As you’ll see in this historical footage, a B-17 squadron gets attacked by Nazi fighters. Though tough to watch, the audio from the intercom (voiced over later) will really show you to horrors these brave crews faced every time they flew out on missions.
B-17s dropped 640,036 tons of bombs over Europe in daylight raids alone, mainly targeting Axis airfields and arms factories but also rail yards and bridges. The worst day for the USAAF was October 14, 1943 when 291 attacking Fortresses took off for Schweinfurt , 60 were shot down over Germany, five crashed on approach to Britain, and 12 more were scrapped due to damage – a total loss of 77 B-17s.
Crew members dealt with very cold flights in the unpressurized cabins, with temperature gauges in the cockpit frequently reading -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Crews stayed warm in fleece-lined uniforms.
In this video the crew members see one of their B-17 hit, with an engine catching fire. It then begins to plummet towards the earth. They see five parachutes deploy, however, B-17 crews typically consisted of 10 men.
Please note, the voices you here were all added later by actors.