More of an "About Me" rather than an "About Us" really. Why do I do this? Why is this here? Good questions and ones that I have been asked numerous times by various people over the years. It is kind of like oil. We see it every day, use it, never think of it for what it really is...a dwindling resource. The veterans who flew these planes, worked on them around the clock to make sure they were airworthy, who worked in the factories turning out thousands of them, who shuttled them from one location to another, and all the others in between are also a dwindling resource. What this is all about is making sure the generations which are to come know where they, and this country, came from. The "Great Generation" is Great not because of what events transpired around them and that they were pulled and directed by these events but rather the attitudes and values that they applied to these events. The prevailing theme whenever I talk to veteran's about how they could continue to fly mission after mission knowing that each one could be their last has always been the same, they had a job to do that if they didn't do it someone else would have to do it for them and they could not stand to let their friends down that way. This site is my small "Thank you" to them for doing the "right thing" not because of what they would get out of it but just because it was the right thing to do.
However, there is more to how I became so attached to the B-17 and how this site came about. My interest
in the B-17 began in a strange way. Already having an interest in plastic
models, at around age twelve I began reading about World War Two and
found yet another hobby. Upon acquiring a model of a B-17G, and reading
a little about the aircraft, I decided to find out more about it. After
reading books such as Black Thursday and a few Bomber Group histories,
I found a certain affection in the B-17. A number of years ago this
long time admiration came to fruition in this sight. When my involvement
with computers brought me to designing my very own Web site, I questioned
what its topic should be. One day I went to an air show in Long Beach
and ran into a man who flew as a copilot on a B-17 in Europe. After
talking to the gentleman for a number of hours, I came up with the
topic for this page as well as the idea for beginning a book based upon
oral histories of people involved with the B-17.
The original site
was launched in 1995 and by 1997 it had grown considerably. It was
considered one of the foremost B-17 related web sites on the Internet
at the time and was receiving quite a few visitors per day. However,
a server hick up erased the entire site. As though this were not
enough, the backup of the site refused to load due to a hardware
The site was almost completely lost.
Life and commitments
kept the site down but the hard drive that it was on and the few recoverable
files were kept in case it was decided to rebuild the site. Jump to
2003. After working as an e-commerce director, I found work as a
web master. In order to bring my web development skills current, I
decided to rebuild the B-17 site that was so popular and informative
before. However, this time it was to be expanded even beyond what it
A first revision was completed and the site started to look like it's former self but again, life got busy and the site suffered without being updated. Spammers attacked the Veteran's Database and filled it with junk prompting me to try and restore it without success as of yet. Now in 2008 I have found the time to work on it some more and it now contains information that it never has had before such as the Squadron Information on the Pacific units, unit patches, and four Mission Stories. Getting pictures up for the B-17F and G sections, posting information and pictures for the Other Variants section, and restoring the Veteran's page and information submission form are next on my focus list and with the re launch of the Veteran's section the site will be officially larger and more informative than it ever was.
So, much like many
of the planes that are on these pages, this site is also being restored
to its former glory. I hope that you will find it informative, enjoyable,
memorable, and most importantly, that you will find it captures the
spirit, determination, and the memory of the veterans who's stories
grace its pages.