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

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We were astounded when the other five planes left us and returned back to their base -- we later found out, from our Intelligence, that the lead plane -- in red -- was a flight instructor and had the only weapons and the other planes had students -- we were a learning process for them -- luckily it was resolved in our favor -- We proceeded on to the English coast and made an emergency landing at a RAF base -- We all suffered from frost bite because our electrical system was shot out -- and it controlled the electrical suits we wore to heat our bodies at high altitude -- the RAF flight personnel helped us out of our B-17 and made us lay down on the cold concrete ramp to thaw out our limbs slowly -- no one suffered any physical problems from Frost bite as a result of this procedure, so we are thankful for what they did medically for us -- !

On November ^in 1944 we were on our 22nd bomb mission -- only needed 25 to go home on rotation -- our target was Magdeberg, Germany -- it was a ball bearing factory and military complex area -- There were 1500 aircraft in our formation - not all on that target -- and we were ^in about the last third of that bomber stream, when we dropped our bombs over the target -- We were hit by antiaircraft shells - 88mm -- just as we left the target area -- at 27,000 feet -- We lost two engines - one on each side -- and lost our oxygen supply so we dove down as quickly as possible into air we could breath -- trying to force the B-17 -- with it's hugh [sic] wing surface and great lifting capacity -- to {loose} lose altitude quickly was not possible -- the faster our speed down the more lift we created on the wing which meant it wanted to climb and not dive -- The oxygen emergency bottle I was using {was} had only a ten minute supply and I used it up in about four minutes -- with {adrelnelin} adrenelin [sic] pumping and working the controls to force the plane down -- my oxygen tank was exhausted, so the Engineer gave me his emergency tank and then passed out on the catwalk below my seat -- We finally got the plane down to about 12,000 feet before we leveled off -- the Engineer recovered and wa[s] alert

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

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  October 26, 2011
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