MISSION 63 - WIENER-NEUSTADT AARs

318th BS (LEAD)

ZEBRA'S REVENGE, Lead flight, Lead wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with the tail turret guns inoperable, damage to the tail compartment oxygen system and no casualties.  Claims: 1 FW-190 apiece by 1st Lt. Parham and SSgt. Chrisman, 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Owens, and 1 ME-110 by Sgt. Stallard.

 

Mission Narrative:

The flight was nice until we reached the IP.  Two waves of enemy fighters came at us and with the excellent fighter cover and some good shooting, which sent three spinning out of control and on fire, we were untouched.

 

The heavy flak however, rocked us twice and took out the tail guns and damaged the oxygen system for the tail compartment.  We missed the target completely due to the severe rocking.

 

Once we turned off the target we were meet again by "little buddies".  Our fighter cover helped along with more good shooting sending another Jerry spinning out of sight.

 

Landing was without incident and Roland will buy the first round (his first KIA).

 

- Major Mick Mikula, Pilot, Zebra's Revenge, CO 318th Bomb Squadron


MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, Lead flight, Left wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with the tail and port waist guns inoperable, bomb sight damaged, several superficial fuselage hits, and no casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

We were hit by flak over the target which damaged the bomb sight, putting our bombs off target with 0% in the target area.

 

After dropping the bombs we ran into three 109s and during that attack the tail and port guns were knocked out.  Thanks to great fighter support these were the only fighters we faced.  We were not able to damage any enemy aircraft.

 

Landing back at base was uneventful.

 

- 1st Lt. David Belden, Pilot, Midnight Express, 318th Bomb Squadron


LOADED DICE, Lead flight, Right wingman

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with bomb controls damaged, starboard wing flaps damaged, (3) shell holes in starboard wing, (1) shell hole in port wing, and 1 light casualty.  Claims: 1 FW-190 by SSgt. Lapointe.

 

Mission Narrative:

Take off and rendezvous with Group hampered by poor weather as we had to spiral climb through the cloud base.  Major Mikula was Group Leaderfor this mission and I was flying on his right wing.

 

I don't think the Germans thought we would be out today due to the bad weather as we saw no enemy activity until we got to Austria.  By then they must have been alerted because we ran into some heavy opposition over the target area.  Fortunately our fighter cover was with us today and bounced most of the German fighters.  One ME-109 did get through and punched a hole in the forward compartment.  Lt. Greiner and Lt. Colin were not injured but unfortunately the bomb release controls were damaged.  Lt. Greiner had to relay to SSgt. Lapointe over the intercom to manually drop the bombs.  We dropped late and I don't think we hit the target.  Flak over the target was heavy but we received no damage.

 

Coming off the rally point the Germans were waiting for us but again our fighter cover intercepted and drove the enemy fighters away.  As easy as the flight in was, the return flight was just as hard.  The enemy knew where we were and where we were headed and they sent up everything they had after us.  Guess the Group angered them a little bit.  We had repeated attacks from FW-190s all the way home.  Looks like the wings took some hits, and I believe the starboard wing flaps took some damage as getting the plane down required some extra effort on our part.  Our tail gunner, Sgt. Withrow, was wounded in the last attack, but he was able to treat himself in flight. “Ain’t any worst than a gator bite,” he jokingly said over the intercom.  Doug’s from Florida and wrestles alligators for fun.  The medics took him off to the base hospital to evaluate his injury. The crew is reporting that they damaged several fighters based upon visual evidence.  SSgt. Lapointe is certain in the last attack he severely damaged an FW-190 as it crossed over him and thinks he shot it down.  Sgt. Placencia in the ball reports he saw a enemy plane smoking and on fire as it trailed down and away from us.  I told Sgt. Lapointe I’d write up the report and send it up to Squadron.  Hopefully, we’ll get some official confirmation on the kill.  But in my book, Sgt. Lapointe is proving to be a fine gunner as well as a top-notch flight engineer.

 

- 1st Lt. Albert Richie, Pilot, Loaded Dice, 318th Bomb Squadron


JOLLIE ROGER, Second flight, Lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned with structural damage to the port wing root, superficial damage to the port wing, to engine #2, to the pilots', radio and tail compartments and no casualties [Estimate 70 Points Damage].  Claims: 1 Me-109 apiece by SSgt. Holmes & Sgt. Fitzgerald, 1 Me-110 by Sgt. Fitzgerald.
 

Mission Narrative:

Mission was a relative cake walk.  The weather kept the Jerries away for the majority of the mission.

 

We did not even see any enemy aircraft until we were nearing the target (zone-6).  Our little friends managed to drive off almost all of the aircraft that approached us.  The ones that came in we managed to scare away with our gun fire, not even getting our paint scratched.  We damaged at least 2 and our ball gunner knocked one completely out of the sky.

 

Flak over the target was pretty light and that was when we got our first scratches in the paint.  The Bombardier laid the bombs right on the target.

 

Leaving the target (zone-6) we were jumped by an extremely aggressive group of 109s.  By this time our little friends had disappeared.  We damaged 1 and killed 2, our ball gunner got his second and our flight engineer got his seventh.  Despite this excellent gunnery, one 109 just kept flying right through all our lead.  He put dings all over the us, thankfully none of them were serious.  Eventually he just gave up and flew away, not a scratch on him.

 

The rest of the mission was quiet with no more German aircraft sighted.

 

I hope all our missions are like this one.

 

- 1st Lt. Jeff Dodge, Pilot, Jollie Roger, 318th Bomb Squadron


IRON MAIDEN, Second flight, Right aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 40%.  Left formation over Yugoslavia (zone-5) and returned to base alone.  Landed with #3 engine inoperable, fire damage to the radio room oxygen system, superficial damage to the nose, cockpit, bomb bay, radio and waist compartments, 3 light casualties.  Claims: 1 ME-109 by Sgt. Fisher; Sgt. Fisher's claim was later confirmed by S-2.

 

Mission Narrative:

Overall, not a horrible mission.  Bombs on-target, 40%, 3 lightly wounded crewmen, 1 Me-109 kill.

 

Over Yugoslavia his by a 190 wounding both the bombardier and navigator.  Both the tail and top turret got pieces of a 190 and a 109 respectively.  Despite wounds, bombs on target, 40%.

 

Quiet until re-entering Yugoslavia when a 190 took out engine 3.  Another 190 scored walking hits, causing an oxygen fire in the radio room, which we put out.  Regi in the waist was lightly wounded, but the tail got another piece of a 190.  We had to drop to 10,000 feet because of the oxygen, or lack thereof.

 

Just before the channel we were jumped one last time, but our new gunner, Robert Fisher, got a 109 - not a piece, but the whole dang thing!

 

The rest of the trip home was uneventful with a safe landing and the medics said everyone will recover.

 

- 2nd Lt. Buck Buds, Pilot, Iron Maiden, 318th Bomb Squadron


317th BS (Middle)

SPECIAL K, Second flight, Lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Runway abort. Did not participate in mission.


TALLEST CROW, Third flight, Lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned without damage or casualties.  Claims: 1 Fw-190 by Sgt. R. Robinson & 1 Me-110 by Sgt. Ford.

 

Mission Narrative:

Pipien and Rich Robinson each damaged a 109, then Ford and Rich shot down a 110 and a 190, respectively.  We hit the target, then Ford damaged a 190. That was it.  Not one fighter's bullet hit us that we have found.

 

Flak never touched us, either.  It was a perfect mission, except that I wish we'd scored more than 30%.

 

All in all, a milk run for our plane.

 

- 1st Lt. Trey Azagthoth, Pilot, Tallest Crow


316th BS (HIGH)

FOUR OF A KIND, Lead flight, Lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with superficial damage to the port wing, tail planes, fuselage and no casualties.  Claims: 1 Me-109 by Sgt. Smith.

 

Mission Narrative:

We formed up and rendezvous with the 301st and 2nd on time.  The trip across the Adriatic and over Yugoslavia was thick with gray clouds and rain, as predicted by "Stormy" back at base.

 

Enemy aircraft were first encountered soon after crossing into Austria (zone-5).  Fighter escorts were doing a good job keeping the brunt of the Luftwaffe away from us.  Only a lone Me-110 appeared low and ahead and he hit us.  On my left, I saw the port wing taking some shell holes but nothing vital was hit.  The tail gunner, Sgt. Glock, reported some parts of the tail plane were hit but they were holding together.

 

Nearing the IP, a pair of Me-109s attacked head-on but quickly disappeared without doing any damage.

 

Flak was thick, heavy but inaccurate but Sgt. Glock reported seeing the leader of our second flight, Lt. Snakenburg's plane, taking a close burst under the waist, and our left wingman, Lt. Sanderson's plane, took a few flak hits in the tail section.  Lt. Gilbert released the bombs and we then flew to the rally point.

 

Again, enemy resistance was light with just a single Me-109 attacking from the north coming in low from the starboard.  The men let lose a hail of .50 cal fire and the ball gunner, Sgt. Smith, claimed he hit it and saw the enemy pilot bail out.  Before the crew could breath a sigh of relief, a second wave of 3 Me-109s attacked us form dead ahead but failed to score any hits.

 

Leaving Wiener-Neustadt behind, near Graz (zone-5), Sgt. Smith reported an Me-110 climbing up from below.  Unfortunately for us, Sg.t Smith missed but the enemy pilot was equally inept and after making one pass, dove down to safety out of our MG range.

 

Reentering the clouds over Yugoslavia, we finally shook the enemy following us.  However, as we approached the coastline, Sgt. Smith reported one of the low squadron second flight planes under attack and reported 8 chutes were seen.

 

No further action occurred during the remaining journey back to Italy and we landed back at without incident.

 

- Major Daniel Tanner, Pilot, Four of a Kind, 316th Bomb Squadron, 88th Bomb Group (H)


BALTIMORE QUEEN, Lead flight, Left aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Returned with rafts destroyed, damage to the port tail plane root, superficial damage to both wings, bomb bay, pilots' compartments, and 2 casualties.  Claims: 1 ME-109 & 1 ME-110 by Sgt. Thomas and 1 ME-109 by SSgt. McCulloch.

 

Mission Narrative:

Second mission from not so sunny Italy to Weiner-Neustadt, another long one.  Forming up was a nightmare for us.  We came up somehow in the wrong place and took a long time to get into position.

 

The long flight out over Yugoslavia over the clouds was uneventful apart from some 109s getting chased by our little friends.  Things however changed once we broke into the clear air.  We got hit by a wave of 109s followed by a wave of 110s.  Phil took down one of the 109s with the top turret guns and Jonesy got another and a 110 from the tail.  We got some hits but seemed to be okay.

 

Then we were over the target and we had little friends everywhere breaking up ever attack.  It's shame they couldn't do some thing with the flak which seemed to be using what the intelligence officer called box barrage where all the guns as firing into a box immediately ahead of the formation and all you can do is fly through it.  The fire was so intense that it was like flying into a big black cloud.  We got caught by three close burst sending shrapnel through all parts of the plane.  Jonesy got caught bad in the tail and Vince got a piece in the radio room but was well enough to go back and drag Jonesy out of the tail make him comfortable and then go and man the tail guns.  Whilst all this was going on Marty, as cool as you like, dropped our bombs on target.

 

On the other side of the target the place was thick with fighters.  Ours and theirs ours managed to break up most of the attacks. However one FW sneaked in with a vertical dive, but then got put off by Phil, missed and streaked away and then a couple of 109s put some fresh ventilation holes around me and Dave and then got chased away.  We then thought we had made it back to the cover of the clouds and the attacks would stop.  However the enemy was persistent all the way back over Yugoslavia with a last attack by three FW-109s just as our fighter cover peeled away.  Marty hit one with the nose gun and the 190s only made one pass then disappeared.

 

Letting down back to base was the only worry, but once below the cloud there were no further problems.

 

We got Jonesy to the infirmary right away, but he didn't make it.  It was his first mission and the kid had got two kills he was going to be good.  I hate flak.

 

- 1st Lt. Gary Sanderson, Pilot, Baltimore Queen, 316th Bomb Squadron, 88th Bomb Group (H)


VENGEFUL HARLOT, Lead flight, Right aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with ball turret heating system inoperable, fire damage to the tail compartment oxygen system, flight deck window shattered, damage to the co-pilot's oxygen system, superficial damage holes to twelve parts of the aircraft, and 3 casualties and 1 case of frostbite. (114 Damage points per Peckhams damage chart).

 

Mission Narrative:

We were airborne by 0745 hours with a load of 2300 gallons of gasoline, 4000 pounds of M43, 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 0820 hours.

 

Today the trip to the target was pretty good.  If we did see any Jerry's our little friends chased them off.

 

Over the IP we were attacked by two Me-109s from the front we were hit by stray rounds from someone in the squadron.  Couldn't make out where it came from.  Though this hit did seriously wound Lt. Hampton in the right seat, he was out for the remainder of the mission.

 

Over the target our luck continued, as once again none of our load made it to its intended objective.  Jerry was waiting for us when five Me-109s jumped us.  Three of them worked us over pretty well, wounding TSgt. Witczak and taking out the Sgt. Piano's heat.  He never said a thing about it.  On their return attacks they wounded Sgt. Burmeister and set his oxygen on fire.  Cory was able to put out the fire and continue watching for Jerry.  Though his guns were jammed and he couldn't shoot at them.

 

After Jerry broke off the attack one lone Me-109, diving straight down, raced through the squadron, taking aim on us.  Both Ohm and the
Jerry missed their shots and that was the last of the enemy opposition we saw.

 

Landing went well and the medics took care of our wounded.  Doc said that Lt. Vandergrift was real bad and he probably won't make it
through the night.

 

Our gunners shot down 0 enemy aircraft and damaged a further 1 enemy aircraft.

 

Mission Summary:

 

Crew Status:

  1. 2nd Lt. Pedro Vandergrift, DOW (Hip)

  2. TSgt. Kevin Witczak, light wound (Rt. Knee)

  3. Sgt. Damon Piano, Frostbite; Recovers

  4. Sgt. Cory Burmeister, Light wound (Upper Arm)

 

Crew Replacements:

  1. 2nd Lt. Loren Zurn, co-pilot, released from infirmary to rejoin crew.

Aircraft Status:

  1. Damage repairable in 2 days; aircraft available 12 May 1944

    1. Ball turret heating system inoperable; wire repair needed to heating system

    2. Fire damage to the tail compartment oxygen system; new oxygen lines required

    3. Co-pilot's oxygen system damaged; regulator needs replacing

    4. Flight deck windows shattered, needs replacing

    5. Numerous superficial damage holes to patch up

Claims:

  1. SSgt. R. Ohm: 1 Me-109 - Probable

- 2nd Lt. Gary Tines, Pilot, Vengeful Harlot, B17G-10-VE 43-8870, 316th Bomb Squadron, 88th Bomb Group (H)


SNAKE EYES, Second Flight, Lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 5%.  Returned with ball turret heating system inoperable, superficial damage to both wings, (12 points total) and 1 case of serious frostbite.  Claims: 1 Me-109 shared by Sgts. Sikorsky & Arledge.

 

Mission Narrative:

Routine take off, found our place in the high squadron led by Maj. Tanner, and climbed to 22,000 feet.

 

Poor weather between Sterparone and the target, plus excellent fighter escort combined to keep German fighter opposition to a minimum.  Over the target 2 FW-190s broke through the escort screen and made one half-hearted pass at us before breaking off.

 

Flak was heavy over the target, as predicted.  We took three hits just before starting our bomb run, knocking out ball turret heat and throwing our run off target.  However Lt. McClain still managed to put a few bombs within 300 yards of the target.

 

I wanted to remain in formation until we’d left the target zone, despite knowing that the heat was out in the ball turret. Unfortunately Sgt. Erskine’s feet were rapidly frostbitten in the close confines of his turret.

 

A single Me-109 attacked us on the return trip.  Sgts. Sikorsky and Arledge both claimed to have destroyed this 109, verified by other members of the crew.

 

Our celebration over completing and surviving this mission was cut short when we learned that one of Sgt. Erskine’s frostbitten feet had to be amputated.  This was directly due to my decision to remain in formation, a fact that I must now live with.

 

- 1st Lt. Harold Snakenburg, Pilot, Snake Eyes, 316th Bomb Squadron, 88th Bomb Group (H)


317th BS (HIGH)

BACALL'S BOXER, Second flight, Left Wingman 

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 0%.  Returned with structural damage to the starboard wing root and to the port tail plane and no casualties.  Claims: 1 Me-110 by Sgt. Cumberland.

 

Mission Narrative:

Take off and form up went off without a hitch.  We took our place in the formation and headed for the target.  Our fighter cover, defensive fire from other squadrons and the weather prevented any German fighters from getting through to us until we reached the target.

 

Just before we entered the flak belt an ME-109 came at us from the nose and a ME-110 tried to climb in below us.  Cumberland in the tail had plenty of time to line up on the slow moving German and let him have it.  “Scratch one,” came the report over the intercom.  Keyes on the starboard cheek gun was hammering away when light smoke began to come from the 109’s engine.  I guess this upset the German’s aim because he fired high and rolled away from us.

 

With the disappearance of the 109 the flak opened up.  We only took some minor hits but it was enough to put us off target and it looked like our eggs went wide of the target.

 

As we turned to leave the target area 2 more 109s came at us but their aim was off and their fire missed.

 

Once again, we saw no fighters, as we flew back to base. Landing was routine.

 

- 1st Lt. John Stryker, Pilot, Bacall's Boxer


CONQUEST, Second Flight, Right Wingman 

 

Mission Synopsis:

Aborted mission.  Unable to find squadron during group form up.  Returned to base without incident.


TULE LAKE SAMURAI III, Third flight, lead aircraft 

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 30%.  Dropped out of formation over Yugoslavia on return leg (zone-4) and returned with tail compartment heating system inoperable, damage to the oxygen supply system to the flight engineer, superficial damage to the port and starboard wings, to the nose, pilots’, bomb bay, radio room and waist compartments, and two casualties.

 

Mission Narrative:

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

 

Just over target we encountered three (3) wave of fighters.  The first wave consisted of a lone FW-190 coming in from 10:30 high that was chased way by fighters from the 31st Fighter Group.  The second wave also consisted of another lone fighter, a ME-109 coming in from 6 o’clock high.  Again fighters from the 31st Fighter Group chased away the fighters before it was able to attack. The third wave consisted of five (5) FW-190s.  Three fighters were chased away by fighters from the 31st fighter group.  One fighter from 12 o’clock high was seriously damaged by the bombardier which caused it to miss the bomber.  The one coming in on a vertical dive also missed the plane.  Both fighters didn’t return after missing their attacks.

 

We encountered heavy flak and was hit three times.  Once in the starboard wing, pilots’ compartment, and port wing.  The hit to the port and starboard wing were superficial in nature.  The hit to the pilot’s compartment killed the co-pilot, 2nd Lt. Wakamatsu.

 

Even with the hits to the plane 2nd Lt. Hiromine was able to line up the plane on target and put 30% of the bomb load on target.

 

On the turn back, we encountered two (2) waves. The first wave consisted of lone ME-110 doing a VERTICAL CLIMB.  It was able to hit the plane doing a walking hit on the fuselage (hits to the nose, pilots’ compartment, bomb bay, radio room, waist and tail). The hit to the nose, bomb bay, radio room, was superficial.  The hit to the pilots’ compartment damaged the oxygen supply to the engineer.  The hit to the waist caused a superficial wound to Sgt. Soma.  The hit to the tail caused the heater suit to be inoperable for Sgt. Sakamoto.  The plane was able to return at 3 o’clock high but was heavily damaged by Sgt. Soma which prevented it from hitting the bomber and it didn’t return.  The second wave consisted of a lone ME-109 doing a VERTICAL DIVE; it missed the plane and didn’t return.

 

After entering Checkpoint 4 we went down to ten thousand (10,000) feet, because of the heater unit was out for the tail gunner.

 

Reached Sterparone Field and landed without incident.

 

- Capt. Lt. Ken Shimizu, Pilot, Tule Lake Samurai II


399th BS (LOW)

LUCY QUIPMENT, Lead flight, Lead Aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 10%.  Returned with rafts destroyed, oil fire damage to the #1 engine, flaps and tail wheel inoperable, damage to the starboard wing root, superficial damage to the starboard wing (1), to the nose (4), waist (2) and tail compartments (1) and 2 light casualties.  Claims: 1 ME-109 by Lt. Cox and 1 Me-110 by Sgt. Campbell.

 

Mission Narrative:

The group did well forming up and maintaining formation on the way to the target.

 

About 150 miles from the target we encountered stiff resistance from several groups of fighters.  Our escorts did a good job but several fighters slipped by, a Fw-190 scored hits in the nose and flight deck injuring Major DeFilippo.  The boys did a good job of ensuring that Jerry's fire did not go unanswered.  Sgt. Campbell and Lt. Cox each managed to destroy an attacking fighter.  We also managed to damage another two fighters on the run into the target.

 

As we started our bomb run we were hit twice times by flak in the waist and tail.  This caused extensive damage our ship and injured Sgt. Dobson.  The flak caused Lt. Phelps' bomb run to be off and we estimate that only 10% of our payload struck the target area.

 

On the homeward journey we encountered several groups of fighters, but our escorts and defensive fire from our formation kept them
at a distance.

 

I did the best I was able to land the ship with the assistance of the Major.  The word at the hospital is both the Major DeFilippo and Sgt. Dobson will be returning to duty after some rest.

 

- 1st Lt. Steve Gibson, Co-pilot, Lucy Quipment, 399th Bomb Squadron


MAWIMAZO, Lead Flight, Left aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Runway abort. Did not participate in mission.


SNAFU II, Lead Flight, Right aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 60%.  Returned with broken windows in nose and pilots' compartment, damage to control cables, rudder controls, and port wing root.  Major superficial damage to tail section from 6 separate flak hits, and 2 light casualties.  Claims: 2 FW-190s by SSgt. Seaver, 1 ME-109 apiece by Lt. Piller and Sgt. Gillroy.

 

Mission Narrative:

Take off and form up went without incident.  Our escorts did a good job keeping the Jerries off of us on the outbound leg of the mission.

 

Flak over the target was heavy as expected and on target.  Our tail section took 6 separate Flak hits.  Lt. Peterson reported our bomb run was ON TARGET and he estimates that 60% of our load landed on target.

 

The return trip was quite a bit more challenging.  Shortly after turning for home we were hit by wave after wave of fighters.  Our escorts did their best, but there were simply too many of them.  The first wave was 190s two of them shot up the nose section, wounding Lt. Peterson and Lt. Piller.  Successive waves shot up the nose further and my pilot compartment.  As a third wave came in, Lt. Piller was able to shoot one of them down, and Sgt. Gillroy was able to get a piece of another as he passed by.

 

It seemed that every time we cleared up one group of fighters, another was lining us up for a pass. Despite his wounds Lt. Piller was able to shoot another 190 on the way home and we managed to get home without suffering any major injuries to the crew, or major damage to important systems on the plane.

 

- 1st Lt. Benjamin Bailer, Pilot, SNAFU II, 399th Bomb Squadron


THUNDERMUG, Second flight, Lead aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 40%.  Returned with port brakes inoperable, superficial damage to the fuselage (2 hits) and starboard wing (2 hits) and 1 light casualty.  Claims: 1 Me-110 by Sgt. Warren; Sgt. Warren's claim was later confirmed by S-2.

 

Mission Narrative:

Great fighter cover!  Escorts kept the Krauts off us until after the bomb run.

 

Heavy flak-knocked out our port brakes and pinked Lt. Stein.  Dropped on target.

 

After the turn for home we got attacked by several Me-110's and 109s that came in alone or in pairs.  Sgt. Warren shot down a 110 and Sgt. Holly sent another home smoking.  After the target area attacks dropped off quickly.

 

Landed okay.

 

- Capt. Jerry Logan, Pilot, Thundermug, 399th Bomb Squadron


GRIN 'N BARE IT, Second flight, Left aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Aborted mission.  Unable to find squadron during group form up.  Returned to base without incident.
 

Mission Narrative:

When we broke through the clouds at 15,000 feet, we did not see the where the squadron and group were.  By the time we spotted the group, they were already on their way to meet up with rest of the wing.  They were too far away to join up and I returned to base.

 

- 1st Lt. Ignatious Ellsworth, Pilot, Grin 'N Bare It, 399th Bomb Squadron


SWEET LUCY, Second flight, Left aircraft

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target, 75%.  The SWEET LUCY went down over Yugoslavia (zone-3), due to combat actions of attacking Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 KIA & 8 POWs.

 

Mission Narrative:

The SWEET LUCY was attacked by enemy aircraft from the moment we reached the Yugoslav-Austrian border.

 

Over the target, we suffered six hits by flak which seriously wounded our RO, TSgt. Olsen and a waist gunner, Cpl. Grazziola. Despite being wounded by an attacking Me-110, our new bombardier, 2nd Lt. Hans van Durham laid an estimated 75% of our bomb load on target.  Lt. van Durham also shot down one enemy Me-109.  Our defensive gunfire resulted in damage to two Fw-190s and one Me-110.

 

On the return flight, the SWEET LUCY was hammered by Me-109s and Fw-190s.  Enemy gunfire shot out our prop feathering controls and then, when our number 2 engine was hit, the prop could not be feathered and ran away, causing the eight of us who could, to bail out over Yugoslavia.  Two crewmen, Radio Operator TSgt. John Olsen and port waist gunner Cpl. Carlos Grazziola were too seriously wounded to bail out and went down with the SWEET LUCY. I assumed they died in the crash.

 

The surviving crew of the SWEET LUCY were captured by Axis forces (some kind of Nazi Yugoslavs) and after savage interrogations, we were turned over to the Germans who shipped us to Germany where we were prisoners of war.

 

Respectfully,
Terrance Cassidy, 1st Lt., USAAC, 26 April 1945

 

- Report from debriefing of 1st Lt. Terrance Cassidy, USAAC, pilot of B-17 SWEET LUCY, shot down by Axis forces over Yugoslavia, 09 May 1944.  Lt. Cassidy was a POW at the Luftwaffe Allied Internment Facility, Moosburg, Germany and was recovered by US Army forces, April, 1945.


LAURALEE II, Third flight, Lead aircraft (TAIL-END CHARLIE)

 

Mission Synopsis:

Bombed target 60%.  Returned with rubber rafts shot up, port wing outboard fuel tank holed (self-seal), the radio, intercom, starboard elevator and tail turret guns--all inoperable, structural damage to the starboard wing root and to the port tail plane, lots of holes all over a/c and 4 casualties.  Claims: 1 Me-109 by TSgt. Lynch, 1 Me-110 by Sgt. Snowden, 1 Me-110 shared by Sgts. Snowdon and Ward, 1 Fw-190 shared by Sgt. Ward and 1st Lt. Pipes.

 

Mission Narrative:

A rocky ride. The bad weather over the Adriatic and the Jugoslav coast shielded us most of the way into target; well, that and the Mustangs did their job.  Only a few enemy a/c broke through the cover, and Jason and Terry nailed the first one, coming up low on our nose.  Action heated up a bit the closer we got to target, but between the Mustangs and the other Forts we were hardly attacked.  More heavy flak, which holed us, and caused a bit of a scare when one of the fuel tanks got nicked, but fortunately it self-sealed after some leakage.  We nailed the target and turned for home.

 

Then the Krauts started to line up on us.  The Mustangs must have gone, because the sky seemed full of Germans.  At one point six of the bastards came at us, including two on the tail.  Tony had a good day, nailing one of the 110s on his own and sharing one with Terry until the damned Krauts got his guns.  Even Frank got one--he doesn't often get to fire his gun.  They raked the fuselage, wounding Park and Bob. Park's hit was bad, but he's going home.  They nicked Shawn in the seat next to me, but just missed me--I had ducked to pick up something and a shell went right where my head had been.  Lucky break.

 

Anyway, the Germans chased us for a bit until we crossed the Jugoslav border, then broke off.  Quiet the rest of the way home, again thanks to the weather, and also because the Krauts shot out the intercom.  Bastards.

 

- 1st Lt. Bill Hearn, Pilot, Lauralee, 399th Bomb Squadron


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