Against All Odds: Shot Down Over Occupied Territory in World War II

Against All Odds: Shot Down Over Occupied Territory in World War II

Frederick D. Worthen


in the course of international warfare II ten younger volunteers from everywhere in the usa got here jointly to shape the "Rosacker" workforce within the 93rd Bomb workforce of the eighth U.S. Air strength, flying B-24 Liberators established in England. They flew 24 missions jointly through the last months of the conflict. Their final undertaking was once on January 28, 1945. the objective was once in Germany's Ruhr Valley, often referred to as "Flak Alley". approximately midway throughout the bomb run, with heavy flak within the sector, 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's required to reduce wind resistance at the plane. shall we 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 way of a right away hit from the anti-aircraft batteries. A moment engine give up, and a 3rd used to be wasting energy (they in basic 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 via Canadian troops. however the aircraft used to be happening quick. At 1,000 toes 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 full rip wire, deal with, and cable pulls thoroughly free from the 'chute pack. I pulled so tough my entire arm flew above my head. I knew the 'chute was once damaged. i used to be attempting to work out how one can pull the 'chute out of the backpack by means of hand whilst out of the blue it opened, with the 'chute and me in a horizontal position." yet that wasn't all. take note the aircraft, with its lifeless engines growing drag on one aspect, inflicting it to show? "I might pay attention the airplane nonetheless flying within sight; 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 was once 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 persevered, 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 through their guards, and back by way of the SS on liberation day. Miraculously, all ten fliers survived the conflict. Fifty years later 9 of the 10 airmen comprehensive this booklet, operating jointly to refresh and proper every one other's stories. "This isn't the ordinary hard-core warfare tale. we've incorporated kin ties, the crew's education and formation, our reports and emotions, facing critical hardships, the humor that was once nonetheless there, and the getting on with our lives." loads of this turns out beautiful "hard-core" to us, but in addition frequently very humorous, deeply clever, and terribly human. those males have been heroes. thanks all, gents, to your flying, and for purchasing your tale down on paper.

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