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B-17: Queen of the Skies» Forums » Play By Forum

Subject: [Forum Campaign] 151st Bomber Squadron - 281st Bombardment Group Heavy rss

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Jim P
United States
Sterling Heights
Michigan
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But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you… And I will beat you.
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151st Bomber Squadron


Code - BG (Call Sign - GEEK)

Commanding Officer Major Seth Gecko
MIA Jan 4th '44 [mission 144] (Genesteeler)

Operation Adjutant Captain Hamish McManlo
Temporary CO


152nd BS ......... 153rd BS .........154th BS






ACTIVE CREWS:
Jim Rose
United States
Boise
Idaho
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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68 [YB-40], 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138-150 Pending, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155

Alexandros Boucharelis
Greece
Drama
Macedonia
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35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46,47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64 [YB-40], 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72 [YB-40], 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 100, 101, 102, 103, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 118, 119, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 138-150 Pending, 151, 152, 153, 155

Carl Sonson
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 135, 137, 138-150 Pending, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155

Richard Morey
United States
Minnesota
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126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138-150 Pending, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155

Bryan Laird
United States
Kankakee
Illinois
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100, 101, 102 (w/390BG), 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 151, 152, 153

Mark Gingell
United Kingdom
Shelfanger
Norfolk
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151, 152, 153, 154, 155

Michael
United Kingdom
Rochford
Essex
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We few,we happy few,we band of brothers;For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother: be he ne’er so vile;And gentlemen in England now-abed Shall think themself accurs’d they were no here That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
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151, 152, 153, 154, 155

Tyrone ..................
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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151, 152, 154, 155

John Robinson
United Kingdom
Barrow in Furness
Cumbria
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Pending Submission

D B
Australia
NSW
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Pending Submission

Dávid Tóth
Hungary
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Pending Submission

Victor Bocaling
United States
Hayward
CA
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Pending Submission

Jeremiah Jacobs
United States
Grand Haven
Michigan
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Pending Submission



RETIRED CREWS:
Aaron Thorne
United States
Valley Park
Missouri
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CAMPAIGN ORIGINATOR
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

Australia
Sebastopol (Ballarat)
Victoria
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That's Karl on the left. Eternity on the right.
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I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43,44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 80, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89!*, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 138-150 Pending

Frank Feldmann SoFrankly
United States
Dayton
Ohio
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1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23

chris reichl

Appleton
Wisconsin
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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22

Chan
Singapore
Singapore
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1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Shawn
United States
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46

Scott S.
United States
Ohio
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47, 49, 50, 51

Andrew Borgelin
United Kingdom
Bath
Somerset
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51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59, 61, 62, 63, 70, 84

Ron Gregory
United States
Flat Rock
North Carolina
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58, 59, 60, 61, 63

Charles Sutherland
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66, 67

Kendall Miles
United States
Cary
North Carolina
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70, 71

Joseph Boeke
United States
La Crescenta
California
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Flown with 152nd BS [M73-75]: (Transferred to 151st BS on mission 76)
73, 74 [Y-B40], 75

ian morris
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Mids
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84

Raymond Espiritu
United States
Virginia
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83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 92, 94, 94, 95, 96, 99

Chris Moir
United States
Wilton
New Hampshire
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85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90

Sisyphean Gamestacker
United States
Taylors
South Carolina
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105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116

Marcelo Marques
Brazil
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108

kyle bickler
United States
Arizona
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115

mark 2c
United States
North Carolina
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123, 124

Gary Kessler
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151, 152, 153, 154, 155

Glenn D
United States
Cumming
Georgia
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156, 157


ASSIGNED CREWS: (Never flew)
Patrick Millin
South Africa
Cape Town
Western Cape
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Martin Swift
United Kingdom
Ormskirk
Lancashire
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Matthew Roskam
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
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James Gorman
United States
California
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Bill Vee
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.
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novato novato
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Charilaos m
Greece
Drama
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Completed Tour:
On Mission 89: B-17F "Santanico Pandemonium" 1st Fortress to 25 Missions[GeneSteeler]
On Mission 89: Capt. Seth Gecko in B-17F "Santanico Pandemonium"[GeneSteeler]
On Mission 89: 1st Lt. Ted Raimi in B-17F "Santanico Pandemonium"[GeneSteeler]
On Mission 89: FO Razor Charlie in B-17F "Santanico Pandemonium"[GeneSteeler]
On Mission 89: SSgt. Ian Ambercrombie in B-17F "Santanico Pandemonium"[GeneSteeler]
On Mission 89: SSgt. Fred Williamson in B-17F "Santanico Pandemonium"[GeneSteeler]
On Mission 92: SSgt. Kay Sloughter in B-17F "Forty-Two" (B-17G-1-B0 42-31036)[GeneSteeler]
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Jim Rose
United States
Boise
Idaho
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Letter Home from Cecil Gorby - Pliot "Miss Position"
Hi Darling,
Just wanted you to know I've made it to the ETO and already have a couple of missions under the old belt. That belt is a little looser though without your home cooking. Thought you'd want to know who my shipmates are.

My co-pilot is a good man. William Thurman. Called him Bill when we first met and found out quickly he prefers William. I like that straight up let me know what he's thinking attitude.

Our bombardier is Eleuterio Rodiquez. Thankfully, he goes by Ely. He's from Bilbao, Spain. Really performed well his first mission too. I think that gave him a good shot of confidence!

Ed Wallner is our navigator. He was working on his physics degree in college when he joined up. Good thing too. It'll come in handy making our way back and forth on some long runs into unfriendly places.

Fred Parkins is our engineer and top turret gunner. I've heard the boys say there's nothing he can't take apart. Best thing is, he can put it back together again just as well.

Our radioman, or Sparky, is Frank Thau. He's from Boston and loves his baseball. Every now and again while we're waiting for a weather delay, he'll break into a pitch by pitch replay of some game he watched while sneaking into the park as a kid. Once he was just about to make the call at the plate when a jeep rolled up to our plane telling us to start engines in 5 minutes. Rascal made us wait until we got back to find out the end result. (Safe by a shoelace!)

The waist gunners are Howard Beanblossom amd Bernard Belletteier. Bernie's got a kill already and is chomping for more. Howard's happy for him, but wants to get his own.

Fred Pilcher is our ball gunner. He's a little guy, but has to be cramped up in the belly of the plane. He's calm and efficient. He calls out when the bombs are released to let us know they're all on their way. Then he watches them all the way down. He says he's got the best seat in the house, but none of the rest of us want to take it.

Back in the tail, the loneliest part of the airplane sits William Reynolds. He goes by Bill which helps the confusion between him and William next to me. He's from Florida and says he likes the heat. Can't figure out if he means from the sun or the Germans shooting at us from behind. Let's hope he's a good shot since we get a lot of action from that position! Every morning as I board the ship, I look towards the back and can see two little reds lights. It's the cigarettes he and Fred are smoking while chatting up the mission. Looks like a raccoon hiding back there most mornings.

Well, that's all for now. We're off on practice missions so we can stay sharp and come home. Miss you lots and don't worry. I've got good guys behind me and I owe it to their families to bring them home safe.

Cece
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Jim Rose
United States
Boise
Idaho
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Lt. Gorby lowered himself from the cockpit after putting the Bad Dream into place. He knew Major Chaplin would be wanting to see him after the aborted mission, but didn't think he'd be seeing him so quickly. His mind quickly raced through all the possible reasons it was so important to get this meeting started now.

"Lt. Gorby, may I see you in the engineer's tent?"

"Yes, sir".

"Lt. Gorby. Did you not receive the orders to salvo your bomb load prior to crossing the coast?"

"Yes, Major, we did."

"Then why do I still see them in the racks of your plane?"

"Sir, we were hit immediately by four 190's and they took out the oxygen system to the engineer's compartment. After he grabbed a portable tank, they pressed in again from both port and starboard positions. That's when the #3 engine started to run away. We needed all the time we could trying to keep the engine from breaking off it's mount".

"By the time we got the call to drop the bombs we were too close to land and decided we'd bring them back rather than circling around for another place to toss them out. Fighters were all over the area sir and we were all alone in a very hostile area".

Chaplin was silent for a few seconds and calmly replied "Look Cecil, this bomb group has been taking way too many losses and sending home letters to family members telling them their sons and brothers aren't coming home. Everything we can do to try and get a few boys to make their 25 missions gives the new arrivals that much more confidence that it'll be their turn next. Landing with bombs on board just adds to the risk of losing 10 more men in a squadron and group that's been a death sentence. Add to that the fact if the bombs detonate, we now have an unusable runway for other ships needing as much room as possible to bring their boys in for treatment as quickly as possible".

"I understand sir. If we'd had about 10 more minutes, we could have made the drop. It won't happen again Major".

As the Major grabbed the tent flap he stopped and turned to Gorby. "Cecil, you and your crew are important to me as the rest. You know that. It's just that if I lose you to a bad decision it could lead to losing 5 to 10 more guys coming in after you".

Lt. Gorby watched the tent flap close behind the Major and knew he was right. The fact is, it's not about me and my crew, it's about a much larger picture. He thought to himself, 25 missions.... I've only heard of a couple of guys hitting that mark. He'd always tried to think of what went right on missions instead of what went wrong. Failure to drop his bombs was wrong. Bringing the ship and crew back in one piece went right. Plus his first three missions they'd put the eggs on target. Next mission, I'm playing it by the book.



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Jim Rose
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Boise
Idaho
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Sitting in the back of Bad Dream, Fred Pilcher and Bill Reynolds had their customary meeting and smoked a couple of Lucky's.

Fred started the obvious news from briefing. "I'm glad we were both at the briefing today, as I wouldn't have believed we be drawing such a light mission. I mean all the way into Germany with very little Nazi fighters to contend with?"

"I wouldn't count those chickens just yet. Don't forget we don't have the YB-40 in the group today and the flak is going to be bad. You know what they say, 'ain't no such thing as a milk run'".

"Still, you gotta like the odds. Good weather both home and over the target. Some little friends will be out today too. I'm going with the glass is half full today".

"We'll just see abo.."

Lt. Gorby's voice interrupted the banter. "All crew outside and up front, right now".

"OK boys, you were all at the briefing today and you've no doubt heard that this could be an easy trip back and forth. However, let's not forget the last trip we tried to make didn't count since we aborted before we hit enemy territory. That means we had better be on target today no matter WHAT!! There should be absolutely NO REASON why we can't get there and back and put bombs on the target today. If we miss this one, we're looking at a lot of air time over the Wash practicing and will probably be pulling Tail End Charlie for the next few missions in a row. I think you get where I'm going with this, so let's get the job done and put it behind us".

"Still looking at that glass half full pal?" Bill smirked.

"I see what you mean, but I don't want to see the Wash anytime soon. I'll see ya later. I gots to check my turret at least three times 'fore climbin' in".

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Jim Rose
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Boise
Idaho
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August 12th, 1972

Mitch Parkins was again "stuck" at his Grandma's house for an hour before he was allowed to go play baseball with his friends at the park 3 blocks away. At least there was always the attic to explore.

Usually he went right for the old board games or copies of National Geographic from the 50's and 60's, but today a small dusty box buried under some clothes caught his eye. He opened the lid and found a picture of a man in uniform, various newspaper clippings and a small black book like a diary.

He took the rubber band from the book and it immediately crumbled away. Mitch read the cover softly to himself "Frederick Parkins" Mst Sgt, ETO"

He'd remembered Mom talking about her uncle Fred who was in the Air Force in World War II. He though to himself, 'This must be him'.

It was a diary alright. It had dates from the 40's and hand drawings of B-17's and even some mission notes. He quick flipped through the book, but noticed it was only about a quarter full. The rest of the book was blank. He found the last page with writing and began reading.

20, June 1943. The doctor says writing down my experiences should help me get back on track. It won't. Nothing will, and this will be my last entry. We were supposed to have a milk run all the way into Bremen, Germany with little to no fighter opposition. Flak was going to be fierce, but we could always fly in, cross our fingers, then head for home. It started out OK, but we soon saw a 190 and a pair of 109's. It it weren't for the RAF, we probably would have bought it right then, the way our luck had it. The Spits chased them off and we were clear all the way to the IP. Over the target, the flak was just as bad as we were briefed for. Several shells exploded all around us. The #3 engine was hit but did no damage. More fragments passed through the starboard wing cleanly. The third explosion rocked the waist position and knocked out all the oxygen to Ed and Bernie. That sealed our fate, since we'd now have to drop from formation after dropping the bombs. Two more shells hit, one to the port fuel tank, but it self-sealed. The other went off outside the radio room and the shards ripped into Frank Thau dropping him to the floor.

Ely in the nose lined the ship up and hit the toggle switch. A 30% bomb run. No need for practice runs over the Wash but, as it turned out, it wasn't going to matter. The Skipper immediately banked the plane after bombs away and dove for the safety of an oxygen environment but right into Hell as well. From then on until we bailed out, we were hit by the most God awful murderous attacks I'd ever seen a crew suffer through.

Three waves of fighters jumped us, each making repeated runs over and over again. Every zone we limped into brought more and more attacks from the Luftwaffe. We finally caught a break halfway home and it gave Bill in the tail a chance to trade spots with Fred in the ball turret. The tail guns were out and Fred was seriously wounded and out cold. Ed switched spots in the waist with Bernie since Bernie was lying in a pool of blood as well.

By this time, we'd had another shot to the fuel tanks which, again, sealed. The rudder was shot away, the auto pilot destroyed, and the port tailplane had a chunk missing. Both the port and starboard wing root joints were slowly being shot away, the port side more than halfway gone. Bombardier's heat out, tail oxygen out, co-pilots window shattered and more than 25 other superficial hits.

The boys HAD managed to knock down five fighters by this time. Four 109's and a 110, but our time was about up. Over the North Sea we were set upon by three more Focke Wulfs and a single ME 109. One of the 190's set the port inboard fuel tank alight and already being close to the deck wouldn't allow the Lt. to do much but fan the flames. I watched out the top turret and just about the time I was ready to tell him it wasn't working, I heard the alarm bell. As soon as it did. I knew three of my friends were about to ride Bad Dream into the sea. I was about to go out the bomb bay when I heard Ely yelling "I'm stuck, I'm stuck!!" Ed, the navigator, practically jumped on top of Ely and shoved him through, then followed him out the front hatch.

I tried making a quick count of chutes before hitting the water. Seven chutes including mine. Everybody was out that could jump. We tried forming up but were too scattered and the swells swamped some of the guys. By the time the rescue boat pulled up, I was pretty much unconscious. After a shot, some warm blankets and a quick once over, I asked about the others. The crew of the trawler said they'd picked up four men and were headed towards the last two. All were drowned.

The next thing I remember was waking up at the base hospital and being discharged the next day. I was shaking the whole way into the barracks to see what, if any belongings were still left from the crew. They were already packed up and moved out. All except a half glass of whiskey by Fred Pilcher's bunk with a note that read "1/2 full!"

I stared at that glass for forty-five minutes trying to decide to empty into my gut, pour it out on the ground in tribute to Fred or to fill the damn thing to the brim.

In the end, I walked out of the barracks the new guys all pretending to be asleep. The glass was still half full.

Mst Sgt Frederick Parkins, Sole Survivor of the Bad Dream.


Mitch Parkins closed the diary and carefully put it back into the box. But not before taking a last long look at the portrait of Mom's Uncle Fred.

At the park, Mitch's best friend Pete asked about the new patch he'd stuck onto his jersey. A logo of a large gold 8 with wings was now part of Mitch's sleeve.

"Oh, it's a reminder of my Mom's uncle. He was a war hero a long time ago" Mitch said shyly.

"Cool! C'mon, we're up first!" Pete said.


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Alexandros Boucharelis
Greece
Drama
Macedonia
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At the "Duck and Dog" pub,
Chilarinos was loud and part drunk at the time, "thats it fellows, drink up, drink! thats how we say goodbye to our comrades, damn it, we 've lost some great airmen and i 'll be damned if i survive this damn war, all i can say is that i 'll take with me many enemy pilots before I join my best friends in Lucky, bartender, one more round and put it to my account as usual, who needs money-savings where we are going, come on drink up boys, drink and someone give me some smoke".
Few tables from him three airmen belonging to other flying squadrons of the base watched him with pitty, "sure its hard to loose at once so many friends of yours and you are the only survivor, lets all hope that he 'll be alright for the next mission".
"To Lucky and her marvellous crew" said loudly Chilarinos and everyone in the pub drink up to their memory.
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Joseph Boeke
United States
La Crescenta
California
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Touhill: [knock, knock] Major Chaplin?

Chaplin: Enter.

Touhill: Lieutenant Touhill reporting as ordered, sir...

Chaplin: Touhill, yes, yes. [he said looking up from the papers on his desk]. You are my new skipper, correct?

Touhill: Yes sir.

Chaplin: Okay then. First thing, see Captain McManlo over there. He'll get your crew's billet assignments. Second thing -- how's your ship? The Victorious Angel, correct?

Touhill: Yes sir. She was shot up a bit, but Hutch, I mean Sgt. Hutchinson my crew chief, patched her after the Bremen run, so we are ready to go, sir.

Chaplin: Good. We've got lead for our next mission. Is your crew up to the task?

Touhill: Yes sir.

Chaplin: Very well then, Victorious Angel will be the lead bird this mission. Get your crew settled and get some rest. Briefing is at 0-dark-30... You are dismissed.

Touhill: Yes sir.
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Alexandros Boucharelis
Greece
Drama
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The R/O entered the Greek Barrack, Skordalias was lying at his bed reading a history book that found in the base's library, "Charles the B17 that will lead the mission was announced" said the R/O. "Damn! who was so swift and took that place already?" asked Charles. "Well Sir 2lt. Touhill and the crew of the 'Victorious Angel' were transfered to our squadron and therefore are the ones to lead us" answered Ksipolitos, "Oh well, doesnt matter, i m sure that they 'll do a fine job, and as far as for us, we 'll have plenty of missions to take the lead" and with these words he returned back to his book.
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ian morris
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Mids
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Evening, August 16th, Lt-Col Pfalzstaff's office. Chase and two British officers are involved in a tense standoff.


"...absolutely not. You've only got one eye, for Pete's sake ! Not to mention the walking stick."

"Look here, Colonel, I'm a better flier than anyone in your outfit ! I could pilot your bird with both eyes shut ! And anyway, Slackie here will be pilot, I'll just be co-pilot."

"No, your lordship. You'd be a danger to every man on board. And LeMay would have my guts for garters. He made a hell of a fuss about exchange crew casualties when you got shot up - apparently your House of Lords was none too pleased to nearly lose one of its own. I can't let you fly a plane, and that's the end of the matter."

"But - !"

"If I might interject, Colonel ? I've just lost my starboard waist gunner, Sergeant Redshirt, to a suspected grumbling appendix this morning - he's on sick call just now. I've got no other trained gunner, and Flashie can hit a pheasant at 500 yards. He'll only be required to spray fire anyway, so defective eyesight won't be a problem, and he's the only person available at short notice."

"Hmpfh, well, most irregular..."

"We could call him an observer, sir, if that would appease Colonel LeMay..."

"Well, alright, on your own heads be it. Double over to the 151st and see McManlo, he has a bird for you to prep. Dismissed !"

Blackadder and Flashheart exit into the twilight.

"Shame about your Redshirt."

"Yes. How much did it cost you ?"

"Not too much - ten cartons of fags and a crate of whiskey. Apparently, he had a 'bad feeling' about this mission. So, he's pullin' the wool over the quack's eyes, and Flashie's back in the air ! Hurrah !"

arrrh





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Australia
Sebastopol (Ballarat)
Victoria
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In an unusual moment of sentimentality, Seth wrote the following note and thumb-tacked it onto HQ’s door

I’ve taken Santanico through 22 missions now. She and I have a lot of love between us. Now that I’ve finished my rotations through the low-low, I’d like to request that we keep her for our final 3. Please give the new model to the other members of the 151st first. Our end is in sight and the old girl is about ready for retirement, but I’d like to see her all the way through.

Regards,
Captain Seth Gecko
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Jim P
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Sterling Heights
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But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you… And I will beat you.
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GeneSteeler wrote:
In an unusual moment of sentimentality, Seth wrote the following note and thumb-tacked it onto HQ’s door

I’ve taken Santanico through 22 missions now. She and I have a lot of love between us. Now that I’ve finished my rotations through the low-low, I’d like to request that we keep her for our final 3. Please give the new model to the other members of the 151st first. Our end is in sight and the old girl is about ready for retirement, but I’d like to see her all the way through.

Regards,
Captain Seth Gecko


Captain Gecko,

As I would prefer that you and your crew had the extra protection of the chin turret, I entirely understand your desire to keep the o'l girl that has taken care of you this long.

Good luck and Gods speed,
Lt. Col. Pfalzstaff
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Sebastopol (Ballarat)
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I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
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Captain Hamish McManlo goes through the plane rosters. Most of the positions he can easily fill with replacements but one spot eludes him. Charon's Oar needs a pilot. It's a pretty inexperienced crew but they do have six missions under their belt. The Ball Gunner is quite the Ace as well.

Major Gecko wants this sorted ASAP as the next mission should fly real soon. So Hamish scratches out a memo to the other squadrons to see if any pilots are needing a bird...
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Johnny Mustang

Ashland
Kentucky
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I thought I had a pilot waiting to return, but no he was KIA. I'd forgotten about him, but he wasn't on my wounded roll call. Because as I'd forgetten he was killed.
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Bryan Laird
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Kankakee
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Good Evening Major Gecko, I'm your new transfer CPT Joe Ewing I arrived while your were out on mission from the 390th with my crew and the Dragon Lady, she's an older bird, a B-17F but there's still some life left in her. Our last mission saw her shot full of holes but they've since been patched up and we're all set to fly once again. Now I suppose I should tell you some of our exploits, we have been bombing targets closer to the channel, Lille, St. Omer, and Abberville, the Jerry's did a number on us over Abberville killing 3 of my crew and seriously wounding a fourth. My crew had gotten to be know each other fairly well before then and we're hoping that the new guys can fit in just as easily. My crew and their individual exploits consist of:

Myself (Captain Joe Ewing) as pilot.

Bombardier - 2nd Lieutenant Colston Barker who is a new addition to our crew.

Navigator - 2nd Lieutenant Louis Holmes. 2LT Holmes has been with us since the start, and while he is a spot on navigator, he has issues hitting enemy birds when he tries to shoot at them.

Co-Pilot - 2nd Lieutenant Paul Allen. 2LT Allen was wounded over Abberville, how ever he was actually out of his seat filling in for our engineer, and manning the top turret at the time as MSG Blackwell who was our engineer at the time had unfortunately been killed. LT Allen also was credited with his first kill, a ME-109 while flying over Abberville.

Engineer - T/SGT Charles McDowell, is a new member to our crew replacing our former MSG who was killed on our last mission.

Radio Operator - Corporal Frank Robinson. Corporal Robinson joined our crew a couple of hours before our transfer was finalized and we were able to keep him, as he replaced on of our lost crewmen.

Ball Gunner - SGT Herbert Chadwick, has had the ill luck of being trapped in his turret as the mechanism was destroyed, luckily once we landed we were able to get him free and other than a brief phobia of the turret he hasn't had an issue since. SGT Chadwick was credited with his first, and only kill over the English Channel when he shot down an ME-109 near St. Omer.

Port Waist Gunner - SGT Harley Davis, is the more experienced of my two waist gunners having flown three missions with the Dragon Lady and her crew. Sgt Davis was credited with his only kill a ME-109 over St. Omer.

Starboard Waist Gunner - Corporal Barry Ingerson, joined our crew prior to departing the 390th as a sort of fair well gift from our COL as our transfer was finalized.


Tail Gunner - SGT Albert Ward, is the pride of the Dragon Lady, having flown three missions and being lightly wounded once he has been credited with 5 kills. The first was a ME-109 over St. Omer as we flew towards Lille, the second was an ME-110 as we targeted St. Omer, and on the same mission he was also credited with killing 2 more ME-109's while over zone 2. Then on his third mission while flying over Abberville he was credited with downing a FW-190.

That is a brief history of our crew and the Dragon Lady, I have the mission debriefs, which have been declassified if you desire to see them, Dragon Lady over Lille Dragon Lady over St. Omer and Dragon Lady over Abberville

We look forward to flying with the 151st.
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Alexandros Boucharelis
Greece
Drama
Macedonia
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Welcome on board Cpt Ewing, i wish you to reach 25 missions in a row and fly back to the States to train more recruits for the European theatre!
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Sebastopol (Ballarat)
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"Glad to have you in my squadron Joe. The B-17F is a good reliable bird. I got mine through the 25 and hope you manage to do so too. I did lose a lot good men though. So make sure you always got some morphine along and keep the Benzedrine handy. Don't be afraid to abort if you need to and you're not too far out. No point taking a wounded bird deep into hell if your bombadier is out cold and you've lost a dual turret. Stay in tight formation on those long trips to Germany and feel free to dump your bombs to stay together if you lose an engine while your deep in. Better that than trying to hit the target on your own and attempting to make it out again.

I'll let Captain McManlo show you around. Dismissed!"

Major Seth Gecko
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Carl Sonson
Australia
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Clipping of article by Correspondent Larry McGill from London Gazette
“London 1943: Ever since the United States was dragged into this war against Fascism young men and their bombing machines have been building up in the verdant fields of England. One day recently I had the opportunity of interviewing one such young man and some of his crew prior to joining their first squadron “somewhere in the British Isles”.

Here I will tell you about the leader of this small band. The pilot of this group and their “captain” is 1st Lt. John H. Busch III from Boston, Massachusetts. He is a member of a well-to-do family that can trace it ancestors back to the Boston Tea Party and earlier. When America was pitchforked into this war he was studying law after completing an economics degree. One would think that he could have had any position in a safe staff job but instead chose to join the Air force and accepted a posting to bomber training.

He appears a steady and intelligent young man, quiet spoken but with an air of authority. The members of his crew that I interviewed all indicated great respect for him and feel confident in his abilities and his desire to complete their tour and get them home safely. This is best indicated by their nickname for him – “Boss”.

A short, lean member of the crew, Sgt. Robert E. L. (Reb) Jackson, summed up the crew’s feelings. “Lt. Busch is a great guy. We’re all going to do our damnedest to help “Boss” get us back. Besides” he added with a twinkle in his eye, “I'm going to hit this Yankee up for a job when this shindig’s over”.

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2nd Lt. Hans Van Wise knocked on the door to Maj Gecko's office - "my door is always open" was more figurative than literal.

A tired sounding voice invited, "Come in".

"Good morning sir, I need to advise you that our crew chief has worked wonders patching the damage to our "Cautious Carol" from yesterday's mission to Emden. He's certain she'll be fully operational in a couple of days. However, as there will be another mission soon I request that our crew fly a spare aircraft on the next mission. B-17F-50-B0 42-5398 "What’s up Doc” appears to be available. Our new pilot and our other replacements are due in this afternoon and he'll be able to do a shakedown with us when he clocks in."

Hans waited quietly while Major Gecko pondered...

The Major retrieved a paper from the pending pile on his desk.

"Son, I admire your feelings for your aircraft and fellow crew but I see on this report that your replacement pilot has been assigned - a 2nd Lt. Campbell McAllister - and that you will all be flying in a new B-17G next mission. So why don't you run over to dispersal and take a look. Dismissed."

"Yes, sir". And Hans forgot to salute as he turned and hurried from the office. That's 'hostilities only' boys for you.
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Kankakee
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After knocking on the door, and being ushered in.

"Good Morning Sir, I'm 1st Lieutenant Dalton Drake, I was told that I was to be assigned to the 151st as a replacement crew. So I thought I would stop by and drop off the personnel files for the Red Gremlin (B-17G-5-B0 42-31193) and her crew:

Pilot - 1st Lieutenant Dalton Drake
Waterloo, IA Graduated from University of Iowa with a degree in History

Co-Pilot - 2nd Lieutenant Robert Stark
Kalamazoo, MI Graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Law

Bombardier - 2nd Lieutenant Raymond Stevenson
Salt Lake City, Utah Graduated from University of Utah School of Medicine with a degree in Biology

Navigator - 2nd Lieutenant Nigel Wofford
Kankakee, Illinois Graduated from University of Illinois with a degree in physics.

Engineer – MSG Evan Tucker
Goshen, Indiana

Radio Operator -SGT Robert Bowman
Wiscasset, Maine

Ball Gunner – SGT Dylan O'Connor
Elsmere, Delaware

Port Waist Gunner - SGT Frank Anson
Greensboro, Georgia

Starboard Waist Gunner - SGT Donald McWilliams
Leesville, Louisiana

Tail Gunner – SGT Billy Cole
Forest City, Missouri
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Sisyphean Gamestacker
United States
Taylors
South Carolina
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Lt. Bill Post and the crew of Tulsa Time reporting for temporary duty, sir. Looking forward to joining the action while we await our permanent assignment.
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Jim P
United States
Sterling Heights
Michigan
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Aircraft Assigned to the crew of Lieutenant William "Bill" Post
"Tulsa Time" B-17F-125-B0 42-30923
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Carl Sonson
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Entry in Campbell McAllister's diary for 28 Sept, 1943 AM:

Hans van Wise, now my Co-pilot, came to my quarters to brief me on the other surviving crew members of "Cautious Carol" who are joining us on "Witch of the West". All appear ok but he has some concerns for the navigator Howard Carton. He is despondent because he feels he caused the death of their severely wounded bombardier Paul Minton by moving him to the navigator's position, so Howard could man the nose gun; Minton then received another light wound causing his death. I promised to keep an eye on him and will see the Doc and the Chaplin on return from tonight's mission. "Witch of the West"'s crew is now:

Bombardier: 2nd Lt. John T. Trenton aka "NJ" (0)
Navigator: 1st Lt. Howard A. Carton aka “Box” (2)
Pilot: 2nd Lt. Campbell McAllister aka "Scotty"(0)
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Hans van Wise aka “Prof” (2)
Engineer: M’Sgt. Terrence S. O’Rielly aka “Irish” (2)
Radio Operator: Sgt. Larry I. Saunders aka “River” (2)
Ball Gunner: Sgt. Timothy T. Warburton aka “Tiny” (2) +
Port Waist Gunner: Paul A. Montrose ake "Frenchie" (0)
Starboard Waist Gunner: Theodore N. Brinkley aka "Bear"(0)
Tail Gunner: Sgt. Robert E. L. Jackson aka “Reb” (2)
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Sebastopol (Ballarat)
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A middle aged pilot stands in stiff salute at Operations...

"Sir! First Lieutenant Bob Adams reporting for duty. I've been told our B-17 has been named Jagged Alliance. Please advise model and number. Glad to be aboard."
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Kankakee
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GeneSteeler wrote:
A middle aged pilot stands in stiff salute at Operations...

"Sir! First Lieutenant Bob Adams reporting for duty. I've been told our B-17 has been named Jagged Alliance. Please advise model and number. Glad to be aboard."


As 1st Lieutenant Hamish Alexander approaches the door, he is told to wait a minute as the major is with another pilot. After seeing First Lieutenant Bob Adams exit the room (or being ushered in by the Major) he enters the room, snaps to attention and lets off a smart salute, "1st Lieutenant Hamish Alexander Reporting Sir!" he sounds off, then "Sir, I bring you the Sky Wolf, just arriving from Sioux City AAD, Iowa and are ready for our first mission."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Special Thanks to master munster for the 281st Bomb Group History as it allowed me to see where the bomb group originated from for this post.
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There were a lot of empty chairs in "The Duck and Dog" and Campbell McAllister's crew were subdued after their recent dicing with fate in the North Sea.

Campbell rose to his feet and and said: "Listen everyone we had a close call night before last. We made it back thanks to all of you. But in particular we should thank "Box" Carton for his great navigation between fighter attacks and with the knowledge that we were losing too much fuel to get back home; any deviation off course would have reduced our chances enormously. And lets not forget "River" Saunders maintaining contact with base and the RAF rescue teams. So raise your glasses to our two buddies and lets have a bit more cheer". They raised their glasses and chorused "Box", "River". Howard Carton smiled self-consciously (the first time since Emden on the 27th); Larry Saunders whooped.

"Now drink up. Our new bird's here. She's an F not a G but she's like new. We've got a big day tomorrow; we're taking her up for a shakedown".

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