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general_kalle
09-16-2008, 10:49 AM
Anybody have any info, websites, pictures, stories and info about missions regarding heavy bombers in the solomons.

general_kalle
09-16-2008, 10:49 AM
Anybody have any info, websites, pictures, stories and info about missions regarding heavy bombers in the solomons.

jarink
09-16-2008, 12:57 PM
43rd Bomb Group, Aka "Ken's Men".

Ken's Men Website (http://www.kensmen.com/)

They started out flying B-17Fs and switched the B-24s in late 1943. Almost assuredly the best known member of the group was CPT Jay Zeamer who, along with his bombardier 2LT Joseph Sarnoski, won the Congressional Medal of Honor on a photo recon mission to Buka on June 16th, 1943.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">From the Ken's Men site:
The photo recce part of the Buka mission went off without incident, though 22 enemy fighters were seen taking off from the island's airfield. A few minutes later, Zeamer started a mapping run along Bougainville's west coast. Forty-five seconds from completion of the run, his B-17 was attacked head-on by five Japanese fighters. Though wounded in the attack, Sarnoski continued to fire his nose gun, shooting down two enemy aircraft. Had it not been for him, says retired Lt. Col. Jay Zeamer, the B-17 would have been destroyed by that initial attack. For his part, Zeamer shot down one of the attackers with a nose gun fired by a button on the control column--a rare, perhaps unique, achievement for the pilot of a heavy bomber.

Then a 20-mm shell exploded in the nose of the bomber, hurling Sarnoski into the catwalk under the cockpit and riddling Zeamer's arms and legs with shell fragments. With a supreme act of will, the mortally wounded Sarnoski dragged himself back to the nose and continued to fire until he fell dead over his guns.

The head-on attack knocked out the B-17's oxygen and hydraulic systems and all flight instruments. Zeamer, with a broken leg and multiple deep lacerations, put the bomber into an almost vertical dive from 25,000 feet to about 10,000 feet. He could judge his altitude only by the increase in engine manifold pressure. As he leveled off, an estimated 17 enemy fighters resumed the attack from all quarters, staying with the B-17 for 45 minutes until they ran low on fuel. During the running battle in which Zeamer saved the B-17 by taking violent evasive action, his crew shot down two fighters and probably downed another two.

Although weak from pain and loss of blood, Zeamer refused medical aid and remained at the controls until the enemy fighters had left. Then, during moments of consciousness, he assessed the condition of the bomber, decided it could not make it over New Guinea's Owen Stanley Mountains, and directed his copilot to land at Dobodura on the east coast. With no brakes or flaps, the B-17 ground-looped to a stop with one dead and six wounded aboard. Only the copilot and two gunners had escaped injury.

For their heroic roles in that incredible mission, both Zeamer and Sarnoski were awarded the Medal of Honor, the only instance of World War II when two members of a crew were so honored for separate and independent acts of heroism in combat. All other members of the crew were awarded Distinguished Service Crosses. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Some of you may remember seeing this mission depicted in a "Dogfights" episode.

Blutarski2004
09-16-2008, 01:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by general_kalle:
Anybody have any info, websites, pictures, stories and info about missions regarding heavy bombers in the solomons. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Take a look at SIEGE OF RABAUL by Henry Sakaida.

Wildnoob
09-16-2008, 01:13 PM
very impressive.

I think that THC make a episodie about the combat that jarink posted on dogfigths series.