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Texas Invasion
Dalhart, Texas
Aircraft Commander
2nd & 3rd phase training
England Bound
Combat Crew Replacement
Bloody 100th
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First Mission
March '44 & Berlin
Target Berlin Again
48 Hour Pass In London
Sing These Songs...Mightly
Target Brunswick Again
Target Augsburg
Letters Of Commendation
Munich Is The Target
Aphrodite
Our Little Friends
Other Side...
Heavy Water
15th In Italy
Russian bases
Target Oil
Bob Rosenthal
Colonel John Bennett
William R. Lawley
B-17 Control Panel
The Base Of Operations
Russians Load Bombs
Suzy-Q
Epilogue
Goering's Lament
Code Of Conduct
C.B. (Red) Harper
Credits & Links

A NEW AIRCRAFT COMMANDER

All officers were assigned a BOQ room on base, even those with family quarters living off the base. I had drawn my bedding from quartermaster and a proficiency check ride was scheduled before noon. I had never landed a B-17 and I was here reporting in to become a B-17 aircraft commander. Many hours were spent studying the B-17 manual during the 10 day delay in route. Memorizing check lists, power settings and control settings. I was comfortable in the thought that I could fly the aircraft. 

My proficiency check ride consisted of shooting five landings and an instrument orientation and blind let down to the runway. The whole thing went a lot better than you or I either one would have expected under the circumstances. 

The B-17 Flying Fortress is probably the most stable, easy to fly and forgiving combat aircraft that was ever built. The huge dorsal fin on her posterior enshrined her to be affectionately known as The Big ass bird She bristled with 10 to 12 - .50 caliber machine guns and made a rock steady platform for accurate, high altitude, formation, precision bombing. A real thing of beauty. 

The B-17s four-twelve hundred horse power - nine cylinder - Wright Cyclone supercharged engines - gave her the power to safely take off, and at times tremendously overloaded to climb to 30,000 feet and still handle like the gallant lady of the skies.

Next...Second and Third Phase Training

Continued...

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