8th Air Force WWII - B17 Missions


TPF Noob!
Mar 21, 2004
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Delavan, Wisconsin, USA
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My Father-in-law passed away recently and in going through some of his old stuff I found the following pictures. He was in the 8th Air Force in Europe and flew B17 Flying Fortresses as a Navigator. These are some pictures he took on missions over Europe. The pictures were sent back during his tour so all the identifiying information was cut off the bottom edge. Too bad as I don't have it now.

This one shows some of the Flack they were getting over a target.

Here is a formation shot with the Contrails

If your interested in any others (there are a few with nose art and the markers for how many missions and enemy aircraft shot down). You can go to my Photobucket site to see them at:

Pretty cool if your into this type of stuff.

stunning shots of a stunning plane in action.

But I would not like to be up there when they were taken

sorry to hear about your father-in-law
Fantastic shots. The airial shots are incredible. I recently visited the Palm Springs airport during an open house. They have a whole bunch of WWII planes there including a B-17. During the open house I had a chance to talk at length with the pilot who flew them in the war. Very inspiring, haunting, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Watching those films on TV doesnt make it hit home untill you talk to someone in person who can relate their experience. After the sobering tales he proceded to flirt with my wife! Pilots.....
In the first one you can see they are over the target as the closest plane has it bomb bay doors open. We owe these guys a great debt to have gone through that.....

I resized the pictures but they are still showing up way big on this site. I tried another site and they are ok. Not sure why......
You have something very special here. Thx for sharing these awesome images.

Salute to your Father inlaw.
What great treasures those are! I think the WWII years are the most romantic and historically important years ever. If I could live at any time in history it would be during the 30-50's. Sadly enough there aren't many left of the Greatest Generation. I watch anything and everything I can on History, DSC, TLC, and Public TV. I'm sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. Thank you for sharing his story and his pictures...


Do you know what camera/lens he was using?
danalec99 said:

Do you know what camera/lens he was using?

Unfortuantly not. He, as seems to be typical of his generation, never talked about his service nor the awards he recieved or what they were for.

I believe he was awarded the Distigushed Service medal but I have no idea what it was for. He never said a word and now he's gone so we'll probably never know.

We're still going through some of his stuff and hopefully will uncover more but even my wife didn't know much about her fathers service.
Any idea where he was based? I guess that there are no identifying codes or squadron badges that could be used to tell either, if the WW2 sensors were as strict with his photo's as they were with my grandfathers.

Have you considered supplying copies of the pictures to appropriate museums & organisations? I'm sure the 8th AAF have a historical society type section who would appreciate unseen images, especially of nose art?

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