Contributed Short Stories

Page 13

“All American”

The Miracle B-17

“ALL AMERICAN” - The Miracle B17

The Flying Fortress was one tough bird!

An attacking Bf-109 fighter tumbled through the tail of a 97th Bomb Group B-17F named “All American” on a mission to Tunis, Tunisia, on February 1, 1943. Flyers in other B-17s were astonished to see the stricken bomber pitch up, recover, and keep flying.  An airman aboard “The Flying Flint Gun” snapped a photograph that would become  famous. It shows “All American” struggling to make it home with no port horizontal stabilizer and a terrible gash through the fuselage.

The photo was sent home with the following message: 

"Censor, Should there be some law, rule, or regulation
against sending the  picture below to my wife, please
seal the flap above and return---it is an  unduplicateable
shot and one I should hate to lose."  

“All American” made it back to Biskra, Algeria, with all aboard safe.

National Archives/Army Air Forces.

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