[Vwdiesel] B-17s limping home

Val Christian val at swamps.roc.ny.us
Sat May 8 23:58:55 EDT 2004

Forgive my off topic comments, but I'm sure it relates to B-17
and hydraulics...

A local ham, Dick, was the FE on the B-17 called Fuddy Duddy.  The 
Fuddy Duddy was obtained by the Geneseo Warplane Museum (D52).  Later,
when the museum was a victim of a hostile takeover, the plane was 
moved to ELM.  I've since seen newspaper articles, which suggest
that the plane may now belong to another museum on Long Island,
as the Elmira group went bankrupt.

All that aside there's a story.  The Fuddy Duddy got shot up pretty bad,
and the gear wasn't coming down.  The belly gunner can't get out of his 
gun turret, except on the ground.  The gear didn't have hydraulics sufficient
to get down, and the gunner was doomed to die in a gear up landing.

Dick, as the Flight Engineer, was responsible for getting things working,
and ultimately, he passed a coffee can, seeking, um, donations, to replace
lost hydraulic fluid.  Luckily, coffee drinking, not only causes 
water to be, um processed, but it also functions as a diuretic.  
The good news result was that there were sufficient donations to get
the gear down, and the belly gunner didn't get scratched.  His sweat 
output was probably equal to the sum of all the donations.

I thought that Dick's approach was novel.  Sounds like someone on this
group might think something like this up, faced with the need.


> Of course I do  ---but if you had met guys that came home to England in =
> a beat up
> B-17  ----would you say a piece of JUNK is not worthy of some affection =
> ? Let me thank
> the engineers at Boeing for that design. Incredible limping home =
> ability.
> No I did not myself limp home in a B-17 ------ but at least I was inside =
> one of those
> beauties in 1945.

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