Is that a six-pack of .50 cals in your chin, or are you just happy to see me?
In a follow up to yesterday’s post on the M2 unjamming tool made by a B17 gunner, here is an interesting version of the B17G. The “G” model Flying Fortress was not so much a bomber as it was a flying anti-aircraft artillery cluster. Equipped with a remotely operated Bendix-made chin turret, the G model had 13 AN/M2 .50 cals compared to the 7 in previous models.
And some had even more.
Meet West End, tail number 42-31435, who was equipped with an experimental 6-barrel Bendix turret, giving her a total of 17 M-2 heavy machine guns.
Each had a cyclic rate of fire topping 850 rounds per minute (a bit spicier than the typical ground combat variant of Ma Deuce), giving West End the theoretical capability of ripping out 240 .50 BMG tracers per second if all 17 of her guns were engaged.
This aircraft was credited with 27 combat missions with the 384th Bomb Group and crash landed at RAF Manston, Kent, due to major flak damage after escorting a raid on a German V-weapons complex near Coubronne, France 6 July 1944.