The American homefront was not exempt from strange things in the sky. On
the banks of the Clinch River at Oak Ridge, Tenn., a huge, black,
windowless building, 525 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 75 feet high,
was constructed in record 70 days. In the middle of September, 1944,
this structure, a gaseous diffusion plant began operations. This
unusual factory was designed to prepare sufficient quantities of
fissionable material for the United States' most important secret
weapon: the atomic bomb. Shortly after the plant started operations
the area had a very odd visitor:
“...about dusk on a September evening in 1944 a Mr. Nelson in the
company of two other Oak Ridge workers, A.C. Butler and Albert
Profitt, were driving from Oliver Springs into Oak Ridge. At a point
about two miles out of Oliver a strange object showed up about
fifty feet in front of the car and at about the height of the
windshield. Nelson said it was glossy white in color, and the
reflected light had a dimension of about thirty feet long and four
feet wide. When Nelson eased the car up to the object, it moved
slowly away, and when he stopped the car, it also stopped. Nelson
claims that he called people out from a house by the roadside to see
what they were observing, and they were as dumbfounded at the sight
as the three men were.
“Finally, after Nelson had moved forward and stopped again several
times, the light rose high into the air and disappeared over Black
Oak Ridge. The men reported the incident to the superintendent of
schools, and the FBI was contacted in Knoxville. Nelson said that at
first the FBI was very interested in the report but then they
seemed to lose interest in it completely. He assumed that they found
out that the object was some sort of secret weapon being developed
at Oak Ridge and so it was no longer of any interest to them.”
Source: Loren Gross' manuscript, “The Mystery of Unidentified
Flying Objects—A Prelude 1896-1949, September 1971” (revised in 1973),
quoting an account from Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, UFOs the Whole Story,
New York, The New American Library, 1962, page 23-24, reproduced with permission.
PROJECT 1947 Comment: The FBI figures in a number of early UFO reports.
Besides this Oak Ridge event, a 1945 Minnesota incident was
supposedly reported to them and another by a reporter from the Louisville,
Kentucky, Courier-Journal in October 1946. These incidents do not
figure in the UFO documents released by the FBI and indicate some
possible areas for further research.
The Allies were not the only ones puzzled.
The Axis forces were encountering similar phenomena:
“It was a September night in 1944. Somewhere near Epinal in the
French province of Lorraine, Private Immel and 500 other German
soldiers were dug in, waiting for the Allied advance.
Suddenly, Immel saw an object hovering nearby. There was neither
light nor sound.
‘It was silver-white, like dull aluminium,’ recalled Immel ... ‘It
stopped a few feet from the ground, above some railroad tracks
near us... It was round and about 6 fert in diameter. But as it got
closer the shape changed to oval. I raised my rifle and fired. As
soon as the bullet struok it, it flared up into the
brightest sunlight I'd ever seen.
‘Every one of the 500 men in my company opened fire on the ball of
light. However, the next morning, when we searched the area, we
found nothing.’ ”
One of Germany's Axis partners, Romania, also had a visit from a
strange aerial object:
“On a summer day in 1944, engineer George Zmeuranu was near the Vage [Vega]
refinery, Ploiesti, immediately following a bomb raid and 'one of
the oil tanks was burning...'
‘Then I (Zmeuranu) noticed a pointed object coming from the
north,...It was yellow...but with a whitish tail which, when it met
the clouds of smoke, seemed to shorten and vibrate in a strange way.’
(The object) traveled at a high rate of speed. Over the burning
refinery it turned, stopped momentarily, then ziggagged (sic)
toward the north and disappeared.”
Source: Flying Saucer Review Volume 15 #1, page 3.
Stockholm, Sweden Stockholms-Tidningen - 2 November, 1944
A light phenomenon of especially remarkable nature was observed
around 6:00 in the evening, on Wednesday [November 1], in the
vicinity of Stallarholmen, east of Strangnas. Karl Adamsson, an
electrician, was bicycling north on a road toward Overselo Church,
when he suddenly observed a flashing light which repeated several
A grove of trees stood in his way, and when he came around that, the
flashing ceased. Instead, he saw at great height a kind of
“fireball,” which shone with a dull golden light. It came from the
southeast at a very great speed. He saw it move toward the
northwest a little more than half a mile, whereupon the ball stopped
and hung motionless in the air.
In a few seconds it continued, but this time back in the direction
it had come from. When it had covered a stretch of about a third of
a mile, it stopped once again and remained motionless for about five
minutes, during which it continously shed a rain of sparks. The
light gradually diminished and in the end completely disappeared.
What the whole thing may have been no one has been able to figure
out. Several persons noticed the phenomenon.
Extract from: "From the Archives (2): UFO Phenomena in the Fall of
, by Anders Liljegren/AFU
, translated into English by A. Liljegren, page 2.
New York, NY New York Times - 14 December, 1944
Floating Mystery Ball
Is New Nazi Air Weapon
SUPREME HEADQUARTERS, Allied Expeditionary Force; Dec. 13 – A new
German weapon has made its appearance on the western air front, it
was disclosed today.
Airmen of the American Air Force report that they are encountering silver
colored spheres in the air over German territory. The Spheres are
encountered either singly or in clusters. Sometimes they are
SUPREME HEADQUARTERS, Dec. 13 (Reuter)–The Germans have produced a
“secret” weapon in keeping with the Christmas season.
The new device, apparently an air defense weapon, resembles the huge
glass balls that adorn Christmas trees.
There was no information available as to what holds them up like
stars in the sky, what is in them, or what their purpose is supposed
Stars and Stripes (European Edition) - 16 December, 1944
‘Xmas Bulbs’ in Nazi Skies
New German Secret Weapon?
The Nazis inadvertently keeping in the Yuletide spirit, have produced a new secret weapon, apparently for air defense, resembling the huge multi-colored glass balls used to decorate Christmas trees.
These transparent spheres, colored silver and other shades, hang in the air
either singly or in clusters. No information has been revealed as to what
holds them up like stars in the sky, what they contain, or what their purpose is
supposed [to be.]
[They have been] seen several times floating over German-held territory.
Despite the new “secret” weapon there won’t be a “Merry” Christmas in the
Reich this year. Instead, according to German radio, “Christmas this year must be marked by hard work.” Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler nevertheless assured the Nazis that “this war will end in victory for us.” Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Nazi
chief of staff, warned the Wehrmacht to continue giving the Hitler [salute.]
The following letter was retyped by AAF Intelligence from the handwritten original from
Mr Casimir J. Bidas, who had been a Gunner with the 783rd
Bomb Squadron of the
465th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force in Europe during WW II. Some of the names were incorrectly transcribed and have been corrected using the resources of the 783rd
Bomb Squadron website:
134-14 - 97th Ave.
Richmond Hill, New York
July 6, 1947
Attn: Army Air Forces
Washington. D. C.
After reading an article about the flying discs which appeared in the
paper recently, I decided to write this letter.
My first acquaintance with it was during the war when I served
as a gunner on a B24 in the Fifteenth Air Force. In the latter part
of the year 1944, coming from a mission over Europe this matter was
seen by several of our crew members. This was reported after the
mission to the S2, during interrogation and written in the report.
This was a bit out of the ordinary at the time to believe, and
many arguments arose as to the fact that it could be a wing tank
jettisoned from a fighter escort, however the men said it was not of
Later possibilities arose that it was "chaff" being dispersed from
the aircraft. The answer was given that this object so called a disc
was from 15 to 20 feet in diameter and of silvery substance as given
in the report by Sgt. Bantktt [Puckett] and S/Sgt Diulrooney [Mulrooney].
Should these records still be available this matter could be confirmed.
It was the 55th wing 465th Bomb Grp and 783 Sqd under the name of Lt
Harold - Thornersnew [Shoener].
I was on Lt Thornersnew's [Shoener's] crew until he was killed on Jan 20,
1945 with those who witnessed the so called flying disc, and I am
one of the three original crew members left.
As I have previously mentioned, this matter coulld be confirmed in
those S2 reports. The exact date is not known, however one of the
following dates is the time when the disc was seen:
/s/ Casimir Bidas
NOTE; Unable to decipher proper name correctly - [illegible]
New York, NY New York Times - 21 December, 1944
BERLIN'S DEVICE FUTILE
Silver Spheres Above City Have No Effect
Special to The NEW YORK TIMES.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20—No “detectable effects” have been noted from the
mysterious “silver balls” that American pilots recently reported
were floating over Berlin, an official Army Air Forces spokesman
The objects were described as silver, or silver-covered, but the AAF
does not know whether they are metal, the spokesman said. He added
that the descriptions had been contained in newspaper reports and
that headquarters here had had no reports from the theatre.
Newsweek Magazine - 25 December, 1944
The Silver Spheres Puzzle
A massive assault by the United States Army Air Force based in
Britain and Italy last week brought the air war in Europe to a new
peak of [illegible word] and technique. At a season when bad
weather ordinarily reduces air activity, the Eighth, and Fifteenth
Air Forces surpassed all previous records and in a single day sent
2,100 heavy bombers and 1,150 fighters against the Reich.
From Britain, 1,600 heavies, escorted by 800 fighters flew in
five waves stretching over 300 miles. They were manned by 16,800
airmen: they carried 4,000 tons of explosives and incendiaries.
Once over Germany, in cloudy weather that grounded the Luftwaffe and
required Americans to use electronic bombing devices, the Fortresses
attacked rail yards at Frankfurt and Giessen; the Liberators bombed
rail yards at Hanau. From the south the Fifteenth's heavy bombers
hit Moosbierbaum oil refinery near Vienna.
But though German defense was limited to anti-aircraft fire, the
German was still ready for battle, still ingenious in defense.
Dispatches heavily censored by Supreme Headquarters revealed that
American pilots have recently encountered a new phenomenon over
Germany: glittering Christmas tree ornaments. Sometimes translucent,
floating single or in clusters, the balls are presumably a new form
of aerial interference. Recalling the Americans and Germans use of
tinfoil strips dropped by attacking planes to confuse Radar
instruments on the ground, Hanson Baldwin, military analyst of the
New York Times, made this educated guess on the new German weapon.
“The new 'silver spheres' might represent...the reverse of this
idea. Such spheres drifting about in the sky, might interfere with
and confuse the radar in attacking planes, thus making 'blind'
bombing impossible, or far more inaccurate than it normally is.”
Stars and Stripes - 28 December, 1944
TAKE IT FROM HERE
By Ed Clark
OVER GERMANY, CHRISTMAS EVE, 1944 — The three-quarter moon was
brightly cold in mid-heaven, a sort of icy floodlight for the
frozen ground below. It gave just enough light to outline the night
fighter as she revved up on the runway before taking off into the
sharp contrasts of bright glare and dark shadow. The pilot looked
over his ship before clambering aboard. He was 1st Lt. George R.
Schrock, Willoughby, Ohio, tall, lean and young, but a veteran of
many lone missions into the night. Everything looked all right. He
didn't have any small talk, not even for his navigator, 2nd Lt.
Edmon J. Kantack, from Greenleaf, Kansas.
All the last-minute conversation was made by the mechanic, Sgt. L.
J. Belser, a Texan from the little town of San Augustine. He wished
the moon were fuller, not because he had a girl, but for the crew.
It sounded funny, he knew, but he guessed the plane was the only
girl he much cared about. He asked the pilot if he’d put up his
“No,” said Schrock, “not until after we get back.”
Nobody said “Merry Christmas.”
The battle lines were easy to find. Thousands of feet below, gun
and shell flashes brightened the moon glow. Here and there, the
ground was red with embers, the burning wrecks of buildings,
farmhouses perhaps just tiny shacks, caught in the front.
The young men and their lone ship were on an intruder mission. They
were to look for enemy troop and supply movements behind the lines,
to shoot up every train and truck they could find. Christmas Eve
didn't have much to do with their job. Signals and instructions
came over the radio. The plane moved almost like a hawk, swerving
and swinging, losing altitude and then picking it up again.
Sometimes, a bend of the Rhine or some canal reflected the
moonlight from far below, or stretch of a road or railroad cut into
the darkness of the horizons. Far to the east, some German cities,
feeling themselves too distant to bother with total blackout,
A little flak came up here and there, harmlessly, but otherwise the
plane might have been in the middle of some desert. Finally, the
navigator ended the flight into Germany, and started back home.
Near the German side of the front, a pair of headlights suddenly
gleamed brilliantly white. The night intruder changed course, dived
and came across the road almost at tree-top height, guns hammering
briefly. White fires spotted the road and the vehicle. The intruder
swooped past and lost itself in the night. A few seconds later a
cheery voice came over the radio, gave the ship landing instructions
and wished the crew “Merry Christmas.”
PROJECT 1947 Comment:
Material from the front in World War II was subject to censorship. Perhaps this is why Ed Clark does not identify the unit he flew with nor the fact that he saw a foo-fighter during this flight.
The 415th Night Fighter Squadron
gave Sgt Ed Clark his Christmas Eve flight, and while operational reports do not mention foo-fighter encounters on Christmas Eve, the unit
history does report that the foo-fighters were active on this night.
Details of Clark's sighting only came out years later after he had returned to the US and wrote a column about his war time experiences.
Seattle, Wa. Seattle Daily Times -
29 June, 1947
Man Recounts Shooting Foo Fighter in WW II
Harre Cowe, 12538 15th Ave. N. E., recalled today that flying lights
were among the unexplained mysteries of air fighting in Europe
during the Second World War.
Cowe said 23 night-fighter crews in a squadron to which he was
attached reported seeing the strange lights while flying over the
Lights Kept Up
“The first crew to see them noticed that the lights seemed to be
flying right with the airplane," Cowe said. “The boys didn't know
what they were, and tried evasive action, but the lights seemed to
stay right with them.
“The boys were afraid they'd be grounded if they reported the lights,
so they kept still about them. But the following night another crew
saw the same thing and reported it. After that, all the crews in the
squadron with the exception of two had the same experience.
“Finally, one of the boys decided to shoot at one of the lights to
see what would happen, and he blasted away. There was an explosion
that rocked the plane and bent the plexiglass dome on it.
“Nobody ever did offer any explanation for the lights, which the boys
called 'foo fighters'. We just set it down as something
that the Germans were trying out and let it go at that.”
PROJECT 1947 Comment: The headline on the Seattle Times news item did not mention "Foo Fighters", this is a Project 1947 header. This news story is one of several personal accounts from WW II in which the claim is made that UFOs were fired upon. These personal accounts are supported by official documents for the same period which state that
"foo-fighters" or "balls of fire" were fired upon.
Alexandria, Louisiana Daily Town Talk - 20 April, 1980
UFO Sightings Aren't That Unusual; Several in Area Have Seen Them
By Richard Sharkey, Town Talk Staff Writer
....Kent Courtney, 1413 Texas Ave., said he saw a UFO in 1944. Since
that time he's discovered that about one of every 20 persons he told
has in turn told him of their own UFO encounter.
....Courtney spotted a UFO while he was piloting a transatlantic
flight from Brazil to Africa during World War II.
“I had no interest in UFOs until a couple of them came and flew
alongside of us,” Courtney explained.
All of that changed after the sighting. Courtney, now an art gallery
owner, became an avid researcher of information related to UFOs and
During the 1960s, Courtney compiled a UFO scrapbook and subscribed
to a newspaper clipping service to get his hands on everything
reported about UFOs. At the time he was a syndicated radio announcer
and included UFO reports as a regular part of his broadcasts.
He said many World War II pilots reported seeing “bogies” or UFOs
“Pilots were amazed these little fellows were only four, five, and
six feet across and they'd fly on the wingtip,” Courtney said.
“Some of them traveled as fast as 1,000 miles an hour, an unheard of
speed at the time,” he said. “Whatever they are..whoever they are,
they have discovered space travel that we don't know yet.”
Courtney's sighting occurred in 1944 while he was a [sic] flying a
transport place over the South Atlantic at about 10,000 feet
It was a night flight. “We were scheduled to arrive in Africa at
dawn,” Courtney recalled. It was dark but the four cockpit pilots
could see the horizon in the distance.
“Then this bright pair of lights showed up in front of us. These
lights were too far to be the lights of an airplane,” he said.
The lights sped rapidly toward the plane's nose but separated and
went around just before it reached his plane, he said.
“We were just aghast and all of a sudden they were coming up from
behind,” Courtney said. “They flew alongside of us for four or five
minutes. They were within a city block of us.”
He said he didn't see a detail craft but saw bright yellowish lights
from some type of craft.
When the plane touched down in Africa, Courtney and the other pilots
reported the sighting.
“We were advised by the Army and Air Force to keep it to ourselves,”
“The official view of the Air Force was to quell the investigation,
to stop it cold.” He said he talked with numerous World War II
pilots who had seen UFOs.
Courtney isn't naive enough to believe every UFO sighting is
authentic. “For every authentic report, there would be some guys
trying to get in on the publicity bandwagon.”
Asked his theory on why UFOs have never made contact with government
officials, Courtney said the extraterrestrial beings are probably
superior and would have nothing to gain from such an encounter.
“They are observing a lesser breed.” Courtney said. “Why should
Bomber Paced By UFO – August 10, 1944
Capt. Alvah M. Reida, during his military flying career, was an
airplane Commander on B-26's, B-24's and B-29's.
At the time of the sighting, he was based at Kharagapur, India, in
the 468th Bomb Group, 792nd Squadron, XX Bomber Command. All quotes
from his report, on file at NICAP).
“I was on a mission from Ceylon, bombing Palembang, Sumatra. The
date was August 10, 1944, time shortly after midnight.
There were 50 planes on the strike going in on the target at about 3
minute intervals. My plane was the last one in on the target and the
assignment was for us to bomb, then drop photo-flash
bombs, attached to parachutes, make a few runs over the target area,
photographing damage from the preceding planes. The weather was
broken clouds, with an overcast above us. Our altitude was 14,000
feet, indicated air speed about 210 mph.
While in the general target area we were exposed to sporadic flak
fire, but immediately after leaving this area it ceased. At 20 or 30
minutes later the right gunner and my co-pilot reported a strange
object pacing us about 500 yards off the starboard wing. At that distance
it appeared as a spherical object, probably 5 or 6 feet in diameter,
of a very bright and intense red or orange in color. It seemed to
have a halo effect. Something like this:
My gunner reported it coming in from about five o'clock position at
our level. It seemed to throb or vibrate constantly. Assuming it was
some kind of radio controlled object sent to pace us,
I went into evasive action, changing direction constantly as much
as 90 degrees and altitude about 2000 feet. It followed every
maneuver for about 8 minutes, always holding a position of about
500 yards out and about 2 o'clock in relation to the plane. When it
left, it made an abrupt 90 degree turn, up and accelerating rapidly;
it disappeared in the overcast.”
Capt. Reida added: “During the strike evaluation and interrogation
following this mission, I made a detailed report to Intelligence,
thinking it was some new type of radio controlled missile or
Reproduced from: "NICAP: The UFO Evidence," 1964, Page 23
1943 or 1944
"...Was the enemy picking up some kind of ray emitted by the
U-boat — infrared, heat rays, electronic rays of various kinds?
Even the most outlandish suggestions were considered. For example,
Lieutenant Hans-Helmuth Bugs, aboard the U-629, surmised that the
Allies were cunningly using some sort of strange new aircraft: he
reported that his vessel had been approached abeam by a flying disk
that winked white, yellow and red."
The U-boats by Douglas Botting
Time-Life Books, Chicago, IL
No reference to the date of the sighting is given. However, based
on its location in the book one would logically infer that it
occurred in 1943, or more likely 1944.
England - September, 1944
Extract from a letter from Dr. Ted Peter, Professor of Systematic
Theology at The Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary to MUFON and
Dr. Richard Haines 30 September, 1986:
"I have an item that I think you could stick in your file in the
appropriate place. A couple of weeks ago I appeared on the local
CBS noon news to discuss UFOs and religion. The station, KPIX
Channel 5 TV in San Francisco, received a telephone call from a UFO
witness which I followed up.
"His name is Jeffrey Wilks, an Englishman. The event takes place
between nine and ten o'clock on a September night in 1944. Mr.
Wilks was a lieutenant in the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and was
at that time a spotter for an anti-aircraft battery. He identified
it as unit 606 of the Heavy Aircraft Battery located near the
regimental headquarters near Dover. The specific night in question
was the night when they bombed Burlogna*.[?] They were watching the
bombing from their position in England. Mr. Wilks also reported
that that night their anti-aircraft radar was out of commission.
Consequently, as a spotter he was particularly alert.
"Coming back from the bombing raid an RAF plane (evidently with two
engines) with one engine on fire drifted overhead. Shortly
thereafter, perhaps within ten minutes, came the unknown. He
described it as a long black cylinder shaped object with no wings
and a red glow on the rear. It made no noise as it approached.
When it was directly overhead it turned and became completely
vertical. Then it climbed in this vertical direction at an
extremely high rate of speed and disappeared into the sky in a
matter of seconds. Mr. Wilks says it was completely cloudless night
and that there were more than 100 witnesses. At this time, of
course, there were no words such as 'flying saucers' or 'UFOs', so
they did not have any term to designate it.
"As a spotter for the RAF, Mr. Wilks was very familiar with the V-1
bomber, which he and his troops had code named 'diver.' He said he
knew the sound, shape, and behaviour of the divers. The unknown
object which he describes here was clearly larger than a diver.
Furthermore, Mr. Wilks emphasized that it made no sound. He also
emphasizes that he knew well the German rocket planes that were
being experimented with at the time. The unknown object did not fit
this category either.
"As an aside, Mr. Wilks mentioned that following the war he went
into military intelligence work. He speaks fluent German and did
considerable research through interviews and other similar methods
to ascertain just what the Germans were doing with their military
experimentation. I asked him if he had ever encountered the "Foo
Space Fighters." No, he said he never heard anything about them."
*September, 1944 saw sustained attacks
on German positions in Boulogne, France, by allied aircraft and ground troops.
Fighting was also taking place in Bologna, Italy, but by 1944 the allies
had airfields in Southern Italy which would afford more sensible landing
places for damaged aircraft, rather than making the journey all the way
back to England. It seems likely, therefore, that "Burlogna" was actually
Boulogne in France.
October 29, 1944 - Near Munich, Germany
The 15th AAF began night raids, calling the operation "Lone
Wolf." The (LW) after the date designates a Lone Wolf mission.
The following account by William A. Schultz, a 419th pilot,
describes the use of RADAR on one af the few missions of this type
flown by the 15th AAF.
Oct. 29 Mission #365 - Munich West M/Y [Marshaling Yard] (night mission)
Twelve pilots were selected from the 5th Wing (B-17s) to fly
the first night mission by the U.S. Army Air Force in the
Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. As one of the pilots, my
scheduled bomb drop was 2:15 A.M. The crew assembled for briefing
and was jeeped to our plane at 10:00 P.M., take off was 10:30. Our
twelve plane bombing intervals were approximately 15 minutes. This
nuisance raid was significant in that not only was the mission at
night, but we were equipped with twelve 500 pound bombs with six
instantaneous explosives and six delayed action fuses from 5 to 72
In flight, over the Adriatic, the crew test-fired our guns
about 10:45 P.M. We saw tracer flashes ahead and signaled with our
scope light the proper call letters. As we approached the north
shore of the Adriatic enroute to Munich, we could see by the
moonlight heavy cloud formation over the Alps. It had to be a cold
front coming down from Germany. At 20,000 feet there was a "saddle
back" in the frontal mass of clouds and we picked this to go
through. We encountered severe down drafts and lost 1000 feet of
altitude in seconds, then through the opening, we encountered up
drafts that made the plane rise like an elevator another 2000 feet.
As we approached Innsbruck, the IP, we were above the clouds at
26,000 feet when we encountered tracer shells coming toward our
plane. T/Sgt. Dominick Walicki, crew chief and top turret gunner
yelled, "Ju-88 at 10 o'clock!" It looked like a twin engine
aircraft. We immediately dove down into the clouds. I told the crew
members to hold their fire as we had no flame dampeners on our guns
and we did not wish to give our position away to other enemy
aircraft that might be in the vicinity.
Our plane was equipped with a "Mickey Scope" (radar) that could
"see" through the clouds. The Mickey navigator informed me when we
were over the IP and gave directions to the West Marshaling Yard at
approximately 1:45 A.M. We had broken out of the high scattered
clouds when a strange phenomenon occurred. A light blue colored
ball of fire approximately three feet in diameter appeared about 40
feet off of our right wing tip. It actually flew along with us for
about 30 seconds with streams of fire trailing down, but it was too
large to be a plane. To this day, I don't know what it was.
(End of part about the "UFO").
As we approached the west side of Munich, we encountered heavy
antiaircraft fire and surmised that we were too close to the German
Airdrome S.W. of Munich where the Me-262s were being manufactured.
Upon encountering heavy flak, we made a sharp turn to the left to
avoid the concentration. The navigator said to take a 90 degree
course to the target. This of course put us right through the
middle of the flak, but the correction was made and I related to Lt.
Jess Miller, our bombardier, to keep the bomb bay doors closed
until we were about one minute from the target. The flak was
intense. We made the drop and immediately dove and banked at 45
degrees to our right, approximately 200 feet. Our tail gunner, Sgt
Orvin Larson, relayed to me the track of shell bursts, and taking
evasive action, rolling 45 degrees to our left, there would be a
cluster of shell fire at the point where we made the turn. That old
B-17 was creaking from the strain of doing over 200 MPH during the
evasive dives. Over the target, we were hit at the chin turret and
that was disabled. The windshield in front of the pilot was cracked.
The rudder became like a sieve and my radio operator, Sgt. Stempien,
had his oxygen mask hose cut by a piece of shrapnel. Shortly after
taking evasive action, the #2 engine was hit and feathered. Sgt.
Phil Smith, the right waist gunner, advised that he thought the #2
engine was on fire and this was extinguished and the prop feathered
before we lost our hydraulic oil.