Friday, July 30, 2010

Queen of the sky

During WWII, my dad was a bombardier on a B-17 (I believe it was a B-17G), the Stars and Stripes. I don’t know much about what he did – he’s talked about it more with others than with me, but I know that he bombed Germany, and I know he and his whole crew completed their 30 missions successfully. While visiting last week, there was a B-17G at the local airport for 2 days, and the crew called my dad as asked if he would like to come out for a visit. At 94, my dad’s mind is still as sharp as a tack, but his knees aren’t so good, and 25 years of smoking when he was younger have caught up with his lungs. Unfortunately, he had to decline.

A couple of days later, we took Sweet Daughter to a park to do some kid stuff, instead of all that boring grown-up talking, and I heard a very distinctive growly rumbly hum. Once you’ve heard it, you can’t possibly mistake it for anything else. I looked up, and there she was, the Aluminum Overcast, the Queen of the Sky.


  1. When I was working at the airport, my office was in a hangar, right off the ramp.

    One fine weekend there was an airshow in town, and Aluminum Overcast was parked right. outside. my. window.

    I didn't get a lot of work done... :)

  2. I like my medium bombers more than the heavies, but I'll take any warbird over them newfangled (emphasis on angled) stealth fighters. There's something about hundreds of bombers in broad daylight flying over and saying, "Hi! We're air superiority, and we're here to bomb you!" that you just don't get these days.

  3. Not sure if you are interested but I found a B17F flight log that was scanned and posted to the web. Cover says 8th Air Force, 385th Bomb Wing Great Ashfield, England. 5 SEP 1943-21 Feb 1944. It is in a PDF format and it was very interesting. It is hand written and covers the the flight to England from the US, training conducted, and accounts of missions flown with names. It ends when the writer was himself wounded.