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B-17 (B17) WBC 2017 Report bbbb
Updated February 19, 2018 Icon Key
74 Players Melody Loder 2017 Status 2018 Status History/Laurels
  2017 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.

Missing Commander doesn't effect Missions

January 1944, A New Year, new planes, new tactics, new commander. Like what the 8th Air Forced faced in Germany, the group coming into the B-17 tournament faced the same situation.

The B-17 Tournament is unique in that it uses the actual bombing missions of the 8th Air Force using 3 missions in chronological order. Right now it is early 1944, a change in leadership was made to the United States Army Air Force in England. General Eaker, who was in charge since the 8th came to Europe is now strategic commander of the Mediterranean Theater. General Doolittle, the leader of the Tokyo Bombing Raids, is now in charge. With the change in leadership a new strategy was implemented. Instead of destroying the industrial base of Germany, they are now also responsible for destroying the German Luftwaffe. As in what actually happened in history, David Terry, who has been the B-17 GM since it began in 1992 at WBC/Avaloncon, could not make it to WBC this year. Instead Mark Yoshikawa took the reins making sure that the 74 pilots would be successful.

The three missions this year took the pilots deep into Germany with new planes (B-17G's), but the Luftwaffe was waiting for them. Here is a recap of what the three missions were.

  • 1st Oshersleben – One of the first major raids into Germany with Doolittle in command. Of the over 600 planes that took off, 1/3 were recalled with the others missing the recall and continuing onto the target. German Fighter pilot's said that this was the most intense battle since Schweinfurt with over 500+ sorties sent to challenge the bombers. The 8th also suffered the most causalities since Black Thursday with more than 60 planes lost in the battle.
  • 2nd Frankfurt – In a raid where the success of the mission wasn't how well the bombers bombed the target but rather were they able to engage the Luftwaffe, over 600 bombers attacked the city. Because of extensive cloud cover, the use of area bombing of the city was considered to be an effective bomb run instead of the normal target bombing of factories.
  • 3rd Frankfurt – With the city being bombed three times in less than two weeks, the pilot’s returned to the same city. This time clear weather helped the 8th bomb the target in what some would consider more of a milk run (easy mission).

With these missions, the 74 pilots of the tournament took to the air in the hopes of garnering wood. When everything was tabulated, Melody Loder was the top pilot with a score 182 (64, 64 and 54) for the three missions. Finishing second was Daniel Overland with a score of 173 (66, 52, and 56). Rounding out laurelists were Eric Stranger (173), Dan Lawall (170), Claire Brosius (168.5), and Mike Coomes (155).

On Friday a new location, Foggy Goggle, was used for the AAR where all gathered to discuss how they did on the three missions and to see how they scored. A tradition started at Lancaster continued as the best scores and the worst score were given awards. A reprinted copy of the actual B-17 pilot's manual is given out to the person that didn't have the luck of the dice with them. Again the ladies were not to be outdone with Nora Tuke garnering a total score of 10 (10, 0, 0) for the three missions to receive this award.

Next year three new missions will await the pilots who will find out in 2018 where they are going and the difficulties in completing the missions.

2017 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 0
Daniel Overland Eric Stranger Daniel Lawall Claire Brosius Michael Coomes
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Calling all squadrons

This is a good looking squadron

This was the Lawall squadron where Dan Lawall
came in 4th overall

B-17 Champion - Melody Loder

GM Mark Yoshikawa [1st Year] for Dave Terry  NA
 david.terry@jhuapl.edu  NA