Learn More About Our Legend SSGT Paul Roberts
B-17G Ball Turret Gunner aboard Bombshell
8th Air Force, 390th Bomb Group
KIA: December 1944 over Germany while on 23rd mission
This letter is about the grandfather I never knew because SSGT. Paul Roberts was a ball turret gunner aboard the B-17G Bombshell that went down on her 23rd mission over Germany on December of 1944.
My grandfather was a short man and had to be in order to fit inside that ball – his office for 23 missions.Today, I was given the opportunity to view that ball turret’s position for the first time – up close thanks to the crew of the visiting “Sentimental Journey” B-17G at the Oshkosh air show. I feel that while I was able to touch the seat and equipment I can now feel closer to the grandfather I didn’t have the opportunity to meet – but now I know what he went through day in and day out in those cramped quarters. Additionally, I had the honor and privilege to speak with the only crew member left ( one of three that was able to bail out and were captured) – taken as POWS that day.
My respects to all who flew in the B-17’s and prayers to those who still morn their losses.
This letter is dedicated to SSGT Paul Roberts of Chicago.
May he rest in peace.
Lieut. Ret. RPD
Sgt. USMC – Vietnam Marine Veteran
Park Ridge, IL