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Crew Members

Discuss the April Book of the Month Shot Down by Steve Snyder.

Crew Members

Post Number:#1 by hsimone
» 03 Apr 2016, 14:23

While reading Shot Down, Steve Synder provides description of Howard and his B-17 crew, their responsibilities, and we learn about some of their families.

- Was there a crew member in particular that stuck out to you? Maybe their story struck you interesting?
- Did you think that one of their jobs was more challenging than others?
- Thoughts about the members in general.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#2 by Lulubelle
» 06 Apr 2016, 00:14

It was incredible to me that the ball turret gunners had so little space they had to crawl into position and then sit in cramped conditions without their parachutes. I have respect for all the crew, but especially for those guys.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#3 by Taylor Razzani
» 09 Apr 2016, 13:02

Lulubelle wrote:It was incredible to me that the ball turret gunners had so little space they had to crawl into position and then sit in cramped conditions without their parachutes. I have respect for all the crew, but especially for those guys.


Right before I started reading this I visited an air museum and they had a display of how the ball turret gunners were situated. I can't imagine how they dealt with it, it looked so uncomfortable! Though by the sound of it the whole flying experience was pretty tough.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#4 by LivreAmour217
» 13 Apr 2016, 15:42

Lulubelle wrote:It was incredible to me that the ball turret gunners had so little space they had to crawl into position and then sit in cramped conditions without their parachutes. I have respect for all the crew, but especially for those guys.


These guys left quite an impression on me as well. Flying missions in the B-17 was dangerous enough, but as you said, being in that cramped space without a parachute made it much worse. Reading this book also made me develop of special kind of respect for the ball turret gunners.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#5 by gali
» 14 Apr 2016, 06:21

I found them all admirable. The book made me to appreciate and respect them more.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#6 by Kia
» 14 Apr 2016, 14:38

I agree. I think that every job was both better and worse than every other job in some way. Overall though I think every single crew member must have had nerves of steel just to get into the plane every time. I really liked how much detail was given about each crew member's responsibilities, as well as how important it was for them all to work together. If one member of the team failed to do their job properly, it likely meant death for them all. I can't imagine how strong a bond crew members must have had with each other.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#7 by hsimone
» 15 Apr 2016, 01:14

Kia wrote:I agree. I think that every job was both better and worse than every other job in some way. Overall though I think every single crew member must have had nerves of steel just to get into the plane every time. I really liked how much detail was given about each crew member's responsibilities, as well as how important it was for them all to work together. If one member of the team failed to do their job properly, it likely meant death for them all. I can't imagine how strong a bond crew members must have had with each other.


I agree, Kia. The crew members must have had nerves of steel just to get on the plane knowing what lied ahead of them. It was scary enough for them to be going into war, but surviving the plane ride seemed almost just as unnerving.

I also could not believe how strong the bond between the crew must have been. Then, thinking about if a crew member became ill and had to be replaced by substitute, the pressure on both the original crew members and the new one must have been rough. It disrupted their flow and with a new crew member who may not know the routine or the ins-and-outs of the plane may risk everyone's lives was another risk.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#8 by kimmyschemy06
» 15 Apr 2016, 04:13

I found George Eike very memorable. It was probably because of what his father, Derwood, did when their plane flew over the Eike's residence. Or it was probably because it was Helen Eike who constantly correspond with Susan Snyder. I felt very emotional when he fell down with the other 7 airmen.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#9 by Taylor Razzani
» 16 Apr 2016, 12:37

kimmyschemy06 wrote:I found George Eike very memorable. It was probably because of what his father, Derwood, did when their plane flew over the Eike's residence. Or it was probably because it was Helen Eike who constantly correspond with Susan Snyder. I felt very emotional when he fell down with the other 7 airmen.


Thanks for that. I felt more for him than some of the other crewmen, but I wasn't sure why exactly. Those examples make sense, maybe the book mentioned more about him and his family too, but I was very upset when he was killed as well. I actually had to go back and read a few pages before that to make sure it really happened.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#10 by hsimone
» 18 Apr 2016, 03:12

Taylor Razzani wrote:
kimmyschemy06 wrote:I found George Eike very memorable. It was probably because of what his father, Derwood, did when their plane flew over the Eike's residence. Or it was probably because it was Helen Eike who constantly correspond with Susan Snyder. I felt very emotional when he fell down with the other 7 airmen.


Thanks for that. I felt more for him than some of the other crewmen, but I wasn't sure why exactly. Those examples make sense, maybe the book mentioned more about him and his family too, but I was very upset when he was killed as well. I actually had to go back and read a few pages before that to make sure it really happened.


Those are great examples, kimmyschemy06, just like Taylor Razzani said. I also felt extremely sad when he didn't make it. I'm also thinking that since he was the co-pilot and Howard pilot and had to receive the same training, they've probably built a stronger connection. So like you said Taylor, he might have been mentioned a bit more than the others and therefore stuck out a little more.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#11 by abithacker
» 18 Apr 2016, 12:00

Snyder was definitely the crew member that struck me the most. Probably because of the wife and children that he loved so much. I can't imagine what it would be like to leave those you love, knowing you might not come back.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#12 by bookowlie
» 25 Apr 2016, 12:14

Kia wrote:I agree. I think that every job was both better and worse than every other job in some way. Overall though I think every single crew member must have had nerves of steel just to get into the plane every time. I really liked how much detail was given about each crew member's responsibilities, as well as how important it was for them all to work together. If one member of the team failed to do their job properly, it likely meant death for them all. I can't imagine how strong a bond crew members must have had with each other.


I agree. Every crew member's function was so necessary to the process that one slip-up could mean death. It was so important that they all worked together perfectly. That's why it would be difficult sometimes if a co-pilot was sent to fly with another crew. It was so necessary for everyone to have the right chemistry and be able to work perfectly together.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#13 by Kia
» 25 Apr 2016, 13:03

bookowlie wrote:
Kia wrote:I agree. I think that every job was both better and worse than every other job in some way. Overall though I think every single crew member must have had nerves of steel just to get into the plane every time. I really liked how much detail was given about each crew member's responsibilities, as well as how important it was for them all to work together. If one member of the team failed to do their job properly, it likely meant death for them all. I can't imagine how strong a bond crew members must have had with each other.


I agree. Every crew member's function was so necessary to the process that one slip-up could mean death. It was so important that they all worked together perfectly. That's why it would be difficult sometimes if a co-pilot was sent to fly with another crew. It was so necessary for everyone to have the right chemistry and be able to work perfectly together.

Absolutely! I couldn't believe how often crews were separated. While I understand that there was a need for it sometimes, I can't even imagine how much more difficult it would have been to work together with people that you don't know intimately in a plane you also do not know.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#14 by bookowlie
» 25 Apr 2016, 13:07

Kia wrote:
bookowlie wrote:
Kia wrote:I agree. I think that every job was both better and worse than every other job in some way. Overall though I think every single crew member must have had nerves of steel just to get into the plane every time. I really liked how much detail was given about each crew member's responsibilities, as well as how important it was for them all to work together. If one member of the team failed to do their job properly, it likely meant death for them all. I can't imagine how strong a bond crew members must have had with each other.


I agree. Every crew member's function was so necessary to the process that one slip-up could mean death. It was so important that they all worked together perfectly. That's why it would be difficult sometimes if a co-pilot was sent to fly with another crew. It was so necessary for everyone to have the right chemistry and be able to work perfectly together.

Absolutely! I couldn't believe how often crews were separated. While I understand that there was a need for it sometimes, I can't even imagine how much more difficult it would have been to work together with people that you don't know intimately in a plane you also do not know.


That, coupled with their young age and inexperience, was problematic. I was astounded how young all of the crew members were.
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Re: Crew Members

Post Number:#15 by Kia
» 25 Apr 2016, 15:38

bookowlie wrote:
Kia wrote:
bookowlie wrote:
I agree. Every crew member's function was so necessary to the process that one slip-up could mean death. It was so important that they all worked together perfectly. That's why it would be difficult sometimes if a co-pilot was sent to fly with another crew. It was so necessary for everyone to have the right chemistry and be able to work perfectly together.

Absolutely! I couldn't believe how often crews were separated. While I understand that there was a need for it sometimes, I can't even imagine how much more difficult it would have been to work together with people that you don't know intimately in a plane you also do not know.


That, coupled with their young age and inexperience, was problematic. I was astounded how young all of the crew members were.


That is true, though I doubt that in this case being older would have meant more experience. Even WWI veterans serving wouldn't have had the training to deal with this new technology. Being young might have been an asset in this case. Quicker reflexes, a more fearless attitude, etc. Though I do agree that a lot of these "men" are not far enough removed from being boys to be so far away from home risking their lives.
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