The Boeing B-17F "Flying Fortress" AFA-317th Chapter Aircraft

"It has served, unlike any other bomber, through all of the Second World War. It had become a legend in its time. A tribute to the men who had conceived, designed, and built it-and a monument to the remarkable young men, most of them boys who flew it. These men, and this plane, accomplished one of the most frightening missions ever demanded of men and aircraft. Together they helped end history's last "Glorious War".


AFA-317 Blogspot created and maintained by Benny F. Benitez, FAA -Airframe / Powerplant and FCC-Ham Radio Lic.) VFW Life Member, Former Chapter President (2009-2010). Current Chapter Vice President of Special Projects

Friday, May 25, 2012

Air Force Association Miami-Homestead Chapter, The 317th Is Honored By The Presence of Mr. Seymour "Sy" Shweky A WWII B-17G Crewmember

Brooklyn born Mr. Seymour "Sy" Shweky proudly holding and displaying his original issued USAAF leather flight jacket and a model the B-17G type aircraft that the flew as a crewmember with the 368th Bombardment Squadron (H), 306th Bombardment Group (H)

The flight gear displayed for the benefit of all to see what B-17 crewmen had to use was provided from the private collection of former Chapter President Benny Benitez who is an avid collector and trader of World War II Military items

Days before GPS, B-17 crewmen such as the crew Navigator used this type of Sexton  and map shown to plot their course. The unit is shown within its wooden box with all accessories

Two of the AFA-317th finest! Mr. David Bernstein WWII USAAF 6th Air Force (Panama) and Mr. Seymour "Sy" Shweky WWII USAAF 8th Air Force (England) two great Americans

"Sy" USAAF A-2 leather flight jacket. Sy advised that before leaving Brooklyn, New York, "Sy" Mother gave him his first skill scarf for luck of which he wore on ALL 35 Missions! and made it home safe and alive.  One can not dispute a Mother love for one safety

While viewing "Sy" A-2 leather flight jacket this tag was found tucked within the inner liner pocket with a metal cotter pin. When we asked "Sy" he said that this tag shown above, belong to the last 500 lbs bomb that he armed before dropping over Germany on his mission of the Second World War

Mr. Shweky proudly holding the 317th banner as flanked by members of the USAF presence at U.S. Southern Command along with Lt.Col. Rodrigo "Rod" Huete Chapter President 

"Sy" with former Chapter President Benny Benitez who was honored to met a Great American such as Sy and who learned  a few things about the gear he brought for display from "Sy"

AFA-317th member Bernie Schumacher and member of the Quiet Birdman Association chats with "Sy" and extend an invite for "Sy" to speak at there next Quiet Birdman meeting 

B-17G crewman, Mr Seymour "Sy" Shweky manning the 50 cal. machine gun at the port fuselage gunners position. Note the lower ball turret support bar behind him and the radioman area forward

Combat Crews if of the 368th Bombardment Squadron (H), of the 306 Bombardment Group (H) Thurliegh Airfield

Miami, Florida 10th May 2012: The AFA-317th Chapter was honored by having a very special guest speaker during their scheduled May luncheon. Brooklyn, Born Seymour "Sy" Shweky a former World War Two, Boeing B-17G crew member belonging to the 368th Bombardment Squadron (H) / 306th Bombardment Group (H) 8th Air Force based in Thurliegh Airfield, England who flew 35 Combat missions over Nazi held Europe gave all who attended a brilliant experience to hear it from someone who was there.
The effort to have brought such a special speaker to the Chapter was the joint effort by former Chapter President Benny Benitez and Chapter member Mr. Avi Mizrachi who is a friend of Mr. Shweky.
"Sy" gave all present an indepth insight as to what the American mind set was back in 1940's. Right after the attack on Pearl Harbor, "Sy" felt his patriotic duty to answer the call to serve, but being only 17 years ago at the time he was too young to enlist. A year later the U.S. War Department lowered the enlistment age and with the approval of his Mother "Sy" wanting to avoid the general draft and who wanted to specifically service as a flyer, enlisted within the U.S. Army Air Corp and was piped into the Radio Man / Waist Gunner classification for training.
"Sy" was assigned to crew a B-17 with the 368th Bombardment Squadron (H) / 306th Bombardment Group (H). "Sy' account and recollection was amazing, giving us all a riveting insight in imagining as to how it would have been to have been flying an actual combat mission over Nazi held Europe within a B-17.
We all learned as to how in those days B-17 radio-operators were in such high demand and a critical part of the crew. 'Sy" expressed as he was at times shuffled around from crew to crew to fill the space of crews who radio-operators were sick, not yet reported for duty or who may have been killed in previous missions.
This exact requirement is what appears to have saved "Sy" life as there was one mission that his original crew was scheduled to fly, "Sy" was substituted due to "crew rest time" requirements, as he flew two prior missions with another crew while his crew was schedule for ground time. "Sy" original crew departed with another radio-operator and were lost on that particular combat mission. 
Only one crewmember was able to bail out and parachuted over Nazi held Europe and served the rest of the war a prisoner of war and at the end of the war was later re-repatriated and he "Sy" were the only ones who survived the war and their B-17 days.
We at the AFA-317 salute Mr. Seymour "Sy" Shweky for his service toward our great Nation.
It should be noted that the AFA-317 is working with the local French consulate, as "Sy" qualifies for a French issued medal by the French Government for all those U.S. and Allied servicemen who helped liberate France either by land, by sea or by air.
We a the AFA-317th shall report further on this great recondition toward a great American!

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