Last Updated: 06/05/04
                        H.G. Turner
                        Mission Over Munich

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  July 12, 1944, will be forever remembered by me for three reasons.

First, this was mission number 30. Typically you ran 30 missions before being returned to the U.S.

Second, this was the day my lovely daughter Sue was born. All the more reason to get this mission behind me.

Third, the actual mission! During this mission our B-24 aircraft was hit hard over the target area, Munich, Germany. One of our engines became inoperative because of flak, forcing our plane to fall out of formation and straggle by ourselves on three engines. There was another B-24 straggling behind us which was not part of our group also having problems.

As both injured planes attempted to leave the highly hostile area, enemy fighter planes were engaging the other plane lagging behind. Watching the attack between the B-24 and the enemy fighters had been exhilarating, but also gut-wrenching since we were still in harms way, and in no condition to be of any assistance. We eventually lost sight of the other injured B-24 as it flew beneath the cloud cover. To this day, Iím unsure as to the fate of that aircraft. Our crew was prepared for battle as the enemy fighters were closing when suddenly, from out of nowhere (probably heaven) came a flight of our fighters: P-38s and P-51s, to join the action. Those friendly fighters most likely saved our ass. Our saviors engaged the enemy and allowed us safe passage as we hobbled back to England on three engines.

B-24 Wing Most missions we would return from battle with damage to the aircraft, most of it from flak. (See picture of damage from another mission). Needless to say, the beer flowed at the club those evenings!

My missions were now complete which meant I should receive orders to return to the US. Instead, I was selected to remain at the base for at least three months as a gunnery instructor. My duties were to train new crews on what to expect once they got into combat. The new crews viewed us as heroes, much the same as we did those that trained us in Ireland a few months before.

During this remaining three months, on my last pass to London, I experienced the worst "German Buss Bombing" of the war on London. To hear those buss bomb engines humming and then cut off was quite frightening as you knew an explosion was soon to follow. The hotel I was staying in was hit, and my favorite pub was blown away by buss bombs. Rather then press my luck, I decided to cut my pass short and return to base and stay there until my orders came through for the states.

After completion of my three months as a gunnery instructor, my orders finally came through for my return to the U.S. to Kingman AFB, AZ.

While I was back in the states and away from combat, it wasnít long before the war turned in our favor. Germany finally surrendered on May 7, 1945. On August 6, and August 9, 1945, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan. Japan surrendered a few days later on August 14, 1945. The war was finally over!

My brother Donnie survived the war in the South Pacific and returned home on leave. I later received leave from my commander and returned to Dubuque where I was happily reunited with my brother. We had both made it! What a celebration we had since both Donnie and I were safely home and once again together with our family.

For my service during the war I received the following awards:
button The Distinguished Flying Cross
button Air Medal with Five Oak Leave Clusters
button Four Major Battle Stars


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