Saturday, February 20, 2010

War Journal - Feb. 22, 1945

PRO photo made following low level mission. (This photo was used in a newspaper article about Dad being able to use his guns for strafing.)

Today we had the thrill of pulling the 1st successful low level mission in the ETO from B-26's. Bombed the small rail junct. of Lang Gons from 8000 ft. then dove to house top level to strafe the rail junction at Butzbach, both about 25 miles north of Frankfurt. Received weak flak on both missions. Two ships crashed and blew up on takeoff killing one officer. During the strafing Col Smith (our CO Sqdn) was shot down-killing himself and 7 others. On the bomb run Kiel accidentally released our bombs early but 5 out of the 8 made direct hits on the target. Maj. Sebille led our flight. Our ground speed was approx 360MPH when we strafed. It was quite a thrill but twice would be too much! Maj. Sebille is our new temp CO. The two flights from this squadron was the only ones that strafed-the others circled above and waited. For the first time in ten missions one of my guns jammed-right when I needed it most. Some new crews came in yesterday & some old ones leave for the States tomorrow. With few exceptions this makes us the veterans of the best known and leading B-26 Sqdn & group in the ETO.

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