By Frederick D. Worthen
In the course of international battle II ten younger volunteers from all around the usa got here jointly to shape the "Rosacker" workforce within the 93rd Bomb staff of the eighth U.S. Air strength, flying B-24 Liberators dependent in England. They flew 24 missions jointly in the course of the ultimate months of the struggle. Their final project was once on January 28, 1945. the objective was once in Germany's Ruhr Valley, sometimes called "Flak Alley". approximately midway throughout the bomb run, with heavy flak within the zone, we misplaced the number one engine. After repeated makes an attempt neither Glenn nor Otis may well get the propeller into the feathered place, that's 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 by means of an immediate hit from the anti-aircraft batteries. A moment engine surrender, and a 3rd was once wasting strength (they in simple terms had 4 engines). the alternative used to be to ditch within the North Sea and die of publicity, or attempt to make it to an airfield in Antwerp, Belgium, which was once occupied by way of Canadian troops. however the airplane used to be taking place 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 with reference to catching on a tail fin. good, the total rip wire, deal with, and cable pulls thoroughly unfastened from the 'chute pack. I pulled so demanding my complete arm flew above my head. I knew the 'chute used to be damaged. i used to be attempting to determine the right way to pull the 'chute out of the backpack via hand while immediately it opened, with the 'chute and me in a horizontal position." yet that wasn't all. have in mind the aircraft, with its lifeless engines growing drag on one part, inflicting it to show? "I may perhaps listen the airplane nonetheless flying within reach; Joe had positioned it on autopilot. It sounded as though it was once coming again at me." Then they heard the bullets. less than them used to be a German military camp in occupied Holland. The enemy bullets and their very own airplane by some means neglected them, however the males have been captured, and the slender escapes persisted, one after one other. Their captors took them "out back," the place the americans suggestion they'd be shot, yet weren't; the German civilians desired to lynch the airmen as they have been led on a compelled march via Bavaria from one POW camp to a different. The prisoners have been shot at via their guards, and back by means of the SS on liberation day. Miraculously, all ten fliers survived the struggle. 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 conflict tale. we've got incorporated relatives ties, the crew's education and formation, our stories and emotions, dealing with serious hardships, the humor that was once nonetheless there, and the getting on with our lives." loads of this turns out lovely "hard-core" to us, but additionally usually very humorous, deeply clever, and terribly human. those males have been heroes. thanks all, gents, in your flying, and for buying your tale down on paper.
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Extra resources for Against All Odds: Shot Down Over Occupied Territory in World War II
If this move could not have been performed, the hydraulic pressure could have virtually cut me in half. 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.
Our training was the best available in those days and was very adequate. Our destination that day was Goose Bay, Labrador, our last stop on the west side of the Atlantic Ocean. As we continued flying over Canada, we soon found ourselves over its vast forests. It was not unusual to see a fire off in the distance. In fact, it wasn't long before we had to dodge a huge column of black smoke that extended well above our flying altitude. These fires usually were started by lightning strikes. We located Goose Bay easily that afternoon and landed with no problems.
Next we went to Gander, Newfoundland, and then Goose Bay, Labrador; and, finally, across the ocean to Reykjavic. At each stop we would refuel, have the plane checked thoroughly, and try to get a night's rest and a couple of good meals. The meals were questionable. From Reykjavic to Wales was the end of our flying trip. It was August 13, 1944. Our plane was turned over to the Air Force. We had, in reality, ferried the plane to the war zone. FLIGHT TO THE B RITISH ISLES More “hurry up and wait” were the orders.
Against All Odds: Shot Down Over Occupied Territory in World War II by Frederick D. Worthen