From YouTube; Published on May 21, 2013
In 2005, an 83 year-old World War II pilot is surprised to see 16mm footage of his 1944 Spitfire crash for the first time.
You’re never too old to learn… This video describes the hazardous missions undertaken to provide critical photos of targets for our B-17’s during WW II. The pilots flew unarmed aircraft, alone without fighter escort. The video is of an American pilot who flew many of these missions deep in Germany using British Spitfires! The shocking factor which led to their use:
I was unprepared to finally learn why the P-38, used with great success in the Pacific theater, noted for its long range, speed and firepower, was hardly mentioned in the European Theater. At high altitude, the cold climate caused many critical failures in the P-38’s turbo supercharger regulators, many pilots having to return home on one engine. This turns out to be why the P-51 became the deciding factor; whether strategic bombings in Germany could continue, after 20% loses on Black Thursday, [some sixty plus aircraft and six hundred crewmen] caused the high command to suspend further operations for several weeks.