Skip to main content

Overrated? Underrated?

February 2024
1min read

Fredric Smoler must know that calling the B-17 bomber overrated is risky. He limited his opinion to the question of whether it met its design criteria. In the opinion of this B-17 pilot who flew over Germany and France and back thirty-two times, the B-17 far exceeded whatever the designers may have had in mind. As for the capability of the B-17—and its guns were a basic part, especially when massed in close formation—well, ask the German fighters. Our B-17s brought a big bunch of aircrews home, for which I am forever grateful.

Overrated? Ha! Fred, were you an envious B-24 pilot?

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.