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S/Sgt. Wilbur E. Bagby
489th Bombardment Squadron

Preparing for War

INDUCTION --- Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana
BASIC TRAINING --- Biloxi, Mississippi

Gunnery School

Gunners, of course, don't shoot at stationary targets, so training includes time at the trap and skeet ranges to get the knack for taking a lead on a moving target.
My dad's aerial training was from Tyndall Field in Panama City, Florida, from the back seats of AT-6 "Texans". Each gunner shot using bullets painted a particular color that would mark his hits on a target sleeve towed behind another AT-6.

AT-6 fitted for gunnery and bombing training.

These AT-6 pilots were sergeants or even corporals rather than the usual lieutenant pilot, apparently having lost rank from some personal screw-up. That knowlege alone might make one pause, but these pilots would sometimes amuse themselves returning from the range by flying close and playfully tipping each other's wings! Not so amusing to the rattled gunner who was barely strapped in, if at all, in his awkward gun position.

Upon successful completionof the course, one receives a diploma and promotion to sergeant.


Preparing for War - current page
Going "Over There"
Campaigns - Page 2
Back Home
Mission List

Image/Photo Credits:
1. AT-6 comic --- Help,I misplaced the source! It's from a series of comics drawn by a WWII airman about a misfit named "Dilbert", I believe.
2. Gunnery AT-6 --- AerofilesAeroFiles logo
3. Diploma --- Bagby collection
4. Promotion --- Bagby collection