Old 666

matthew's picture

My brother Jay posted a great story we watched on Sunday: Old 666. Excerpt:

Zeamer and his misfit crew seized the plane, and worked to restore it and make it airworthy again. Not just restore it – they decided to customize it. They added nearly 50% more guns to the bird, including a forward-firing machinegun so Zeamer could also shoot, like a fighter pilot. They replaced the .30 caliber machine guns with bigger .50 caliber guns – or, in some cases, twin .50 caliber guns. When they were done, their aircraft – number 41-2666 (or 12666, depending on the account) was the most heavily armed bomber in the entire Pacific theater of World War II.

They never added customary nose-art to the bomber, leaving it unadorned. So it became known by its serial number on its tail – “Old 666.”

These guys were nicknamed “The Eager Beavers” because they consistently volunteered for the most dangerous, crazy missions. They’d frequently come back shot full of holes, but they made it home. Zeamer and crew of renegades gained a new reputation for courage and incredible airmanship. In one night mission, for example, the enemy troops managed to fix the entire flight of bombers with large searchlights, illuminating them so they could be shot down by anti-aircraft guns. Zeamer used his giant aircraft as a fighter, diving on the searchlight positions and using his forward-firing machine guns to destroy three of them and damage two others, saving the other planes and their crews...

Check out the rest of the article. Jay even has a link to the History Channel documentary on Old 666 and its renegade, typecast crew of misfits who really existed. Why hasn't this been made into a movie, anyway?