Ken Beaton

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November 9, 2012
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Ken Beaton: Twin 50s for tail gun Tommy

On Veterans Day, take a moment to thank a vet.

Carson City resident William "Bill" Bettridge enlisted in the United State Army Air Force in 1942 and became the tail gunner in a B-17. His twin 50-caliber machine guns claimed two German ME-109 fighters.

The B-17 crew faced harsh conditions. At 10,000-feet the crew had to wear oxygen masks. At 25,000-feet altitude the temperature inside the plane was between -40 to -60 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The crew prayed their electric heaters functioned and their sheepskin jackets, pants, gloves and boots would help keep them warm. Frostbite was an enemy. …

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Nov 9, 2012 04:03AM Published Nov 9, 2012 03:59AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.