bombers

Nov

16

1943

USAAF knocks out Nazi nuclear plant


16th November 1943: USAAF knocks out Nazi nuclear plant

Bombs were dropped from 14,000 feet at 1212 hours. Photo analysis on return showed that 29.5 tons of bombs were dropped on the Norsk Hydro Nitrate Plant three miles east of the secondary with only 2.5 tons dropped on the hydro-electric plant. This was unfortunate, as the bombing was excellent. Using the center of the large centrally-located building as an MPI, the 392nd had 37 percent of its bombs within 1000 feet and 85 percent within 2000 feet.

Nov

13

1943

Fighters go all the way as USAAF attacks Bremen


13th November 1943: Fighter go all the way as USAAF attacks Bremen

I bounced these with my wing man, pressing my attack on the second Fw190 to about 50 yards. I saw strikes on the right wing. The e/a had rocket guns and a belly tank. When I pulled up I was 3,000ft above my wing man, and saw that he had 5 Me109’s on his tail. I told him to break over the R/T, which he did, and then I dived through the Me109’s breaking up their formation.

Nov

3

1943

William Reid wins VC in raid on Dusseldorf


3rd November 1943: William Reid wins VC in raid on Dusseldorf

During the fight with the Messerschmitt, Flight Lieutenant Reid was wounded in the head, shoulders and hands. The elevator trimming tabs of the aircraft were damaged and it became difficult to control. The rear turret, too, was badly damaged and the communications system and compasses were put out of action. Flight Lieutenant Reid ascertained that his crew were unscathed and, saying nothing about his own injuries, he continued his mission.

Nov

2

1943

USAAF “Bloody Tuesday” attack on Rabaul harbour


2nd November 1943: USAAF ‘Bloody Tuesday’ attack on Rabaul harbour

The morning briefing conducted prior to takeoff was a very somber affair. Hearing the latest word on the extent of the Japanese defenses was pretty much a prediction that all of us would not be coming home. The twelve crews that were assigned to fly the mission sat grey faced and quiet during the briefing.

Oct

27

1943

Invasion of Treasury Islands – USS Cony hit


27th October 1943: Invasion of Treasury Islands – USS Cony hit

at 3:15PM, they came at us. So many of them. We started to fire everything we had. Bombs dropping all around us. 17 of them missed us. Then at 3:25PM we got 2 direct hits on port and starboard. Shrapnel flew everywhere. Lots of men were hit. 3-4-5 guns went out. Fire broke out on engines, they went out of order. We started to leave Treasury at 4:00PM. Worked on fires. Was up all night taking care of wounded.

Oct

20

1943

Bomber on fire and under attack over Leipzig


20th October 1943: Bomber on fire and under attack over Leipzig

was hit. lt came through the fuselage and hit me low, down through the top of my legs, and lifted me up and smashed me right across the soft edge of the structure. I fell down onto the floor, ending up underneath the navigator’s table which was only a short distance away. Afterwards I pulled myself up, because everything below my waist was in a hell of a pain. Because it was dark I didn’t know how it had happened or really where I was.

Oct

9

1943

USAAF raid the Marienburg Focke-Wulf plant


9th October 1943: USAAF raid the Marienburg Focke-Wulf plant

conditions at the target were perfect for an attack. There was no flak and no fighters were encountered in the target area. The weather was superb with no clouds and unlimited visibility. Bomb results were clearly visible and results were excellent. The lead bombardier, 1Lt. Byron K. Butt reported, “A damn well-planned, well-executed mission by all concerned.” The 303rd BG(H) dropped 27 tons of 1,000-lb. bombs and incendiaries.

Oct

8

1943

On a damaged bomber with nowhere to land


8th October 1943: On a damaged bomber with nowhere to land

Meanwhile, throttle back and reduce speed one-third flap and to the wireless op, ‘Bud’, who had already sent out distress signals, ‘Let the trailing aerial out.’ I needed his instant warning when the aerial touched the water at 20 feet as the signal to cut the engines, pull back on the control column and stall C—Charlie in tail-first. We were down to 500 feet and Norman was still fumbling around. ‘Norman, strap me in quickly and hold the strap across my chest.’

Sep

27

1943

Luftwaffe surprised by USAAF fighters over Germany


27th September 1943: Luftwaffe surprised by USAAF fighters over Germany

I order all our rockets to be discharged when we are in formation at a range of 2,000 feet. The next moment a simply fantastic scene unfolds before my eyes. My own two rockets both register a perfect bull’s-eye on a Fortress. Thereupon I am confronted with an enormous solid ball of fire. The bomber has blown up in mid-air with its entire load of bombs. The blazing, smoking fragments come fluttering down.

Sep

16

1943

Navigating a first combat mission in a B-17 over France


16th September 1943: Navigating a first combat mission in B-17 over France

Finally, the target was reached, bomb-bay doors were opened, the lead bombardier released his bombs, and the other planes toggled their bombs on that signal. The formation headed out to sea, reducing altitude again, so as to fly back to England out of view of German radar on the French coast. The fighters deserted the formation, and headed back to their home bases. I navigated primarily by flight plan, calculating occasional dead-reckoning fixes for practice, and was pleased to find that these fixes agreed closely with the flight plan.