The Beer Bombs of World War II

80 years ago, the brave men of the western Allied armies were saving Europe and having a rough go of it. Conditions in the field were spartan and beer was a usually unobtainable luxury.

Pictured above is a RAF Supermarine Spitfire that flew from England to Normandy a few weeks after D-Day. Instead of external fuel tanks, the plane has a pair of barrels rigged for delivery of a fuel more precious than aviation gasoline: beer

The Spitfire Academy, an organization dedicated to preserving these historic aircraft, shares the story of British, Canadian, and American aircraft that ferried beer across the Channel to thirsty soldiers. Initially, the technicians attached standard fuel tanks that had been steam-cleaned. But after soldiers complained that the beer tasted like gasoline, despite the cleaning, they switched to flying the barrels themselves.

-via Chris Bolton


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