In the summer of 1978 two former members of a B-17 crew met to discuss their escape from death in a raid on Kassel in 1943.
Sitting on a porch in New York, co-pilot Bohn Fawkes turned to his navigator Elmer "Benny" Bendiner & said: “Remember we were hit with 20mm shells?”
Benny said of course he did but wasn’t unusual. It happened whenever they got jumped by a German fighter.
Yes, but remember the shell that hit the gas tank? Bohn said.
Benny said he did. All the crew had talked about it like it was a miracle.
I mean to them it was - because somehow the plane had not exploded.
Just unbelievable luck, they assumed, and carried on with their duties.