The first crews for the B17 Squadrons of the 8th Air Force started operations well into 1942. Having just completed training, probably at a sunny Texas base, the pilots were faced not only with the stark reality of operational sorties but with the bleakness of winter skies in the East Anglia region of the UK. Considering that the pilots were passed to operational flying with an average of 250 hrs it is not surprising that the accident rate was high.
The image shows a group of B17s struggling out of the autumn murk into a weak wintry sunshine - a far cry from training days in Texas. Some 8 hrs later they would be back trying to find their base in similarly bad weather.
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