American airmen posing with the side machine gun of a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, May 1942

Caption   American airmen posing with the side machine gun of a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, May 1942 ww2dbase
Photographer   
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Library of Congress
Identification Code   LC-USW36-209
More on...   
B-17 Flying Fortress   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Browning M2   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 27 Aug 2010

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (2,400 by 1,868 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. John Meshkoff says:
18 Oct 2012 09:00:01 PM

This photo is the B-17B "Teardrop Turret" sidegun; this was considered a hazard to crew safety and was removed on the B-17C. The ammo can shown is the Army type 0-1, which held only 40 rounds IIRC.
2. John Meshkoff says:
27 Jul 2013 02:31:55 PM

The 1942 date appears to be incorrect, as: T.O. 01-20EB-17 (7 Aug 1940) The AAF ordered that streamlined side turret on the B-17B be
removed and replaced by a flush installation. The E-4 flexible-gunnery-adapter is missing, and the gun appears to be an M2HB infantry model (not actually mounted) pressed into service for the photo op; more likely taken during the 1940 removal period.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 Oct 2014 08:49:10 AM

FOR THE CAMERA...PLEASE:

Looks like a photo opt to me our crewmember has his Mae West and A-1 flight jacket and his head set for radio communication. Early B-17 Models B
and C had streamlined blisters, the Plexiglas panels could be removed and an air deflector deployed, it was really very good metal work 1930s style.

SHORT BURSTS: THAT FIFTY EATS A LOT OF LEAD...

This was later dropped with the B-17E that had two large rectangular windows for the gunners stations. Each waist gunner manned a flexible fifty caliber machine gun the weapon was fed from a metal ammo box holding 100 rounds, this was later found to be inadequate the .50 could fire 13 rounds a second the gunner had to fired in short bursts giving the gunner about one minute of ammo! he had to maintain fire discipline.
Later ammo loads the gunners in B-17s flying over the Fatherland and fighting the Luftwaffe, carried as much ammo as they could. usual load was now 700 rounds...

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