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The Story Behind An Iconic War Photo


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#1 shep854

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 1827 PM

According to this article, eight crewmen survived.

http://www.warhistor...otograph-m.html

 

 

photo-1.jpg



#2 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 0335 AM

Interesting story.

 

I remember reading Martin Middlebrooks 'The Peenemunde Raid' and there was a Halifax pilot who got shot down. He was just preparing to bail out when the aircraft blew up and he lost conciousness. He came to, dangling from a parachute. 40 years later he still had no idea what had happened, he could only surmise that as he entered the slipstream the poorly packed parachute had got ripped open and saved his life. I think he was the only survivor from his crew.

 

Air combat  seems to have been something of a lottery was in that period.



#3 shep854

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 0757 AM

There were some truly miraculous incidents.  There was the Lanc tail gunner, whose 'chute being on fire, jumped from 18,000ft rather than burn alive.  He hit a snow-covered hillside just right and slid down in a survivable fashion.



#4 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 1012 AM

Wasn't there some tailgunner who glided down in the severed tail of his plane? Can't find citation. 



#5 shep854

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 1050 AM

Wasn't there some tailgunner who glided down in the severed tail of his plane? Can't find citation. 

I read about it. The tail was blown off at just the right point where the assembly glided down in a series of stalls and recoveries, and grounded softly at the very bottom of a recovery swoop. According to the story, when the gunner crawled out, he pulled off his flight helmet, most of his hair came off with it.

#6 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 1554 PM

Holy sh*t, that supposedly happened multiple times... http://www.greenharb...r/wreckage.html



#7 shep854

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 1631 PM

Holy sh*t, that supposedly happened multiple times... http://www.greenharb...r/wreckage.html

:o :o :o :o  Wow...



#8 RETAC21

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 1247 PM

Falling on snow and trees is luck, but this guy fell on a train station:

 

Alan Magee, a gunner on a B-17 with the 303rd Bomb Group of the U.S. 8th Air Force, was on a mission to St. Nazaire, France in January of 1943, when his bomber was set aflame by enemy fire. He was thrown from the plane before he had a chance to put on his parachute. He fell 20,000 feet and crashed onto* the skylight of the St. Nazaire train station. His arm was badly injured, but he recovered from that and other injuries. 



#9 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 0241 AM

Right in the the pickle barrel. He should have got a reward for that. :)

 

There has been a couple of air accidents where there have been in flight breakups with people surviving. I remember reading of a 15 year old girl whom was in an airliner that broke up over the Amazon in the 1960's and came to sitting in an airliner seat. Took her several days to walk out the jungle apparently. There was also a stewardess whom survived an in flight breakup of her aircraft, again I think over the South American jungle, and being trapped in part of the floor of the galley seems to have functioned kind of like an escape capsule. She survived too.

 

 

My favorite story was of a Lancaster flight engineer whom climb out on the wing to manually smother a fire with a hand held extinguisher. He nearly succeeded, till the aircraft came under night fighter attack again. His parachute was dragged out the hands of the airmen whom were holding it, and he disappeared into the night, presumed dead. They baled out too, and all survived except the pilot whom as per usual rode the aircraft down. The other were astounded to see the flight engineer in a hospital with bad burns. Turned out his parachute was on fire but functioned well enough to get him to the ground in once piece. He made a full recovery despite burns on his hands. He got the VC for it if I recall correct. This was apparently the second time this had happned in WW2. A Wellington flight engineer apparently did it, and also got a VC for his efforts. But the entire crew was killed on operations a few weeks later.

 

As said,, WW2 air combat was pure lottery.



#10 Marek Tucan

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 0252 AM

There was also the Yugoslavian air stewardess surviving the bombing of her plane (JAT flight 367) above Czechoslovakia. Oh... by the details it seems to be the one you mention - by the investigation conclusion she was trapped inside the hull by the galley trolley so she was not sucked out when the plane depressurized and fell apart, moreover the part of the plane impacted a slope covered with snow. Still she had severe injuries and spent 27 days in coma (though must have been out of it after the impact as she was found in time thanks to her screams - found and given first aid by a WWII veteran field medic with a typical Czech name Bruno Honke.


Edited by Marek Tucan , 28 August 2017 - 0252 AM.


#11 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 0345 AM

There was also the Yugoslavian air stewardess surviving the bombing of her plane (JAT flight 367) above Czechoslovakia. Oh... by the details it seems to be the one you mention - by the investigation conclusion she was trapped inside the hull by the galley trolley so she was not sucked out when the plane depressurized and fell apart, moreover the part of the plane impacted a slope covered with snow. Still she had severe injuries and spent 27 days in coma (though must have been out of it after the impact as she was found in time thanks to her screams - found and given first aid by a WWII veteran field medic with a typical Czech name Bruno Honke.

 

That sounds like it, I recall it was a bomb. Funny I put it over the amazon, I must have conflated the 2 stories. Remarkable lady.

https://en.wikipedia.../Vesna_Vulović

 

I recall that a stewardess in the Pan Am 103 in the nose section was found to be alive when she was found, but died shortly thereafter. They figured if they had found her shortly after the nose landed she might have survived, but unfortunately there was so much wreckage and bodies about that night it was impossible.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 28 August 2017 - 0346 AM.


#12 DougRichards

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 0729 AM

There were some truly miraculous incidents.  There was the Lanc tail gunner, whose 'chute being on fire, jumped from 18,000ft rather than burn alive.  He hit a snow-covered hillside just right and slid down in a survivable fashion.

 

https://en.wikipedia...cholas_Alkemade



#13 DougRichards

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 0734 AM

And then there was

 

https://en.wikipedia...acklyn_H._Lucas

 

On February 19, Lucas made the 5th Division's landing on Iwo Jima with C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines. On February 20, Lucas and three Marines who were members of a 4-man fire team from one of C Company's platoons were creeping through a twisting ravine towards or at an enemy airstrip when they spotted an enemy pillbox and got into a trench for cover. They then spotted eleven Japanese soldiers in a parallel trench (they had a tunnel to there from the pill box) and opened up on them with rifle fire.[4] The Japanese also opened fire and threw two grenades inside the Marine's trench in front of them. Lucas spotted the grenades on the ground in front of his comrades and yelled "grenades", he then jumped over a Marine and dove for them, jamming one of them into the volcanic ash and soft sand with his rifle and covering it with his body while reaching out and pulling the other one beneath him.[6] The first of the two grenades exploded, tossing Lucas on his back, severely wounding him in the right arm and wrist, right leg and thigh, and chest.[4] He was still conscious and barely alive after the blast, holding in his left hand the other grenade, which did not explode.[4] His three comrades were unharmed due to Lucas' actions, and the Japanese soldiers in their trench were all killed and the three Marines continued on away from the trench, leaving Lucas behind, having thought he was dead.[2]

Lucas was found by Marines from another unit passing by who called for a navy corpsmen that attended to his wounds and protected him with a carbine from being shot and killed by another Japanese soldier in the trench.[4][6] He was evacuated by stretcher-bearers to and from the beach, to an LST to a cargo ship used as a hospital (all the hospital ships were full)[4] and then to the hospital ship Samaritan. He was treated at various field hospitals prior to his arrival in San Francisco, California on March 28, 1945. He eventually underwent 21 surgeries. For the rest of his life, there remained about 200 pieces of metal, some the size of 22 caliber bullets, in Lucas' body — which set off airport metal detectors.[6] In August, the mark of desertion was removed from his record while he was a patient at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Charleston, South Carolina. On September 18, he was discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve because of disability resulting from his wounds following his reappointment to the rank of private first class.

 

then

 

He joined the U.S. Army in 1961 and served in the 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper to conquer his fear of heights, and survived a training jump in which neither of his two parachutes opened. He volunteered for Vietnam, but was not allowed to go there and ended his time as a captain in the army in 1965 at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, training troops for the Vietnam War.



#14 Marek Tucan

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 0200 AM

Okay that guy had ertainly a hcharmed life. Survive a grenade going off under you AND a parachute failure... Impressive.

 

Though how come he was even admitted into the Airborne with 200 pieces of shrapnel in his body? Wouldnť that be automatic "Unfit" on medical grounds?



#15 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 0206 AM

One of our marines did much the same thing, happily his Bergen mean he got away pretty much uninjured.

http://www.telegraph...orge-Cross.html



#16 DB

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 1401 PM

Okay that guy had ertainly a hcharmed life. Survive a grenade going off under you AND a parachute failure... Impressive.

 

Though how come he was even admitted into the Airborne with 200 pieces of shrapnel in his body? Wouldnť that be automatic "Unfit" on medical grounds?

Only for the Marines - he'd never be able to float.



#17 mnm

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 0215 AM

He carried too much ballast with all those extra bits of metal, plus his MOH.

#18 MiloMorai

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 0829 AM

https://en.wikipedia...Andrew_Mynarski

 

Tail gunner survived the crash and explosion.

 

The Avro Lancaster of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario, one of only two airworthy Lancasters in the world, is known as the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster in honour of Pilot Officer Mynarski, and is painted in the markings of his aircraft.






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