Airplane photos: B-17 Flying Fortress

Now for a breathtaking break from the negative news on the evaporating economy and fading freedoms. (Ugg. So sorry for the awful alliteration!)


Delightful photos of the B-17 Flying Fortress, workhorse of the U.S. during World War II. All photos courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

Incredible view from the underside of a formation on its way to Germany:

OVER GERMANY — B-17 Flying Fortresses from the 398th Bombardment Group fly a bombing run to Neumunster, Germany, on April 8, 1945. On May 8, Germany surrendered, and Victory in Europe Day was declared. (Courtesy photo from U.S. Air Force)


The classic photo of B-17s with their escorts overhead.

B-17 -1940s — B-17 Flying Fortresses (Courtesy U.S. Air Force).

Check out this incredible view of how those vapor trails are created:

EASTERN EUROPE — The vapor trails from two Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft light up the night sky. The B-17 is one of the most famous airplanes ever built. The B-17 prototype first flew on July 28, 1935. Few B-17s were in service on December 7, 1941, but production quickly accelerated. The aircraft served in every WW II combat zone, but is best known for daylight strategic bombing of German industrial targets. (U.S. Air Force file photo)


Close up from above:

B-17 Flying Fortress (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force)


Close-up view from below:

The B-17 Flying Fortress served in every World War II combat zone, but is best known for daylight strategic bombing of German industrial targets. (Courtesy U.S. Air Force).


Two photos of the “Memphis Belle”, subject of the classic WWII film of the same name:

The crew of the Boeing B-17 “Memphis Belle” is pictured at an air base in England after completing 25 missions over enemy territory. The crew, left to right: Tech. Sgt. Harold P. Loch, Staff Sgt. Cecil H. Scott, Tech. Sgt. Robert J. Hanson, Capt. James A. Verinis, Capt. Robert K. Morgan, Capt. Charles B. Leighton, Staff Sgt. John P. Quinlan, Staff Sgt. Casimer A. Nastal, Capt. Vincent B. Evans and Staff Sgt. Clarence B. Winchell returned to the U.S. to a hero’s welcome and embarked on a 30 city morale tour. (U.S. Army Air Forces photo)


The crew of the “Memphis Belle” back from its 25th operational mission. All of the crew hold the DFC and the Air Medal with three oak clusters, and all started with this Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” and survived with only one casualty, a leg wound to the tail gunner. June 1943 (Courtesy of U.S. Air Force).


Last, one of the few remaining mighty warriors still able to take to the sky:

UK’s ‘Friendly Invasion’ 70 years on
The last active B-17 Flying Fortress in Europe performs a fly-over above the former Knettishall Airfield, England, July 14, 2012. The fly-over was part of the 388th Bombardment Group memorial re-dedication at Coney Weston, England. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Megan P. Lyon)


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