398th Bomb Group

Dresden/Prague Mission Recollections
14 February 1945

Wendell Saferite
Pilot, 602nd Squadron

Over Germany the group formation did a couple of wide “S” turns to avoid flak guns in the line of flight.

Windshield iced up so we had to open the side window in the cockpit in order to fly formation for a short time. The fluid in our compass on top of the instrument panel also froze up for a time – temp was minus 60 degrees.

By the time we had arrived over the target, we were flying at between 25,000 to 27,000 feet. Even though we did not encounter any fighters, the flak was still there.

On our return trip, a request was made over the radio by a member of the group to drop out of formation because he had only __ gallons of fuel left in his main tanks, __gallons in his wing tanks, and __ gallons in his Tokyo Tanks.

Remarks that follow were something like this –

Leader called back that he had only __ gallons in main, wing, and Tokyo Tanks, which were less than the requester had. Over the airwaves came the remark, “Tough s*** colonel” The Colonel replied, “Who said that?” Somebody joined in with the remark: “Who’s DAT, who said DAT?” This remark was repeated two or three times, they were told to knock it off.

The Group formation flew looser until we got to Brussels, Belgium for an emergency landing to refuel the group. While taxiing on the taxi strip, we were told to pull off and park on the dirt. Upon pulling off, the plane got stuck in the mud, but it could not be pulled off at that time.

Went to the mess tent to get something to eat, and all the English had were some green cheese. So the crew trucked into Brussels to chow down and see the sights. We ended up having a steak (horsemeat) dinner at a small café. We took in the sights for a short time and returned to the field. Took off the next day and returned to Nuthampstead.

After debriefing, went back to the hut and heated the stove poker and burned another mission hole in the wood chair in the hut.

Mission completed.

Article transcribed by Lee Anne Bradley, 398th Group Historian, October 2007.

See also:

Printed in Flak News Volume 20, Number 1, Page(s) 5, January 2005

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