B17 – Homecoming Series
Despite all the clusters of defensive guns and the highly structured formation designed to make best use of the B17 armament, some aircraft would fall to fighter attack or flak damage. It was emphasised at every pre-op briefing that if you saw a ship go down then – ‘count the chutes, count the chutes‘ – there was then some measure of the ‘missing in action’ count.
With the elevators damaged and jammed plus a serious engine fire this B17 is only going one way – down. Three of the crew are out and a fourth poised to go – the formation, however soldiers on and the ‘gap’ is closed up.
The image shows part of the 351st Group aircraft making their way to the target area in late 1944.