Aircraft Commander; person in charge for the aircraft
Crew Positions of the B-17G
10 Men, 1 Plane, 1 Objective: Stop the Axis Powers
The ten men who made up the crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress were each specially trained for their position. Most were unaware of the death and destruction they would soon be facing as they flew their Fortresses into combat. The following pages have a short summary of each of the crew positions and duties. What is not written is the feeling of fear that engulfed these men in combat, as childhood was forgotten and the reality of war was revealed. It does not reflect the horror that reached out at these men as their aircraft was suddenly stricken five miles above the earth. It does not detail the heartache of watching a buddy's aircraft slowly roll over and begin its final plunge to the enemy soil below. Nor can it describe the physical strain of using oxygen in an unpressurized aircraft at an altitude where the temperature dropped to -60 degrees. These men were not superhuman. Most were only in their late teens or early twenties. Many would be reported missing after only a few missions, while others might survive only to be killed on their final mission. They were all living at a time in our history when they had an imperative job to do and many died trying to accomplish it.
Choose a Crew Position:
Click on each of the crew positions on the B-17G Flying Fortress to learn more about their duties.