A B17 Flying Fortress Bomber Crew - World War II

By Earl Benham


The Author

The Book

B-17 Bomber






This story starts as I arrive a Moses Lake, Washington. The operational training base for the new combat crews. This was the late spring of 1943.

I had previously graduated from Radio school at Scott Field, Illinois. I had previously graduated from the Gunnery School at Harlingen, Texas. We were here to organize our flight crews, and start on an incredible journey which proved to be a lifetime of excitement and experience compressed into a time period of a few months.

The story of these events is written in the following pages, much has been forgotten over the past many years. The only guide I have, except for my memories, is a diary I kept while flying combat missions.

Only a small portion of the experiences can be written here. Our personal conversations and actions may be referred to only briefly, as personal choices must be respected. I have no right to explain or comment on the private conversations and actions of the men involved here.

Just to say “we were a great crew” will have to suffice in a non-personal commentary. As we flew these many hours in training and in combat, we developed a certain friendship and respect for each member of our crew.