The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » transcriptturner

 Memoirs: "For Information - to my Grandchildren & Family"

view larger imageprevious[page 1 of 23]nextpage:
text transcription
Image of page 1

For information - to my grandchildren & family -

I started my military career in Denver, Colorado -- January 20, 1941 - as a private United States Army Air Corps - I advanced through the Enlisted ranks from Private to Master Sergeant - I entered Aviation Cadets in 1943 and graduated as a Second Lieutenant in February 1944 -- I was trained as a P-38 fighter pilot but the services needed B-17 pilots so our class was switched to multi-engined bombers and we had a choice of B-17's or the Army Tank Corps -- take it or leave it ultimatum -- I became a B-17 Co-pilot and trained at Mac Dill Field, Tampa, Florida and graduated in June 1944, and we were "issued" a brand new B-17E at the factory in Michigan -- signed for it like receiving a vehicle from the motor pool -- then we flew to Newfoundland, then on to Dublin, Ireland -- Where they took our brand new B-17E and assigned us to a real clunker of an old B-17 that was used in training flights, while they modified our new B-17E, for radar spoiler devises [sic] on each wing -- We flew the old clunker for our first two missions in July 1944 - then finally got our B-17E back -- We flew it for another 18 missions over Germany until we were hit over Dresdan [sic], Germany and limped back at low altitude with severe battle damage - We passed over Goering's training airfield and watched as six Messerschmidts [sic] took off and came up to do battle with us - the lead plane was painted red and the others were green in color -- our best speed was about 100 mph, because of our battle damage, so we were an easy target -- the Messerschmidts [sic] pulled over to the sides out of range of our 50 caliber machine guns and the red plane lined up behind our B-17 and started his first pass - The tail gunner fired his quad -- 50 caliber guns on it without damage but the attacking plane was firing and riddled our wings and fuselage - the plane passed under the belly of our B-17 and the belly turret gunner's guns shot off the entire canopy and tail section so the Messerschmidt [sic] soared past our cockpit windows looking like a cigar with wings - it veared [sic] sharply to the left and spiraled [sic] down to the ground trailing smoke before it crashed --

view larger imageprevious[page 1 of 23]nextpage:
text transcription

 Memoirs: "For Information - to my Grandchildren & Family"

Home » transcriptturner
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us