07/03/2013: A ceremony was held on Noirmoutier island, France, the scene of B-17 raid, and the rescue of downed crewmen after a raid against Nazi air and maritime facilities in this part of France.
For the crew that would fly on July 4, 1943, their training saved their lives.
As one of the participants in the ceremony, the brother of the co-pilot of the plane crewed by the “Battling Bastards,” commented that if his brother were at the ceremony he would have highlighted the skill and courage of the pilot who landed the Flying Fortress with only one engine operating into the water at low tide.
Training matters. For the B-17 crews flying in Europe, every flight into Nazi held territory was their Pointe du Hoche moment: Fighting uphill against tough odds, with the distinct possibility of not coming back without the proper training even less crew members would have survived.
This slide show highlights the new monument to honor the crew and the flight of the last operational B-17 in Europe flying over the beach where the B-17 from 1943 still rests.
Credit Photos: Second Line of Defense: 2013