My Missions - Italy




On this one we bombed Linz, Germany. We bombed by Mickey at an altitude of 27,600. The temperature ranged from -48 to -52 Celsius. I forgot my right boot (flying) and my leather helmet which I keep in it. I opened my personal escape kit and took out two pairs of wool socks. These I put on one foot. That made five pairs of socks in all on one foot. Over this I put my electrically heated slipper which I tie down snug with fishing line from the escape kit also. With this same line I tied my oxygen mask to a headset which took the place of my helmet.

The left waist gun had head space and oil buffer maladjusted so that it would not fire properly. The gunner did not want to fix it but I insisted on its being taken care of and started to do it myself. We ended up by collaborating and getting it fixed. When this was done neither waist gun would fire because the oil had congealed and frozen at that altitude. I was very glad to see our escort of P-38's. We got scant and inaccurate flack at that altitude.

When we got back we found out that one man from another squadron in our group had died from anoxia. The bombardier on Dubos' plane passed out on the bomb run and did not say "bombs away". The pilot told Dubos to see about it. Dubos mashed his mask to break the ice on it and turned on emergency oxygen. The Bombardier regained consciousness immediately. Quite a few fellows suffered from frost bite.