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Subject: Flying Coffins? rss

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Don Cooper
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I really enjoy reading the after action reports, but I do have one question to ask: Has anyone survived past a successful first flight? It seems there are a lot of crack-ups and aborted bombing missions and bombing missions gone awry. I know the B-29 was a complicated and many say flawed machine that crashed a lot but these bombers seem like flying coffins. I have a copy of the game and am going to play it this weekend and see. My father was a pilot of a Liberator in the Pacific, so it will be interesting.
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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    I'd be very surprised to hear that your dad thought the Liberator was a safer aircraft than the Superfortress. Has he indicated one way or the other?

             Sag.
 
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Bob Hansen
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From what I heard about the Liberator, it was a very unsafe aircraft. The wings were very susceptible to falling off under stress. The aircraft was so heavy that there were a lot of accidents on take offs with planes not clearing power lines or trees at the end of runways.

Overall, however, being a bomber crewman in any of the U.S. Bombers was extremely fatal work. Very few people made the required number of missions required to go home. It was more likely that you would either be killed or captured than finishing your missions.

Oh, and you get a thumb just for having a father who flew a Liberator.
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Wilhelm Fitzpatrick
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Well the "Hoodsie" and crew have survived two mostly uneventful missions so far, tarnished by the fact that in neither case did any of our bombs actually make it on target. There was one tense moment over Tokyo when a nearby airburst hurled shrapnel into the bomb bay moments before release, but other than that, things have been remarkably smooth.
 
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Ronster Zero
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I have to admit thinking the same thing. I keep reading these reports and it seems making one mission successful and coming back with a live crew seems tough.
I was thinking about buying this game, but im not so sure if my guys never make it. I enjoy B-17 and have, I believe, 17 mission with my 1st bomber, the IRON MAIDEN. A few crew members have died along the way, but the bomber has been fairly successful.
 
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Christopher O
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Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
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DUMASCLUB wrote:
I really enjoy reading the after action reports, but I do have one question to ask: Has anyone survived past a successful first flight? It seems there are a lot of crack-ups and aborted bombing missions and bombing missions gone awry. I know the B-29 was a complicated and many say flawed machine that crashed a lot but these bombers seem like flying coffins. I have a copy of the game and am going to play it this weekend and see. My father was a pilot of a Liberator in the Pacific, so it will be interesting.


My first crew and aircraft have survived five missions thus far, with one KIA and one seriously WIA.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/313426

I'm halfway through the sixth mission (as of lunchtime yesterday) and everything was going well (navigated alone to target and dropped for 50%), except then the pilot (!) got frostbite.

We're scheduled to land at night and the co-pilot will have to land. Yikes. I hope it isn't bad weather, or we're pooched.
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Don Cooper
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Sagrilarus wrote:
    I'd be very surprised to hear that your dad thought the Liberator was a safer aircraft than the Superfortress. Has he indicated one way or the other?

             Sag.


Been passed away for fifteen years now, I have his leather bomber cap which sits atop a bust of George Washington in my gaming room. My father lost most of his friends in B-29s. I remember he said they were great flying machines but tough to land. It didn't take much to crash them. I think the B-29 had a mixed reputation, especially, early on. Besides that LeMay was a ruthless bastard to the Japanese and to his crews, which was essential in that job. A lot of B-29s did low level bombing against targets, which resulted in more casualties but caused the Japanese more damage. The high level strikes were generally ineffective. LeMay's right hand man would be Robert McNamara, who was a pure numbers guy. McFarland ran the numbers to ensure the bombings were damaging the Japanese and cost effective. Very brutal stuff. He had to give a report to LeMay on every mission and how much it cost in dollars and what the estimated damage to the Japanese was.
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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DUMASCLUB wrote:

LeMay's right hand man would be Robert McNamara, who was a pure numbers guy.


    A habit that McNamara would carry through Viet Nam, with an equally sinister reputation coming out of it. "Kill ratio" became a part of the lingo that continues to dog the war to this day.

             Sag.

 
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Kevin Wells
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Looking at this WWII chronology, it looks like anywhere from 5 - 20% of planes either had to abort or were shot down. I am averaging around 50%, but many of those were practice missions. A couple of my failed missions were due to error on my part, so as I improve my knowledge of the game, my successful mission ratio should go up.

Also, I have not posted any session reports for successful missions because those missions have been pretty boring. Nobody wants to read a by-the-book session report.

 
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Dimitris Tzanerakis
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You have to remember that bomber crewman (from pilot to tail gunner and everything in between) was a very dangerous occupation during WWII. For example, out of 100 British bomber command crewmen, only 27 survived a full tour of duty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Bomber_Command).
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Jayson Ng
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Well so far my B-17: Queen of the Skies and crew is doing well in Europe (7 missions down). But the 1st 5 missions in the campaign are intentionally made easier. I even landed with a busted landing gear.
 
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