B-17’s and their escorts of the mighty 8th Air Force race to their targets over occupied Europe.
By 1945, there were 16 numbered Air Forces in the USAAF, fighting all over the world. The 8th’s main mission was massive daylight bombing raids of occupied Europe from their bases in England. Between 1942 - 1945, the 8th Air Force (just one of the 16 Air Forces) lost more men than the United States Marine Corps!
Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber flying in the waters off New Guinea.
A lot can be seen in this amazing photograph. The pilot is able to talk to his rear facing enlisted gunner via an ICS system, the gunner operates a twin .30 caliber machine gun for strafing and self defense. There are several white bombs painted just forward of the cockpit, each indicating a mission where ordnance was dropped. Forward of the painted bombs there is “OK” written on a fuselage panel, when maintainers work on aircraft they often use a colored grease pencil as a reminder that a part or whole aircraft is safe for flight. Forward of the “OK” writing is a round symbol, probably the squadrons logo.
U.S. Navy Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Alexandra Mimbela performs maintenance on an F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Aug. 21, 2014, in the Persian Gulf.
Under The Wing: 230,000lbs of thrust about to line up on RWY 19 at YBBN. The whine as the turbines spool up may just be my favourite sound on this earth. As they check N1 stabilizes and proceed to throttle up to take off thrust setting where the coarse throaty groan pierces the air.