WWII USAAF B-17 Bomber. B-7 Type Bomb Shackle. With history
Here we have an original B-7 Type Bomb shackle as fitted in B-17 and other USAAF Aircraft during WWII.
This particular shackle was recovered from the crash site of 'Barabara Jane' which was a United States Army Air Forces B-17G-65 Flying Fortress number 43-37667, The aircraft was part of the 709 Bombardment Squadron which was part of the 447th Bombardment Group stationed at Rattlesden near Stowmartket Suffolk. Barbara Jane crashed on Meltham Moor on 6 April 1945 during a routine maintenance flight, seriously injuring two of the crew.
The crew consisted of the following
2nd Lieutenant Winston Johnson (pilot)
2nd Lieutenant Raymond Parks (co-pilot)
2nd Lieutenant Walter A. Vukelic (navigator) Pictured
Sergeant Robert Woodbeck (radio operator)
Sergeant Robert J. Schnug (engineer)
The aircraft became lost on poor weather and crashed onto the moor in poor visibility. Full details of this fateful; mission can be researched further.
The shackle would be clipped to a bomb on the ground prior to loading on the aircraft. Bomb loaders would then hoist the bomb/shackle combination into the bomb bay of the bomber and roll the bomb slightly to assist in attaching the shackles to the bomb rack of the aircraft. When over the target, an signal was sent to an electric release unit to drop the bomb and the shackle would remain behind in the aircraft and be reused on a subsequent mission. The Type B-7 was used for bombs weighing 100 to 1100 pounds and was the most common type used by the Eighth Air Force in their bombing campaign against occupied Europe and Germany.
As can be seen from the photos the shackle is in excellent condition and remains un bent. A classic part from a classic aircraft