Photo detail

Color Space Uncalibrated Copyright Caption ©2007 MFA Productions LLC Image in the Public Domain
Orientation 1: Normal (0 deg) Resolution Unit Inch
X Resolution 300 dots per ResolutionUnit Y Resolution 300 dots per ResolutionUnit
Compression Jpeg Compression Keywords Boeing B-17F-30-BO Flying Fortress B-17 Invasion 2nd 8th Air Force 91st Bombardment Group 401st Bombardment Squadron Staff Sergeant Eldon R. Lapp Staff Sergeant William D. King 42-5070 Bassingbourn European Air War Browning .50 Machine Gun waist gunner
Caption New Caption: Boeing B-17F-30-BO Flying Fortress "Invasion 2nd" (42-5070) of the 8th Air Force, 91st Bombardment Group, 401st Bombardment Squadron. In the waist gunner positions are Staff Sergeant Eldon R. Lapp of Fort Wayne, Indiana (May 17, 1920-October 2, 2001) and Staff Sergeant William D. King (January 18, 1923-August 30, 1952) of Imperial, Texas operating the Browning .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns for a Signal Corps photographer. It's likely this photo was made as part of Major William Wyler's efforts to document B-17 operations; when "Invasion 2nd" Was shot down, he focused on "Memphis Belle" which became very famous in "The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress" a 1943 documentary. Note the still prop in the right window; "Invasion 2nd" was on the ground in Bassingbourn, England at the time of the photo. Master Sergeant Jack Gaffney, a member of the crew, painted the nose art on "Invasion 2nd" and several other aircraft. The waist gunners in B-17Fs could collide with each other during combat, disrupting their oxygen supply. This was corrected with staggered waist gun positions on the B-17G. On April 17, 1943, "Invasion 2nd" was shot down near Oldenburg, Germany, on a bombing run on the Focke-Wulf factory in Bremen. "Invasion 2nd" formed the lead plane of the first element of six aircraft making up the lowest squadron. Taking flak hits and attacks by German fighters over the target, the number two engine was completely shot away. The left wing caught on fire and spread to the fuselage. Captain Oscar D. O'Neill called for the crew to bail out but Lapp and King were prevented from leaving by a stuck escape hatch. The ball turret gunner, Technical Sergeant Benedict B. Borostowski, came up into the fuselage from the ball turret and went to the partly open waist door. He found Lapp and King unable to force the door and used his foot to push both of them through. All of the crew members were able to leave the aircraft and survived the jump. Lapp and King