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B-17 (B17) WBC 2019 Report b
Updated October 19, 2019.
78 Players Pete Pollard 2019 Status 2020 Status History/Laurels
  2019 Champion   Click box for details. Click box for details.


Last year missions showed how the allies broke the Luftwaffe. Big Week enabled the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) command of the skies above Europe. To demonstrate this, The 8th Air Force went for the capital of Germany less than a month after the operation.

B-17, Queen of the Sky's, is a different tournament in many ways: It's a solitaire game using a unique scoring system developed by Dave Terry some 27 years ago. People are placed in a six plane “squadron” formation where at times fellow pilots are dependent on each other to make sure that they are able to succeed in the mission. People must be able to have at ONE crewman survive the previous mission in order for the score to add up from the previous mission. A historical timeline is used in developing the missions used for the tournament. To simulate the secrecy of the real events, only a handful of people know what the actual missions are and how “tough” it's going to be in trying to hit targets in occupied Europe and Germany.

Big Week enabled the 8th Air Force to go deep into Europe without interference by the German Luftwaffe and it was not a significant factor as in previous raids. All of the missions this year went to the same target: BERLIN.

MISSION #1 (#250) BERLIN, 6-MARCH-44

672 of 723 bombers that took off for the Capital were able to get to the target. Although this raid marked the most bombers that were lost by the 8th Air Force (69), it only represented a little over 10% of the forces that took part in the raid. Also, with the continued influx of replacements, crew loss was not a significant setback since they were able to mount attacks with 600+ bombers in just a few days.

MISSION #2 (#252) BERLIN, 8-MARCH-44

Even though the 8th Air Force suffered 10% losses in the raid to Berlin two days before this raid, they were able to launch 623 bombers on this raid to hit the Capital. Although casualties were high for the Allies (Losing 37 bombers), the German Luftwaffe suffered even heavier losses. Over 22 fighter pilots were killed in this raid, which the Luftwaffe would find it hard to replace.

MISSION #3 (#849) BERLIN, 18-MARCH-45

Although this raid was almost a year later, and less than three months before the end of the war. The Luftwaffe showed that they were still able to mount a defense of the Fatherland, this time with a new weapon. In this raid, one of the few raids where jets (ME-262) were used, they were able to shoot down 17 bombers. It was a small loss for the allies (Over 1000 bombers took part in this raid). But it was now a paradigm shift which showed the future of air warfare.

This year 78 pilots, comprising 13 squadrons, attempted the three missions out to Berlin. After all of the results were tabulated, a new champion was crowned. Pete Pollard with a total score of 183 garnered first place in this year’s B-17 tournament.

A tie for the second and third places had to go to the tie-breaker of the most fighters shot down in one mission. Paul Risner bested Jacob Hebner by shooting down 7 fighters in one mission where Jacob was only able to shoot down 5. Both ended with a score of 165.

Fourth place went to Alex Henning, a previous winner in B-17 with a score of 159. Fifth went to Andrew Ashley with a score of 156, and the coveted 6th Place sand plaque went to Ashton Worley with a score of 155.

Of the “best” and “worse” squadrons of the three missions, Squadron 1 (The “By the Door Squadron”) with two people garnering wood (Pete Pollard, Paul Risner, David Terry, David Brooks, and Chris Storzillo, and Keith MacFarland) placed them in first place as the best squadron with a score of 682.0. On the other hand, the last place Squadron 11 (Jim Miller, Kevin McCarthy, Nathen Trent, Carter Waite, John Conlon, and Mike Massela) was able to get a total score of 323.0 for the three missions.

Going to Berlin marks the end of the B-17 in its current format. Next year's missions will be something that will be totally different from what everybody has seen in the past years. After that we will reset and start again with the early raids going into Europe with the buildup of the 8th Air Force in Europe.

2019 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
Paul Risner Jacob Hebner Alex Henning Andrew Astley Ashton Worley
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
6-Time winner Paul Risner helping his Squadron. Bombers will need to avoid the towers.
Mafia Aces head to the skies. Next Generation Pilots in Action.
These planes are fully loaded. Champion Pete Pollard and Runner-up Paul Risner.
GM Mark Yoshikawa [3rd Year]  NA
 mtyoshikawa@cs.com  NA