WWII Hell's Angels
Original Hell's Angels 358th Bombardment Squadron, 303rd Bombardment Group, of the 41st Combat Wing of the 8th USAAF.
Although Gibson has been my main interest for this site, it is logical that WWII must be touched upon, as well. WWII played a significant role in changing the music industry, as well as every other industry throughout the world. It was a time when the manufacture of most consumer goods ceased and all efforts were focused on bringing peace to the world. As a result of American industry working towards one cause, new technologies never seen before were devised.
WWII is responsible to having created and pushed forefronts in American technologies to what we have today. It is mindblowing to think that companies, such as Gibson, were necessary to having integral roles in helping to defeat the Axis Powers.
One subject that I have always been fascinated with is avaition. Aside from guitars, Gibson did have a hand in the manufacture of airplane skids for the war.
Although other American manufacturers were more involved in creating war aircraft, such as bombers, I have found myself collecting photos and relics that provide a glimpse into the past memories of the war and avaition.
The photos below are of the original Hell's Angels. Yes, this is the roots of the motorcycle club Hell's Angels today. They were one of many crews in the 358 Bomb Squadron of the 303rd (BG) Bombardment Group and part of the 41st combat wing in the 8th USAAF stationed in Molesworth, England.
The 303rd BG consisted of the 358th, 359th, 360th and 427th Bomb Squadrons. Each squadron had many crews, each with their own aircraft. After the Hell's Angels had completed 48 successful bombing missions without losing aircraft or crew, it was decided to name the entire 303rd The Hell's Angels.
Each photo below captures a very important time in American History. Each photo is original and and part of my permanent collection.
The particular B-17 F below is the original Hell's Angels aircraft. The small drawings of bombs lined up in two rows signify 48 successful bombing missions. The signatures on the plane are of the members of the 8th USAAF and were put there when the plane was retired and flown throughout America for a war-plant tour in 1944.
Rare negative of B-17 bomber 'Sack Time', part of the historic 303rd Bomb Group Hell's Angels, Molesworth, England.
M/SGT Robert B. Heiliger, far right in photo is included in The Air Force Hall of Fame for completing one hundred successful combat missions without an abortive. In all, MSGT Heiliger has crewed ships that have completed 161 successful combat missions without an abortive. 1943.