National Geographic : 1994 Mar
Wft 4ev ni 1R1, _ V fl GERALDR MASSIE;GOLLECTION(ABOVE); GERALD E. MCDOWELL (BELOW;L'EFT) Crewmen of the 079 marvel at the B-1 7s durability after a heart stopping flight. As the bomber headed toward a strike at Bremen, Germany, another B-17 hit it in midair, its propeller chewing a I5 foot-long bite out of the'left wing. Over the target area, the bombs had to be man ualty jarred EIoose before they would drop. Then the bay doors stuck open, making the landing more terrifying. The crew returned unhurt, including tail gunner Ger ald E. McDowell (above and right), who checks out his old posi tion in a B-i 7 at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England. McDowell was later shot down and captured, then spent 18 months in the Nazis"notorious Stalag 17 prisoner-of-war camp. He and other prisoners were then marched 280 miles to Braunau, where they were later liberated.