I have been on many flights were things didn’t go as planned, in fact nearly ever flight bar 1 I have been one had some kind of issue. But I never encountered anything like the flights of these B-17 bombers, then again I never flew during war time.
These B-17 bombers just kept going despite heavy damage and still landed.
B-17 damaged in collision with Fw190 in head-on attack
Waist gunner killed, ball turret gunner killed, radio operator blown out of the airplane completely, but this B-17 Flying Fort still managed to get home and land without cracking in half.
This B-17G-75-BO (s/n 43-38071) landed at Brustem Airfield in Belgium on March 17, 1945, after a mid-air collision with another B-17G (s/n 43-38046). Both aircraft were from the 490th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. This plane took off with its standard crew of 10 but landed with 11 aboard…one dead. The body of radio operator (Sgt. George Devlin) from the other B-17 was somehow thrown into the nose of this aircraft during the collision.
6th November 44 B17G RackheathClose up view showing the enormous hole from the flak-damaged B17 of the 91st BG that returned safely to Rackheath.
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US Air Force