Information about this photograph:
- Date of Photograph: 29 December 1944
- Photo Location: On Bomb Run over Bingen, Germany
- Interpretive Comments: Mike Dingus scanned the original photo at 2400 ppi. At that resolution, he was able to read the tail number on K8-Q and could see the back of the top turret gunner's head in K8-Y quite clearly. Unfortunately, he couldn't do much with 30-K which is where his dad was (He was a ball turret gunner but Mike doesn't know what they do in a PFF aircraft). The photo was probably taken by the Shaffer crew in 44-8811 K8-R which was "monitor" on this mission.
Mike notes that Lt. Lyle J. Doerr and crew crashed into the English channel the following day, 30 December 1944 in the same aircraft that they are in in this photo, K8-Y. This is very likely the last photo of this aircraft and this crew.
- The bright lines to the lower left that appear at first glance to be rivers are thought to be smoke trails. If you look carefully, the smoke actually starts very near, and slightly above, K8-H and seems to enter a strong wind sheer layer between the belly of K8-Y and the horizon. I don't think K8-H dropped the smoke. I think it is from a previous formation off the left side of the photo. The left most smoke trail actually starts to the left of (in front of) the formation in the picture. The formation is flying into a head wind. The wind on the ground looks fairly calm. The sheer layer is where the higher altitude winds blowing from left to right meet the calmer winds at the surface. The smoke trails are blowing into the formation from the left and the formation is flying through them. [Mike Dingus]
- To the lower left, almost like flock of geese one can see the standard squadron formation, 4 sets of 3 elements (lead, high, low, low-low) of another squadron of B-17s. Wow! Great example of a squadron formation.
- Photo Source: Mike Dingus
- Photo Reference: 44-8398 K8-Q
- Photographer: The photo was probably taken by the Shaffer crew in 44-8811 K8-R which was "monitor" on this mission.
- Information compiled by the 398th Web team with special thanks to Mike Dingus.
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