Wanted to share a little story this week. By the shots below. Captured at Wings Over Waukesha Air-show a few weeks back. My remembrance was back to my teenage years.
I grew up in the Restaurant business, after school I would come to our place to stock the bar, and help in the kitchen. While doing this, as I've always been a history buff, my father introduced me to a number of people, many who were World War 2 vets, as this was the late 70's we had many more of these folks were with us. One gentleman that came to mind with this shot was a belly turret gunner, (second picture shows the belly turret). On a B-17G Flying Fortress, Through the numerous conversations I had with him, I gained insight to a small degree, as to what the greatest generation went through to keep our county and way of life safe for not only them.
Two of the stories he shared, included being unable to get out of the Belly Turret after a mission. There plane had been pretty shot up, the release on the door on the belly turret had been named. A though the rest of the crew tried everything they could to get it open, they had no luck. So if the landing gear had collapsed when landing he would have had no chance! The other is on another mission, again the plane was badly damaged and they had to bail out over enemy territory. He both showed me, and gave me a silk map (which I still have) which they carried to try to return to there lines. Plus I feel in some way I was able to retain for others his legacy. But our generation as well! So if you ever get the chance listen to what they share, as we're losing the last of them in large numbers everyday. And while a book can tell you about history, they lived it, as somewhat did the planes they flew!
Till next time!