B-17 Flying Fortress: The Symbol of Second World War Air Power

Overview

Rare vignettes and little-known facts punctuate this fond look back at the symbol of American victory in World War II Europe. Features 150 black and white photos, including some that have never been seen before—until now. Gorgeous 8-page color photo insert complements eye-opening details about the people, the missions, the production, and the development of the B-17.
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Overview

Rare vignettes and little-known facts punctuate this fond look back at the symbol of American victory in World War II Europe. Features 150 black and white photos, including some that have never been seen before—until now. Gorgeous 8-page color photo insert complements eye-opening details about the people, the missions, the production, and the development of the B-17.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This model-by-model history of the B-17 offers details concerning the plane's evolution and engineering, wartime memories of Air Force veterans and other combat accounts, and numerous photographs (b&w and color). Johnsen is an Air Force historian. No bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071344456
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Series: Walter J. Boyne Military Aircraft Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 11.36 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Staking a Claim to the Sky: The Air Corps and Strategic Bombardment. Chapter 2: By Design: Evolution of the Flying Fortress. Chapter 3: Bombs Away! Chapter 4: The Human Element: People Animated the B-17. Chapter 5: By Example: Arming the Flying Fortress. Chapter 6: Other Lands: Foreign Countries Also Flew the Fortress. Chapter 7: After Victory: B-17s in Postwar Use. Appendix: Representative Flying Fortress Specifications.
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Introduction

An icon of American history, the B-17 Flying Fortress may be the most admired warplane of all time. Elegant in design, pleasingly symmetrical, yet suggestive of massive power, it has come to symbolize the effort, spirit, and sacrifice of America's fighting forces during World War II. Certainly that war could not have been won without the B-17 and the brave men who flew it, linchpins in the key American strategy of taking the war to the enemy with daring daytime bombing raids. It was a strategy that Germany, which lacked strategic bombers, could not match--though the Germans would prove amazingly resourceful at constructing deadly fighter planes and armaments to ward off B-17s with killing bursts of flak, bullets, and even rockets.The attrition rate among B-17s and their crews in the Second World War was appalling. On one 1943 bombing mission aimed at Stuttgart, 262 Fortresses flew out of England. Forty-five did not come back. Unfortunately, such a ratio of losses was not unusual.This model-by-model history of the B-17, packed with fascinating details on the plane's evolution and engineering, priceless wartime memories, and perhaps the greatest collection of historic Flying Fortress photos and candids ever assembled, brings this beacon-like symbol of American integrity, ingenuity, and perseverance to life once again. Through the work of Air Force historian Frederick A. Johnsen, one of the world's greatest living experts on the B-17, you'll stand on airfields in wartime England beside Fortresses insouciantly named "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby", "Egg Haid," "Mon Tete Rouge II," "The Dull Tool," or aptly, "Lucky Stehley Boy," a plane whose metal patchwork testified to many battle wounds.Perhaps you'll stand on a ladder or scaffolding to pose beside the B-17's elevated nose, often as not decorated with calendar girl pin-up." You'll relive flying from the muddy fields of Italy, where some ball turret gunners put condoms over their gun muzzles to keep the splattering mud and debris of taxiing and takeoff out of their barrels. Or maybe you'll celebrate beside a mechanic and crew member on an English airfield after a grueling mission over Germany. For them, it was enough simply to have survived another day. Hollywood spurred the public's infatuation with the Flying Fortress with movies such as "Test Pilot," starring Clark Gable. Later, its popularity grew as the B-17 relived its glory days in such movies as "Tora! Tora! Tora!," “12 O’Clock High, “ and the fictionalized "Memphis Belle." But even before the first revving of its Hamilton-Standard propellers in 1935, the B-17 oozed drama. The Boeing company had dramatically upped the stakes, and the state-of-the art, in bombardment aircraft with their Flying Fortress offering.This unprecedented history, filled with treasured memories and personal photos, takes you from the B-17’s daring design to its current popularity as icon and artifact. An object of fascination for generations, the storied bomber has never been so intriguing, or depicted with such a reach-out-and-touch-it realism, than in B-17 Flying Fortress. To read it ... is to remember.
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