This page is dedicated to the men on the ground... To the carpenters, cooks, draftsmen, electricians, machinists, inspectors, welders, teletypists, fire fighters, medicos, armorers, hydraulic men, dope and fabric workers, radio mechanics, and so on - the ground crews... The unsung heroes.
The work of the ground crews ranks high on the list of accomplishments during World War II. They did not wear wings and they did not wear medals. They told no thrilling first hand stories of air combat.
Out of the warm evening sun - or the darkening and frozen winter sky - the heavy bombers return home. Home from another distant target. For the airmen who return, this means food, sleep, possibly some relaxation; but to the many who fought this aerial war on the ground, the return of a formation spelled hours of intense activity, long night hours of sweat and grease exposed to the elements of nature. The success - the survival - of the men who flew depended upon those who didn't.
A life may hinge on the deft fingers of a "nylon mechanic" who adjusts the shrouds of a parachute. A life may hinge on the acute ear of a "grease mechanic" who detects a faulty note in the throb of an engine. A life may hinge on the sharp eyes of a propeller man watching the blur of the blades as the engine is run up. Their accomplishments were the repairing, maintaining, preparing, loading, and the sweating out of missions while hundreds of miles away from the death, injury, and destruction. They were the backbone of the American air offense against the Nazis...
Learn more about what each of the ground elements did to enable the combat crews to survive, succeed, and to triumph, by visiting their pages via the "WWII INFO" menu category, under the "SUPPORT UNITS" topic.