Archive for the ‘USAAF mechanics’ Category

HARD TO KEEP THE B-17S IN THE SW PACIFIC AIR-WORTHY

October 3rd, 2016 by Ken & Phyl Bledsoe
On the way to a mission over New Guinea

On the way to a mission over New Guinea

Due to the lack of planes and spare parts, more often than not the 19th BG could not send more than six B-17s on a mission. So when they lost a plane it was a traumatic loss.

 

For example, while on a mission over New Guinea, B-17 #621, “Daylight Limited,” sustained substantial damage from flak and crash landed at Mareeba. All of the crew survived, but the plane was badly damaged and out of action.

The Phantom burning in the hanger.

The Phantom burning in the hanger.

 

 

Then B-17E #41-9012, “The Phantom,” burned while in a hangar at Mareeba.

According to Ralph Dietz, a member of the 93rd Squadron, the ground crew used gasoline to remove oil from the outside of an engine before it had cooled.

Notice first responders in white fire-fighting suits

Crash landing. Notice first responders in white fire-fighting suits

 

Another much needed plane was gone; and with every lost plane, an extremely difficult job became next to impossible. But the men of the 19th BG carried on the best they could.