The Putnam Examiner

‘Hell’s Angels’ Of WWII Discussed In Talk At Mahopac Library

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Discover the story of the WWII B-17 bomber known as “Hell’s Angels” which was part of the U.S. Army Air Force’s 303rd Bombardment Group. Carmel resident Jon Fiorella will present a talk about this bomber plane at Mahopac Public Library on Monday, April 9 at 7 pm; registration for this program is requested.

Anyone who saw the movies “Memphis Belle” or “Twelve O’clock High,” has an idea of what B-17 bombers accomplished (and had to endure) during WWII. In the first years of the war a crewman only had about a 1 in 5 chance of completing the required 25 missions. Bomber crews and submariners had the highest casualty rates in WWII – even higher than the Marines. In this presentation you will come to appreciate what a typical mission encompassed and the hardships the men endured.

The Hell’s Angels string of consecutive missions was broken on the 49th trip when an oil seal broke on an engine and the plane had to return to base. She was then taken out of service to go on an “industrial morale tour” where she helped raise large amounts of money through the sale of bonds for the war effort.

On January 7, 1944 the 303rd Bombardment Group adopted the name “Hell’s Angels,” in part for security reasons, but also to honor the accomplishments of the crew of the original plane Hell’s Angels.

This talk will also cover the evolution of the U.S Army Air Corps into the U.S. Army Air Forces and later into the modern U. S. Air Force.

To register for this informative talk, visit, or call 845-628-2009, ext. 100.

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