Mission 206

 September 19, 1944

Flight Crew




Miller, Elmonte R Lieutenant Pilot
Nowacki, Jack W Lieutenant Co-Pilot
Hodgkiss, Bernard V Lieutenant Navigator
Katsiginis, Spiris T Lieutenant Bombardier
Lohr, John F  Cpl Radio Op/Gunner
Weese, Jackson D  Cpl Engr./Top Turret
Cunningham, Charles L  Cpl Ball Turret gunner
Whiting, Edward H  Sergeant Waist Gunner
Johnson, Marvin J  Cpl Tail Gunner

The Mission#206

A/C name Lil Satan Country   Germany Target   Marshalling Yards
A/C number   42-97890   Squadron Position Lead Squadron
A/C Pos Low Element  Left Wing   City  Hamm

    Slightly weary from a three day pass I boarded my bicycle and headed for the mess hall. Fried eggs, sunny side up, bacon, toast and a canteen cup of grapefruit juice. It looked like a good idea at the time but on top of the excesses I had enjoyed on the three day pass, it was not a good idea. At 1500 hours the grapefruit was still burning like a red hot coal in my stomach. That was the least of my problems as it turned out. The briefing officer described our target as just  across the border from Holland and showed us beautiful pictures of a large railroad marshalling yard. Alas it was not o be. For reasons that my memory cannot retrieve we lost an engine somewhere near the target area. We started loosing altitude and our bombardier found a target of opportunity. It was a small town called Haiger about 20 mi south of our intended target. Again we were all alone because we could not keep up with the group due to our loss of power and the heavy bomb load. Aside from the loss of an engine our damage from flack was light. The Co Pilot later recorded only one hole in his notes. Monty called the crew on the intercom and asked if we were all game to try to cross the English Channel as opposed of attempting a landing on the Continent. We were all in favor of going home so off we went loosing altitude mile by mile. By the time we had England in sight we were too low to bail out. Fortunately the British had planned for such an eventuality and had thoughtfully constructed an airfield near Lands End. We made it, but just barely, one of our remaining engines failed just as we were landing. Fortunately it was on the opposite side from the first dead engine. The mission lasted 7 hours and 30 min. We slept aboard that night which was not too comfortable to start with but the constant anti aircraft fire from the battery about 20 ft away really was the last straw. They were firing at V-1s (buzz bombs) which were headed for London and I had visions of them bringing one down on top of us. The shrapnel that was landing all around was  a bit disconcerting as well. There is an old saying among airmen, “Any landing you can walk away from is a good one”  

This was Lil Satan after a previous mission. The Bombardier was killed.

Back Home Up Next