By Frederick D. Worthen
In the course of global warfare II ten younger volunteers from all around the usa got here jointly to shape the "Rosacker" group within the 93rd Bomb team of the eighth U.S. Air strength, flying B-24 Liberators established in England. They flew 24 missions jointly through the remaining months of the battle. Their final project used to be on January 28, 1945. the objective used to be in Germany's Ruhr Valley, often referred to as "Flak Alley". approximately midway in the course of the bomb run, with heavy flak within the zone, we misplaced the number 1 engine. After repeated makes an attempt neither Glenn nor Otis may perhaps get the propeller into the feathered place, that is required to lessen wind resistance at the aircraft. lets no longer stay alongside of the formation, so we dropped out of place, nonetheless attempting to feather the propeller. one other B-24 subsequent to them was once blown up via a right away hit from the anti-aircraft batteries. A moment engine give up, and a 3rd was once wasting strength (they in simple terms had 4 engines). the alternative was once to ditch within the North Sea and die of publicity, or try and make it to an airfield in Antwerp, Belgium, which was once occupied by means of Canadian troops. however the aircraft used to be happening quick. At 1,000 ft they bailed out: "I jumped and counted to 10 in approximately seconds. i do know my 'chute should have come as regards to catching on a tail fin. good, the total rip twine, deal with, and cable pulls thoroughly unfastened from the 'chute pack. I pulled so difficult my complete arm flew above my head. I knew the 'chute used to be damaged. i used to be attempting to work out how one can pull the 'chute out of the backpack via hand whilst abruptly it opened, with the 'chute and me in a horizontal position." yet that wasn't all. bear in mind the plane, with its lifeless engines growing drag on one part, inflicting it to show? "I may well pay attention the airplane nonetheless flying within sight; Joe had placed it on autopilot. It sounded as though it was once coming again at me." Then they heard the bullets. under them used to be a German military camp in occupied Holland. The enemy bullets and their very own aircraft by some means ignored them, however the males have been captured, and the slim escapes endured, one after one other. Their captors took them "out back," the place the american citizens notion they'd be shot, yet weren't; the German civilians desired to lynch the airmen as they have been led on a pressured march via Bavaria from one POW camp to a different. The prisoners have been shot at via their guards, and back by way of the SS on liberation day. Miraculously, all ten fliers survived the warfare. Fifty years later 9 of the 10 airmen complete this ebook, operating jointly to refresh and proper each one other's thoughts. "This isn't the ordinary hard-core struggle tale. now we have incorporated relations ties, the crew's education and formation, our stories and emotions, dealing with serious hardships, the humor that used to be nonetheless there, and the getting on with our lives." loads of this turns out lovely "hard-core" to us, but additionally frequently very humorous, deeply clever, and terribly human. those males have been heroes. thanks all, gents, in your flying, and for purchasing your tale down on paper.
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Extra info for Against All Odds: Shot Down Over Occupied Territory in World War II
This event happened on May 29, 1943. 33 34 A GAINST ALL ODDS On June 6, 1944 (D-Day) I was finally released from the hospital after fifty-three weeks of recuperation. Right after this accident, when I was taken for tests and x-rays, I was informed that my left clavicle had been crushed to the extent that surgery would be required. The bone had been broken three or four times in high school while playing contact sports. I found out a few months later that the bone had lost all of its marrow; thus it would not heal.
The shrapnel from the flak was raining on the plane. A total of 888 heavy bombers and 662 of our fighters were sent up on various missions on this date. There were four B-24s, thirty-one B-17s, and twelve fighter planes lost on the missions. Sixty German Luftwaffe fighters were destroyed. The 93rd lost none. This was the day we really found out what the air war and flak were all about. Flight time: 5:40 hours. • Joe describes our mission procedures: When we entered enemy territory, we picked up our “little friends” – fighter escort of P-51s or P-47s.
Back at the base, while everyone was laughing and I was questioning their ancestry, it was made as clear as possible that this soldier was not interested in matrimony. This seemed to come up everywhere I was stationed. It would be a safe statement to say that our stay in Northern Ireland was enjoyed by all. We hated to see it come to an end. 43 Chapter 3 COMBAT MISSIONS On August 14, 1944, we were flown to our assigned heavy bombardment group at Hardwick, England, located about twelve miles south of Norwich, England.
Against All Odds: Shot Down Over Occupied Territory in World War II by Frederick D. Worthen
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