Wing hits


The morning after. The "City Of Wanette"'s officers pose behind her flak-shattered right wingtip.
Source: Half A Wing, Three Engines, and A Prayer by Brian D. O'Neill


"Nine Yanks and a Rebel". This 379BG B-17F had a reputation for taking some hard knocks. Having only recently been repaired after losing a tail stabilizer it came home from France on February 6, 1944 less a propeller. The cause was not uncommon - failure of the feathering mechanism with the over-speeding fan finally melting the shaft and flying off. Such damage always brought an audience.
Source: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman


A navigator moved quickly when an inboard propeller started to windmill. This 385th BG B-17F managed to land before the propeller on number 2 finally parted company and cut into the fuselage.
Source: B-17 Fortress At War by Roger A. Freeman

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Yet another lost propeller.
(I lost the data on this incident; anyone out there have that info?)


Back at base a crew marvels at the hole in their wing. According to Hal Landaker, who was the radio operator on this aircraft (the B-17 "Sugar-Jo", assigned to the 385th bomb group, 550 squadron, 8th Air Force), the damage was received on a mission to Hannover Germany on Dec. 6, 1944. The hole was caused by a direct hit with an 88 mm.anti-aircraft shell. The 88 went completely through the wing severing one of the main spars and exploded above the plane.

On one occasion the Germans tried dropping bombs from a captured B-17 onto a formation attacking the Rhineland. Luckily, the bombs didn't explode as they crunched through this 331st Bomb Group B-17's wing trailing edge.
Text and photo source: Air Classics magazine, July 1972


91st Group B-17 "The Peacemaker" received this and other damage from an FW-190 on a July 20th, 1944 mission to attack an airfield at Leipzig.
SOURCE: The Mighty Eighth by Roger A. Freeman


Inspecting cannon fire damage inflicted by German jet-powered fighter planes. Wing control surfaces were damaged but the fuel tanks remained intact as the pilot brought the B-17 back from the raid on Hamburg.
SOURCE: Game manual for Microprose's "B-17 Flying Fortress" game, submitted by Paul Varn