B-26 Play Test Mission #86
July 2, 1944
We had a brand new C-model, a new Radio Operator ・a replacement for
T5 Cates, who was critically wounded on the mission to Caen Chateau on
June 28 ・and we were at abrand new base. Well, it wasn't brand new,
but we had been transferred to this base from Chipping Ongar. We
haven't seen much of the surroundings yet, but we could see from the
plane that it's not far from the coast.
Everybody is worrying about the war, although we are making progress
on the Continent, except for us. We have been worrying and arguing
about what to name our ship. 2Lt Boyd and Sgt Holt almost began to
fight over it. The new guy, T5 Leslie Fisk from Kentucky, got in
between them and separated them. He came up with "The Ghost of Martin
Cates." We all agreed and as soon as we landed our Crew Chief helped
us paint the name on the nose. Sgt Holt would have thrown LT Boyd out
of the plane if T5 Fisk hadn't separated them. He didn't have his
Our first ship, The Ghost, was a war weary C-model. That was probably
why the whole Electrical System gave up. That was on our second
mission. This brand new c-model will take us through our 65 and on our
last we will put a 2000 pounder right on Adolph himself!
The mission today is to Oissel near Rouen. We are going to bomb a
Railroad Bridge with 2000 lbs bombs. We have Range 3 to target and an
altitude of 10 500 feet. The IP is Rouen in TZ2. The Weather is
predicted to be bad, but no Pathfinder is assigned to our group today.
Flak and expected fighter opposition are both Moderate. We have good
Close Escort by the RAF.
The Secondary Target is Coastal Defenses at Fecamp in Zone 3, the
weather will be good and Moderate flak.
We'll be flying as TEC in the Low Flight of Box 1.
Take Off and assembly is no problem. Our escort is right where they
were supposed to be and right on time and we head out over the Channel.
As we near the French coast we are attacked by three 190s from 10.30
high, 12 high and 1.30 high. The RAF drives off two, but an Expert
from 12 high gets through and has us as his target. 2LT Boyd and Sgt
Holt fire at him. Corp Johansen in the Tail waits for a Passing Shot.
The Nose Gun misses, but Sgt Holt in the Top Turret hits the bandit
and shoots him down. A 6+6 turned the 190 into a fire ball!
When we reach the IP we find that the weather conditions have improved
somewhat. It's now Poor. The fighters are grounded, but we are met
with Moderate flak. We manage to get through it without a scratch. The
Lead Bombardier identifies the Aim point and we drop our load on the
bridge, but the whole group is completely off target. We're finished
here so we turn around and hurry home.
Inspite of the evasive action to the rally point we're hit by flak in
the right wing. The Aileron is destroyed and the Inboard Tank is set
on fire, but it's luckily out by the slip stream. The Engine is out
and prop feathered and we are leaking gas, but it seems that we'll
make it back safely if we jettison all equipment.
The fighters in the target zone are grounded and it's a quiet flight
back to the base.
We reach Beaulieu and land safely on vapors only.
FO Walter Knowels
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