The majority of three thousand officers and enlisted guys in Eight Air force heavy bomber crews tallied between 28 May and also 5 June 1944 stated their plane – it is in they B-17s or B-24s – to be the best for the job. When separated right into B-17 and B-24 crews, 92 percent that the surveyed B-17 crews claimed they had actually the best type of machine, compared with 76 percent of the polled B-24 crews who said they had actually the best form of aircraft. Together the survey review noted: “The relationship who are ‘sold’ on your own aircraft is… greater amongst B-17 crew members.”


A B-17G of the 99th Bomb team in formation with a B-24. Photo:

The survey presented various other conclusions about Eight Air force crews and also their two varieties of heavy bombers: “In both B-17 and also B-24 crew, men who are persuaded their type of ship is ideal are more likely than other guys to express satisfaction with their jobs. In B-24 crews, the bombardiers, navigators and also co-pilots appear somewhat less likely than various other crew members to feel they have the ideal of airplane. In B-17 crews, men in the different crew positions do not different appreciably in the appraisal they provide their ship “The study emphasized that “B-17 and also B-24 crews carry out not different in their id in the importance of the task they are doing”, and also that the two types of crews did not differ “in their expressed willingness to take it on another collection of objectives nor in the proportions that say they would sign up because that combat flying if they were starting all end again.”



Interestingly, in both B-17s and also B-24s, co-pilots to be the least likely come answer “yes” come the question, “Do you think you have actually the best type of aircraft for the particular job which you need to do?” The 1944 survey drew no inference indigenous this statistic, back a latter-day assessment can conclude that of every crew positions, only co-pilots have a built-in job dissatisfaction connected with their ambitions to come to be pilots. In the survey, the total sample that 3,000 crew men might yield only 100 come 200 in any kind of one crew position for each form of bomber and also the surveyors cautioned the this tiny sample “must be pertained to as suggestive, fairly than conclusive proof of a actual difference between crew location existing in the full Eight air pressure heavy bomber crews from which this cross-section sample was drawn.” through crew position, those that said: “yes” the theirs to be the best kind of plane for the details job they had to do created the following numbers for the survey.

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B-17 Crews88%B-17 Crews93%
B-24 Crews58%B-24 Crews91%

NavigatorsPilots, Radio Operators and Gunners
B-17 Crews93%B-17 Crews79%
B-24 Crews63%B-24 Crews92%

BombardiersMen in every crew location combined
B-17 Crews93%B-17 Crews92%
B-24 Crews65%B-24 Crews76%

Pilots, radio operators and also gunners were tallied with each other because, the survey said, they confirmed “no appreciable difference” in their responses to the question.

Engineers for both types of bombers post high satisfaction rates. Again, if the 1944 inspection did not endeavor to define this phenomenon, one after-the-fact observation might conclude that designers on both varieties of heavy bomber got intense technological training top top their details aircraft and also were intimately acquainted with its systems and functions, possibly generating a high degree of confidence as a result of this knowledge and also training.

The markedly greater satisfaction prices expressed by B-17 navigators and bombardiers 보다 their B-24 counterparts might be attributed come the normally roomier nose ar in a B-17. For these crew members, working conditions were far better in a paris Fortress. An extreme example of this to be the grafting that a finish B-17G nose to a B-24J in the us for evaluation. When the hybrid bomber had poor flying characteristics, one AAF testimonial commented favorably and probably wryly, on the improved working area for the navigator and also bombardier in this particular B-24!

Interestingly, absent from the 1944 inspection report was any kind of suggestion the the surveyed crewmen assumed either the B-17 or the B-24 was much more combat-survivable 보다 other kind of bomber, although one B-24 crewman commented on cramped quarters in the sleep impeding fast bailouts.

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Statistics compiled by the AAF in 1944 verified a rising trend in the average variety of sorties every month every crew assigned come operational groups in the Eight air Force. In November 1943 (the an initial month the survey), the average variety of sorties because that the month for B-24 crews was around two; for B-17 crews the typical was about 2.8 B-17 crew sortie rates remained higher than B-24 rates until April 1944, when Eight Air force B-24 crews posted an average of 7 sorties per month per crew, compared with the B-17 crews’ average somewhere close to 6.6 sorties a month. By may 1944, the critical month of the chart, B-24 crew sorties averaged roughly 8.3, if B-17 crew sorties averaged about 7.4, in ~ the constraints of the graph. Clearly, the variety of sorties was enhancing for both varieties of bomber crew.

The conflict over merits the B-17s versus B-24s began when the two airplanes were brand-new and will linger lengthy after publishing of this volume. Over there is proof to imply the USAAF even fueled the conflict while trying come instill proud in each type of bomber crew. Part editions of the pilot’s hand-operated for the B-17, as soon as explaining go-around measures for landings, accompany the message with a drawing of a crashed B-24 top top the runway impede the B-17’s plan landing. Similarly, the same section in some B-24 pilot manuals reflects a crashed B-17 together the cause of the B-24’s go-around!