MISSION 10 - Brod AARs

399th BS (LEAD)

PRINCESS LILIKOI, Lead flight, Lead aircraft, Group Commander

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Fell out-of-formation after bomb run (zone 4 inbound) from lost of pilots' compartment heat.  Returned with pilot compartment heater out, windows shattered, rudder controls damaged, ball turret guns destroyed, tail gunner's fire extinguisher destroyed and light superficial damage.  3 casualties.  Claims: 1 FW190 & 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Roberts, 1 FW-190 by SSgt. Marlow, 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Peters (Both of Sgt. Roberts' claims are later confirmed by S-2).

 

Mission Narrative:

The group assembled without any problems.  There were perfect weather conditions and as we crossed the Adriatic there was a spectacular view of the ocean and we could see Yugoslavia ahead.  It was a beautiful, peaceful view!  For a short, wonderful while until the Germans attacked. This first attack was ill coordinated and most of them was driven off by the P-47s.  One 109 fired at us but missed.  As he passed our ship, Sergeant Roberts in the tail hit him and claims him as his KIA, but it could have been Sky Rat
that took him down too, or Fateful Amy.  My gunners saw tracers from both of those ships directed at this 109.

 

It was quiet for a brief moment before we reached the IP and entered a beehive.  The 109s and the 190s were all over the sky and they were all attacking Princess Lilikoi.  Two, 109s I think it was, attacked from 12 high.  One of them hit us and came around a second time, but he missed and disappeared.  There were two more waves attacking before the drop, and one of the fighters hit the pilot compartment and knocked out the heat.  Most of these bandits in the target area were 190s but we could also see a few 109s.

 

A few moments before the Aim Point flak hit us and threw the plane off course and Lt. Duncan missed again.  Sgt. Peters in the Ball could see none of our bombs striking within a 1000 feet.

 

The flak hit us again on the way to the Rally Point and one 109 and two 190s attacked.  The P-38s drove away one.  The remaining bandits fired, missed, and dove away.  Sgt. Roberts claimed one of these a KIA; he hit him when he passed by below us.

 

After I had brought the group to the Rally Point I had to leave the formation due to the loss of heat in our compartment.  As we headed out over the Adriatic five 109s found us all alone.  P-38s took care of two of them.  Of the three that came through and fired at us one was probably an ace.  His wingmen covered him and we saw him later fight with two Lightnings who drove
him off of our tail.  Probably got one of them.  Sgt. Roberts could see a P-38 with a smoking engine go down but did not see him crash or a chute.

 

The gunners were really busy today.  They fired in every direction, but missed, not even scratching the bandits.  But when they hit, they hit!

 

- Capt. Frank Kingsley, Pilot, Princess Lilikoi


SKY RAT, lead flight, right wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 40%.  Returned with Nordon Bomb sight destroyed, auto-pilot inop, both flaps are inoperable, starboard elevators in-op, radio destroyed, top turret & guns inop, and dozens of misc. holes all over the plane.  6 casualties.  Claims: 1 ME-109 by 2nd Lt. Sides.

 

Mission Narrative:

Take off and form up went without incident.  As soon as we flew over the Adriatic we saw three inbound 109's.  Our escorts drove them off easily.

 

Once we entered Yugoslavia, we had two 109 come in fast from our 12, and 10. the boys missed them, and they missed us.  Once we entered Brod things got quite a bit hairier.  We were hit hard by 4 109s, Makowski nicked one, and one missed us on its run.  The other two proved a little harder to deal with.  The first came in low, and shot up the nose injuring Makowski and Sides, before hitting the port wing.  The second came straight at us, he hit the pilot compartment injuring Sinclair and I.  They came back at us from 12 high, they both shot up the waist (injuring Bauer) and hit the starboard elevator.  They both came back around for a third
pass.  Sides put a few rounds in the canopy of one of them, and sent it spiraling to earth.  The second missed us and left.

 

We took several flak hits while inbound on the bomb run.  We were hit in the starboard wing flap, the port wing , the waist, and the last flak hit took out the radio.  Despite the multiple flak hits, and his injury, Makowski managed to put 40% of our bombs on target.

 

Once we turned for home we were hit by a true ace pilot, he came at us from out of the sun.  We barely had a chance to see him before his rounds started punching through our plane.  On his first pass he put several rounds through our bomb bay, and waist.  On his second  pass he came at us from our 130.  He racked us from nose to tail.  He destroyed our bomb sight; shot up the instrument panel knocking out the auto pilot and breaking our windows; he hit the top turret knocking out the guns, and injuring Strickland; and put half a dozen new holes in the waist and tail.  On his third pass he shot up both wings and the radio room before finally leaving.

 

Fortunately we didn't see anymore inbound fighters for the rest of the trip. I don't think we could have held up if we had, sir!

 

- 1st Lt. Todd Oswald, Pilot, Sky Rat


MOONSHINE A-BREWIN', lead flight, left wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 60%.  Returned with light damage to the radio room O2 system, superficial holes to the radio room, waist section and port aileron.  1 casualty.

 

Mission Narrative:

Another relatively uneventful mission highlighted by (again) aggressive action over the target.  Just after making our turn at the IP, our formation was attacked by FW-190s.  Sgt Hughes believes he damaged one that broke off its attack.  A single FW-190 hit us from 6 o’clock high.  This attack caused some structural damage to the radio room and seriously wounded Sgt. Garcia in the left shoulder.  His successive attack from 9 o’clock level caused minor structural damage to the port aileron and some damage to the radio room oxygen system.  His final pass caused us no more harm.

 

Flak was pretty intense but appeared to be focused on the low squadrons.  Lt. Eltman performed exquisitely, placing approximately sixty percent of bombs within the CEP.

 

Minor probes by some ME-109s were fended off by the formation after the turn home.  No more enemy aircraft were sighted for the rest of the mission.  Infirmary reports that Sgt. Garcia will recover after some down time and surgery.  Upon reviewing the flight records, I am recommending to the squadron commander that Sgt Frank Carbone be assigned the starboard waist position on Moonshine A-Brewin’ until such time that Sgt. Garcia is placed back on flying status.

 

- 1st Lt. Casey Morgan, Pilot, Moonshine-A-Brewin'


FATEFUL AMY, second flight, lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 20%.  Returned with bombardier's heater out and various other superficial holes throughout the aircraft. 2 casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

Once again, we hardly saw any enemy resistance.  However, sixty or so miles from Brod, a single 109 seriously wounded the skipper and wrecked bombardier's, Lt. Holmes, heating.  Despite this, we continued in formation and successfully bombed the target.  Lt. Wilson managed to stop the bleeding from his hip, but from what I could see the wound looked quite bad.  He passed out, but had recovered consciousness by the time we landed.  Holmes suffered the whole journey back in a frozen suit.

 

 - 2nd Lt. Barney Lewis, Co-pilot, Fateful Amy, official mission report


316th BS (Middle)

SPECIAL DELIVERY, second flight, right wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 5%.  Returned with both pilots dead.  Five able men bailed out over base.  The Flight Engineer attempted to land plane with a seriously wounded navigator on board but he crashed the plane on landing, killing the navigator and seriously wounding the flight engineer. 

 

Mission Narrative:

The Krauts hit us first about 125 miles out from base.  Four FW-190s made it through our "fighter protection".  Sgt. Cohen hit one, causing it to miss us. One of the 4 hit us from 1:30 level.  I was lightly wounded and the Navigator, 2nd Lt. Krumkie received a serious wound to the chest.  The second time the plane came around, it missed and Sgt. Burroughs, the tail gunner, damaged him as he passed by.

 

Just before our bomb run, two waves came at us, but were driven off by fire from the other planes in our section.  We took one flak hit which killed our starboard waist gunner and destroyed our tail turret.  However, the tail gunner escaped without injury.  I know I was off target, but it appears that about 5% of our load still landed on the target.

 

Coming out of the bomb run, things went bad very quickly.  A wave of 3 FW-190s came at us.  None of them were stopped by our fighters.  Two of the 190s hit us.  Our Pilot and Co-pilot were killed in the attack and the Flight Engineer moved from his position in the top turret to take control of the plane.  The ball turret gunner damaged one of the planes on its second pass.  The other 190 made 2 more passes, but only caused superficial damage.

 

Then a second wave of 4 FW-109s hit us.  Our fighter coverage did drive one off.  One of the pilots must have had a lot of experience, because he just seemed to toy with us.  He made 3 successful passes and hit us about 10 times, but didn't really cause any serious damage.  There were no more attacks after that.

 

The Flight Engineer got us back to base safely.  Five of us bailed out without incident near base.  SSgt. Powell tried to land the plane since the Navigator was seriously wounded and couldn't bail out.  He almost landed her, but came up just short.  Powell survived, but he was too hurt to fly anymore.  The Navigator died of an additional wound to his arm.

 

- 2nd Lt. Thomas V. Pappas, Bombardier, Special Delivery


OLD YARD DOG, second flight, left wingman 

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 20%.  Returned with heavy damage and 6 casualties.  Damage: Lost of heating systems to bombardier, pilots' compartment, port waist & ball turret areas, starboard elevator out, navigation equipment and rafts destroyed, control cables, port tail plane root and rudder damaged, 12 other superficial holes throughout aircraft.

 

Mission Narrative:

The mission looked easy enough on paper.  Little did we know that Old Yard Dog and ourselves were going to pay a huge price going to Yugoslavia.

 

It was clear sailing all the way to the target.  But once we neared the target, our luck ran out.  We got jumped by at least four 109s. Friendly fighters drove off 2 and our engineer dinged one.  We took hits in the nose and tail.  Nothing too serious at the moment but it caused the heat to go out for the bombardier and the tail gunner reported a huge hole in the tail root.

 

Flak was heavy, accurate, and large caliber.  The intel boys were way off the mark on that!  We got hit at least 7 times with flak of all caliber.  A large piece of metal came thru the side skin and hit 2nd Lt. Brewer in the chest and side where the flak armor came together.  Rich tried to keep his hands on the wheel to help fly the plane but he past in and out of consciousness for the rest of the mission.  He never complained and stayed at his position.  We couldn't help him on the way from the target until we got back over the water.  Steve came up from the bottom to do what he could but I could tell in his eyes Rich was in trouble.

 

We did get a good shot at the target and we figure some Kraut crap was destroyed (20% on target) at least.

 

As we turned for home, the formation broke up some because of damage and flak and we got jumped by at least four 190s that I could count.  I was busy from there on out for the next 20 minutes or so.  I got intercom reports that heat was out in several compartments, the ball gunner and tail gunner reported being wounded in several of the enemies' passes but felt they could continue their defense of the plane.  I took a piece of metal in the left shoulder that was more bloody than serious.  I made Steve stay with Rich and we didn't even look at my wound until we hit the ground.  Plus I was frozen so it didn't matter.  Heat out in the flight deck probably led to Rich dying as we couldn't keep him warm and out of shock.  I wish to hell the boys at home would fix the heating systems on these crates!

 

I got reports that the tail's oxygen was out as well as the waist positions.  A large caliber cannon shell destroyed the navigator's desk so Steve just stayed with Rich the rest of the mission.  Because of the damage to my plane and navigational equipment, I decided to stay with the formation for safety.  Even though I knew this would mean danger or death to several of us, it kept us from being out there alone and lost.  I regret that choice now that Rich is gone and 2nd Lt. Wise and Sgt. Lowey are going home with severe frostbite but at the time it was what I thought was right.

 

Crew chief reports 214 damage points sustained to plane 42-11807. We can repair it but it will take a while.

 

- 1st Lt. Michael Chase, Pilot, Old Yard Dog


LUCKY PENNY, third flight, lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 20%.  Returned with engine fire extinguisher controls out, radio out, starboard wing root damaged (2 hits) and the bombardier's oxygen system damaged (1 hit).  No casualties.  Claims: 1 FW-190 by SSgt. Allison and 1 ME-109 by 2nd Lt. Collins.   Both claims are later confirmed by S-2.

 

Mission Narrative:

No real action until we reached the target area.  Then we got three 190s at 12 high and level and 1:30 level.  Top turret killed one right off the bat, and one was driven off by fire causing him to miss.  The third guy however made up for the other two.  First, he shot into the pilot compartment taking out or fire extinguishers, then on his 2nd pass, he took out our radio put a hit on our wing and on his final pass, he shot into the nose area taking a shot at the Bombardier's oxygen and we didn't even scratch him.

 

Flak was not too bad only putting another ding in the starboard wing, and we were able to place bombs on target although Collins was a bit shaken up so only 20%.

 

On the return trip, we were hit by two waves of fighters, the first group of 190s -- 2 of them; we missed, they missed.  The 2nd group consisted of three 109s.  The first one was killed by Collins (bombardier), who later said it was "payback" for that earlier shot.  The 2nd guy missed, as did both our ball and top turret guys, and the 3rd guy shot again into the nose but only just rattled us a bit.  On his 2nd pass, he was damaged and flew off after missing his shots.

 

Landing back at base, it was a good thing we had no wounded as we did not know about the radio until we were not getting tower clearance.  Dewes finally checked and found a softball size hole in the back . . . boy did he feel silly as he was yelling at the tower guys to try to get contact . . . Anyway, we landed safely and repairs are being worked on as I write this report

 

- Capt. Paul Griffin, Pilot, Lucky Penny


318th BS (High)

GOLD DRAGON, lead flight, lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 20%.  Returned with light damage (52 pts.) and 1 casualty.

 

Mission Narrative:

We saw very little action until we started the bombing run.  One flak hit gave Jerry Minter (Bombardier) a light wound but he kept his head and delivered our load on target.  The trip back was without any enemy contact.  I am now waiting to hear from the Doc on Jerry's condition.

 

- Capt. Joe Smith, Pilot, Gold Dragon


IRON LADY, lead flight, right wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 60%.  Returned without damage or casualties.  Claims: 1 FW-190 by SSgt. Foster & 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Roberts.

 

Mission Narrative:

A good mission for this crew as they suffered no casualties or damage to their aircraft.  Target was hit heavily.  Crew claimed 2 e/a destroyed, 1 other probable, and one other damaged.

 

- Capt. Michaelski, Debriefing Officer


THE ANT'S HILL, lead flight, left aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 10%.  Returned with top turret guns, starboard elevator, radio room heat inoperable, damage to the tail oxygen system, starboard wing root hits (2), and superficial damage to both wings and the pilots' compartment.  No casualties.  Claims: 1 ME-109 by SSgt. Jankowski.

 

Mission Narrative:

For the first half of our 4th mission with the squadron, it seemed like our crew’s incredible good fortune from the Piraeus mission was holding up.  We encountered no enemy resistance all of the way to the target.

 

As we approached Brod, the weather was good and visibility was almost unlimited, so we had advanced warning as the first group of four FW-190s dove to attack us from all points of the compass.  Our escorting P-38s drove off the two fighters on our flanks, and Sgt. Jankowski and Sgt. Beane damaged the other two.  However, the 190 that attacked from the rear managed to score four hits on us before he broke off the attack.  The first of these damaged the radio compartment, the second and third caused minor damage to the tail and the last scored a hit on the starboard wing root.

 

As we were beginning our bomb run, Sgt. Beane reported that his oxygen supply had been hit, but was still functioning, and Sgt. Weber said that his heat was out, but that he was fine.  I decided to stay with the rest of the formation and attempt to hit the target with the rest of the squadron.

 

Just as Lt. Stubbs was preparing to release our bombs, The Hill was rocked by a flak burst that detonated just off of our port wing. Although it caused only minor damage, it was apparently enough to throw us off; only an estimated 10% of our payload struck within the target area.

 

As we turned for home, we were jumped from the front by a group of four ME-109s.  One of these was blown apart by a long burst fired by SSgt. Jankowski; the others all suffered damage from the guns of Lt. Stubbs, Lt. Wiener and Sgt. Thomas, and broke off their attacks.

 

Heading out over the Adriatic, a lone FW-190 dove on us from above but was driven off by SSgt. Jankowski, who had thus far been very effective in our top turret.  On the flight back, I kept checking with Sgt. Weber about his condition; he reported no ill effects from the cold, so I stayed in formation, hoping to protect the ship from further fighter attacks.  Unfortunately, it was a vain hope.

 

As we approached the Italian coast, we were jumped by a wave of three FW-190s.  SSgt. Jankowski continued his excellent marksmanship and damaged one as it bore in from the 12 high position.  That unlucky pilot and his wingman fired a few ineffective bursts and then dove out of sight.

 

The pilot of the third FW-190 must have been a seasoned veteran, however.  Approaching from our port side, he concentrated on knocking out our top turret.  SSgt. Jankowski luckily escaped injury, but his guns were now inoperable.  Several pieces of shell also penetrated the pilot’s compartment, but caused no real damage (to me or the ship!).  Our tail gunner, Sgt. Beane was unable to hit the FW-190 as it flew past him (possibly as a result of difficulties with the oxygen system).  The 190 then looped around and came at us again from the same direction.

 

On his second pass, the 190 again scored hits, but caused no serious damage, and he again proved too elusive for Sgt. Beane’s guns on the backside of his run.  For his third pass, the enemy pilot came at us from 3 high and concentrated on our starboard wing and tail.  He knocked out the starboard elevator and scored a hit against the main wing root, our second of the mission.

 

As we were preparing for yet another pass, the enemy pilot suddenly broke off his attack and flew back up the coast.  Whether he had suffered some hidden malfunction or damage to his plane, or was running low on fuel, we couldn’t tell . . . we were just glad that he was gone!

 

It was only after this final attack that Sgt. Weber called over the intercom to report that he had lost feeling in his fingers and toes . . . a sure sign of frostbite.  Fortunately, we were only minutes from landing at our field, which we accomplished without further trouble.

 

The medic who helped load Sgt. Weber into the ambulance said that his hands and feet did not look too bad and that he would probably recover quickly.  Sgt. Beane reported that he, too, was alright . . . although I noticed that he was a little unsteady on his feet for awhile after landing.

 

Although everyone had returned alive, we had suffered damage to both the ship and ourselves with barely any positive results to show for it.  This mission put an end to the talk about “lucky charms” among the crew.

 

- 1st Lt. Anthony Hilliard, Pilot, The Ant's Hill


GOLDEN SPIKE, second flight, lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with control cables damaged, about 7 superficial holes and no casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

The 318th formed up in the high position of the 88th as we turned for Yugoslavia.  The flight was quiet until we entered the target zone.  There we drew three waves of fighters.  One wave was stopped by our tight formation and a single FW-190 missed as he dove in from above.  The final wave of four ME-109s attacked from 12 and 6 o'clock.  A friendly fighter chased one bandit away but a Jerry at our six managed to hit us four times, despite being severely mauled by our ball gunner.  Fortunately, there was no serious damage.

 

Over the target two flak hits in our wings missed the vitals but it was enough to throw off our target run.  After reaching the rendezvous point three FW-190s jumped our plane, two which managed to hit us from the three o'clock position.  Once again our luck held up and most of the damage was superficial.  On the second pass our port waist gunner used area spray fire to confuse one bandit while the ball and top guns tried to tag him with their double guns.  It worked as Jerry winged away to avoid the tracer fire.

 

Finally reaching the coastline (zone 3 inbound) a single FW 190 was chased off by escorts and the rest of the flight was uneventful. That's an even 10 missions for the five of us from the original crew . . . I think that calls for a celebration.  See you in the O-Club.

 

- Capt. Todd Wilson, Pilot, Golden Spike


LONGHORN LADY, second flight, left aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with bomb controls, port aileron, top turret guns inoperable and superficial hits to the fuselage.  3 casualties.  Claims: 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Witten.

 

Mission Narrative:

First we ran into four 190s with damage to the bomb controls, port aileron, top turret guns inoperable and Sgt. Billy Paz had a serious head wound.  We also had many superficial fuselage hits.  After that a lone 109 came in and was destroyed by our tail gunner Sgt. Jeremy Witten.

 

Over the target we had a couple of superficial fuselage hits and Sgt. Jeremy Witten was killed by flak.  Our bomb run was off target with 0% in the target area.  After a few more superficial fuselage hits by a 109 attack, 2nd Lt. Earl Bixler received a light wound to his left foot.  We were able to land the plane safely

 

- 1st Lt. Landers, Pilot, Longhorn Lady


WANG DANG DOODLE, second flight, right aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned with tail, port and starboard waist guns inoperable; rubber rafts destroyed; starboard wing: aileron out & outboard fuel tank holed (sealed), port wing root damaged, port waist gunner suit heater knocked out; rudder and control cables damaged.  Numerous superficial hits to wings, to #1 engine; waist, radio room, nose.  1 casualty.  Claims: 1 FW-190 & 1 ME 109 by Sgt. Busby, 1 ME-109 by SSgt. Harper & 1 ME-109 by Sgt. McNally (Sgt. Busby's claim of 1 ME-109 is later confirmed by S-2).

 

Mission Narrative:

Took off and formed up with no problem.  Didn't see hide nor hair of the enemy until we got over the target area, when we ran into four ME-109s.  They stacked up in the front of us, 12 low, level and high, with one coming from behind for good measure. McNally took out the low guy, the other three put some hits on us and came back for more, but then they left, probably too close to 'flak alley' for them.

 

Flak was pretty accurate.  We got some fragment that jammed up Rutledge's gun, nothing else, and Lieutenant Baker was able to put 30% on target.

 

We had a big ol' party with Jerry as the guest of honor leaving the target.  Two 109s come at us, Harper and Busby took them both out.  Another wave couldn't get through the formation, and then a third came by for some fun, four 109's in that same attack pattern as before.  There was a lot of shooting, a lot of missing, except for Clay.  He knocked out one guy that was passin' front to back.  Another one hung around and made three passes. That last guy must've been good, because he came in after Clay set him smokin'  and put a slug in Slawson's leg.

 

WE got back over the water and got some more fighters coming at us.  Four 190s, from 12, 3, 6, and 9, all high.  These guys nearly finished Slawson off, between hitting him on the leg and knocking out his guns and his heat.  They also put out Clay's guns, they must've gotten word that he was shooting hot.  We dropped down low as we came in towards base so Herb wouldn't freeze
to death and landed without a hitch.

 

- 1st Lt. Ted Deschamps, Pilot, Wang Dang Doodle


OLD CROW EXPRESS, third flight, lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 20%.  Returned with #3 engine, port flap, intercom inoperable, damaged tail wheel, starboard wing root damaged, superficial damage to the #1 engine, bomb bay, nose and pilot compartments, and no casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

We did not meet any enemy fighters until we were over the target where the first kraut was a vertical diver and he came around for three passes before he left us alone.  He managed to knock out the intercom on his first pass and damaged the port wing flap on his second pass.  He missed on his third and left us alone. Then a pair of 190s came at us but left us alone after one pass.

 

The 3 flak bursts managed to put some holes in the nose, hit the starboard wing root and hitting the #1 engine only causing minor damage.  Our bomb run was on target with 20% of the pay load hitting the target area.

 

Heading back home, we encountered three 190s while still over the target area.  Two left us alone after one pass but the third came around three times.  His first time around he hit the bomb bay only causing S.F. damage and he damaged the tail wheel.  His second time around caused superficial damage to the pilot compartment, and his final time around he managed to knock out our #3 engine but Bill was able to get the prop feathered.

 

The rest of the way home was quit and no more attacks occurred.  We landed safe with no injures on this mission.

 

- 1st Lt. Fred Anderson, Pilot, Old Crow Express


316th BS (High)

SATIN DOLL, third flight, right wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned with port flap inoperable, superficial damage to Pilot Compartment & Waist sections, and no casualties.  Claims: 1 FW-190 apiece by SSgt. Turner & Sgt. Wheeler

 

Mission Narrative:

Satin Doll settled in on the right wing of the 318th Sqdn's Old Crow Express in the third element of the high squadron.  Despite the
formation shake-up things went pretty smoothly until just before the target.  Four FW-190s bore in from 12, 3, and 6 high, and another in a screaming vertical dive.  One of the P-38s drilled the one at 3 high, and PeeWee nailed the one on our 6 with his tail stingers before the Kraut had a chance to line up on us.  Engineer George Turner & Bombardier P.J. Morris both fired at and missed the one at 12 high.  He put a few ineffective rounds into the cockpit, but shredded the port flap.  The FW diving straight down on us put a couple of rounds into the waist, fortunately missing our gunners.  He swung back around to 12 high and was hammered by Sgt. Turner's top turret guns.  His 'kamerade' made a short pass from 3 level where he encountered the combined fire of Billy Boy Blankenship's ball turret and Sgt. Hal Jackson's stbd waist guns.  They missed him but fouled up his aim and he broke toward the low squadron.

 

Flak over the target was medium but inaccurate, allowing P.J. the opportunity to get his settings worked out.  Sgt. Wheeler called in from the tail saying that it looked like PJ had put about a third of the load into the heart of the marshalling yards.

 

We didn't encounter any more E/A and the flight home and landing were both smooth.

 

- Capt. John P. McConnell, Pilot, Satin Doll


FLAK TRAP, third flight, left wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 10%.  Returned with control cables damaged, cockpit windows shattered, tail guns inoperable, a wing root hit, port elevator hit, a couple of superficial hits to the tail, no casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

Flak Trap's fifth mission saw no enemy action until we entered the target zone.  Three ME-109s attacked and one hit from twelve o'clock level causing wing root hit and port elevator root hit, the other two missed on their attack runs. The ME-109 attacked again from nine o'clock high but missed us because Engineer Matt Sears got a piece of him with the top turret guns.

 

We took three flak hits over the target, two in the tail and one in the radio room.  Thankfully they only caused a control cable hit and that's all.  Our bomb run was off target due to flak hit but the replacement bombardier, Tim Abernathy, was able to place 10% of our bombs within target area.

 

In zone 3 back we were attacked by four FW-190s.  Our fighter cover ran one off and one missed us.  The other two hit us from twelve o'clock level and six o'clock high.  We suffered one window hit and the tail guns were put out of action.  Both FW-190s attacked again from twelve o'clock high and six o'clock high.  Engineer Matt Sears damaged the one at six o'clock high which caused the FW-190 to miss us on its attack run.  The FW-190 at twelve o'clock high missed us also.

 

No more enemy action was encountered.  We made a good landing back at base having suffered no casualties.

 

- 1st Lt. Joe Daves, Pilot, Flak Trap


317th BS (LOW)

SILVER SPOON, Lead flight, Lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Retuned with one of the starboard wing's fuel tank holed and no casualties.  Claims: 1 ME-109 apiece by SSgt. Lowe and Sgt. MacDonald.

 

Mission Narrative:

Relatively uneventful, although we did get a few holes in the wings on the way back.  Our fighter boys kept Jerry at bay most of the time, but my gunners dealt with those that snuck through.  A lone 109 came diving down on us and holed our starboard fuel tanks, but the we were close enough to home so the leak didn’t affect us.  Any news about the rest of the Group?

 

-  Capt. Neil Amoore, Pilot, Silver Spoon


FRISCO KID, lead flight, right wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 20%.  Returned with minor superficial damage to the wings and fuselage; no casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

Very short and quiet mission.  We were attacked by four FW-190s after crossing Yugoslav coast.  One made a couple passes at us, but only scored minor hits on wings and fuselage.

 

Little Friends did a great job of protecting us over target, as only one a/c (another 190) attacked us.  MSGT Wilson observed hits on it and the a/c, after an ineffectual firing run, broke off, smoking.  Flak moderate over target, and we took a hit to the belly of the a/c -- again, minor damage only.  Lt. Swanson hit target with 20% accuracy.

 

Good friendly fighter cover and light enemy opposition continued on return leg -- no enemy a/c attacked us, and we landed safely with no losses and insignificant damage.

 

- Capt. David Moody, Pilot, Frisco Kid


DIVINE WIND, lead flight, left wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 20%.  Returned without damage or casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

Took off from Sterparone Field, Foggia, Italy without any problems or malfunctions.

 

About one hundred (100) miles away from target we spotted bogies coming in from 12 high but before they were able to reach the squadron, our fighter cover was able to drive them off.

 

Fifty (50) miles away from target, one (1) ME-109 came in on a vertical dive.  It missed the plane and was driven off by machine gun fire from the squadron.

 

Over target we encountered some flak and we were able to evade all that came at us.  We were able to spot the target and 2nd Lt. Nakano was able to put about 20% of the bomb load over target.

 

On the turn around we encountered three (3) FW-190s coming in from 12 high, 12 low, and 1:30 low.  2nd Lt. Nakano was able to severely damage the FW-190 coming in from 12 high which missed the plane and didn’t return.  The other two also missed the plane and were driven off by a combination of fighter escorts and machine gun fire from the group.

 

About seventy-five (75) miles away from base we spotted bogies coming in from 1:30 level but they were driven off by fighter escort before they were able to reach the group.

 

Reached Sterparone Field and was able to land without incident.

 

- Capt. Mark Yoshikawa, Pilot, Go for Broke


CARDINAL EXPRESS, second flight, left aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 5%.  Returned with tail gunner heat out, the starboard wing outboard tank holed, the starboard wing root damaged, superficial holes in the starboard wing, waist and bomb bay areas.  2 casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

What started out as a quiet mission got quite bumpy as we neared the target.  We were jumped by 5 e/a in two separate waves, who put quite a few hits on the Express.  Our new Tail Gunner, MacCabe lost his heat, and got frostbite sometime on the way back. Thankfully, it looks like he will be ready to go for Mission 11.  Our Starboard Wing took 3 hits, including one which caused a leak on the outboard tank.  Our starboard waist gunner Tinch was seriously wounded as well and it looks like the war is over for him.  Our bomb bay took some Kraut bullets while during this engagement, which caused some very tense moments for the crew considering we still had the payload onboard.

 

Over the target, our starboard wing root was jarred by flak.  All of these events led to a very poor bomb run, where only 5% of the bombs landed within 1,000 feet of the target.

 

We exchanged fire with several enemy aircraft on the way back.  We took a hit or two, but there was no serious damage to report. We encountered a total of 11 enemy planes on the mission.  None were shot down, but 3 109's & 1 190 were damaged by our gunners.

 

-1st Lt. Bob Peterson, Pilot, Cardinal Express


316th BS (Low)

 

CABALLERO, second flight, left wingman (TAIL-END CHARLIE)

 

Mission Synopsis:

Aborted over Adriatic (zone 3 outbound) from damage taken from enemy attacks.  Returned to base with lost of pilots' compartment heat, tail guns inoperable, port wing aileron inoperable, port wing root, control cables damaged & tail section oxygen system damaged, and 4 other superficial holes to the radio room, pilots' compartment, and port wing.  1 casualty.  Claims: 1 FW-190 by starboard waist gunner and 1 ME-109 shared by flight engineer and tail gunner.

 

- 2nd Lt. John McPherson , Pilot, Caballero


MEMPHIS GAL, group spare

 

Mission Synopsis:

Not used; returned to base.


DARKWATCH, group spare

 

Mission Synopsis:

Not used; returned to base.


Return to Sterparone Field