You Speak

© Photographed December 3, 2016, with permission of
EAA Air Venture Museum
Oshkosh, Winnebago County, Wisconsin
43.984169, -88.577507
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You Speak!
For bombers of the 15th Air Force like You Speak and Sloppy But Safe, missions often entailed bombing runs from Italy into southern Germany. To reach their targets, the bombers had to fly over the Alps, where unpredictable weather could quickly turn a routine mission into a life-threatening ordeal.
On Target
Once a bombing formation reached its target, the pilot of the lead aircraft would switch to automatic pilot transfering control to the bombardier who would then fly the aircraft and release the bombs over the target.
Gas Guzlers
To prepare for missions, ground crews loaded the aircraft with bombs and gas. B-24s and B-17s could burn 2,800 gallons or nine tons of fuel in a typical mission.

The exact weight of fuel and bombs had to be carefully planned, and fuel could exceed half the weight of the cargo. Sometimes in cases of extreme weather, bombers would have to drop their bombs before they reached their targets in order to conserve enough fuel for their return.
B-24J
Serial #42-51366
Mediterranean Theatre
15th Air Force
454th Bomb Group
737th Bomb Squadron
You Speak is part of the Commemorative Air Force WWII Nose Art Collection, on display November 2015 through December 2017, at the EAA Museum located at

More than 30 pieces of nose art from actual World War II combat aircraft made their first-ever trip outside their home museum, with the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh chosen as the first public display location for this rare collection.

The collection from the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) headquarters in Dallas, Texas, made its debut in November 2015 after a month of preparation in the EAA museum’s Eagle Hangar, which honors the people and aircraft of World War II. The artifacts have been designated by the National Trust for Historical Preservation as an official project of Save America’s Treasures, which seeks to preserve historic structures, art, and published works throughout the nation. It will be on display at EAA throughout 2017.
Commemorative Air Force Headquarters

Click here for more information about the collection and to view all nose art photographed.

A ground crew prepares for a periodic inspection,
a thorough examination of the aircraft conducted
after a set number of missions.

The 15th AF's longest bombing mission was a
1,600-mile round trip against a German factory.

You Speak is part of the Commemorative Air Force
WWII Nose Art Collection, on display through December 2017

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