lost st 20,000 feet

Another letter from my friend Ken

This happened on one of our missions---The weather was bad over England, so someone thought we should take off and climb to 14 thousand ft. over France. It is hard enough trying to form up in good weather, but this was crazy as hell. We could feel the plane shake from turbulense so you knew other planes were near and hoped you didn’t have a mid-air collision. At 14 thousand ft. we were still in the soup and finally broke out at about 20,000 ft.. In the meantime our nav. Aids went out—the mission was re-called and we didn’t get it.We were lost and circled around—the co-pilot trying to reach some one on the radio when we saw 3 fighters coming at us. The P-47 and FW-190 have the same shape head on so the pilot told us not to fire until we were certain what the plane was---thank god they were our P-47s and they led over to a group of B-17s. there was also another B-24 flying with them. We figured we would go with them , witch we did and dropped our bombs,then fly back to their base,and get a heading back to our base. Well they let down thru the soup knowing where they were going and we lost them. We had to climb up thru this mess and the co-pilot got some one on the emer. Freq. It was an English lass and did she ever sound nice. She made us fly a triangle, then gave us a heading back to England. We let down over the channel and a couple of Spitfires came and checked us out, then we were given a heading back to our base. We landed and got cedit for a mission and so did our group. This was some nerve racking flying and our pilot was glad to get us back on the ground. Now landing we found out 2 of our planes didn’t come back and one of them was a kid from Presque Isle that I had gone to school with. His father was a diary farmer and delivered milk to Dad’s store. I thought I would be writing his parents about Jerry missing and all that stuff. Well the next day both planes came back and the guys were hungover and had loads of booze, as they had landed in France. I told Jerry that was the last time I would worry over him!! They didn’t get credit for a mission either.


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