Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Gold Country, CA, USA
Re: June 6,1944. D-Day remembered
Great post, Norris; they were a different breed back then. My great uncle served, as a waist gunner on a Flying Fortress. He never talked much about the war. He's 93 now, and just the other day while having desert at a family gathering he just mentioned in passing (as calmly and nonchalantly as if saying, "the mail is here") that he was on the very last Flying Fortress to drop bombs on Germany!
Before that, I never really knew what he did; everyone in the family just new Uncle Gerald was "overseas" in the big war. To him, and his buddies, they were just doing what was expected of a man. He did mention a few horrible things he saw out the opening on the side of his plane, with what happened to some of the bombers that got hit and went down with his buddies inside them. To this day, he still remembers his friends that didn't come home.
After hearing his story about being in the last plane to drop bombs, I asked him how he got there. They had a new bombadier on their plane, and they always put them at the back of the bombing run (they always put the most experienced and best bombadiers up front, in the first three planes). The newbies didn't rely on the Norton (I think that's waht they were called) bomb sight - they just released their bombs when they saw the plane in front drop theirs; everyone following the lead of the guys in front with good aim.
My uncle is cruising along at the back of the pack, and didn't even have to fire his gun. By this time the Luftwaffe was just about non-existant, but they still got flak.
They make their bombing run, and turn around for England, when a message came over the radio that the war was over. That made for a real happy landing, I guess.
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Last edited by hallzee; Jun 6th, 2008 at 9:50 am.