B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress Lone Star Flight Museum Galveston, TX

B-17 Flying Fortress
Lone Star Flight Museum
Galveston, TX

Recently, Pilot and I had the waaay cool experience of flying in a B-17 Flying Fortress.

Waist gun

Right Waist Gun

The B-17 Flying Fortress was an Army Air Corps heavy-duty bomber from World War II. These four-engine aircraft flew strategic bombing missions over Europe, armed with .50 caliber machine guns and five thousand pounds of bombs. 13,000 B-17s were produced over the course of the war. Only 13 airworthy B-17s remain today.

The first B-17s saw combat in 1941, when the British Royal Air Force took delivery of several B-17s for high-altitude missions. As World War II intensified, the bombers needed additional armament and armor.

SQ walking through bomb bay

Walking through the bomb bay to the nose of the plane

In the Pacific, the planes earned a deadly reputation with the Japanese, who dubbed them “four-engine fighters”. The Fortresses were also legendary for their ability to stay in the air after taking heavy artillery attacks. These planes sometimes limped back to their bases with large chunks of the fuselage shot off.

If you have watched movies such as Memphis Belle, you get the idea. Being in that bomber gave me a greater appreciation for what the men who flew those birds dealt with, in a very small way. I truly cannot imagine what it would have been like to be in that plane during wartime. I especially cannot imagine what it would have been like to have fought from the ball turret. While it was totally impressive to sit in the bombardier seat at the nose of the plane, and watch the ground sail passed, I was not facing enemy fire.

Bombardier Bay looking toward the ground

Bombardier Bay looking toward the ground

My hat is off to all the brave men who flew their missions, and the support crews who kept them flying.

Thank you.

So, I’m thinking…is there any spiritual application to all this? Yep.

Just as the Flying Fortress was heavily armed, fought many a battle, was often beat up by the enemy, and limped back to base, life can be the same with us. We go out to battle the Enemy, only to face flak and ack-ack from all sides. Exhausted, we limp back home. We live to fight another day, until the Great War is over.

The only way we are able to win the battle is if God goes before us. He is our Strength. He is our Shield. He is our Rock of Salvation. God alone, is our Mighty Fortress.

I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Alyce

Sandy, my father was a mechanic in the Army Air Corps and he worked
on the B-17’s. He loved that aircraft.

Alyce

Unfortunately he didn’t share any stories. I even asked my sons and
they said they only remember Grandpa talking about how he liked to
work on the B-17 and fly on it!
Miss you too!

Alyce

Me too, Sandy. I really miss my dad.

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