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US Eighth Air Force in WWII (England)

B-17G Fortress “Lost Angel” belly-landed at Kimbolton, England after being damaged over Magdeburg, Germany, 28 September 1944. Note that the crew had unbolted and dropped the ball turret to keep it from breaking the airframe’s back. (US National Archives)

US 4th Fighter Group’s control tower at Debden, Essex, England, September 25 1943. Front to Back: BGen Frederick L Anderson, Jr; Mr Donald Nelson, Chief of US War Production; LCol Chesley Peterson, 4th Fighter Group Commanding Officer. (US National Archives)

High over Germany, a flight of B-17s from the 398th Bomb Group on a sortie to Neumunster on April 8, 1945

US Eighth Air Force bombardiers study a target

Ed Stevens. 457 Bomb Group, 750th Squadron. He was stationed in Glatton England, Station 130. During a mission he was flying, his B-17 was hit by Flak. Most of his crew was wounded, and he lost two engines. His crew told him to bail out to save himself. Instead, he turned back for home and flew at just over 200 feet most of the way. He lost a third engine on the return flight. He brought his crew back and is seen here attending to his crew. The Ground crew counted over 150 holes in the aircraft

B-24J Liberator of the 854th Bomb Squadron after being hit by flak during low-level supply drop for the 82nd and 101st Airborne near Eindhoven, Holland and driven into the ground, September 18 1944. (US National Archives)

Clark Gable (1901-1960) served as an aerial gunner on a B-17 during World War II. He signed up for duty following the tragic death of his wife Carole Lombard, who was on a war bond tour when her plane crashed. He is seen here giving an interview from his waist-gunner position aside a .50 caliber Browning M2 machine gun. (June 6, 1943)

Pilot 1st Lt James M. Smith (right) and Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Fred N. Dibble in the cockpit of B-17F 'Our Gang' of 324th BS, 91st BG, US 8th Air Force, Bassingbourn, England, United Kingdom, 15 Jun 1943

US B-17 Flying Fortress poster, WWII

The B-17 Flying Fortress was famous for its durability. This B-17, Hang the Expense, of the 100th Bomber Squadron of the USAAF rests in an English airfield after being severely damaged by flak over Ostend on an aborted mission to Frankfurt, Germany, 24 January 1944. The tail gunner, Roy Urick, was blown out - but survived and was taken prisoner. Pilot, Frank Valesh, and co-pilot ,John Booth, miraculously flew the badly damaged B-17 back to England and put down safely at Eastchurch.

Milk Wagon B-17 June 20 1944. Milk Wagon set a record in 3rd Division for 129 consecutive missions without any mechanical failure.

Wounded aircrewmen are helped off B-24H Liberator “Liberty Lib” of the US 752nd Bomb Squadron at Horsham St Faith, Norfolk, England, after a raid on the Dornier factory at Lubeck, Germany, Aug 25 1944. Note the WC54 Ambulance. (US National Archives)

B-24J Liberators of the 565th Bomb Squadron bomb targets in St Malo, France, Aug 13 1944. (US National Archives)

B-17 Fortresses of the 91st Bomb Group nearing the Dornier Assembly Plant at Meulan, France at dawn, Aug 13 1943. (US National Archives)

B-17 “Man O War II Horsepower Ltd.” of the 322nd Bomber Squadron, 91st Bomb Group. “Man O War II” flew numerous missions with the 91st for nine months before being lost in November 1944 in a mission over over Merseburg.

B-24J Liberator of the 856th Bomb Squadron over the target of the Rhenania-Ossag oil refinery near Hamburg, Germany, Aug 6 1944. (US National Archives)

B-17 crew, 96th BG, 413th BS.

24-foot self-righting rescue motor launch dropped from an RAF Hudson rescue aircraft to the crew of a US B-17 Fortress that ditched in the North Sea, 26 July 1943. (US National Archives)

B-17E formation aircraft of the 379th Bomber Group of the US 525th Bomber Squadron, RAF Kimbolton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England, 24 July 1944. The bright stripes aided in assembling the squadron's bombers. (US Air Force photo)

B-17 bombers of the US Eighth Air Force releasing bombs over the target in Nazi-occupied Europe.

World War II Today

B-17 bombers of the US Eighth Air Force encounter heavy flak over the target area during a mission to Germany.

World War II Today

B-17 Flying fortress heavy bombers of the US Eighth Air Force in flight above the clouds over Nazi-occupied Europe.

World War II Today

B-17 bombers taxi before takeoff at RAF Molesworth (USAAF Station 107), Cambridgeshire, home of the 303rd BG from late 1942 until after VE Day in May 1945.

World War II Today

Typical pilots, navigators, bombardiers, gunners and radio operators at an 8th Air Force base somewhere in England.

World War II in Color