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Flying Fortress Movie

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Old July 1st 03, 12:42 AM
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Default Flying Fortress Movie

"Gord Beaman" wrote in message
heotrpg (RobbelothE) wrote:

Does anyone know where I can get a copy (VHS or DVD) of a movie titled

Fortress" which came out in 1942?

Awesome scene where Richard Greene (later of the 1950s TV series

Hood) crawls out on the wing of an inflight B-17, hacks a hole in a

cowling and
puts out an engine fire with a fire extinguisher. What a man! :-)

I really thought that this happened on a Lancaster but I cannot
find the story, perhaps it was a B-17 after all?. Having about
550 hours of flying time logged as a Lancaster F/E I have trouble
imagining this heroic episode. I'm not saying that it didn't
happen mind you but I have a lot of trouble imagining it. Does
anyone know if this is supposed to be a real happening?...and
does the '17 have overwing hatches?

Call me an unimaginative lout if you like but there you have it.

Sergeant James Ward (RNZAF)

"On 7/8 July 1941, while returning from one of the attack's on Münster,
Sergeant James Ward of No 75 (NZ) Squadron was a second pilot in a
Wellington attacked by an Me 110 over the Zuider Zee. The rear-gunner was
wounded, much damage done, the starboard wing set ablaze. The crew were
preparing to abandon the aircraft when Ward volunteered to go out on the
wing and try to smother the flames with a cockpit cover which had served in
the plane as a cushion. Attached to a rope and with the help of the
navigator, he climbed through the narrow astro-hatch - far from easy in
flying gear, even on the ground - put on his parachute, kicked holes in the
Wellington's covering fabric to get foot and hand-holds on the geodetic
lattices, and descended three foot to the wing. He then worked his way along
to behind the engine, and, despite the fierce slipstream from the propeller,
managed while lying down to smother the fire. Isolated from the leaking
petrol pipe, this later burnt itself out. Ward, exhausted, regained the
astro-hatch with great difficulty: "the hardest of the lot," he wrote, "was
getting my right leg in. In the end the navigator reached out and pulled it
in." Despite all the damage, the crew got home to a safe landing - perhaps
the most remarkable thing, apart from Ward's exploit, being the fact that
the pilot had no idea at the time what Ward was doing.

This deed performed by Ward, a young schoolmaster before the war, earned him
the Victoria Cross, and which must surely be unsurpassed for calculated
bravery. Sadly, Sergeant Ward was killed on a Hamburg raid only ten weeks
later - before he received his Victoria Cross."


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