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  • B-17 to the Rescue next

    In the mid-1940s, the Hurricane Hunters flew the B-17 bomber into storms. Flight mechanic "Mel" tells a harrowing tale of taking this aircraft, similar to the one shown below, to rescue some fishermen who were sinking in a hurricane.
    B17 Rescue bird
    The lifeboat was slung under the bomb bay of the B-17, and Mel stood over it with an axe. When the crew tried to drop the boat, only the front latch released; the lifeboat pivoted violently to the side, and destroyed the plane's propeller. He quickly chopped the errant latch, and the boat fell away, as the crippled B-17 rolled towards the raging sea.

    "We were so low, I could TASTE the saltwater!", he declared. Against the odds, the crew survived this close call.

    Mel visited the Hurricane Hunter squadron in 1997 during the Air Weather Reconnaissance Association reunion.

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