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Canto34 Studios

It’s March 1944 and the world is still at war. The United States is in a vicious battle to win air superiority in the skies over Europe. For the last year and a half, the Eighth Air Force has been flying bombing missions to mainly coastal cities, but now, they are beginning to move more deep into Nazi fortified Europe. The death toll among the 8th Air Force is only growing and most of the 10-men bomber crews are failing to make it through half of the 25 missions they are expected to fly in order to return home. Flak fields are only getting thicker and more accurate, shredding any plane that flies in their paths. Nazi fighter pilots are only getting better at taking down American bombers, regardless of how many defensive guns the bombers carry. The American bomber crews are unaware the worst thing of all is their purpose in combat has suddenly changed. Up until now, Bombers were seen as strategic weapons of war who’s main purpose was to drop bombs on targets in Germany that will slow down, cripple or knock out sections of the Nazi war machine. Escort fighters were told to protect the bombers at all cost and the lives of these bomber crews were seen by military officials as precious. However, with Jimmy Doolittle in command of the 8th Air Force, the job of the Bombers is to not only drop bombs on targets deep inside enemy territory, but to also be living bait to Nazi fighter planes. Yes, you read that right, they are serving as bait to attract Nazi fighters into the sky so that the escort fighters can one-by-one shoot them down. This means that the lives of the bomber crews are no longer of vital importance, but an unfortunate loss that must take place in order for the war to be won. All in all, a year from now, the death toll of the 8th Air Force will be a staggering 26,000, more than the amount of Marines lost in all 4 years of World War II. This podcast follows the story of one bomber crew in the early months of 1944. 24 year old Lieutenant Bakas is the Pilot of a B-17G named “Load of Bull” and is the leader of a 10 men crew who have one motivation, survive. They have a 25% chance of completing their 25 mission tour and the odds are only growing worse in their favor. Also with him, sitting in the co-pilots seat is 23 year old Lieutenant Miller who has a lot to learn when it comes to leadership, perseverance and duty. How is a 24 year old from Youngstown Ohio supposed to keep his men, most of whom are just barely out of high school, focused and motivated? How is a 23 year old suppose to learn how to lead while also making sure his Pilot and Chief doesn’t drive himself into insanity? How are they both supposed to look their men in the eye and motivate them to keep fighting when they and their crew know that their job is not only suicidal but their impact on the war is and will be at best, questionable? Starting in July 2021, SNAFU, a historical fiction podcast, will begin to tell the story of a group of men, as their families never knew them.