Boeing B-52 Stratofortress moments before crashing at the Fairchild AFB air show in 1994. Just to the right of the aircraft is the ditching hatch of the copilot, who had initiated his ejection sequence, but not in enough time.
As early as 1915, the German Air Service began launching Zeppelin raids against the English homeland in an effort to knock the British Empire out of the war. After airship raids proved to be a disaster, the German Air Service began using conventional fixed-wing aircraft in both daylight and night raids. One such aircraft was the Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI, a biplane with a massive wingspan and crew, capable of delivering a sizable payload against England with a higher speed than airships. With the Royal Flying Corps’ greatly improved intercept tactics, the German Air Service witched exclusively to night raids, a prelude to what would become the Battle of Britain in the Second World War.
Designed as a fighter, the P-47 increasingly found itself performing the ground attack role, especially with the eventual debut of the North American P-51 Mustang in the latter half of the war.
Top American Ace Francis Gabreski flew the P-47 throughout most of his time in WW2. On his last mission, Gabreski was strafing He-111′s parked on a German airfield, flying about as low as the picture above, Gabreski’s propeller clipped the runway of the airfield and he was forced to crash land.
Badly damaged, Lieutenant Colonel Addison E. Baker and Major John L. Jerstad keep “Hell’s Wench” steady, leading their formation for the bombing run over the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. Both were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their efforts.