Shortly after the 1942 deployment of the U.S. Eighth Air Force in Britain, LIFE Magazine sent Margaret Bourke-White to spend time with the now legendary VIII Bomber Command. During her assignment, she managed to snap a series of color photographs, many of which never actually made it to her feature article. Over 70 years later, LIFE has finally released these unpublished color photos.
All images via LIFE.
Not a bad way to spend the time.
The finished product. Givin' it to the Axis leaders.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. It had un uncanny ability to survive heavy fire, was easy to maneuver, and was popular among its crews for its reliability.
Check out how young this guy looks.
They're definitely going to need those. The B-17s had unpressurized cabins, and with planes reaching upwards of 39,700 feet, crew members were exposed to sub-zero temperatures.
The rear turret featured two 12 x 0.5 inch Browning machine guns.
I don't imagine he'd fly without it.
Dogs were common at the bases and were typically spoiled rotten by homesick, stressed-out crews.
An American bomber crew waiting for their next mission over Nazi-occupied Europe.
There's plenty more at LIFE, including more photos and some excerpts from the actual text that appeared in Margaret Bourke-White's feature article.