Bulletin 033 The Brereton Diaries, Lt.Gen USA, Schiphol entry for 01-12-1943

Bulletin 033 uit mei 1978 The Brereton Diaries, Lt.Gen USA

Ons toegespeeld door Hans Bredewold:

Ascot, 1 December 1943.
The horrible English weather gave us a bad licking in November, restricting our Marauder operations to 12 days for the month. We got in two fairly good attacks. On 3 November we sent out three missions of 72 planes each against airfields at St. André de l’Eure, Tricqueville and Amsterdam-Schiphol. Altogether on that date the Eight and Ninth Air Forces had 1.216 planes over Germany, Belgium and France – the biggest day yet for the American air force.

Heavy concentration of flak was received over Amsterdam-Schiphol. Two planes were lost and 51 out of remaning 70 landed with battle damage. The escorting Spitfires destroyed ten Me 109s. This was a stirring example of Anglo-American teamwork. On 11 November 157 Marauders attacked the Cherbourg area, and other attacks were made on airfields at Lille, Cambrai, St.Omer, Berck-sur-Mer, and Chièvres (Belgium).

Ever since the Marauders were put into production they have been severely criticized, but we are beginning to get evidence that the aircraft is considerably better than its critics admit. Like all other planes it has its flaws, but it is proving its battle-worth. On the Amsterdam-Schiphol mission the B-26 Liberty Lady was severely hit by flak, two direct hits knocking out the right motor and piercing the right gas tank. Other hits riddled the fuselage. Another burst put four holes in the left engine nacelle, and the engine began smoking. The bombardier, Lieut. Lloyd Kisner, was seriously wounded but stayed at his post, releasing his bombs. Heading homeward with one engine out, the other smoking, and the bomb-bay doors jammed by flak, Liberty Lady dropped out of formation. Flak batteries concentrated on the crippled plane and more bits were scored on the fuselage and right wing. The smoking left engine continued to function until about 15 miles off the English coast where it quit. The pilot went into a glide and somehow got the engine started again when they got down to 2.000 feet. Four miles from the coast the engine stopped again. Over the coast, but with altitude of only 500 feet, the pilot ordered the crew to bail out because he did not wish to risk a crash-landing with the ship saturated with gasoline.

Setting the ship on a course away from any towns, F/O Robinson was the last to jump. He reported: “I pulled the ring and it came out in my hand with the wire dangling. I thought it had turn loose and I yelled, ‘You dirty—“ just then the chute opened. The plane and I hit the ground about the same time. I looked across in the other field and it was completely aflame”.

Also see:
B-26 42-34963 (SGLO T3033)

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