Illustration: Bob Stevens

...that had its tail section shot off, and the tail gunner rode it to the ground like a glider?

Years ago, I saw something in a magazine (I want to say that it was probably an old copy of Air Force Magazine) and I can’t recall if it was just a cartoon, or indeed a true story. I remember seeing an illustration (not a photo) of the broken tail stuck in a tree, and the gunner hopping out onto the ground.

I tried to google it, and I stumbled upon this photo of a severely damaged Flying Fortress, which is said to have made a successful landing without losing its tail.

But the one I’m remembering was fully separated, though...

Come to think of it, the image that I’m thinking of was probably from one of Bob Stevens’ “There I Was...” cartoons. When I tried to google that, I found the top image, which -despite its relevance- is not quite the one I’m looking for.

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Illustration: Bob Stevens

I found this one too, also by Bob Stevens. I’m not sure if it’s another panel from the same comic strip, or its own thing. The humor suggests that it’s just a cartoon, but the image of a B-17 tail stuck in a tree is burned into my memory, along with a feeling like it was presented as a true story.

That’s as far as my memory and google-fu have managed to get. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

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(Edit: solved! See Curly’s reply below, and this post for the full Bob Stevens comic.)