In England, a mission to Berlin is scrubbed . . . .
Mission to Berlin, Germany was scrubbed because of weather.1 On battle order in the morning and may carry out the same mission. Very tired today. Slept all morning after returning to the barracks. No mail from home. And worried about Aileen because of her condition. Major says our missions will be rough from now on. Doesn’t sound so good.
Notes & Commentary
1 Verne doesn’t tell us when the mission was scrubbed, but since he writes of it being scrubbed due to weather, it may have been scrubbed after the mission briefing. By then, he may have been suited up for the mission.
One B-17 airman, in a letter to his parents, described the suiting up process:
My flying dress consists of one pair of ODs, my electric heated suit, my winter flying suit and then my heavy flying suit. Then I put on three pairs of socks and the red pair for luck, then my heated flying shoes and heavy flying boots. After this comes my flying helmet, sun goggles, earphones, throat mike, oxygen mask, scarf, Mae West. Then comes my ‘chute harness, silk gloves and my heated gloves. When this is done I check to see if I have my dog tags . . . . Then I take my parachute and head for the ship.
Once he reached the ship he would have put on a flak vest and a steel flak helmet.
Roger A. Freeman. The Mighty Eighth. London: Cassell & Co., 2000. p. 207.
Wow, how could he even move in all that gear?
I have lived a blessed life. Too young for WWii . Too young for Korea, Too young for Borneo, Too Young for Confrontasi, One week too old for Vietnam and too old for the rest. I am sure to be one of the lucky ones because all the rest lived through Hell and may we be for ever greatful.
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Indeed we are very grateful.
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If that was winter flying gear, how much did they wear during the summer?
In the summer, they wore pretty much the same. There is, roughly, a 3.5F⁰ drop in temperature for every 1,000’ above ground level. At 10,000’, it is 35F⁰ colder than at ground level. At 20,000’, 70F⁰ colder and so on. With missions flown at 26,000’ to 30,000’, it would have been 91F⁰ to 105F⁰ colder than at ground level. It was never warm.
For a thorough discussion of this, see “Lapse rate,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lapse_rate&oldid=637302718 : accessed 2 February 2, 2015).
Quite a difference from the dress of the crews doing low altitude bombings in the Pacific, but that’s what happens with such a different climate and altitude
Must have weighed a ton! How they ever climbed aboard let alone fought for hours is a miracle.