Monday, June 13, 2011

Liberty Belle Crashes

The population of B-17 Flying Fortress bombers was reduced by one today due to a crash outside Chicago. A plane made famous in movies like Memphis Belle and 12 O'Clock High, there are few of the thousands built left.

B-17G 44-85734 was not a combat veteran. It never left the States to drone over the flak-pocked skies of Europe in vast gleaming silver formations protected by P-51D Mustangs. They never faced off against Luftwaffe ME-262s in their almost lazy sweeping curves shooting through bomber formations. Nor was it ever nursed back to England with wounded crew and smashed engines. Still a Flying Fortress is a rare sight to behold at any airshow, to hear the drone of four R-1820 engines is something. So just as a flyable B-17, Liberty Belle was important in teaching history to newer generations.

Now the proud gleaming plane is gone. A burnt out aluminium hulk in a corn field. All seven people aboard the Flying Fortress made it off safely. So the legendary ruggedness held true to bring a crew home. Lets give thanks these people are alive to return to their families and thank all the Rosie Riveters who built this plane to kick the Nazis onto the scrapheap of history.


Rides A Pale Horse said...

Actually, Liberty Belle did NOT "crash". The pilot made a good, EMERGENCY LANDING, wheels down but the plane was consumed by a fire of unknown origin (at this time) ON THE GROUND.

Definition of a good landing:
One where everyone walks away.

Definition of a "perfect" landing:
One where the aircraft is re-useable.

"Good landing":

Anna said...

Ok ok, point made there. We can play word games all day like liberal lawyers and Weiner if you like. :)

Still a total write-off of a rare plane. Like the B-29 Kee Bird. almost ready to be liberated from its Greenland prison when consumed by fire.


Legion said...

There was one that came around my airport in the 90's. Took a tour inside of it. (Couldn't do it today- too fat.)I didn't have the $250 for the ride- sorry I did not still. There was a German woman there who said she was on the receiving end of the bombs from it in WW2 when she was a tyke- too bad so sad.

Anna said...

Legios, be nice to see the warbirds again. Been awhile myself.

With Bomber Harris, they had reason to fear. They called the pilots 'terrorflieger' or Terror Fliers. Assuming I remember my German and spelled it right.