Containing Multitudes Since 2004
The image reminded me of this YouTube footage of Gable in uniform:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ppcki5iJ3zUPossibly some of it was filmed at the same time as the photo?
Waist-gunner on a B-17 ain't no walk in the park, either.
kill boys kill!
Looks posed to me. Since when were waist gunners provided with a seat? Also, Gable's taking up the space that would be occupied by the gunner on the port side of the fuselage.
He's crouching and that's about the right position - the other gunner and he would've had an intricate dance in combat.
Probably was posed because he would be wearing far more clothing to be warm-and an oxygen mask...Electrically heated gloves oh yeah a steel helmet And a big fat flak vest with metal plates. You wouldn't know it was him.People have no idea what these guys wore-and had to get out of in order to bail out.I've been inside a B-17 the gun positions are not abreast of each other-they're staggered.It was so cold at their final altitude-what he is wearing here is almost a T-shirt.Gable did go on some missions over Europe to film some training movies for USAAC and was pulled when the brass found out about it. He wasn't a poser-he risked his life several times.Unlike John Wayne.Think I posted it one time-Sabu from the movie KIM was a tail gunner in B-24's in the Pacific. Yeah little Sabu.
It is posed, for a press event, but he indeed wasn't a poseur. Have a look at the YouTube link. You'll see Gable firing the gun, but obviously on the ground for benefit of the cameras. The YouTube page includes an article about the event, written by Andy Rooney (then a reporter for Stars and Stripes, today possibly still on 60 Minutes each week).
I figured it probably was posed, taking aim is likely all he's doing.He was eventually promoted to major, but around the same time he was pulled out of active duty, so it's likely he was still a captain when this photo was taken.
In the linked youtube video, the B-17 waist gunner positions are most definitely not staggered. There's a straight-on view from outside the aircraft of the gunner position, and you see clear through the plane starboard to port side.
Later B-17 were staggered. Moving the gun positions was an improvement (I rationally assume). The defensive guns on bombers were not all that effective anyway. better than nothing, to be sure, but the real protection from enemy aircraft came from fighter escorts.
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