Heavy going (Pt.2)
In Heavy Going, Part One I shared a British pilot’s impressions of flying the RAF’s “American heavies” during World War Two.
However it’s never easy to understand which B-17 and B-24 models the British used when. They didn’t simply follow the American alphabetical system, and the Mark numbers they did use were largely assigned in the order that the purchase agreements crossed some overworked Whitehall clerk’s desk.
Still, an outline of both bombers’ RAF careers can framed by working through their service designations – a Gordian Knot I shall now attempt to unravel before your very eyes…
Fortress I: Too little, too soon
In 1940, Britain knew it needed heavy bombers to take the war to Hitler’s doorstep. And almost as soon as the US Government enacted Lend-Lease on March 11th, 1941 the British managed to convince a reluctant USAAC to give them 20 B-17Cs (from a batch of just 38)…
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