Skip to comments.WWII in color: Rare photos from 1942 show Flying Fortress
Posted on 03/19/2013 5:44:56 PM PDT by Doogle
Millions of poignant black-and-white photos have come out of the World War Two era, but it is not often that scenes from the deadliest conflict in human history can be seen in living color.
In 1942, LIFE Magazine sent Margaret Bourke-White, one of its four original staff photographers and the first female photojournalist accredited to cover WWII, to take pictures of the VIII Bomber Command, commonly known as the Eighth Air Force or The Mighty 8th.
The photographs, executed in brilliant hues that make them look almost like oil paintings, put on full display the massive American B-24s and B-17s - or Flying Fortresses - that rained terror on Nazi-control cities often in tandem with the Royal Air Force.
In the early stages of the war, the Eighth Air Force and the bombers under its command were praised for the 'fantastic accuracy' of the attacks.
But as the conflict dragged on, the Flying Fortresses and their crews would face heavy loses, the most dramatic of which came in October 1943 when 60 bombers were destroyed and 600 pilots perished in a single raid in Germany.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
In those days, if you wanted a high quality photograph, you used a Rolleiflex or a Leica.
The Brits did develop a tachimetric bombsight late in the war but the heavy lifting was always done by the Mighty Eighth. Simply superior equipment. Pretty, who the F knows or cares.
This was the second raid on Schweinfurt, the center of the Reich's ball bearing industry. A crippling attack on the wheels of the Nazi war machine. After the war Albert Speer the Nazi supply genius, acknowledged that a rapid follow-up on this raid would have caused the Wehrmacht to grind to halt, ending the war in six weeks. Sadly there was no third raid on Schweinfurt.
....get your meds, your seeing dots....*smiles*
This isn’t a challenge to the accuracy of your statement about 8th Air Force records. Would you give me links? I would appreciate it. I have been looking for such records for a long time. I had a late cousin who was a top-turret gunner/flight engineer. I would like to track his missions.
I guess I’m not the online researcher some are.
I my opinion the B-17 was the coolest, most beautiful looking plane ever built.It represents righteous American might,’’ winged victory’’ if you will. Besides it had the large area around the nose on which to paint those Emilo Vargas- style of scantily clad babes with names like “Sack Time’’, “Shoo Shoo Baby’’ and my favorite “Miss Bea Haven’’. I have had the honor over the years of know a couple of vets who flew in B-17s serving in The Eighth Air Force. One was a pilot , another was a navigator and the third guy was a ball-turret gunner. They have all told me that they’re because they flew in a B-17. One of them told “You could be shot thorough with holes with one or two engines out and still she’d bring you home’’.
The B-17 was in fact better armed as was the B-24.
The big advantage the Lancaster had was it’s incredible for the time bomb load. It could carry 22,000 pounds. It also had a much longer range than the B-17.
I will admit that an American aircraft carrying 13 .50 caliber guns was way ahead of 10 .303 machine guns.
I know that Lancasters were still being used only a few years ago, tho not as bombers.
My God they’re kids. Teenagers and yet they had the guts to fly in those planes. We’ll never agian see the like of such men.
Let us be honest, the carpet bombing was essentially a terror tactic which failed, not a military strategic offensive as was the American precision daylight attacks against military targets. In fact the Brits opposed the American strategy, and one wonders why, given the results.
I was thinking the same thing...baby faces, all. We'll never see the likes again, indeed :(
Many Thanks Brave Ones.