MISSION 59 - MILAN AARs
318th BS (LEAD)
ZEBRA'S REVENGE, Lead flight, Lead aircraft
Bombed target, 30%. Returned with port flaps and aileron inoperable (30 damage pts) and 1 casualty. Claims: 2 ME-109s by SSgt. Chrisman.
The trip to Milan passed without incident. But after making that last turn at the IP is when we got jumped by a pair of 109s. One passed us by with no damage while the second 109 was not even that lucky. Chisman took off his port wing with and that was that (#8 for Tommy). The Flak proved to be the challenge when it took out our port flaps and ailerons.
We did get 30% of our load on target.
Those intelligent idiots almost got Parker killed. One piece of FLAK hit him square in the chest. We were lucky to get him back to base alive. A second piece of FLAK took out the radio. Alvin will recover but he is being sent back home.
Shortly after the surprise FLAK we saw one 109 but Tommy was again right on the mark and that Jerrie will not bother any of our guys again.
- Major Mick Mikula, Pilot, Zebra's Revenge, CO 318th Bomb Squadron
MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, Lead flight, left wingman
Bombed target, 95%. Returned with starboard
wing inboard fuel tank holed and leaking, bomb sight damaged and several
superficial fuselage hits, and no casualties.
We were hit by flak over the target and leaked fuel from the starboard inboard fuel tank. In spite of that we were able to get 95% of our bombs on target.
After the bombing run, a 109 damaged the bomb sight. We were not able to damage any enemy aircraft.
Landing back at base was uneventful.
- 2nd Lt. David Belden, Pilot, Midnight Express, 318th Bomb Squadron, 88th Bomb Group (H)
ONCE A KNIGHT, Lead flight, right wingman
Bombed target, 0%. Returned with superficial damage to the nose, radio and waist compartments and 3 casualties. Claims: 2 ME-109s apiece by 2nd Lt. Larkin and SSgt. Cooter.
Nothing much to report until just before the target. The first German lightly wounded Vic in the nose, which may be the cause for no bombs on target. Mandy in the nose shot down an ME-109, while Cooter in the top turret got two 109s – amazing!
Vic dropped the bombs, but his wounds must have been bothering him as we went 0 for 0. Just off the target Frank in the radio room was hit by a passing 109, but Karl in the tail chased him off before he could come around again. That didn’t stop the next attack, wounding John in the waist. However, in a other pass Mandy got another 109 kill!
The rest of the flight home was rather uneventful. All three wounded men will make a full recovery.
- 2nd Lt. Sam Crawford, Pilot, Once A Knight
PALE RIDER, Second flight, Lead aircraft
Runway abort; did not take off and participate on mission.
LUCKY 13, Second flight, right aircraft
Bombed target, 30%. Returned with structural damage to the starboard wing, some superficial damage to the starboard wing and the radio room (32 damage pts.) and 1 casualty. Claims: 1 ME-109 apiece by 2nd Lt. Olsen and Sgt. Holmes.
Overall this mission was pretty easy. Saw a fair amount of enemy fighters but only one got a piece of us (and quite literally a piece of Sgt. Turn). Lt. Olsen and Sgt. Holmes both got themselves a Jerry fighter, 109s I think. Managed to get through the flak at the target with no difficulty and Lt. Olsen, on his first mission with us, laid them right on target.
Only real surprise was the flak we flew into on the way home. What idiot routed us over Verona? Luckily only took some minor dings.
Rest of the mission was uneventful. Could use more like this one.
- 1st Lt. Kent Newsom, Pilot, Lucky 13, 318th Bomb Squadron, 88th Bomb Group (H)
UNCLE SAM'S $$, Second flight, Left aircraft
Runway abort; did not take off and participate on mission.
317th BS (MIDDLE)
TALLEST CROW, Third flight, Lead Aircraft
Bombed target, 60%. Returned with minor superficial damage and casualties.
Another milk run to Milan, except that we saw some fighters this time. Pipien damaged a 109 on the way to the target. Colt damaged a 190 on the way home. We never took anything more than superficial damage, and fighter cover helped us out a bit, too. The plane really could use some spiffing up, and without any major repairs to do, we should have time to make it look really nice for the next mission . . . I hope the rest are like this.
- 1st Lt. Trey Azagthoth, Pilot, Tallest Crow
BACALL's BOXER, Third flight, Right Aircraft
Bombed target, 20%. Left formation (zone-2
inbound) and returned with #3 engine, starboard flaps, tail compartment
heating system inoperable, some structural damage (1 each) to both wing
roots and 1 casualty. Claims: 1 FW-190 by Sgt. Kearney, 1 ME-109 by Sgt.
King, and 1 ME-110 by Sgt. Cumberland.
Take off and form up went off without a hitch. Our little friends kept the Hun at bay and the mission was uneventful until we began to close the target. A swarm of 109’s jumped us and the lead began to fly. King on the port waist held the trigger down on his .50 until I heard him hoot over the intercom “scratch one 109”. At about the same time two 109s came streaking by the nose and the top turret called out damage to the starboard wing.
The initial point was only minutes away when several FW-190s came in on a nose attack. Before we had time to think 20mm cannon shells were tearing into the cockpit. Gilmour took a hit to the upper arm but it looked worse then it was. As things settled down up front Cumberland called back from the tail that his suit heat was out and he had winged the 190 that shot us up. As the Krauts lined up for a second attack our gunner’s let them have it. Kearney in the ball turret flamed a FW-190 that was coming as us from 3 o’clock and the rest were driven off.
We received no flak hits and were on target as we dropped our eggs. We made our turn and prepared to head back home. Our little friends and gunners drove off the attacking fighters as we closed the distance to home.
After reaching the rally point we made a turn and began to head along the Po river valley. It was at this point that the flak really let us have it. The Boxer was knocked around as the flak smashed into us. I was watching the starboard wing take a pounding when the #3 engine burst into flames. I hit the extinguisher – nothing happened. My heart skipped a beat when on the 2nd try the fire went out.
As we where nearing home I dropped below 10,000 before Cumberland got frostbite. At this point we got jumped by a gaggle of fighters. Their fire was ineffective as the top turret damaged a FW-190 and Cumberland, a bit warmer now, blasted an ME-110 out of the air. The rest of the flight back and landing went off smoothly.
- 1st Lt. John Stryker, Pilot, Bacall's Boxer, 317th Bomb Squadron
316th BS (HIGH)
STRAIGHT FLUSH, Lead flight, Lead Aircraft
Bombed target, 5%. Ditched in Adriatic Sea (zone-2) returning from mission. 10 Crew members rescued, 4 WIA. Claims: 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Smith.
VENGEFUL HARLOT, Lead flight, left aircraft
Bombed target, 20%. Returned with port cheek gun, rudder instruments & radio destroyed, intercom inoperable, damage to the ball gunners oxygen system, seven guns jammed and eight large holes of no critical effect and 5 casualties. (148 Damage points per Peckham's damage chart). Claims: 1 ME-110 by Sgt. Piano.
Took off was on time at 0823 hours with a load of 2300 gallons of gasoline, 6000 pounds of GP-HE bombs, full load of ammunition, and the usual weight of men and equipment. Everything on plane was in operational order. We joined the group formation at 0916 hours.
Around 0950 hours (zone-2) a single ME-109 in a vertical dive jumped us. MSgt. Ohm's had taken a shot at this guy, but jammed his guns. This was a start of many jammed guns. The temperature was extremely cold and I believe this hampered our guns. Luckily our foe's guns were off too, and this Kraut missed us.
Three FW-190s renewed the battle about fifteen minutes later. Our little friends drove three of the fighter off leaving one Focke-Wulf for our boys. Coming from 10:30 high the nose guns opened up with out effect. The Germans guns were also ineffective.
It wasn't till about an hour later, when entering the target city, that five more enemy fighters approached our ship. This is when five ME-109s attacked from every direction. Our fighters drove two fighters, and our guns suffered two more jams. This time one of the Krauts places 4 shells in our front. Most was superficial, but one shell hit one MSgt. Ohm, causing a light wound. In an attempt to down a fighter in a passing shot our tail guns jammed. This left us with only four gun stations operating. This last German endeavored a second assault from the rear, but for some reason his shot was off and he left us alone afterwards.
Our aggressors continued to harass us with four fighters making frontal attacks. Of the four remaining guns, our port cheek gun jammed when shooting a these Krauts, leaving the front of our plane unprotected. A ME-109 from 12 o'clock high walked his shots front-to-rear. This attack did significant damage to the "Harlot". He took out our port cheek gun and the radio. In addition he wounded Lt. Zurn and killed Sgt. Moad. Another fighter also did minor damage to the nose too. These two made a second half hearted frontal attack, and then they left the fight. We then experienced a second wave consisting of two fighters. Sgt. Piano shot down the ME-110 in a vertical climb. And our Sgt. Yasuda missed his target. His targeted fighter in turn missed us. That is when the third wave of two ME-109s joined in the fight. Again our guns missed their mark as well as our foes.
Flak was as briefed and inaccurate. Nothing hit us. Lieutenant Ashurst missed his mark and we put nothing within the target zone.
As we turned off the target two more waves of Germans awaited our return. Four ME-109s came at us first. Sgt. Inocencio drove off one with his spray fire. Our other gunners missed as well as jamming the ball turret. As stated before we froze up most of our guns on this trip. Only one of the three remaining 109s hit us taking out our intercom. On this fighters repeat attack Sgt. Inocencio's gun jammed as he shot at him. With luck this German missed his shot too.
The second wave of single ME-110 worked us over. With no guns working, left the ME-110 to attack from 12 o'clock low unmolested. He walked his first shot from nose to tail. Ripping the under belly of the "Harlot". He seriously wounded Lt. Ashurst in his legs. Continuing down our aircraft he took out our rudder controls and damaged the rudder a further 30%. The Kraut finished up by killing out waist gunner, Sgt. Yasuda. This Kraut must have been low on ammo after this strike, as he made a lame attempt at a second attack and then headed for earth.
We went for about 25 minutes till the last attack. That is when two ME-109s attacked from the starboard side. But our little friends showed up before they could set up their attack and were tied up dogfighting our Lightning's.
Landing was rough but we made it down in one piece.
Our gunners shot down one (1) enemy aircraft.
Port cheek gun destroyed, ball gunner's oxygen
damaged, radio destroyed, intercom destroyed, rudder instruments destroyed,
seven guns jammed and eight large holes of no critical effect. (148 Damage points per Peckhams damage chart).
Twenty-four enemy aircraft encountered.
6 Driven off by our fighters
Sgt. D.Piano - 1 x Me110 Destroyed.
- 2nd Lt. Gary Tines, Pilot, Vengeful Harlot, B17G-10-VE 43-8870, 316th Bomb Squadron, 88th Bomb Group (H)
CUTTING EDGE, Lead flight, right wingman
Bombed target, 20%. Returned without damage or casualties.
Two milk runs has not done morale any harm, nor do I feel dulled our sharpness. We know the enemy is not about to roll over and die so we are going out expecting to be hit. Either they have been occupied elsewhere or husbanding their resources for an all out push. What it has done is allowed us to get to know Tim and Jim a bit better. Jim is turning out to be a solid unflappable co-pilot and holds formation well. He is already building a good rapport with Paul in the tail turret so I am happy with the way things are going. Tim our bombardier has also been steady hitting the target in his last two missions. He has, I have found, got one problem, which I am going to turn a blind eye to. It’s difficult to hide things in the cramped conditions in the nose and Dave has let me know what has been happening. Tim has been bringing paper bags in with him on missions -- he then pukes in them filling one maybe two. Tim, unfortunately, gets air sick. Once over the target he drops the bags out of the plane, he is ‘dry’ by the time we are returning, you might consider it a new variant of projectile vomit.
We have never been to Milan, I’m told it’s a beautiful historic city, which is a shame as we are going to bomb the hell out of it. We formed up in the high squadron behind Tanner’s crew in Straight Flush. Formation was good with excellent visibility.
First enemy activity started to occur as we crossed the Italian coast just south of Rimini when two FW-190s tried a flank attack. One pulled away our escorts whilst the other snuck in. They may have fooled the fighters but not our gunners who managed to blow off sections off his wing and fuselage. The Focke-Wulf wobbled fired and then went nose down and out of sight. It will be claimed as a possible as we did not see it crash.
After that it was plain sailing for us until we got to the target. There was much enemy activity but nothing attacked us. However on the approach to the IP we got caught by a large gaggle of enemy fighter. Our escorts dealt with two, which left us to deal with two and nobody saw the other one coming in on a vertical dive till it was too late. Despite putting up a huge number of .50 caliber shells in the air they seemed to have no effect. Of the three fighters only the 109 coming in high and behind us got hits, to no apparent effect and this guy got picked up by the P38’s as he tried to come round again.
The flak over the target was heavy but very inaccurate and we managed to avoid getting any hits. Tim once again hit the target, Charlie in the ball turret said he watched our bombs go down and they hit.
Once away from the target we were again attacked by enemy fighters. These didn’t seem to be as keen as their attack failed to penetrate to us past the rest of the formation.
Leaving the target area the fighters followed us one trying to get in with a vertical dive for no effect on us but getting a few extra holes courtesy of Bill in the radio room. The next thing we knew we were surround by little angry black puffs of smoke. We were shaken about by some near misses but took no damage. Either the Krauts had started moving large numbers of flak batteries around or someone had goofed. No way was it a navigation error, we right on track. This spot also seemed to be some kind of rendezvous point for the enemy fighters for no sooner had we got away from the flak when four FW-190s picked on us. Fortunately the guys in the P38s were really in the ball taking out two of them before they could get to us. The remaining two split up and whilst one grabbed our attention with a head on attack the other sneaked in with a vertical dive. The decoy broke away without doing any damage. The other one poured a stream of shells into the radio room before being chased away by our marauding P38s.
That was the last enemy action we had.
- 1st Lt. John Caldwell, Pilot, Cutting Edge, 316th Bomb Squadron
SATIN DOLL, Second flight, lead aircraft
Bombed target, 40%. Returned with #2 Engine cowling superficial damage from flak fragment and no casualties. Claims: 1 FW-190 by Sgt. Maust.
After two milk runs, we thought that the odds were against us and that Milan would be a rough run. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. The aggressive cover by the P-38s kept the Luftwaffe off us most of the way.
Nearing the IP, 3 FW-190s got through the defensive screen. The one at 12 high was heavily damaged by Capt. Morris' nose gun, while SSgt. Jackson in the starboard waist scored many hits on his FW at 3 level. Both of these broke off trailing heavy smoke. The third FW was peppered by SSgt. Rountree's top turret but pressed his attack from 3 high. SSgt. Rountree must have done some damage, as the Jerry fired a short, ineffective burst and broke off the attack.
Just before the target, a large formation of E/A was seen forming to the East. These never got close enough to us for our gunners to fire on as the massed fire of the formation drove them off.
Flak over the target was medium thick as briefed, yet we suffered only superficial damage to #2 engine's cowling and Capt. Morris delivered 40% of the load right into the center of the main switching complex of the marshalling yards.
Rallying off the target, 3 Me-109s lead by an FW-190 swooped in a frontal attack. The 109's were quickly dispersed by the escort, leaving the 190 at 12 low. Sgt. Maust's ball turret guns made short work of him and the pilot was seen bailing out from the burning A/C.
Approaching the Po Valley (zone-5), a lone FW-190 in a vertical dive tore through the fighter screen and bore in on us. Both SSgt. Rountree and TSgt. Davidson fired on him but missed. Fortunately the FW pilot was no better at shooting and he fired a wild burst and continued through the formation heading for the squadrons below.
Just as Capt. Henderson reported in that the current course would take us close to the flak guns at (near) Verona, we encountered medium flak bursts all around us. Fortunately the gunners weren't very accurate, as we suffered no damage.
The rest of the return was fairly uneventful for us and we made it back without further incident.
Straight Flush seen ditching in Adriatic Sea just off Italian Coast on return. 10 crew seen in rafts.
- 1st Lt. William M. Patrick, Pilot, A/C 42-11806 Satin Doll, 316th Bomb Squadron, 88th Bomb Group (H)
SNAKE EYES, Second flight, left aircraft
Bombed target, 60%. Returned with autopilot inoperative, ball turret heat out, damage to the tail compartment oxygen system and to the starboard tail plane, superficial damage to the tail, radio room, starboard wing, and 1 case of frostbite. Claims: 1 FW-190 by 2nd Lt. McClain.
The outbound flight was uneventful until we neared Milan, when unexpected flak bursts hit our tail, knocking out the autopilot and damaging the oxygen system in the tail compartment. I could see enemy fighters trying to que up for an attack, but they were scattered by our escorts.
Over the target, we encountered significant flak, but suffered no additional damage from it. Escorting fighters again broke up enemy fighter formations, but several FW-190s broke through and made a run on us. Lt. McClain destroyed one of these fighters and Lt. Eastburn damaged and drove off another. We sustained minor damage in this attack, but the ball turret’s heat was knocked out.
Lt. McClain was able to put the bomb load on target, despite the damaged autopilot mechanism.
Fighters continued to harass us on the inbound leg of the mission. They scored a few hits on the ship, but caused only superficial damage. Lt. McClain damaged another bogey – he appears to be a natural born gunner - as did Sgt. Arledge in the tail. The P-38s drove the rest of the German fighters away before they could press home any other attacks.
We landed safely without further incident.
After the heat was knocked out over the target to Sgt. Erskine’s ball turret, I elected to remain in formation as fighter opposition seemed to be heavy, and I did not want to leave the safety of the formation. Sgt. Erskine did develop frostbite as a result. Shortly after landing I was relieved to learn that his frostbite was only minor. T he decision to remain in formation was not an easy one and I would have had a hard time living with myself if Sgt. Erskine would have lost a hand or a foot.
- 1st Lt. Harold Snakenburg, Pilot, Snake Eyes, 316th Bomb Squadron, 88th Bomb Group (H)
317th BS (High)
PORCUPINE, Second flight, right aircraft
Bombed target, 30%. Shot down by flak 7 miles south of Verona (zone-5). 7 POWs & 3 KIA.
"Light action out, they downed a 110 just prior to the bomb run. The medium flak south of Verona (in zone 5) ignited their #3 engine. The fire wouldn’t go out and unfortunately, only seven men bailed over enemy territory."
- Eyewitness reports from returned 317th Bomb Squadron personnel.
TULE LAKE SAMURAI II, Third flight, lead aircraft
Bombed target, 0%. Fell-out-of-formation during inbound leg near Verona (zone-5) and returned alone with starboard cheek gun, starboard elevator, starboard waist heater inoperable, damage to the rudder, port wing outboard tank holed and leaking, superficial damage to both wings, the fuselage, to the waist, tail, bomb bay and pilots’ compartments and 2 casualties. Claims: 1 FW-190 & 1 ME-109 by 2nd Lt. Hiromine (Lt. Hiromine's Fw-190 claim was later confirmed by S-2), 1 FW-190 by Sgt. Kitano and 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Yoshimura.
Took off from Sterparone Field, Foggia, Italy without any problems or malfunctions.
Fifteen miles from Checkpoint 4 we encountered a lone ME-109 coming in from 3 low but fighters from the 14th Fighter Group were able to chase the fighter away before it was able to attack the group.
Over Checkpoint 5 we encountered flak and didn’t hit the plane. We were not over target and didn’t expect flak this far from the target.
Over target we encountered two waves. The first consisting of bogies coming in from directly ahead but they were chased away by fighters from the 14th Fighter Group before they were able to get near the bomb group. The second wave consisted of three (3) FW-190s coming in high from 10:30, 12 and 1:30. One fighter was chased away by fighters from the 14th Fighter Group and didn’t return. The one coming in from 12 o’clock was able to hit the plane twice; once in the fuselage and to the starboard wing both causing superficial damage. The last one coming in from 10:30 missed the bomber and didn’t return. One fighter tried to return but Fighters from the 14th were able to chase away the plane before it was able to attack the group.
We encountered medium flak over the target and was hit seven (7) times: once in the waist and nose, twice (2) in the tail and three (3) times in the port wing. The hit to the nose damaged the starboard cheek gun, the hit to the waist caused the heater suit to malfunction for Sgt. Kishi and hits to the tail were on the rudder. The hits to the port wing hit the outboard tank causing a slow leak in the wing.
With all of the hits to the plane, 2nd Lt. Hiromine wasn’t able to line up the plane on the train yards and we were not able to hit the target.
After turning around and reaching Checkpoint 5 we went done to 10,000 ft because of Sgt. Kishi’s heating suit being out.
At checkpoint 4 we encountered five (5) ME-109s, coming in from 12 high (two planes), 3 and 9 high, and 9 level. One of the planes coming in from 12 high was destroyed by the chin turret manned by 2nd Lt. Hiromeni. One fighter coming in from 9 level was destroyed by the ball turret manned by Sgt. Yoshimura. The one coming in from 3 high was damaged by Sgt. Kishi which caused it to miss the plane and the damage to the fighter was enough that it didn’t return. The other plane that came in from 12 high was able to hit the plane twice, once in the tail and bomb bay area; both hits were superficial in nature. The one coming in from 9 high missed the plane. Two planes returned with both coming in from 10:30 level and both missed the plane and then were able to get back at us coming in from 1:30 and 10:30 level. Fighters from the 1st Fighter group were able to chase away one fighter before it was able to engage our bomber, while the one coming in from 1:30 level wasn’t able to hit the bomber and didn’t return.
Five miles after checkpoint 3 we encountered two waves of fighters. One wave consisted of two (2) ME-109s coming in from 6 and 12 high. Both of these fighters were chased away by fighters from the 1st Fighter Group before they were able to attack the bomber. The second wave consisted of one (1) ME-109 coming in from 12 high and four (4) FW-190s coming in from 12 level, 1:30 level, 3 low, and 9 high. One FW-190 was chased away by fighters from the 1st Fighter Group. The FW coming in from 9 high was hit by the top turret manned by SSgt. Kitano. All of the fighters missed the plane. They returned, with the ME-109 coming in from 12 high with the FW-190s from 12 high, 1:30 level, and 3 level. The FW-190 coming in from 12 high was hit and destroyed by 2nd Lt. Hitomine. The one coming in from 3 level was destroyed by the Sgt. Yoshimura (ball gunner). The fighters coming in from 12 high (ME-109) and 1:30 level (FW-190) missed the plane and they were chased away by the 1st Fighter Group before they could attack again.
At checkpoint 2 we encountered five (5) fighters of one (1) ME-109 coming in from 12 high and four (4) FW-190s coming in from 12 level, 3 high, 6 high, and one in a vertical dive. The FW-190 coming in from 12 o’clock was hit by the top turret guns manned by SSgt. Kitano causing major damage to the fighter causing it to miss and not return. The ME-109 was able to hit the plane twice once in the bomb bay and once in the waist area. The hit to the bomb bay area was superficial in nature while the hit to the waist wounded the starboard gunner. Luckily it was a light wound to Sgt. Kishi. The one coming in from 6 high hit the plane three (3) times, twice in the starboard wing and once in the bomb bay with all of the hits were superficial in nature. The ME-109 came back at 1:30 level while the four (4) FW-190s came in from 3 high, and 1:30, 9 and 6 level. The FW-190 from 6 o’clock was chased away by fighters from the 1st Fighter Group. The one coming in from 3 high was hit by the top turret guns manned by SSgt. Kitano and caused the fighter to miss the plane. As for the one coming in from 9 o’clock, it was hit by the ball turret guns manned by Sgt. Yoshimura. This didn’t prevent it from hitting the plane three times, once in the port wing, waist and tail. The hit to the waist was fatal, killing Sgt. Yoshimura, while the hit tail damaged the starboard elevator. The hit to the port wing was superficial in nature. The planes were able to return with the ME-109 coming back at 12 level, while the two (2) FW-190s came in from 9 high and 12 level. The fighter from 9 high hit the plane once in the pilot compartment, which slightly wounded the pilot, Capt. Shimizu, while the plane from 12 level missed the plane. These fighters didn’t come back for a 4th time.
Reached Sterparone Field and landed without incident.
- Capt. Ken Shimizu, Pilot, Tule Lake Samurai II
COLORADO GOLD, Third flight, left aircraft
Bombed target, 50%. Returned with starboard wing flaps and ailerons inoperable, superficial damage to the waist compartment and 1 casualty. Claims: 1 Me-110 by Sgt. Paderrick.
We received great fighter cover today. First enemy contact was near Verona (in zone-5 outbound). Our ball gunner got a 110.
Over the target we damaged a 109 and took slight damage to the starboard wing aileron. The flak did not come close to us and we dropped 50% on target.
Once we turned around we had more fighters on us. They damaged the starboard wing flap before being driven off. The rest of the way home our fighter cover was great. Some flak surprised us once we left the target zone on our way home. We saw Porcupine up ahead of us catch fire. Looked like one of the engines took a flak hit and they couldn't get it out. We counted 7 chutes.
Landing went smooth and we saw Terelak off the Infirmary with a nasty cut to his left arm.
- 1st Lt. Daryl M. Evans, Pilot, Colorado Gold, 317th Bomb Squadron
DELTA BLUES, Third flight, left aircraft
Runway abort; did not take off and participate on mission.
399th BS (LOW)
LUCY QUIPMENT, Lead flight, Lead aircraft
Bombed target, 0%. Returned with top turret inoperable, structural damage on both wings, superficial damage (1 hit each) to both wings, to the nose, flight deck, bomb bay, radio, waist (2 hits) and tail compartments, and no casualties. Claims: 2 FW-190s apiece by 2nd Lt. Phelps and Sgt. Thompson; one of Sgt. Thompson's claims was later confirmed by S-2.
The mission started off well, we inadvertently flew across a flak site prior to reaching the target area. Things started to pick up from there. We encountered several waves of Fw190s and the stayed with us until we reached the target. The boys put up a good fight with Lt. Phelps and Sgt. Thompson shooting down two each. MSgt Fargo damaged an ME-109, but Jerry managed to knock out the top turret guns.
Just before our bomb release we were struck by flak. This cause our bomb load to completely miss the target area.
Afterwards the squadron formed up and the enemy fighters returned, they stayed with us for a while before our escorts were able to cut them off.
After that the remaining flight home was uneventful.
- Major Art Defilippo, Pilot, Lucy Quipment, 399th Bomb Squadron
MYSTERY SHIP, Lead flight, left wingman
Aborted mission (zone-3) due to damage. Returned alone with pilot compartment heat, both flaps, tail turret & radio inoperable, fire damage to the radio room oxygen system, landing gear failure, damage to the control cables and right wing root, superficial damage and 2 casualties. Claims: 2 FW-190s & 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Anderson and 1 ME-109 by 2nd Lt. Swanson.
20 miles NW of Arezzo (zone-3) five 190s attacked. During the first wave one of them knocked out the heat in the pilots’ compartment. We were still 200 miles from the target so I decided to leave the formation and descend to 10,000 feet and return to Foggia.
On the return two 109s, and later three 190s and a lone 109 attacked. The gunners shot down three of these and all of them hit us on their first pass, and three on their second. There were no P-38s seen at all.
- 2nd Lt. Jeff Sparkman, Pilot, Mystery Ship, 399th Bomb Squadron
MAWIMAZO, Lead flight, right wingman
Formed up but soon returned to base due to mechanical difficulties with the oxygen system.
THUNDERMUG, Second flight, Lead aircraft
Aborted over Adriatic (zone-3) due to loss of #3 engine from enemy attack. Returned to base alone with #3 engine inoperable, superficial damage to fuselage and the port wing with no casualties.
About 45 minutes after assembly we got hit by 2 FWs in a head-on attack. They evaded the escorts, came up close and blasted our #3 engine into junk. We added power to the other engines but could not keep formation. We jettisoned our load and turned for home after falling about a mile behind the formation. Fortunately the escorts got on the ball and kept us safe.
- Capt. Jerry Logan, Pilot, Thundermug
LAURALEE, Second flight, right aircraft (TAIL-END CHARLIE#2)
Bombed target, 0%. Returned and made belly-landing with 5 casualties. Starboard main landing gear, tail wheel, bomb controls, rudder controls, bombardier and tail compartment heating systems inoperable, structural damage on both wings and to port tail plane, damage to radio room oxygen system, rudder and cockpit windows, with numerous superficial damage throughout the aircraft. Claims: 1 FW-190 by Sgt. Snowdon.
Our trip to Milan was a hairy one, though it didn't start out that way. The 38s did a good job of protecting us on the way in; only one wave of Germans hit us, as we flew over the Italian coast. Three of them jumped us, but only one hit us, knocking Frank's heat out up in the nose. The German tried to come in behind us, but Tony nailed him. After that, a quiet ride into target. Frank got frostbite, but stayed at his post.
Over target was where things really got interesting. More Germans hit us, and shot us up pretty good. Frank went down seriously wounded (docs say he'll be okay, and is going back to the States), and they shot up the right wing and sent some rounds into the radio room. With Frank down, we just dropped the bombs--God knows what they hit--and turned for home with the rest of the formation.
Then it got really hairy. More Germans came at us, and some knucklehead led us too close to Verona, so we took flak from there too. Then we saw Mermaid, the Tail End Charlie, fall out of formation, trailing heavy smoke. We took over her spot in the formation, and all hell broke loose. FIVE enemy a/c came at us from all sides, two from behind, and raked us. Shaun and I got hit; Hugh was killed; Bob got hit as well. They shot out the rudder controls, smashed the window, put holes all in the plane. I wasn't sure we'd make it home.
But the Little Friends covered us the rest of the way, and soon we saw Steparone Field. The right landing gear and tail wheel wouldn't go down, so I had to belly her in. I'm sure the ship's a total loss, but she brought us home one last time.
- 1st Lt. Bill Hearn, Pilot, Lauralee, 399th Bomb Squadron
MERMAID, Second flight, left wingman (TAIL-END CHARLIE#1)
Bombed target, 0%. Aircraft crashed landed 14 miles SE of Brescia (zone-5) after losing 3 engines. 6 POWs and 4 KIAs.
"The Mermaid took off and formed up from Foggia, Italy, without incident. As we (the group) flew northward towards Milan, we (the squadron) were under constant attack by enemy aircraft. The Mermaid was seen to sustained many hits from enemy gun and cannon fire, which knocked out two of its engines. (Note: Bombardier 2nd LT. Andrew O'Malley was seriously wounded by enemy gunfire. Without our bombardier, we were off target). After dropping the bombs, the Mermaid were forced out of formation by the loss of two engines. As we (the group) turned for home, the Mermaid was pounced on by many enemy aircraft, one of whom shot out a third engine. At this time, the Mermaid was beyond visual range. (Note: Player was decided to try to land the MERMAID in enemy territory, zone-5, rather than ditch or crash at sea).
- Eyewitness reports from returned 399th Bomb Squadron personnel.
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