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 stories of first hand air combat.

Out of the warm evening sun the heavy bombers come home again. Home from another target hundreds of miles away. For the airmen, this means food, relaxation, sleep; 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, grease, and hastily-gulped food. The success of the men who flew depended upon those who didn't.

A life may hinge on the careful fingers of a "nylon mechanic" who adjusts the shrouds of a parachute. A life may hinge on the quick 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, preparing, loading, and the sweating out of missions hundreds of miles away from the death, injury, and destruction. They were the backbone of the American air offense against the Nazis...


Site design and content 1999- by Fred Preller
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