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WWII bomber crew chatter

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Garfield
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Just came across this on YouTube... a fantastic recording of a Lancaster crew talking during a bombing run over Germany. It'll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

 

 

The one thing that struck me was how they remained cool throughout, even when an enemy aircraft engaged them...

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There is a recording somewhere in the archives from a Master Bomber late-war in 1945, made throughout the raid. Incredible stories from the air.

 

Of note is the first Me-262 shot down by RAF Bomber Command was from a .5in turret, with a sum total of 50 rounds fired by F/Sgt. Ken O'Brien of 101 Squadron. The trilogy by Kevin Wilson on the bomber war opens up your eyes to a service that suffered just under 50% casulties (dead, not wounded)

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Erie listening to that. Brave young airmen on all sides. The casualty rate for bomber crews was truly dreadful, especially for USAF B17 daylight raids. Suffering was suffering, be it carnage in the air or carnage on the ground, or living with the aftermath. Hopefully we will never see its like again.

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Both RAF Bomber Command and the US 8th Air Force suffered the highest casualty rate of any Allied service. For example, New Zealanders in Bomber Command made up around 1.5% of the total service effort and suffered 20% of the overall casualties. By late 1944 the occupation of Night Fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe was one of the most dangerous of all Luftwaffe postings.

 

Because of the damage caused, we hope never to see it again. Interestingly, the fallout afterwards weighed against Bomber Command's city-bombing, despite the US Air Force using the same tactics in the Pacific and Europe, and the atomic weapon can hardly be called precision!

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About ten years ago, I drove a van to Prague overnight. It was the first time that I'd ever been in Germany.

 

There were two of us taking turns. We were just entering Germany as it got dark and we started seeing signs for Cologne and other Ruhr cities, we had even seen a sign for Venlo* in the Netherlands. The other chap was a good bit younger than me and the war was just something in the distant past to him.

 

We headed south and started seeing more "targets", like Weisbaden, and then we went past the airport in Frankfurt - and there was a searchlight sweeping the sky for some reason. I said to him that, if the engine missed even a single beat, I was going to turn south for Switzerland. He had no idea what I was talking about, but then we saw signs for Nuremburg and Schweinfurt and it got really spooky for me.

 

I grew up on RAF stations and knew many people that had been on raids to all these places - it seemed quite odd to be just driving through them unmolested.

 

*Major nightfighter base.

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I visited the Rathaus (City Hall) in Hanover back in '90. In it was a massive set of dioramas of the city, representing it as of 1500, 1935, 1945 and 1985. The devastation after the bombings has to be seen, there wasn't a building standing in the two square miles represented. Likewise I was living in Braunschweig at the time and a lot of the pre war buildings had quite evident fire damage still evident on the stone and brickwork, particularly at ground level. About 90% of the city was post 50's construction as a result.

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I visited the Rathaus (City Hall) in Hanover back in '90. In it was a massive set of dioramas of the city, representing it as of 1500, 1935, 1945 and 1985. The devastation after the bombings has to be seen, there wasn't a building standing in the two square miles represented. Likewise I was living in Braunschweig at the time and a lot of the pre war buildings had quite evident fire damage still evident on the stone and brickwork, particularly at ground level. About 90% of the city was post 50's construction as a result.

 

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7i2qdqkVOr8/T-jYck2fpSI/AAAAAAAACK8/LMohrEJD--c/s1600/hannover+after+2.jpg

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Just came across this on YouTube... a fantastic recording of a Lancaster crew talking during a bombing run over Germany. It'll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

 

 

The one thing that struck me was how they remained cool throughout, even when an enemy aircraft engaged them...

 

....excelent find Garfield and thanks for sharing:tumbsup: Amazing that they faced death at any minute and still remained so composed.

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