ball turret gunner crushed

Magee stayed in various German camps as a Prisoner of War. He could then open the hatch and would climb in. According to The Washington Post, Robert Brooks enlisted in 1944 as a “belly gunner,” in a B-17 bomber ball turret.His frame of 5-foot-1 was perfect for the assignment which is considered as one of the most dangerous during World War II. Crackle! The gunner placed his feet in the heel rests and th… Ball Turret Gunners on B-17 bombers were protected only by a glass bubble jutting out from the bowels of the plane. (NASM (SI-80-20353)) Aerial gunnery training had a make-do, try-anything quality, resulting in the design of 16 types of outdoor ranges. He felt a need to enlist in the Army and defend his country. A glimmering of conscious awareness comes to him, if at all, only after the moment of death. Ball Turret Gunner. To enter the turret, the turret was moved until the guns were pointed straight down. In Band of Brothers, Malarkey Asks a German POW Where he Was From, He Answered Eugene, Oregon. It was their second mission in “Berlin Special,” a B-17 “Flying Fortress.” Their four-engine bomber was part of the 92nd Bomb Group, 407th Squadron of the 8th Air Force flying out of an airbase near Podington, a tiny farm village some 40-miles northwest of London during World War II. The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell From my mother's sleep I fell into the State, And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze. Permanently fixed and unable to be retracted, there was no hiding from enemy attack. For those manning that station death was indeed a … The name arose from the turret's spherical housing. To get in the turret the gunner would manually crank the guns straight down after take off. Actual Nose Art panel from crashed B-17 at St. Nazaire, France – 03 January 1943 [Via]. Image credit: Wikipedia. I was trained as a waist gunner so how did I end up in the most hated position on the B-17 as the lower ball turret gunner? The gunner released the latch and removed the cover which allowed space to clear the action. Two of the engines of the B-17 were stopped, about 3,000 pounds of dead weight hanging from the wings. The gunner placed his feet in the heel rests and t… Ironically, post war analysis of B-17 crew fatality records revealed that the ball turret gunner had the safest job on the plane (with the pilot having the most dangerous). In total, there were 85 B-17s involved in the raid, along with some fighter planes escorting them. Bodies crushed and swollen. The ball turret, like this one on a B-17 in England in 1943, was designed small to reduce drag, so its gunner usually was the shortest man in the crew. Ball Turret Gunner. $4.5 million buys you a P51 Mustang & twenty, yes TWENTY Merlin engines! The mission Magee was a part of turned out to be a failure for the Allied forces. Armed with two 50-caliber machine guns and capable of rotating 360 degrees, the ball turret gunner was responsible for protecting the otherwise-exposed underbelly of the flying fortress. The ball turret was originally a "bathtub" position facing rearward only - again by the D model it had evolved into twin .50s. The ball-turret gunner was trapped in the plastic bubble hanging beneath the B-17. [Via]. It wasn’t easy what they had to go through. On 3rd January 1943, Magee got into a Flying Fortress bomber on his seventh bombing mission. To get in the turret the gunner would manually crank the guns straight down after take off. On the 23rd of September 1995 Alan E. Magee, accompanied by his wife Helen, returned to St Nazaire to take part in a ceremony sponsored by French citizens, dedicating a memorial to his seven fellow crewmen killed in the crash of Snap! Once inside he could turn on the turrets electrical and hydraulic power. Hands like shovels. There are cases in which the ball turret operator could not be released, and if the airplane was damaged so the landing gear could not be lowered, the person inside the turret would be crushed to death. "He said one time they forgot he was there, and he thought he was going to be crushed. He felt a need to enlist in the Army and defend his country. Tail gunners suffered the highest casualties because that is the direction enemy fighters would most often come from. Pop! A glimmering of conscious awareness comes to him, if at all, only after the moment of death. Remembering his friend and comrade, he said that Magee was a great friend and a kind human being. Ball Turret Gunners on B-17 bombers were protected only by a glass bubble jutting out from the bowels of the plane. He'd be crushed." from mortar and bricklaying. He was considered a perfect fit for the B-17’s ball turret. Our crew trained together in the states as a ten man crew with two waist gunners but when we got to England and were assigned to a heavy bomb group, they were flying crews with only one waist gunner instead of two. The turret held the gunner, two heavy machine guns, ammunition, and sights. Once the B-17 was in … It was the job of the ball turret gunner, armed with a pair of .50-caliber machine guns, to defend the aircraft from attacks below. Source: 303rd BG  [Via]. The reasons for this were: 1: The turret gunner was curled up in a ball, presenting a rather small target. The Sperry Lower Retractable Ball mounted in the belly of the PB4Y-1, is the deadly and efficient defender of the bomber's once soft underside. It is a common misconception that the ball turret was the most dangerous place on American heavy bombers, or any bombers for that matter. The Sperry ball turret was very small in order to reduce drag, and was typically operated by the shortest man of the crew. A ball turret was a spherical-shaped, altazimuth mount gun turret, fitted to some American-built aircraft during World War II. This was mainly because German fighters would target the gunners first. The ball turret, like this one on a B-17 in England in 1943, was designed small to reduce drag, so its gunner usually was the shortest man in the crew. unholy tokens of Christ, Nailed to a tree (That) You hang around your neck. Another factor was that not all stoppages could be corrected by charging (cocking) the guns. And it often went to the shortest man among the crew. Magee had no idea how to control the plane and saw a small opening,  which he quickly jumped through. Gunner ' is a short, violent poem showing more than just how brutal War can be ``... Electric each developed a ball turret gunner by Randall Jarrell published in 1945 8th Air ball... The hatch and would climb in Medal for meritorious service and the nightmare.. 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