Formation of B-17G Flying Fortress bombers dropping bombs over Europe, circa 1944

Caption   Formation of B-17G Flying Fortress bombers dropping bombs over Europe, circa 1944 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Air Force
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B-17 Flying Fortress   Main article  Photos  Maps  
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:
11 Jan 2011 06:05:28 PM

WHAT WAS THE COMBAT BOX FORMATION: Developed to give the formation maximum protection with its fifty caliber machine guns. Each box had between 18 to 21 bombers in a group, 3 groups made a wing the lead group flew ahead of the other two, one group flew about 1,000 ft. higher to one side and the other flew 1,000 ft. lower to the opposite side. MAXIMUM FIREPOWER SHORT BURSTS: You have 54 bombers in this formation and the attacking German fighters would have to fly against 540 fifty caliber machine guns if each gunner fired a 2 second burst from his .50 caliber, thats about 8 rounds, and a 6 second burst is about 50 rds. INTO A HAIL OF LEAD: All 540 fifty's are also firing a short 2 second burst, thats about 4,320 rounds, but you gotta remember the gunners are firing at enemy fighters attacking from different altitude and direction and 4320 rounds thats a lot of lead, and your only seeing those tracer rounds, behind every tracer, you have five ball slugs. The gunners use deflection shooting, leading the target in sight for only a few seconds the gunners get some confirmed kills, some probables, that are last seen damaged diving away. My personal experience isn't scientific, but I've fired the fifty caliber machine gun, and the quad-fifty. You fire the fify in short bursts to prevent over heating, any automatic weapon is more controllable this way but the fifty cailber is divesting against personnal and ground targets. The fifty caliber is the weapon to use, when you want to reach out to touch someone.
2. USNbubblehead says:
20 Apr 2015 10:05:18 AM

These bombers are from the 384th Bomb Group, 547th Bomb Squardron. The ship whose tail number is 44-6898, flew from February 9, 1945 to April 25, 1945 and is credited with 44 combat missions with the 384th. This B-17G was never given a name by any of its crews.

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