B-17F Flying Fortress bombers in flight over Schweinfurt, Germany, 17 Aug 1943

Caption   B-17F Flying Fortress bombers in flight over Schweinfurt, Germany, 17 Aug 1943 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Air Force
More on...   
B-17 Flying Fortress   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities   Main article  Photos  
Schweinfurt Ball Bearing Factories   Main article  Photos  
Photos on Same Day 17 Aug 1943
Photos at Same Place Schweinfurt, Mainfranken, Germany
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 28 Jan 2009

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Licensing  Public Domain. According to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
28 May 2010 08:29:18 PM

A Fortress is Forever:

One of the Greatest World War II films made
in my opinion, was 12 O'Clock High.(1949) The cast:
Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Dear Jagger and
Gregory Peck and other supporting actors.
I've always enjoyed the opening scene,showing
Dean Jagger returning to his war-time B-17
base in Post-War England.
The movie was filmed in Florida the scene
showing the wooden fence and cows grazing
gave you the realism, that Jagger, was back in the English Country-side.

Did you know...
Picadilly Lily shown in the film 12 O'Clock
High, was the last B-17 to serve with the
U.S.A.A.F. Picadilly Lily II is being restored at the Planes of Fame Museum located
in Chino, California U.S.A.

Many of the "GREATESTS GENERATION" who saved
the world, are now becoming the few.
How can a Greatful Nation, and the free world
ever thank them.
The only way I know, to say Thank you, is to
Stand by America, Defend her and Preserve her

The late U.S. Historian: Stephen Ambrose
famously said:
The generation of men and women depicted in
the 1949 movie 12 O'Cock High, were of a
special character.

2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
29 May 2010 05:10:51 PM

More About 12 O'Clock High:

You can buy the movie on DVD,and the complete
three season 1960's TV series also on DVD at

The B-17 that belly landed in the film, was
flown by Paul Mantz who was paid $4,500 thats
1949 Dollars.

Years later,Paul Mantz was tragically killed during the filming of Flight of the Phoenix.

You can buy a replica of the Toby Jug, that
Jagger bought for 10 schllings,in the film. At that time,one shilling was worth 16 cents the price was $1.60!

You can buy a replica of the Toby Jug on Ebay or click on googleup12o'clockhigh.
I remember it was also available in the 70's
its made just like the original.

Did you know...
12,732 B-17's were built
4,500 were lost in combat
46,500 Airman were killed or wounded.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
29 May 2010 07:11:47 PM

20th Century Fox paid $100,000 Dollars for
the rights to the book.

Filmed at Elgin Air Force Base, Florida and
Ozark Army Air Field for takeoff and landing
scenes. Today Ozark Army Air Field, is part
of Fort Rucker,Alabama Army Aviation Center.

The two screewriters:
Sy Bartlett and Beirne Lay Jr. drew on their
own wartime experiences, with 8th Air Force
bomber units.

Twelve O'Clock High was planned to be shot
in color,but was changed to black and white.

Attending the premiere, of Twelve O'Clock High was General Curtis E. LeMay Commander
of(SAC)the Strategic Air Command, said he couldn't find anything wrong with the film.
LeMay, himself was a 8th Air Force veteran
of World War II.

Did you know...
Twelve O'Clock High is required viewing at all U.S. Military Academies, dealing in

In 1949 Twelve O'Clock High made $3,225,000
Dollars, got to remember thats 1949 Dollars.

Meaning of the Term Twelve O'Clock High:

Aircrew's called out positions of attacking
enemy aircraft,referring to an imagined face
of a clock, with the bomber at the center
this meant, that an enemy aircraft was going to attack directly ahead.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 May 2010 03:16:40 PM

Maximum Effort:

Any B-17 that could be put into the air,flew
that mission, ground crews worked day and
night, to keep aircraft combat ready.
Groups would work hard, to make sure their
Squadron or Group would be able to put the
most bombers into he air.

More about the Toby Mug:
(A mug in the form of a person) the one in
the film is based on Robin Hood. Before a mission the mug faced the wall,when a mission
was called,the mug would be turned around to
face outward.

Did you know...
John Wayne turned down the role of General
Frank Savage, Twelve O'Clock High.

Many veterans of the USAAF, during WWII, said
the movie was a fairly accurate depiction of
their wartime service.

At the Officer's Club at Whiteman Air Force
Base, Missouri home of the 509th Bomb Wing
is a replica of the(Robin Hood)Toby mug, it
is used, to alert crews for training or combat missions.

Twelve O'Clock High,later became a television
series, based on the same name,and was shown
on ABC from 1964 to 1967.
The show was filmed at Chino Airport, Chino,
California USA.

Today the film Twelve O'Cloch High, is used
as a case study in US Military Academies,and Civilian Leadership Seminars.

Years ago, I attended a Leadership Seminar
and after the end of the movie, enjoyed giving the question and answer followup.

5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 May 2010 04:06:16 PM

Toby Jugs:

Feature a male figure, History of the Toby Jug started in 1889, Charles Noke revived
the tradition of the Toby.

Toby Jug: (Robin Hood) 918th Bomb Group, as
shown in the 1949 movie Twelve O'Clock High.

Visit the Toby Museum Located in:
Evanston, Illinois, USA

Did you know...

The 1949 movie Twelve O'Clock High, was selected for preservation in the
United States National Film Registy by the Library of Congress.

I can imagine in about 100 years time, two
Air Force Officer's watch the film one turns
to the other saying,
Propellers, Captain! that must have been real

Words of Wisdom:

"Knowledge is of no valve unless you put it
into practice".
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 May 2010 07:13:49 PM

Photo of B-17's, of the 1st Bomb Wing over
Schweinfurt 17 August 1943.
55 crews
552 crewman listed as missing, half became
60 B-17's lost or damaged beyond repair
60 out of 291 thats about 20% loss
100 B-17's survive today, and less than two
dozen are able to fly.
7. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 May 2010 07:23:11 PM

Years ago an old pilot, told about the time
he went back to England. He walked around an
old military field, as he walked around, he
thought he heard the rumble of bombers over-
A farmer walked up to him,and without having
said a word to each other, asked.
"You hear them don't you?"
How do you know, said the veteran
"Your not the first one to hear them."

Thanks Dale...

Best wishes
8. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
4 Jun 2010 08:52:10 PM

The Planes of Fame Museum's B-17G flew with
the USAAF, and Post War USAF, until the mid
Declared surplus, she appeared in different
movies and T.V.Productions However, her most
famous role was "Piccadilly Lily" in the 1960's T.V. Series, Twelve O'Clock High.
She flew to the museum in 1975, and has not
been flown since.
The aircraft is under going restoration, at
a cost of $1,000,000 Dollars.
9. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
19 Jun 2010 01:44:55 PM

Beirne Lay Jr. Screenwriter and Producer:

Served in WWII with the USAAF, as a B-24 pilot,8th Air Force 487th BG group commander
shot down over Europe,evaded capture and made
his way back to England.

The two screenwriters drew on their own
wartime experiences serving with the 8th AF
in World War II, and went on to produce the
1949 movie "Twelve O'Clock High" from the

Sy Bartlett Screenwriter:

Server in WWII as Bombardier, made the first
bombing raid over Berlin in March 1942.
10. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
3 Jul 2010 02:01:37 PM


Most of the actors, who stared in the 1960's
Television series Twelve O'Clock High, have passed on.
The B-17 named "Picadilly Lily", flown by
General Frank Savage (Robert Lansing) in the show still exists, and is being restored at the Planes of Fame, Museum located in
Chino, California USA.
11. Commenter identity confirmed Biil says:
12 Dec 2010 02:04:48 PM

The 8th Air Force was formed one month after
Pearl Harbor, and had seven men and no aircraft.

During WWII 350,000 men served at one time or another with the 8th Air Force during WWII.
At its peak strength, the 8th Air Force could
put 2,000 Bombers and 1,000 Fighters for a
maximum effort mission.

The 8th Air Force fired 76.9 million rounds of .50 caliber ammo.
7 million rounds of .30 caliber ammo
Shotdown 6,090 enemy aircraft, that's about
12,700 rounds for each aircraft.
12. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
18 Feb 2011 08:43:59 PM


The US 8th Air Force shotdown 6,098 enemy
aircraft, that's one plane for every 12,700
rounds fired!
13. Jon says:
30 Jul 2011 02:54:51 PM

my 2nd cousin was in the unit the movie is based on. He flew on the real Piccadilly Lily, which was shot down over Schweinfurt in the big raid. All got out, he was wounded, tossed out of the plane by another crewmember behind him. Captured, repatriated 11 months later. He was a waist gunner, it was his first mission.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Schweinfurt, Mainfranken, Germany
Lat/Long 50.0418, 10.2223
Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

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