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The Sperry Ball Turret (Exterior View)
Above is a WWII drawing of what the Sperry Ball Turret would appear like if you were looking directly at it from the outside. Rather mean looking! Cramped, confining, lonesome, noisy, and cold are good words to describe this cocoon that was their home aboard the B-17G. Men such as Carey W. Mavor and Leonard J. "Mickey" Hurley and others spent many hours cramped into this weapons system.
Carey Mavor said that he had been credited with shooting down (or at least a part credit) an Me-109 on one mission. He also view the disintegration of a B-24 bomber below him on one mission. This caused him to be sick to his stomach, for he was looking directly at the big bomber moving into a position within his group's box.
On another mission, Carey managed to cry out to his pilot to "PULL UP" in order to avoid flack bursts advancing from the rear of the big bomber in bursts of three's. The final burst peppered the ball turret as well as the bottom of the bomber around Carey. He often wondered if he had not alerted the pilot if the flak burst would have been on target and he -- along with his entire crew -- might not be around to tell their story.
Carey also saw on two occasions, Me-262's rise up to meet his formation. The brass had not told the crew members about the German jets -- for they did not want to "frighten the men".
Of course, they did not have to fly along sides these brave men, either.
(Photo: Gunner, An Illustrated History of World War II Aircraft Turrets and Gun Positions, by Donald Nijboer. Photographs by Dan Patterson. pp. 50.)