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Turret Gunners: Not an Easy Job

Active Military
Active Military
May 31, 2018
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It's high time we pay tribute to the turret gunners from World War 2. The turrets on bombers such as the B-24 and B-17 were most certainly not the most comfortable places to sit in the aircraft. The men that manned these stations were men of steel will and courage. Often manning dual .50 caliber Browning machine guns, these men were the last line of defense for the heavy bombers that took the fight to Germany and Japan if the fighter escorts failed. Cramped, exposed and precariously placed they did their duty.What sorts of challenges faced the men that took up positions in either the front, rear, top or ball turrets of these heavy bombers?Can you imagine, being the tail gunner and watching hordes of German fighters descend on your bomber formation, trying as you might to knock as many of them out of the air as you could while avoiding friendly fire on the other bombers in your formation? What fresh new hell was this?

Turret Gunners

What could it have felt like to be in the nose turret, seeing the carnage all around through your Plexiglas position? What must it have felt like to be in the top turret, seeing only the infinite sky above, become littered with enemy planes?

Turret Gunners

How about the precarious position of the ball turret gunner...and the mechanism was stuck, and the landing gear was damaged...Infantrymen, get a lot of credit, but these iron-willed men fought through many of the largest air battles the world has ever seen. They weren't surrounded by armored plating, but rather just enough Plexiglas to keep them protected from the elements and the biting cold, if even that much.

Turret Gunners

Technology and weapons have come far enough that those positions are a distant memory, but the men who filled them shall be remembered forever for their selfless dedication to each other and their country.

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