Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner


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Wee Willie and the photo that started it all

Combat Crew is John Comer's memoir about the air war over Europe. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. John Comer kept a journal of the twenty-five missions he flew in when the casualty rate on his base was close to 80 percent. His book is handwritten history, recorded within hours after the battles occurred. In the Army Air Force had no long-range fighters to protect the Bs as they flew deep into enemy territory.

Immediate, straightforward, and compelling, Combat Crew is a classic of aerial warfare. Specifications Publisher Tantor Media, Inc. Customer Reviews.

B24 Liberator Bomber Shot Down In Carolines Raid In WWII (1945) - War Archives

Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product. Email address. Please enter a valid email address. Walmart Services. Get to Know Us. It continued down and when the fuselage was about 3, feet from the ground it exploded, and then exploded again when it hit the ground. I saw no crew members leave the aircraft or parachutes. Excerpt: The pilot in this photo is Lt.

Paul Jessop.

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The photo was taken on February 14, A direct flak hit and tore off a wing. Robert Fuller and he survived along with some of the crew. Wee Willie was the second or third from last lost to the 91st durning [sic] WWII to be downed in action and was credited with missions. Camp crew on board. Shot down by ME Jets on 17 April Only the tail gunner survived.

MIA: No man left behind? The bomber went down over Stendal, Germany, on April 8, It was piloted by 1st Lieutenant Robert E. Fuller, of Hollywood, CA, who was the only survivor of the crew. I understand his body was buried in Stendal cemetery alongside American airmen who whose bodies were later transferred to an American cemetery end of April I would be very grateful if you have any information on which cemeteries the American airmen may be buried as this may well be where my father was buried.

The bodies of the crewmen were buried in a cemetery next to a small church in Jarchau. Not sure if your father would have been interred here or not, but may be a good place to start. I am the niece of 2nd Lt Woodrow A.

Lien from Brockton, Montana. Woodrow Woody was not supposed to be on that flight. He filled in for the co-pilot who was too sick to fly.

Combat Crew

His wife gave premature birth to twins in New Jersey late in while he was gone. Their son, Lee DeGraw, died at 3 months old in February, Their daughter, Cathy DeGraw, died at 5 months old in May, The DeGraw family paid for the funeral and burial. Leo DeGraw may have seen his children as babies — no one living is now certain — but he was not able to attend their funerals.

Jeanne DeGraw suffered for months with post-partum depression. On Dec. She was stationed in Boise, Idaho, as a cryptographic technician until July, , receiving an honorable discharge. She twice remarried after that, lost three more children to tragic accidents or disease, was hospitalized for a time with mental illness, and died in Canada in at age Leo was a tail gunner learning to fire caliber machine guns, and to become a fill-in radio operator.

Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress - Wikipedia

The B was a newer, untried airplane — a continual work in progress in a nation still woefully unprepared for global war. The minute Japanese attack on Pear Harbor would claim a half-dozen Bs, other aircraft, eight battleships lost or damaged, and six cruisers and destroyers damaged. The human toll was 2, lives lost and another 1, injured. We were a nation unprepared with the isolationists holding sway; we clearly had more to fear than fear itself.

It was one of the 26 B English bombing bases the Americans would use, the early arrivals living in tents until barracks were finished. Two of the Bs in his squadron went down into the Atlantic Ocean on the way over — and the early B bombers given to England before United States entered the war were so ineffective the British stopped using them on bombing raids. Staff Sgt.


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Leo DeGraw became a waist tail gunner on a B, a position military statistics would show was twice as deadly as any other on the plane. Almost all the 40 to 60 bombers at Great Ashfield had such names painted across their noses along with cartoon characters from rational to racy. He had been 19 when he went to war; enlisting as he saw the draft coming. He would be given credit for shooting down three German fighters on his missions — and believed he downed a fourth. It was the worst and best thing that ever happened to me.

The best was I like to fly. He said Leo DeGraw was quiet in their barracks, liked to read a lot, one of 10 young men from across the country who suddenly found themselves living, flying and fighting together.

Publisher Description

Early in the war the B bombers flew missions over occupied France, Italy and Germany attacking military and industrial targets with occasional layovers in Algeria. The missions were large — as many as bombers at once — and the early casualties horrific; most raids in were in broad daylight against superior German fighters.


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  • Each crew was to fly 25 missions then be rotated to safer duty with the required missions soon increased to 30, then The casualty rate on any mission averaged 10 percent to 15 percent of the bombers. The first was on July 26, , over an aircraft factory at Warnemunde, Germany. During the next five months they flew 17 more daylight raids, including an Oct. In bombing missions the th Bomb Group would lose Bs.

    Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner
    Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner
    Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner
    Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner
    Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner
    Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner Combat Crew: The Story of 25 Combat Missions Over Europe From the Daily Journal of a B-17 Gunner

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