Inside a B-17

Even if the dangers which threaten an airman from the enemy are left out, enough difficulties which alone arise from the formation flight between 7000 and 8000 meters of height still remain.

Ein Besatzungsmitglied macht sich fertig für einen Einsatz

A bomber crew gets to the height of the Mount Everest and furthermore upward crafty with enormous speed of the sea-level. At a long-haul flight to Germany the men are, 8 to 10 hours in the air every minute takes danger and tribulation which. They must fight for her life, be wounded possibly without there being hope for right medical help.

Fast and exact work is still demanded by every member of the crew from the board gunner up to the pilot to this in particularly restricting clothes: Everybody wears a boilersuit heated electrically over the woolen sub-train against the furious cold in 8000 meters of height. The uniform then comes. About this a sheepskin fed airman combination in which one can hardly move is drawn. But this isn't everything: Everybody then puts himself for the chest and back tank about, for a thick coat of chain-mail which reaches of the neck the pelvis and shall offer protection against anti-aircraft gun splinters and machine gun bullets.

Now glove heated electrically the men climb into the high sheepskin boots, the glaring yellow life preservers lay out, the parachute belts close and draw the thick ones last about. A warm cap and the steel helmet come onto the head.

Equipment still is part of the clothes: Without an artificial supply of oxygen the airman would get unconscious in large heights in short time; so the oxygen mask around the neck hung (whose pressure on the face drifts during the flight almost to the despair later) is - the different one sticks the one over the ears, tight around the throat, distant headphone for the board speaking device and the necessary throat microphone.