Bomber Pilot

[courtesy of  Mr. Ledbetter's private collection]

Jesse Ledbetter of Asheville, NC,  flew B-24 bombers in Europe during the war – targeting German railroad yards and munitions and aircraft factories. For Ledbetter and his crew – who flew in tight formation with other bombers – the war was fought in the air, with enemy planes attacking from every direction and flak filling the skies over probable targets. While it was perilous duty, Ledbetter says he just couldn’t think about the risks. In all, Ledbetter and his crews flew 51 bombing missions between May and August of 1944.

Videos

Rob Holliday tells the story of Asheville native Colonel Robert Morgan who piloted the famous B-17 Flying Fortress “Memphis Belle” during World War II. It was the first aircraft in the VIII Bomber Command to complete its combat tour of 25 missions plus return safely to the USA.