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The Flying Fortress Ball Turret Gunner

The ball turret gunner had the most uncomfortable position to be in. He sat in that little compartment for the length of the mission, having entered into the ball before takeoff or after they were in the air.
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  • 1. The Flying Fortress Ball Turret Gunner
  • 2. The ball turret gunner had the most uncomfortableposition to be in.He sat in that little compartment for the length of themission, having entered into the ball before takeoff orafter they were in the air.They would have sit with their knees up by their headwith no room for a parachute.The gunners would really be on their own sitting thereisolated from the rest of the crew.
  • 3. There were two ways to enter the ball turret.One was through a small door from the outside and the otherwas from the inside once the turret was hand cranked aroundso the door aligned with the hatch in the floor.When aligned this way the gun barrels would be facingdown.
  • 4. The turret itself had two .50 caliber machine guns with 250rounds each that feed down from boxes mounted justabove.There was an optical sight that was in front of the gunnersface with a pedal under the left foot to adjust the sight.Two handles located above the sight were used to controlthe movement of the turret.Buttons at the end of the handles controlled each gun.Empty casings went out through an opening under thebarrels.
  • 5. The turret was operated by an electro-hydraulic system.It could rotate 360 degrees and turn 90 degrees.The gunner could spin around and raise and lower theguns at the same time.The gunner had a communication radio, first aid kit,oxygen regulator and a plug-in for his heated flight suit.
  • 6. For more information on this amazing Bomber ofWW2 go to “The B-17 Flying Fortress." There isinfo on gear, the crews and weapons.
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