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WWII Bombardier Paul “Bud” Haedike Recounts Combat in a B-17 Flying Fortress

Published Sept. 25, 2021

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Inspired by movies and newsreels, Paul “Bud” Haedike wanted nothing more than to become a fighter pilot and take the fight to the Luftwaffe over the skies of Europe. Fate however, would place Paul in the nose of B-17 Flying Fortress dropping payloads of destruction across Germany.


As part of the Eighth Air Force, Haedike’s baptism by fire would come fast and hard. As a rookie crew, on their first combat mission, their bomber would be the last plane in formation to pass over the target - A position known as ‘Tail End Charlie’.


By the time Haedike dropped his payload the German anti-aircraft positions had zeroed in their 88 millimeter cannons and were able to knock out the number one and two engines on Haedike’s bomber. Through sheer skill and determination the pilot of the crippled bomber made it past the German lines and was able to crash land in Belgium.


Paul “Bud” Haedike went on to fly 22 more missions.


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Published Sept. 25, 2021

Subscribe to American Veterans Center on YouTube!


Inspired by movies and newsreels, Paul “Bud” Haedike wanted nothing more than to become a fighter pilot and take the fight to the Luftwaffe over the skies of Europe. Fate however, would place Paul in the nose of B-17 Flying Fortress dropping payloads of destruction across Germany.


As part of the Eighth Air Force, Haedike’s baptism by fire would come fast and hard. As a rookie crew, on their first combat mission, their bomber would be the last plane in formation to pass over the target - A position known as ‘Tail End Charlie’.


By the time Haedike dropped his payload the German anti-aircraft positions had zeroed in their 88 millimeter cannons and were able to knock out the number one and two engines on Haedike’s bomber. Through sheer skill and determination the pilot of the crippled bomber made it past the German lines and was able to crash land in Belgium.


Paul “Bud” Haedike went on to fly 22 more missions.


Learn more about the American Veterans Center: http://www.americanveteranscenter.org/


Help us tell more heroes stories and preserve the legacy of our Veterans. Support our mission: https://bit.ly/2UmsEj7


Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/americanveteranscenter/
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AVCupdate
Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/americanveteranscenter/


Subscribe to our podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/show/2980518

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