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Old 01 February 2009, 12:39 AM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
Join Date: 05 November 2005
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 6,657

There is a story that Andy Rooney tells (recounted here. Also it appears in his book My War; an excerpt from google books is here) in which a damaged B-17 is forced to make a belly landing, but the ball turret can't be ditched and the gunner is still trapped there... Interestingly, in the book Rooney mentions the fictionalized account Reagan gives.

Now, in googling for this story, I ran across several accounts that indicate that if the ball turret is not jettisoned from a B-17 before a belly landing (it can be manually jettisoned by removing some bolts, as indicated in this account), it can actually break the back of the plane, which suggests the turret might actually survive such a landing; see this post on an aircraft forum, for example.

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