A tribute to the airmen of the 8th USAAF who lost their lives in bombing raids over Germany from 1942 to 1945.  http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/b17_flying_fortress.htm


And There's No Victory Parade In Indiana by M.A.Meddings

 My father was a member of the RAF's Bomber command during the second world war. He was a navigator and at the start of the war flew missions in Wellington bombers where he had to navigate using a dead reckoning method with a sextant and the benefit of the star formations. The Wellington bomber had a special observation dome on top of the fusilage for that purpose. In early 1940 he transferred and was attached to the Royal Canadian airforce where he served for the rest of the war.

During that service he came into contact in 1942 with the newly arrived American army airforce and was actively involved in night raid training for the crews.

The Americans firmly believed that daylight raids using the greater flight ceiling of the flying fortress bomber would allow them greater accuracy in pinpoint bombing of targets and their tactic of precision bombing was used.

The german fighter pilots however quickly learned that a frontal attack on the Fortress virtually neautralised the bombers fire power since the flying fortresses armament was mostly concentrated on the sides and the rear of the aircraft. The Americans suffered very heavy losses during these initial raids .

A design change later on corrected this  fault and the attacks continued right through to the end of the war.

Whilst the RAF continued with night raids there was a virtually continuous bombing campaign on German industrial production  which eventually told and broke its back.  

The bombing raids on Germany by the 8th Air Force and the RAF's bomber command, took the heart out of Germany's industrial production. By September 1944 , Germany had lost 75% of Its fuel production. Out of the 1.5 million tons of bombs dropped on Germany, the flying fortress bomber  dropped 500,000 tons. The 8th Air Force had fired 99 million rounds of ammunition during these flights and it is thought that 20,000 German planes were destroyed. In total, over 12,000 flying fortresses were built in the war and nearly 250,000 Americans experienced flying in them. 46,500 were either killed or wounded. However, the part played by the Flying fortress  in the European theatre of war was of great importance.

 

Into  the  crucible they went these boys
Young men with their 'gum chum'
And silk stockings for the girls
latter day cowboys in base ball caps
Yankee doodle hero's come to the fight

Over there, over there , oh the Yanks 
Are coming  the Yanks are coming
Now we see them every where
'Got any gum chum'
The schoolchildren cry

But these Yanks had come to die for freedom
Come to fly from the floating army base
That was Britain my homeland 1942
These boys were
The eight united states army airforce
Raw recruits to the air war on Germany 

Daylight madness
Precision bombing bravado
Took the toll
Roll flying fortress roll
With your gun decks
Armed to the teeth

Yet none to the Fore 
So the crews bore the brunt
Of dreadful losses
For initial design tactical error 
Messerschmidt terror

Attack from the front
was all they need do
To bamboozle the skip
And his whole damn crew
Down in the drink
My daddy and Blue

And there's no Victory parade
In  Indiana 

 





Poetry by lastromantichero
Read 1029 times
Written on 2007-02-10 at 12:07

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Rob Graber
This is really interesting. Dare I hope that the American bias in favor of daytime bombing was because you could better hit military targets, thus killing fewer civilians? And, a query: As a "Hoosier" myself, I can't help being curious about how you chose the state of Indiana? ;-,? Thanks for this, hero!
2007-02-11


Phyllis J. Rhodes
I had to let my husband read this and comment. Hope you don't mind. I too love your history lessons. This is a wonderful poem. By the way, I have had the pleasure of flying in a P-51 Mustang!
2007-02-10


Phyllis J. Rhodes
Excellent history lesson preceeding your verse. The sacrifices the flyboys of WWII made were immense but necessary to stop the tyranny and terror of the madman Hitler. I have enjoyed reading much hisotry of WWII and was fortunate to visit area of the Battle of the Bulge while in Germany in 2003. Today the soldiers and airmen of England and the US are ready to sacrifice themselves in order to insure terror and tyranny are halted today, however not all our citizens and politicians have the same committment to peace and freedom. I pray that soon they will see the threat. Great poem, keep it up. Paul (Phyllis's husband, Kathy's brother in-law, Air Force retired 32yrs).
2007-02-10


Kathy Lockhart The PoetBay support member heart!
You are more than a Romantic Hero. You are my hero!! I love all these historical essays and then the amazing poetry that follows. You make me a proud American and a great lover of the British, especially you. I applaud your talent, your knowledge, and your integrity. Thank you for this awesome piece. I had two uncles who fought in that war. They would have been proud to have read this. Thank you and here are some kisses and hugs from a Yankee girl who appreciates you and your father. xoxoxoxo
2007-02-10


Dan Cederholm
****************************

WoW Thank you Mike for this great

reading and for all the fact . . .

And the poem is just splendid you

have so much work behind the text

and oh yes . . .

"And there's no Victory parade

In Indiana"

Regards, Dan

*****************************
2007-02-10


kath
and in my favs ...
2007-02-10


kath
Your Historical poems are outstanding ... they tell history and at the same time tell of the life of the persons living in the circumstances you tell of ... I read them in awe ...

thank you for bringing them to the Bay for us to read ...

this reminds me of the sacrifices so many men and women have made making the world I grew up in to a place where there was peace in our part of the world .. and I think of my English father serving in the merchant fleets only 16 yerars old during world war two

this is bookmarked ...thank you Michael
rgds
katherine
2007-02-10