10 January, 2011

Profile 45 - "Flak Shak" as flown by Capt. V. Wiggins...and crew.

The dynamics of a bomber crew are life in microcosm.  Inside the metal-skinned tube, a team of people work, each with their role, their function - a flying cell in the larger organism (formation) of others like it.

Most people understand that the romance of a tightly bound "band of brothers" that live, breathe and die together is more Hollywood than Reality.  True enough, I've heard of fights breaking out inside cockpits, pilots 'firing' crew members and stories of plane old boredom on long, arduous flights.

Then, there are the rare stories - thankfully rare - that stop you cold; drama and determination that would be utterly exhausting for even the most imaginative script writer to convey to the reader.  "Flak Shak" is one such story.

This airplane came to my attention purely by accident.  Having met the surviving son of a 485th BG crewman, he described the legend of a particular airplane within the Group named "Flak Shak" and how each of her ten crew was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry on June 28, 1944 during a mission to Romania.

Right now, I'm in correspondence with family & crew, hoping to bring this particular B-24 H back to virtual life.  My sketch above is crude, but will form the basis of what I hope to be as close to perfect of a Profile as possible.

In the meantime, have another look at the picture in the post below.  See if you can discern the battle damage.  There's more to come...