Damn I had forgotten about this thread. The transcript from the Lets Roll Flight 93 was almost impossible to read. I didnt see this video posted but Im sure we had it somewhere. I have watched a few times lately and it hammers me each time with the immensity of the sacrifice. The cemetaries just keep getting bigger and bigger.
I met quite a few who came back from that war. Still awes me to this day
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
BY RANDALL JARRELL
From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
If you were a machine gunner on a B-17 during the second world war, the ball turret was without question, the last place you wanted to be. Conditions were impossibly cramped. Temperatures at altitude were often 40 or 50 below zero. There was no room to move or stretch or turn around, for hours at a time. Sometimes, for many hours.
4,735 B-17's were shot down during the war, most with crews of ten men. Some survived, but very few in the ball turret did. And yes, those who perished were often washed out with a hose.
Not a pleasant thing to contemplate, but it's D-Day, and some things shouldn't be forgotten.
There is an account I read from WWII which I will repeat here poorly.
Some army infantrymen were on r & r in England, and ran into some air force/air corps personnel from the local base at the pub. Army guys mocked the air guys for sleeping in warm beds every night, hot food, clean uniforms, pub trips every night, etc. One air guy says to a same size army guy he would trade positions with him right there. Trade off uniforms, rank, pay, everything.
Army guy is already to take him up on this, but thinks to ask "What do you do?" Air guy says "ball-turret gunner."
To which the infantryman's response was " You can go straight to hell sir."
The MTV Moon Man from the MTV Awards in 2004 in Miami is a 15ft tall styrofoam statue sitting in a surplus yard in Sanford, Fl.
I quit watching MTV long before 2004, but thought this is cool because I worked with them for a lot of Daytona Spring Breaks in the 80s.