A Brief History Lesson About the B-17 of WWII
Today is D-Day, also known as the Normandy Invasion and Operation Overlord during World War II. It is the day the Allied invasion of western Europe was launched with the simultaneous landing of U.S., British, and Canadian forces on five separate beachheads in Normandy, France.
By the end of August 1944, all of northern France was liberated, and the invading forces reorganized for the drive into Germany. There they would eventually meet with Soviet forces advancing from the east to bring an end to the Nazi Reich.
Flying in The B-17
One of the aircraft instrumental at the time was the B-17. Several years ago, Pilot and I had the waaay cool experience of flying in a B-17 Flying Fortress. With consideration currently being given to grounding all remaining B-17s, I’m grateful we had the opportunity for such an adventure.
Being in that bomber gave me a greater appreciation for what the men who flew those birds dealt with. Even if in the smallest way. I truly cannot imagine what it was like to be in that plane during wartime. I especially cannot imagine what it was like to fight from the ball turret.
While it was totally impressive to sit in the bombardier seat at the nose of the plane and watch the ground sail past beneath me, I was not facing enemy fire at the time. And I certainly would not want to be.
The B-17 Flying Fortress was an Army Air Corps heavy-duty bomber from World War II. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns, and five thousand pounds of bombs, these four-engine aircraft flew strategic bombing missions over Europe.
13,000 B-17s were produced over the course of the war. As of November 2022, only nine airworthy B-17s remain today.
The first B-17s saw combat in 1941, when the British Royal Air Force took delivery of several B-17s for high-altitude missions. As World War II intensified, the bombers needed additional armament and armor.
In the Pacific, the planes earned a deadly reputation with the Japanese, who dubbed them “four-engine fighters”. The Fortresses were also legendary for their ability to stay in the air after taking heavy artillery attacks.
These planes sometimes limped back to their bases with large chunks of the fuselage shot off. If you have watched movies such as Memphis Belle, you get the idea.
Is There a Spiritual Application?
So, I’m thinking…beside a wonderful history lesson, is there any spiritual application to all this? I believe there is.
Just as the B-17 Flying Fortress was heavily armed, fought many a battle, was often beat up by the enemy, and limped back to base, life can be the same with us.
We go out to battle the Enemy, only to face flak and ack-ack from all sides. Exhausted, we limp back home. Through God’s grace, we live to fight another day until the Great War is over.
The only way we are able to win the battle is if God goes before us. He is our Strength. He is our Shield. He is our Rock of Salvation. God alone, is our Mighty Fortress.
How do you arm yourself for battle against our enemy, the Great Deceiver?
Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.
I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
I wish you well.
Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!