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US Eighth Air Force in WWII (England)

B-24J Liberators of the 579th Bomb Squadron drop incendiary bombs made from fighter plane drop tanks filled with napalm on targets near Royan, France, 15 April 1945. Note smoke marker dropped by lead aircraft (US National Archives)

B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of US 398th Bombardment Group (Eighth Air Force) on bombing run to Neumünster, Germany, 13 Apr 1945 (US Air Force)

Life photographer Margaret Bourke White poses on the nose of a B-17E in England, October, 1942 ~

A B-17 'buzzes the base' at Bassingbourne England after completing 25 missions.

Bombing up a B-17 prior to another mission.

B-17s en route to another target in Germany.

A B-17 Flying Fortress at a base 'somewhere in England."

BGen Jesse Auton, Gen Eisenhower, LGen Carl Spaatz, MGen James Doolittle, MGen William E Kepner, Col Donald M Blakeslee, Apr 11 1944. VIPs were present for the presentation of the Distinguished Service Cross to Col. Blakeslee, Debden Airfield, England. (US National Archives)

Gentile in the cockpit of his P-51B. After downing 3 planes on April 8, he was the top scoring 8th Air Force ace when he crashed "Shangri La", on April 13, 1944 while stunting over the 4th FG's airfield at Debden for a group of assembled press reporters and movie cameras. His CO, Blakeslee, immediately grounded Gentile as a result, and he was sent back to the US for a tour selling war bonds. ,

Ralph"Kidd"Hofer a athlete and Golden Gloves boxer volunteered for service in the RCAF before USA entered the war."Kidd" was also one of the top strafers in the 8th Air Force with 15 enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground. Hofer got his last air-to-air kill on May 28, 1944 8th Air Force On a mission to Budapest, Hungary Kidd went missing in the huge air battle over the capitol city. Hofer, flying a borrowed airplane, was last seen as his squadron was being attacked by a superior force Me 109s.

operationbarbarossa: Lt. Bob “Punchy” Powell sits on the wing of his P-51B Mustang the West “By Gawd” Virginian. Powell was one of the top P-51 scoring aces of the 352nd Fighter Group of the Eighth US Air Force in the European Theater of Operations during WWII.

Col. Blakeslee, ace in the ETO, in the cockpit of his P-51 of the 8th Air Force in England.

P-51D “Mustang” E2-C ‘Lou IV’, flown by Col. Thomas J. J. Christian, Jr. (KIA 12.08.1944), CO of 361st FG, 375th FS, 8th U.S.A.A.F., passes by a B-17 “Flying Fortress” camera ship from 91st Bomb Group near Bottisham, Cambridgeshire, UK. 26 July 1944

B-17G Flying Fortress 'Wee-Willie' of 322nd Bomber Squadron of US 91st Bomber Group losing a wing from flak fire over Stendal, Germany, 8 April 1945; 8 were killed, the pilot and 1 crewman survived (US National Archives)

In skies thick with flak, a stricken B-24 struggles to maintain flight.

Waist gunners on a B-24 Liberator wearing protective flak vests and helmets.

07 Apr 45: "Sonderkommando Elbe" sends 180 German Bf-109s to attack Allied bombers with the intent of ramming into them, aiming for either the tail, engines or cockpit, bailing out either before or after collision. While only 15 Allied bombers are attacked in this manner, eight are successfully destroyed. Most of the German pilots died, without inflicting the harm to the relentless Allied bombing campaign that had been hoped. #WWII #History

Surrender leaflet dropped on German soldiers by USAAF, April 1945.

American crewman in a B-17 ball turret, 1942. Imagine manning this position at 27,000 feet ~

"How can a throat microphone help win battles?" Western Electric ad, 1942

Clark Gable with an 8th Air Force B-17 in England, in 1943 ~

US B-24D Liberator lead assembly ship 'Thar She Blows Again' of 93rd Bomber Group, US 329th Bomber Squadron, Horsham St. Faiths, Norfolk, England, 24 March 1944. These garishly painted planes were used to assemble squadrons and groups before bombing missions.

Source: The Fight in the Clouds Fourth FG aces Captain Duane Beeson and Captain Don Gentile pose by the latter’s P-51B at Debden, England, in March 1944.

B-17 bomber of US 447th Bomb Group in flight toward Frankfurt, Germany, 20 Mar 1944 (US Air Force photo)