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Warbird Icons (5)

By patspeirs  
Meet the Warbirds - Series

B17 G - ‘Pink Lady’

Pink Lady is unique in that she is the only surviving B17 to have seen operational service in Europe during WW2. Assigned to the 511th Bomb Squadron at RAF Polebroook on 1st March 1945 she flew six missions to Germany before European combat operations ended in May 1945.

Over 12,000 B17s were manufactured with the majority sent to England for service with the ‘Mighty 8th’ starting in late 1942. Perhaps the word ‘sent’ - above - needs a little explanation. B17 crews were formed by rota from the latest bunch of trainees and their first sortie, as a crew, was to take a B17 from the East coast of America to the UK - arriving at Prestwick. A tremendous feat considering that transatlantic crossings prior to that time were so very few in number. The B17 wrecks scattered all over Ayrshire and Arran bear sad testimony to the cost of such a pioneering endeavour.

The original B17 design concept of daylight survivability in bombing missions without fighter escort proved invalid (at the cost of many of the original B17 crews) - even with up to 13 0.5” machine guns mounted all around the aircraft. Such weight of defensive armament severely restricted the available bomb load, even for mid range missions, to just 6,000lbs.

Note the somewhat elderly bombardier/nose gunner in the photograph. I have applied for his ’seat’ for next year!!

Tags: Digital art Ww2 B17 Aircrfat

Voters: Imagephotographics, viscostatic, newty1 and 28 more

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30 Apr 2010 9:48AM
What a great shot Pat - well done !


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viscostatic 11 36 5 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2010 9:58AM
A great photo and once again information that I wasn't previously aware of. Thank you.

DOGSBODY 9 1.4k 30 England
30 Apr 2010 10:01AM
An informative write up and an interesting image. Andy
30 Apr 2010 10:26AM
One of my favourite aircraft, the mighty Flying Fortress. Great close-up of this wonderful example. I read with interest your narrative, but to my knowlegde I thought there were several surviving examples still flying, not necessary in the UK. The genuine 'Memphis Belle' for one but my knowledge is sketchy and I could be mistaken.
RonnieAG Plus
8 154 118 Scotland
30 Apr 2010 10:46AM
What a marvellous image, Pat, and with its customary excellent narrative. I did know a bit about the B17s but your info. re the wrecks over the west coast is totally new to me and so sad to hear about.
I just wish you could publish all this material in book form - I'd be at the head of the queue!
Please accept my UA for both image and narrative.
Regards, Ronnie.
30 Apr 2010 10:47AM
As always, great picture and great write up.
30 Apr 2010 11:13AM
Thanks Steve - the survivors list stands at 48 intact, 13 operational (2 in UK) rest in US with a further 9 under active restoration - all it takes is money, quite a lot of it!! Thanks for your interest and comment, much appreciated.
Ronnie - book under active consideration by Duncan (V8dunc) and myself - will get there someday. Many thanks for your input and the UA, really appreciated.

Oliverpants 9 2 2 England
30 Apr 2010 4:45PM
This is fabulous, and the info too. Is that a doll in the gunners pit with the elderly man? Ann
30 Apr 2010 5:19PM
Ann - see what you mean, he is wearing short sleeve shirt and the forearm looks like a small figure - dressed like that and no belt or helmet, there aren't many basic flying regs that he isn't breaking. Still want his seat!!
Shroomer 11 14 167 England
30 Apr 2010 7:15PM

Quote:Ann - see what you mean, he is wearing short sleeve shirt and the forearm looks like a small figure - dressed like that and no belt or helmet, there aren't many basic flying regs that he isn't breaking. Still want his seat!!

A much better view than out of a Canberra Pat, you'd need dark glasses on with all that light.
Cracking close up and detail and as always a superb narrative.
rockfish 8 1 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2010 7:48PM
Great stuff again Pat. A crackin image and excellent info. I really enjoyed this.
30 Apr 2010 8:04PM
Thanks Richard - the old prone couch inthe '8 nose was the best 'seat' in the world AND you got paid for it. Great until you reach about 28 and common-sense kicks in! Thanks for the input and comment, all much appreciated.
astyag 10 12
30 Apr 2010 8:57PM
What an astonishing information, to you it might sound funny though, my only approach to B17 was while I was playing Battlefield 1942 and I found them very realistic I must say. I did read about them in many books and researched about them on Google. I must say though, your infos are thorough and informative of them all. Very well done and I admire your hobby and style of photographing WWII airplanes... well done and a lovely PF
30 Apr 2010 10:27PM
Thanks Astyag, much appreciated. Must have a look at Battlefield 1942 - new one on me.
30 Apr 2010 11:46PM
Excellent image again Pat, never get tired of these. Congratulations on your award. I'm with Ronnie to buy book two, signed of course.
another cracker pat,well done.ray
UBOAT 10 41 Scotland
1 May 2010 6:11PM
Another great close up grampa, looks great and like the lok of the nose gunner.

Rock Plus
16 10 2 England
1 May 2010 6:21PM

harrattp 11 11 4 England
1 May 2010 7:13PM
A tremendous shot and a great narrative to boot.

RTR 9 8 8 United Kingdom
2 May 2010 9:52PM
Nice meaty close up zoom shot with great prop blur. Sadly she wont be flying anymore I read recently. Rich.
2 May 2010 10:30PM
Rich ........ understand that ever increasing insurance levels have caused her to be put in storage - seems to be a universal problem. Believe the Canadian Lanc has similar funding difficulties. What the Luftwaffe couldn't hack the bankers have seen off!!
Thanks for your input, much appreciated.
metro074 8 8 Australia
10 May 2010 4:02AM
My absolute pleasure to 30 click Wink

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