398th Bomb Group


Allen Ostrom

In the minds of at least two members on one of the crews on the RDX mission, their safe return to Nuthampstead in a badly damaged B-17 was attributed to something more than a stout airplane, skillful flying or just plain luck.

Pilot Bob Starkey and tail gunner Harold Flynt both learned upon returning home that Starkey’s wife and Flynt’s parents both had premonitions of pending danger to their husband/son early in the morning of April 13, 1945.

As Flynt’s parents told their son –

“Suddenly, in the early morning hours, we both awakened with a strange foreboding of something about to happen to you, that you were in grave danger.”

“Getting out of bed, we knelt to pray. We prayed most earnestly for God to protect you.”

“What time was this?”, Flint asked his parents.

“The big clock downstairs chimed four times when we were on our knees.”

Almost the exact time the 398th force was closing in on Neumunster!

Mrs. Starkey awakened similarly, feeling the need for God to protect her pilot husband.

She could not have known that at the very time Starkey’s plane was about to sustain the kind of damage that should have sent it hurtling out of the skies.

Once down at Station 131, crew and mechanics studied the battered airplane. And expressed amazement that it survived. The main spar in one wing was almost severed. An engine just barely hanging on. Several control cables were severed. Holes everywhere.

A miracle.

Printed in Flak News Volume 3, Number 1, Page(s) 6, January 1988

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