MISSION 30 - VERONA AARs

399th BS (LEAD)

RAID HOT MAMA, Lead flight, Lead aircraft, Group Commander

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned without damage or casualties.  Returned without damage or casualties.  Claims: 1 ME-109 apiece by SSgt. Fargo & Sgt. Burrows (Burrows' claim later confirmed by S-2).

 

Mission Narrative:

Despite the bad weather our first mission leading the Group went well.  The weather and our escorts ensured only minor resistance by enemy fighters before reaching the target.  Shortly before beginning the bomb run we came under attack by a group of ME-109s. Lt. Jacob heavily damaged a 109 coming in from 12 o'clock, SSgt. Fargo repeatedly hit another until the left wing came off.  The remaining fights failed to press there attacks.

 

Flak over the target was light and inaccurate and despite the poor weather we successfully place 30% of our bombs on target.

 

We came under attack twice on the way home.  Good defensive fire from the group kept one group enemy fighters out of range. The second group made one pass, Sgt. Burrows destroyed one 109 and the others failed to score any hits.

 

I wish all missions were this easy.

 

- Capt. Arthur DiFilippo, Pilot, Raid Hot Mama


GOODBYE GIRL, lead flight, right wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 50%.  Returned without damage or casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

I hope the rest of missions go as well for us as this one did.  We saw only 5 inbound fighters, and while my boys missed them; they missed us by a mile.  Despite the lousy weather, Lt. Paxson was able to keep us on the run, and is pleased to report that an estimated 50% of our load hit the target.

 

The aircraft sustained no damage this mission.

 

- 1st Lt. Herman Gordon, Pilot, Goodbye Girl


SNAKE BIT, lead flight, left wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with radio destroyed, superficial damage to the tail and nose compartments and 1 casualty.  Claims: 1 ME-109 by Lt. Masterson.

 

Mission Narrative:

The second flight of Snake Bit was again relatively quiet.  Prior to lining up for the bomb run, a ME-109 came at us in a vertical dive and damaged the radio room, destroying the radio.  When he came around at us from the front Masterson defended his position well scoring a clean kill on the enemy fighter.  Another 2 MEís came at us, one was covered by out escort, the second driven off by accurate fire from Gill in the top turret.

 

Soon after the ME exited the area we took incoming flak.  A close in burst did damage to both the nose and tail of the plane. Masterson received his stomach wound at this time.  Bill Thompson acted quickly to administer first aid and staunch the flow of blood.  While he was able to get the bomb load delivered it was completely off target.

 

Outbound we did see a few more MEís but again, fighter coverage was excellent.

 

Landing was made without incident and it appears that Masterson will recover long term.

 

- 1st Lt. Evan Jones, Pilot, Snake Bit


MISSY MOUSE, second flight, lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

No AAR filed.


LOUISIANA PIRATE, second flight, right aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Retuned with minor flak damage to the tail.  Claims: 1 Me-109 shared by Sgts. Silverberg & Bradshaw.

 

Mission Narrative:

After two scrubbed missions, it was good to actually complete one.  We saw no German planes until we got to target.  Even though the weather was bad, we saw plenty of the enemy.  One 109 made a head-on pass at us as we started our run, followed by three more planes.  Jim and Shel nailed the one coming from the port side, and Joe hit one of the ones attacking from the front.  They did not hit us.  We did get hit by flak, though just a few holes in the tail, and the weather threw off the bomb run (we missed).

 

As we turned around, we got attacked by three more Germans.  Joe shot up another one, and again they didn't hit us.  After that we saw no more enemy planes, and made it safely home. Hopefully all our missions will be like these first two.

 

-1st Lt. Richard Stevenson, Pilot, Louisiana Pirate


MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, second flight, left wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with flak damage to the tail section and 1 casualty. Claims: 2 ME-109s by Sgt. Rance & 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Mitchell.

 

Mission Narrative:

On the way to target enemy attacks were infrequent and uncoordinated.  Very good and steady shooting by Rance who claimed 2 ME-109s before we reached drop zone.  Sgt. Mitchell claimed the third one.

 

Flak bursts exploded a bit behind us and wounded Mitchell.  Target was covered by clouds, we missed.

 

Bad weather discouraged attackers on the way back home.  We arrived undisturbed and landed without problems.  This wasn't good
first mission for our tail gunner.  After stay in the hospital he is going home.

 

- 1st Lt. Paul M. Day, Pilot, Midnight Express


318th BS (High)

THOR, Lead flight, Lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned without damage or casualties.  Claims: 1 FW-190 by Sgt. Mason.

 

Mission Narrative:

I can not believe our luck on this mission.  We only saw a total of five 190s.  Elliot Mason was able to splash one and we sent the other four limping home.  We hit the target with 30% and made it home with NO damage.

 

- Capt. Joe Smith, Pilot, Thor


GOLDEN SPIKE, lead flight, right wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Aborted mission over the Adriatic Sea (zone 3) from lost of pilots' compartment heating system.  Returned to base with pilots' compartment heating system & landing gear instruments inoperable, damage to the rudder and wing roots and 1 casualty.  Claims: 2 ME-109s by SSgt. Garbutt.

 

Mission Narrative:

Not again!  About 150 miles from base we were hit by three ME-109s.  We didn't see any escorts so we did our best to defend the Golden Spike.  A bandit from 12 o'clock high hit our starboard wing and took out the landing gear instruments.  On his second run he knocked out the heat for the pilots' compartment.  If we had been closer to target I would have stayed with the formation until after the bomb run, but at this distance we would have had frostbite for sure.

 

After radioing our situation to Captain Webster we moved below 10,000 feet and dropped our bombs to avoid problems upon our return (manual operation for landing gear).  Sensing an easy target four bandits surrounded us and proceeded to make several passes. Lucky for us SSgt. Garbutt remembered how to use his twin 50s and he downed two of the ME-109s before they could do too much damage.  When it was all over they had wounded Sgt. McArthy, scared Sgt. Stolberg (used up his last lucky charm), and pilot compartment and damaged the rudder.  However all things being equal we were damn lucky.

 

The rest of the way home was uneventful, but I wasn't happy to see the clouds over the base.  We made a rough landing (-4 landing modifiers but rolled a 7) but we were home safe.  TSgt. McArthy who picked up a few stitches in his hand but hell be ready for the next flight.

 

- Capt. Todd Wilson, Pilot, Golden Spike


EAT AT JOE'S, lead flight, left wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned with superficial damage to radio room, nose compartment and 2 casualties.  Claims: 1 ME-109 apiece by Lt. Ardsley, Sgt. Burleson.

 

Mission Narrative:

We managed to take-off and form up okay despite the bad weather over base.

 

Over the Adriatic, we saw some fighter activity, though we ourselves were not attacked, and observed Golden Spike dropping out of formation.

 

We were not attacked until we were over Verona, where two waves of 109s made passes at us.  The second wave, three of them came at us, from 12 level, low and high.  Ardsley, Linstrom, and Baldini worked well together, and Ardsley's firing with the new chin gun drove off his fighter.  Unfortunately, the bandit from the low slot hit the nose compartment, wounding both Lieutenants Ardsley and Evans.  Ardsley then destroyed another fighter that came in from 12 level.

 

Flak was of heavy caliber and well-concentrated, but inaccurate.  Ardsley made a good bomb run, and we were on our way home.

 

We came across scattered opposition all the way home.  Our own fighters finally helped us about 30 miles north of Rimini.  Just as we crossed over to the Adriatic, we were attacked again from 1:30 high; the Kraut swept down underneath us, and Sergeant Burleson somehow splashed him as he went past the tail for his fifth kill.

 

The rest of the trip was quiet, and we landed without incident. Lieutenant Evans was taken immediately to the hospital; we're hopeful he'll be okay.

 

-2nd Lt. Joe Delany, Pilot, Eat at Joe's


LONGHORN LADY, second flight, lead Aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned with several superficial hits to the fuselage, waist section and Pilot's compartment.  2 casualties.  Claims: 1 FW-190 apiece by 2nd Lt. Bixler & Sgt. Littleton.

 

Mission Narrative:

We didn't run into any enemy fighter until we got to the target area, when we were jumped by three 190s.  Two of the 190s got superficial fuselage hits and wounded SSgt. Gladson (light wound to Rt. Knee) and Sgt. Stagg (light wound to Rt. Shoulder).  The other 190 was destroyed by Sgt. Littleton.

 

We didn't receive any flak hits. We were able to get 30% of the bombs on target.

 

On the way back from the target we were jumped by two more 190s.  One of the 190s was destroyed by 2nd Lt. Bixler.  We also received several fuselage hits.

 

We had a safe landing back at the base.  I haven't heard anything from the Doc on how long Gladson and Stagg will be out of action

 

- Capt. Jeff Landers, Pilot, Longhorn Lady


DANGEROUS ENCOUNTER, second flight, right Aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with port wing root damage, radio room oxygen system damaged, superficial damage (7) to the nose, bomb bay, tail, starboard wing, and no casualties.  Claims: 1 ME-109 by SSgt. Allsup (later confirmed by S-2).

 

Mission Narrative:

We enjoyed a nice, quiet and uneventful run to Verona without encountering any enemy fighters.

 

During the bomb run, flak hit the starboard wing and tail but luckily nothing major.  With the poor weather and being jarred by the flak hit, the bomb run fell way off.

 

As we headed for home, 4 ME-109s attacked causing damage to the radio room's oxygen system, to the port wing root, and various superficial damage throughout the plane.  Sgt. Greenspoon heavily damaged one of the attacker but did not claim it as destroyed.

 

West of Ferrara (zone 4) two ME-109s made an unsuccessful attack resulting in no damage to us but one ME-109 was damaged by Lt. Dick Catalano, while the other one was shot down by SSgt. Allsup.

 

After this attack, the rest of the journey home was uneventful.  Landing was a little rough but Lt. Norman and I brought her down safely.

 

"Well, I can't believe it but I've done and completed my first mission with these guys after replacing their first pilot.  This one was painless (almost for me) and I wish I have 10 more of these missions.  This was more luck then skill considering the good defensive fire of the group and the light opposition by the Luftwaffe.  Then again, there is Mission 31."

 

- 1st Lt. Jeff van Dyne, Pilot, Dangerous Encounter


316th BS (High)

LUCKY NICKEL, second flight, left wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target 50%.  Returned with superficial damage to nose area and starboard fuel tank on engine #3.  Claims: 1 FW-190 apiece by Lt. Hoffman, SSgt. Edmond and Sgt. Thomas.

 

Mission Narrative:

Right from the stat a 109 came at us but was chased away trailing smoke by the ball gunner.  The next set of fighters we saw were driven off by other B-17 and coming near the target more 109s were driven off by friendly fighters.

 

Flak was fairly heavy near us but no major damage to plane.  Bomb run was on target (barely) but we think we scored a pretty good hit.  As we swung around for home, four 190s jumped us.

 

Radio room got it's first kill of the day and our tail gunner also nailed one.  Bombardier managed to blast one but the 4th guy got through, putting hits on the nose and wing area.  Both were superficial but a few scary moments when the 3rd engine started to smoke but it must have been just sparks from the shell hits. The tail gunner got a piece of him then and he flew off.

 

No other enemy were sighted near us on the trip home and although the field had bad visibility, we put her down fine.  A nice trip for a new plane.  Those new front guns seem to do the trick.

 

- Capt. Paul Griffin, Pilot, Lucky Nickel


SATIN DOLL, third flight, lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 40%.  Returned without damage or casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

After a couple of aborted attempts, we finally got the Verona mission in and it turned out to be a most Happy St. Valentine's Day for the men of the Satin Doll.  We didn't draw any attention from the Krauts or Eyeties the whole way.  Other ships in the formation drove off the few E/A we saw in the target area.

 

The flak was medium, but not very accurate, owing probably to the lousy weather.  PJ managed to put about 40% of the load into the marshalling yards despite the cloud cover and we had a quiet flight home.  Sure is nice to have a milk run after the last one!

 

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


LUCKY SEVEN, third flight, right aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with superficial damage to the waist section and no casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

Take off went well but had trouble getting into formation.  It's a lot different than training.  We were loose for the whole trip to
and from the target.

 

We were jumped early on at about 100 miles out.  This was alone 109 from 1:30 high, which Lt. Radfordson and Sgt. Duffy busted him up enough to make him miss and leave.

 

Around 50 miles later we had two more waves attack.  The first wave was driven off by the crew of Return to Sender, yet they did manage to hit us in the attempt to shoot down the Krauts.  Luckily this was only a superficial hit to the waist.  The second wave was driven off by our little friends.

 

In the target zone we saw a group of ME-109s forming up, but they never came in.  This drew our attention from a 109 coming up in a vertical climb.  Taking our gunner off guard they managed to miss him.  Luckily so did the Kraut.

 

Flak was very ineffective and we took no hits.  This being said Lt. Grams still missed bombing the target as reported by Sgt. Burroughs in the tail.

 

The way home saw our little friends chase off three waves of enemy fighters.  We landed at Foggia without issues and made our reports.

 

- 1st Lt. Jamie Jameson, Pilot, Lucky Seven


RETURN TO SENDER, third flight, left aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned with port wing flap inoperable, damage to the port wing root, superficial damage to the starboard wing, to the nose and waist compartments, and 1 casualty.  Claims: 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Wingard (later confirmed by S-2).

 

Mission Narrative:

It was a relatively quiet mission for the crew. Three enemy fighters attacked us about 100 miles out from base, but none of them caused any damage.

 

Flak over the target was moderate, but accurate, and cloud cover partially obscured the target.  Nevertheless, our bombardier was able to put 30% of our load on target.

 

On our way out, 1 ME-109 came at us from a vertical dive and Sgt. Cummings suffered a very light wound during the attack.

 

The rest of the flight home was uneventful, as was our landing.  2nd Lt. Schumpert seems to be developing into a very capable bombardier.

 

- 2nd Lt. Billy A. Folse, Pilot, Return to Sender


317th BS (Low)

SILVER SPOON, lead flight, lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with starboard outer tank holed, port aileron destroyed and 1 casualty.  Claims: 1 FW-190 by Sgt. Compton, 1 ME-109 apiece by Lts. Blackmore & Yablowski.
 

Mission Narrative:

ďWe had it a helluva lot better than some of the boys.  Saw Yoshikawaís crate getting hit all over, and watched as Flynn took several hits too.  We nary saw Jerry 'til over the target, when he hit us from all sides!  Compton in the waist hit a 109 at 10:30 high, and Blackmore and Yablowski took out two more from the nose.Ē

 

ďFlak hit us pretty hard, though.  Ferrelli in the radio room took a hit in the neck, and we thought he was a goner.  Turns out it looked worse than it was, but he used up valuable luck up there today!  We missed the target, what with flak bouncing us around.Ē

 

ďA 109 got us from 6 high coming off the target, and we began losing fuel from the starboard tank.  We had enough to get home, though.  Now, if thatís all Iíve got promotions to authorize so Iíll be going . . .Ē

 

- Maj. Neil Amoore, Pilot, Silver Spoon


CARDINAL EXPRESS, lead flight, right wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with port elevator inoperable, damage to the rudder, minor superficial damage and no casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

Even though we saw more than a dozen enemy fighters, most of them were driven off by cover or bad shots.  We did encounter a feisty 190 who dove at us and came around twice again from the front.  He littered the Express with bullets but caused little or no damage.

 

The flak over the target was a different story.  We were shook up pretty good but the damage was minor.  The flak damaged our rudder and knocked our port elevator out.  I am sure the flak knocked the bomb run off target, also taking into account this was Porterís first mission as our bombardier.  Our bombs were totally off target.  Our nose gun was able to damage a 190.  We are happy to be back, as Axis flak is no walk in the park.

 

- Capt. Bob Peterson, Pilot, Cardinal Express


BEWITCHED, lead flight, left wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 20%.  Returned with 6 casualties with 3 engines, elevators inoperable and made successful belly-landing at Sterparone Field.  Aircraft later written-off as beyond economical repair.  Claims: 2 ME-109s by SSgt. Simons and 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Miller.
 

Mission Narrative:

Welcome back to the war.  I knew it was too good to last.  We formed up pretty badly in the crappy weather and headed out towards lovely Verona.

 

We were east of Rimini (zone 3) when we got bounced by three 109s. The little guys were all tied up somewhere else so we got hit.  Simons popped one and got a second after he'd come round from hitting the waist gunners.  Purse got his chest ripped open and Watson took a cannon shell in the right leg.  Miller took out the 3rd one before he got a shot off.

 

Northeast of Ferrara (zone 4) saw a lone 190 slip through everything and hit Butler and me.  I got hit in the left arm but Butler didn't even see the shell that got him.  It was just an awful mess.  Simons managed to get him out of the chair and took over.  The Kraut came round and got Miller in the gut, but he said it was just some shrapnel.  When the 190 came round at the 6 Harris fluffed his shot and the # 4 got hit in oil tank.  We managed to extinguish the fire and feather the prop before any more damage got done.  That's when I noticed the elevators weren't working.  Seems more than Butler and I got hit.  The 190 zoomed off.  Must have run out of "Uncle Krupp's" steel to throw at us.

 

The flak was pretty crappy to match the weather.  We got hit in the landing gear, the tail guns went out and our rafts got holed.  Don't know how Spratt hit the target but I'll take his word for it.

 

Turned for home and more bloody fighters caught us.  We didn't hit squat.  Two 109s came in high from the 10:30 and 12 o'clock.  This time they got the port aileron, the radio, the waist guns (like we had anyone to use them!) and the rudder.  Their second pass missed us just as badly as we missed them.  Returning over the Italy (zone 4) was quiet but east of Rimini (zone 3) they caught us again.

 

One stinking 109 from 12 high and he stitched us from nose-to-tail.  The Norden got wasted, Simons got hit in the foot, the bomb doors got shredded, the radio bits got shattered and the rudder got hit again.  The swine came round again from the 9 high and hit the ball guns.  He missed on his third pass and went home.

 

I put the bird down hard and she just flattened out and kept sliding.  The chief reckons he can use some of the panels to patch holes in the other planes but not much else.  We lost Butler and Purse.  Doc says that couldn't have known what hit them and Watson's going home.  Looks like well get a new bird to break in.  Think well call her BeDamned.

 

- Capt. Shamus Montague, Pilot, Bewitched


DARKWATCH, second flight, lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Did not bomb; aborted after losing Norden bombsight.  Returned alone with Norden bombsight, radio, ball gunnerís heat, starboard wing ailerons, elevators inoperable, damage to the tail compartment oxygen system, port tailplane root and to both main wing roots, and superficial damage to port wing, nose, pilot compartment, bomb bay doors, #1 engine, and radio room.  1 casualty.  Claims: 1 FW-190 by SSgt. Poulous and 1 ME-109 by Lt. Abernathy.

 

Mission Narrative:

What was the name of that story?  Two Gentlemen of Verona, or something?  I think Shakespeare wrote it. I donít think it had anything to do with being flattened by the 88th Bomb Group.  Iíd like to come back to Verona and visit it, after the war, if both Verona and me are here after the war.

 

The Germans were ready for us again.  We had a nice little escort of Focke-Wulfs on the way to the target.  We took walking hits up the hull that hit my starboard gunner hard and dented the oxygen system in the tail.  Poulous waxed him when he came back for more.  A lone Messerschmidt came after us next, and knocked out the heat in my ball turret before Abernathy sent him down in flames (that kid is really growing on me).  The next wave knocked out our radio and our Norden sight.

 

With our bombsight out, I aborted the mission.  We dropped out of formation and down to 10,000 feet to spare Moore another bout of frostbite.  We got swarmed by five enemy aircraft, and our gunners didnít hit a thing.  But we lost our other wing aileron and my elevator instruments went down too, meaning that from this point forward I was basically flying a brick.  Without a formation to protect us, the bandits had their way, and all five fighters came back for seconds.  And thirds.  They shot up my tail and bad turned to worse as far as flight control was concerned.

 

Landing was nothing I want to go through again, but we got down OK.

 

Abernathy lost one of his rabbit's foots.

 

And when we checked on Glover, he was dead.

 

A hell of a day.

 

- Capt. Paul O'Connor, Pilot, Darkwatch


ISLE OF R'LYEH, second flight, right wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned with navigation equipment knocked out, pilot compartment heat out, port wing root damaged, 3 superficial hits, and 4 casualties.  Claims: 1 FW-190 by SSgt. Manning.

 

Mission Narrative:

After delays and aborts we were finally able to get out there and do our jobs.  The flight out to Verona was completely quiet.  We could see other planes in the formation coming under attack, but Jerry left us alone until we reached the target area.

 

As we approached Verona we were attacked by 3 FW-190s.  A P-38 Lightning, flying escort, took care of one of the 190s and the others engaged us.  Lt. Highsmith damaged one of them and forced it off.  SSgt. Manning in the top turret shot the other down.

 

Flak over the target was fairly intense, but we suffered no hits from any of it.  The weather was also terrible and Lt. Highsmith reported having difficulty sighting the target through the clouds.  Luckily there was a break in the cloud cover at the last minute and Cecil was able to hit the target.

 

As we turned around and headed for home we were again jumped by 3 FW-190s.  One was damaged slightly by SSgt. Manning, but the 190 really tore into us.  It knocked out the heat in the pilots' compartment and wounded both the bombardier and the navigator.  Our navigational equipment was also knocked out.  Sgt. Densmore in the tail damaged the 190 as it past behind us, forcing it to disengage.  The second 190 attacked us, but missed and the other caused some superficial damage to our port wing.  When it came around for another pass at us Sgt. Densmore damaged it and forced it off.

 

With the navigator unconscious from his wounds and his equipment out I decided to remain in formation and risk frostbite.  The only other encounter we had was when we were attacked by 3 ME-109s.  Our little friends were there for us again and drove two of them off.  The final caused some damage to our port wing root, but it was minor.  SSgt. Manning damaged it and it left us.

 

Weather was terrible over our base, but we managed to set our bird down without a hitch.  By now both myself and Lt Lawson were suffering from the affects of frost bite.  Lt. Meadows had also bled to death from his wounds.

 

- 1st Lt. Torrence Clay, Pilot, Isle of R'lyeh


MEMPHIS GAL, second flight, left wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned with tail section heat inoperable and 1 casualty.  Claims: 1 ME-109 by Lt. Goldberg and 1 FW-190 by Sgt. Knott.

 

Mission Narrative:

We have just lost another member of our crew due to wounds sustained, the second in as many missions.  When will this all end?

 

- Capt. R. Flynn, Pilot, Memphis Gal


DIVINE WIND, lead flight, left wingman (TAIL-END CHARLIE)

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 50%.  Returned with leakage in the outboard tank of the starboard wing, rubber rafts in the bomb bay area destroyed (need to be replaced), tail gun feed system jammed, damage to the #4 engine, rudder, port tail plane, port wing root, ailerons, flaps, major damage to the bomb bay area, superficial damage to the nose area, fuselage, and pilot compartments.  Four casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

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

 

One hundred (100) miles from base we were attacked by two (2) ME-109s coming in from 6 high, and 3 low.  The one coming in from 6 high was hit by both the tail gun (Sgt. Sakue) and top gun (SSgt. Shimizu).  The plane suffered severe damage, missed the plane and didnít return.  The one coming in from 3 low was able to hit the plane twice once in the port wing and tail.  The hit to the port wing hit the port flap causing superficial damage to ttat area.  The hit to the tail hit the machine gun feed system making the gun inoperable.  The plane returned at 12 level, missed the plane and was driven away from machine gun fire from the formation.

 

One hundred fifty (150) miles from target we were attacked by three (3) FW-190s coming in high from 10:30, 12, 1:30 and one (1) ME-109 at 6 high.  The FW-190 coming in from 1:30 high and ME-109 coming in from 6 high were driven off by P-47ís from the 325th FG.  The FW-190 coming in from 12 high was lightly damaged by SSgt. Shimizu which caused it to miss the plane and not return.  The one coming in from 1:30 high was able to hit the plane once in the Pilot compartment and the nose of the plane.  Both hits were superficial in nature, the plane returned at 12 level and was driven off by fighters of the 325th FG.

 

Fifty (50)miles from target we encountered two (2) ME-109s coming in from 6 high and 3 low .  The one coming in from 6 high was damaged by SSgt. Shimizu and was driven off before it was able to hit the plane.  The on that came in from 3 low  was able to hit the plane once in the starboard wing and tail.  The hits both to the tail and starboard wing were superficial in nature.  The plane comes back at 12 high misses our plane and does not return.

 

We encountered medium flak which and suffered no damage.  This enabled 2nd Lt. Nakahiro to line up the plane on the target and put 50% of the bomb load on the target.

 

About thirty (30) miles away from the target we encountered two waves. The first consisted of five (5) ME-109s coming in from 12 high, 12 level, 12 low, 6 low , and 6 high.  The one coming in from 6 low  was driven off by fighters of the 1st FG.  The one coming in from 12 high missed the plane and didnít return.  The ones that came in from 12 level, 12 low , and 6 high were able to hit the plane.  They were able to hit the plane six (6) times.  Two in the port wing, two in the pilot compartment, once in the tail and once in the bomb bay.  The hits to the port wing caused root damage and made the flaps inoperable.  The hits to the pilotsí compartment were superficial in nature but the deflecting debris caused a facial cut to 1st Lt. Uyeda.  The hit to the tail caused root damage to the structure and the hit to the bomb bay damaged the rubber rafts.  The plane coming in from 6 high returned in the same quadrant.  The one at 12 low  came in at 6 low , and the one coming in from 12 level comes back at 12 level.  Sgt. Shimizu and Tech Sgt. Kashiwagi were able to hit the one coming in from 6 HIGH which caused it to miss the plane and not return. The ones coming in from 12 level and 6 low  missed the plane and didnít return also.

 

The second wave consisted of three (3) ME-109s coming in from 10:30 level, 12 level and 6 high.  The one coming in from 12 level missed the plane and didnít return.  Sgt. Shimizu was able to lightly damage the one coming in from 6 high but it still was able to hit the plane.  The one that came in from 10:30 high also was able to hit the plane.  They were able to hit the plane four (4) times, twice in the bomb bay area and twice in the fuselage.  The hits to the fuselage were superficial in nature and the hits to the bomb bay area severely damaged the bomb racks.  The plane that came in from 6 high came back at 12 high and the one that came in from 10:30 level came back at 3 high.  The one coming in from 12 high missed the plane and was driven off by machine gun fire from the bomber formation.  The one coming in from 3 high was able to hit the plane three (3) times once in the fuselage, port wing and tail area.  The hits to the port wing and fuselage were superficial in nature but the hit to the tail caused a light shoulder wound to Sgt. Sakaue.  The plane comes back at 12 high, missed the plane and does not return.

 

One hundred (100) miles from base we were attacked by three (4) FW-190s coming in from 12 level, 1:30 level, 3 low , 9 high and one (1) ME-109 at 6 high.  The one coming in from 9 high was driven off by fighters of the 1st FG.  The ones coming in from 3 low  and 1:30 level missed the plane and were driven off by a combination of machine gun fire and fighters from the 1st FG.  The ME-109 coming in from 6 high and the FW-190 from 12 level were able to hit the plane six (6) times.  Three (3) times in the tail, twice (2) on the starboard wing, and once in the fuselage.  The hits to the starboard wing caused minor damage to the #4 engine, and was able to hit the outboard fuel tank, but the self sealing system was able to prevent a major amount of fuel to leak out.  The hits to the tail hit the rudder and was superficial in nature.  The ME-109 came back at 10:30 level and the FW-190 came in from 12 high.  The FW-190 missed the plane and didnít return.  The ME-109 was able to hit the plane twice, once in the nose and in the fuselage.  The hit to the nose injured 2nd Lt. Nakahiro in the hand.  The ME-109 came back at 1:30 level, missed the plane and was driven off by fighters of the 1st FG.

 

Reached Sterparone Field and landed without any problems.

 

- Capt. Mark Yoshikawa, Pilot, Divine Wind


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