th of March 45.......

history isn't it fun ? !

Edited by Erich, 30 November 2008 - 08:06 PM.


#3 Erich

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 08:19 PM

did some more searching through my data base on JG 7. the set up by the jets on the rear of the bomber formations was broken up slightly by the higher altitude and dropping down of the 31st and 332nd fg Mustangs, the jets in some case4s banked off and down before even finishing their close range attacks on the tails of the bombers.
the assumption can easily be made by the tail gunner when the 262's swooped over and down that indeed he shot down the 1-2 -- 262(s)

#4 STURMTRUPPEN

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 09:25 PM

yep and jets of that time were prone to blowing up on landing
at the end of the night i wont be reaching for the brass ring i'll be reaching for your wwe championship
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