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Subject: Mission #8: the other Boot drops over Lille. rss

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Mike Bourgeois
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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This report is offered from information gleaned from the debriefing after the Lille Industrial run.

The morning was dry, the sun was hot and there was not a cloud to be seen over the airstrip.

The crew of the Pay on Delivery performed their final checks onboard and the plane and crew taxied down the strip and off into the air. Ground crews reported no abnormalities with the plane.

The Pay on Delivery assumed their mid squad position and carried over the channel into France. The escort coverage was light, perhaps they had been called away to cover another run but a small covey of 190's drove out from the sun and one slipped through to attempt a run on the Pay on Delivery. This was a mistake as the guns of the Bombardier and (Sparkes) the Radioman crossed guns on his aircraft and blew him to flinders. No others approached during the water portion of the trip.

The weather over Lille was gorgeous. The kind of day that requires you to lay out under the sky and watch the clouds scud by... imagining what they could be if your thoughts could give them form. Our escort was thin then... almost non-existent and this is when the hammer or in our flights case THE BOOT dropped on our run. The first and second waves of 109's, 190's and one lone 110 were driven off with no damage to our mission. Pay on Delivery's Radioman dropped one 109 with a well placed shot that amazed many with it's finesse. The 3rd wave fell on us like a hammer... swarms of 109's hit us in a last ditch attempt to prevent us from targeting Lille. Pay on Delivery was covered by 4 planes (all 109's) and while 2 failed to connect and drifted away from the attack to reorient... the other two came in and smacked the craft around like a shuttlecock. Radio reports confirm the Bombardier was wounded seriously as was the engineer. The heat and oxygen to the nose compartment was also blown out. Bullet holes riddled the plane and the bomb bay was struck twice with no effect. The planes were finally driven off by by this time the Pay on Delivery was staggered by the attacks. She failed to keep the forward drive on enough and flew directly into flak attacks that opened her up like a gutting knife on a trouts belly.

The first flak attack pierced the nose of the plane and had the men still been inside... well no matter... it was shredded and the plane fell like a stone. If this wasn't enough... the next burst of flak struck the bomb bay... the payload still intact... when I say 'struck' understand... I was in the Miss Directed (Capt Garland) and the flak ripped the belly out of her (Pay on Delivery) and shook our entire field. I saw no one bail out... I saw nothing after the fireball. (pauses for a moment) I directed Mason our Bombardier to be ready to drop and then we pasted those bastards back to the ground. (Lille suffered almost 70% target damage... the Industrial fields hit were taken out of commission for almost 2 months and only hit 50% work capacity after that)

A memorial will be held for the crews of the Pay on Delivery and the Tarnished Knight both of whom failed to return. We paid a heavy price today. But the war grinds on and we're all just wheat for the mill.
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René Christensen
Denmark
Solroed Strand
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R.I.P.

How many planes do you fly on the missions?
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Mike Bourgeois
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I only actually flew the Pay on Delivery... the Tarnished Knight was color for the story.
 
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chris reichl

Appleton
Wisconsin
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R.I.P Pay on Delivery.

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