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Thanks very much for adding to the story Billieā€¦ Harold Bartee must have been a remarkable guy. Some of the details might be in error but my great-uncle was the tail gunner on this plane. He gave me a copy of the photo of the plane flying with the tail just about cut off. Sadly I lost it. I think some dickheads just love to poke holes in real heroes stories to make themselves look important. I suspect someone edited it years later without knowing the facts.

I got the story first hand from my great-uncle. He always said the mission was in Africa, they bombed Tunis. He never mentioned flying on to England. And he did have to stay at his post in the tail. It had to do with balancing the damaged tail. I was 14 and lived in Belgium when the first B-17 started to fly by day over Belgium, with target Germany. We were always thrilled seeing them, often escorted by Mustangs. My father was part of the Resistance and our house in Antwerp was a safe house, where allied airmen who had been shot down but not taken prisoners, were brought by members of the underground, spent the night at home, and were escorted the next morning on their long journey to Portugal, from where they could go back to England.

We hosted such brave men 7 or 8 times. That is an incredible story Jacques. My uncle Seaton Arnett may have been on that mission, unless it happened during the period when he was sick with the flu. He was with the 301st group, 419th squadron. He passed away in 1994, but I posted his war diary to my website. As the allies bombing campaign reached a crescendo in late 1944, she and her family relocated to their grandparents farm to escape the night time bombing around Frankfurt.

One day she and a friend had been picnicking in a field and watching the bomber stream pass overhead. She said it took more than 4 hours to pass them completely. When she looked up, both of the planes waggled their their wings as if to say they were sorry for frightening them, and one of them pulled up into a loop and came down the road again. It was a scarf tied around a small tin of ham and some bread and 6 chocolate bars. Back in 1951, I worked at North American Aviation in Columbus Ohio.

A gentleman in my crew had been in the tail gunners spot when he was marooned in that position by a burst of fire that shredded the fuselage. He suffered frostbite but said his wool fleese flight boots and clothing saved him. He too was thought dead as his comm was cut. My dad was the ball-turret gunner on the Flying Flitgun and saw the accident happen. This is a great story, especially to me, since my great granduncle was the radio operator on this plane, Paul A.

My great grandpa frank Mack Alexander just passed away last Friday. He was a tail gunner flying lucky strike that crashed on April 9,1945.

His usual plane though, which was being repaired, was LIL RED. It was named after a group members baby that was just born. I cannot verify the correctness, just what Paul told me. He returned to farming in Wilson County, N. He has one great-grandson. I had the honor of having (then Captain) Bragg as an Instructor Pilot while in training at Dyersberg, (TN) U.

Army Air Base in June 1944. We flew a B-17G to England in Aug. We had the misfortunes to lose our Copilot and Navigator, on the first and tenth mission, respectively.

After the war, in a conversation with the late Hank Abts I learned he knew Capt. Bragg as they were in the same Aviation Cadet Class. In fact, I have a letter that Bragg sent to Abts after the war. As a boy in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany I saw a bomber, I assume a B-17, shot down by a fightercome apart in the air, and crash in the woods just outside the small town of Kellinghusen.

I counted seven parachutes. We heard that two bodies had been taken away. The fighter picked it out of a long stream of bombers headed east. The action was so far overhead that only faint tock-tock-tock sounds reached me ears, calling my attention to it. The bomber lost bother wings, which fluttered down slowly like leaves. When the fuselage landed it caused a huge explosion, with flames shooting high above the trees. As best as I can remember that happened in August 1943.

This story is true!. He had the bullet wound in his back and spine that troubled him the rest of his life. My uncle Sam also did radio interview about his experience when he got back to the states.