World War II Experiences
"Timeless Voices" Oral History Project

Interview with

Dale Brown, 398th Bomb Group Bombardier
603rd Squadron, Eighth Air Force

Interviewer: Randy Stange

Interview conducted at the
398th Bomb Group Annual Reunion
The Radisson Hotel, Covington, KY., September 12, 2003


The 398th has been interviewing its members as part of the Timeless Voices of Aviation project. More information about the project and a current list of video interviews can be found at 398th Timeless Voices Interviews. In addition to the video interviews, some of the interviews have been transcribed to text.


Interview with

Dale Brown, 398th Bomb Group Bombardier
603rd Squadron, Eighth Air Force

RS: Interviewer, Randy Stange
DB: 398th Bombardier, Dale Brown

RS: This is Randall Stange interviewing Dale Brown. We are at the 398th Bomb Group Reunion in Covington, Kentucky, at the Radisson Motel and it is September 12, 2003. Dale, would you mind introducing yourself?

DB: Hi, I’m Dale Brown and I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

RS: Where were you born?

DB: Well, I was born in Pennsylvania.

RS: And, you were raised in Pennsylvania?

DB: I was raised in Pennsylvania and went from there to Nashville, Tennessee, when I was called to active duty.

RS: Okay, did you have any brothers or sisters?

DB: Two brothers, two sisters.

RS: Did they serve, also, or…?

DB: No, they served on the home front.

RS: Okay. What did your parents do for a living?

DB: My parents were farmers, basically.

RS: And, what reflections do you have of life prior to the war?

DB: Utopia compared to war. So, it was pretty good.

RS: Do you remember where you were when Pearl Harbor was bombed?

DB: Yeah, I was working.

RS: You were at work? What were you doing?

DB: I was hydraulic operator for Allegheny Ludlim Steel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

RS: And where were you when they bombed Pearl Harbor? What was your initial reaction when you heard about Pearl Harbor?

DB: Disbelief, about like 9/11.

RS: Did you enlist then or were you drafted?

DB: I enlisted shortly [after] that. Went down to Pittsburgh and enlisted in the Aviation Cadets and was sworn in on May 16th, 1942 and was never called to active duty until October. They were plugged with young men rushing to fight war.

RS: When they called you, where did they send you?

DB: Nashville, Tennessee.

RS: Was that your Basic or was that Flight?

DB: That was Flight Classification and we went to Navigation School in January of, I think, ’43.

RS: And where was that?

DB: Monroe, Louisiana.

RS: And from there?

DB: Well, from there, I had a little problem with celestial navigation and a couple of instructors so I met the Board, Washed out, and said I want to go to Bombardier School. If you didn’t tell them what you wanted, they wouldn’t give you nothing. But, they said, “Okay, you can go to Bombardier School.” I had been classified to go to Pilot School first but then we got a big requirement that they needed navigators and bombardiers so go to Navigation School.

RS: So, where did you go to Bombardier School?

DB: Victorville, California.

RS: And, you did graduate from Bombardier School?

DB: I made it through that one, March 18th, ’44.

RS: And from there?

DB: From there to Rapid City, South Dakota. I had my orders and I said, “Where the hell is that?” Never heard of it.

RS: Had you ever travelled prior to the war?

DB: No.

RS: Had any of your family ever travel prior to the war?

DB: Not very much.

RS: So, you joined the 398th Bomb Group in Rapid City in the initial crews then.

DB: Well, I was on the replacement crews that had come in to train.

RS: Oh, okay.

DB: I got there before the 398th left and got acquainted with Pete Rooney and some of those guys and we did most of our socializing in town at the old club at the Alex Johnson Hotel and then they left and we started flying.

RS: Just out of curiosity, backing up a little bit, since my dad was also a bombardier and he told me, he said he was trained at Biggs [Army Air] Field in Texas, outside of El Paso and they did their navigational flights and runs, simulated missions, bombing California. Did you do any simulated bombing runs, bombing El Paso and …?

DB: No.

RS: …and other cities?

DB: No, we didn’t run on any cities.

RS: Not at that time?

DB: Only targets. Targets out in the desert somewhere.

RS: Right. So, you finished your training in Rapids City and formed up with the 398th then?

DB: In England. I was assigned to them when I got to England.

RS: Did you transport a plane over to England?

DB: No, we transported a boat over!

RS: Okay, you rode the troop transport.

DB: I rode the troop transport.

RS: Do you recall the name of the vessel?

DB: It was the old SS America, but I forgot the wartime name of it.

RS: Uh-huh.

DB: But, it had been a pleasure cruise ship, I guess, it was pretty deluxe until they put us on board. What was it, I think it was twelve of us to a stateroom. Two officers, three crews of officers, it was twelve of us, I think, in a stateroom.

RS: Uh-hm.

DB: But it was a good trip. We made it over.

RS: Yeah.

DB: All the destroyers, zip, zip, zip, dropping depth charges and all that good stuff.

RS: What was your first impression of Station 131?

DB: I don’t know. It was quite a little different but it was, you know, it was out in farm country. Tony Clark was raising wheat, out on the edges.

RS: So, how many missions did you end up flying, Dale?

DB: Eighteen.

RS: Were there any casualties on your crew?

DB: No casualties on the crew.

RS: Any memorable experiences or impressions of your first combat?

DB: Quite a few. When you get hit in the prop and the oil starts leaking out, you wonder if you can feather an engine or not. So, we kept the engine running ‘til we got out to the North Sea, then we drop down to the deck, went in and we was down so close to the water that we were flying up to the Wash. After the ETA for England ran out, I turned to the navigator [2nd Lieutenant Robert H. Robingson] and said, “Hell, you couldn’t miss that island, could you?” [Laughs] He says, “I hope not!”

RS: Do you remember when that was?

DB: It was about the 24th of July.

RS: Of’44 or ’45?

DB: ’44, I think. It was ’44, yes. But, I think that’s about the date. I am not absolutely sure but we went to the Leuna Oil Works in Merseburg [29 July 1944, Target: Leuna Oil Refineries, Merseburg, Germany], first one. When you cross the English Channel, you see that big, black cloud out there, a couple hundred miles away and you wonder what in the hell is going on? and you found out you flew through it. It was a cloud of flak, it was firing shells up and having them explode and you had to fly through it.

RS: So, your first mission you got a baptism under fire and lost a prop then, huh?

DB: Lost a prop, feathered one engine after we got down on the deck. We was lucky but enough oil in to feather the engine so you didn’t windmill it and shake it off.

RS: So, you did eventually make it to England? You were a little bit north there then if you were up at the Wash.

DB: Yeah, we were up at the Wash and sweating out the ETA for England.

RS: Where did you end up landing?

DB: We landed at the base.

RS: At the base, you made it all the way back to the base?

DB: We made it back to the base, yeah. No problem there.

RS: Any other memorable flights?

DB: Yeah, I had one with Ken [Kenneth S.] Hastings. They was training Ken to be a lead pilot so they had me as lead bombardier and we got along alright outside the fact that we were flying deputy lead at the low and the lead aborted and Ken says, “I am going back to it,” and I says, “Well, Leavenworth will welcome you with open arms when you go to Federal prison.” I says, “You and I can get through this together; I will help you.” And, he had never led a 3-ship element and now here he is, there are eleven ships left in the squadron. And I said, “We’ll get along alright.” And, we would have too, except between the radio operator and the co-pilot, they forgot to transfer fuel from the tokyoes into the main.

So, you are off the target and you’re coming back through the flak zones and all at once, the motors stop, and they are windmilling. You are leading this formation, and you have run out of gas on four engines and you are falling like a leaf, out of formation. Until they finally decide they forgot to transfer fuel and we were lucky; they transferred the fuel. They hadn’t built up any vacuum in the lines, started up the engines and he said, “Well, I’ll tag on in the back,” and I says, “Can ya? You’ll never be a leader up in the back. Get right back up there where we started this mission, out in the front.” So, we did and we came back alright, I’ll tell you that.

RS: Well, that’s good.

DB: Well, of course, we all swore to secrecy but we forgot one of the guys was learning VHF and we were talking on there and the engineer [Sergeant Danny G. Leyva] on [2nd Lieutenant Mark] Magnum’s crew, which was my crew, he overhead somebody saying that we had run out of gas. He, being the engineer, he knew exactly what had happened to us. But that was lucky, we got it through that one.

Outside of that, I think, no vast startling experiences in the air, outside of watching red burst of flak and they knew that was too close to comfort.

RS: Where did you go on leave?

DB: We went to Scotland on flak leave.

RS: Uh-hm.

DB: We left the base. We just about to leave the base when DeLancey [1st Lieutenant Lawrence DeLancey, Pilot, 601st Squadron] come in with the nose blown off to land and we had to go look at that before we left. That wasn’t pretty.

RS: No, I heard several descriptions of it. To me, it seemed they made it back.

DB: It was. DeLancey deserved the DFC [Distinguished Flying Cross medal] for that.

RS: Definitely agree. What did you do on flak leave?

DB: Oh, we went to Scotland, did a little touring, did a little imbibing, and that’s about it.

RS: On a regular leave passes, where did you go?

DB: We went to London, stayed at a Red Cross Club and ….

RS: Do you remember any of the USO shows on the base?

DB: I remember Glenn Miller. But, he was off somewhere but the band was there and did the good old dances. The trouble was it was the afternoon and there wasn’t anyone to dance with. [Laughs]

RS: So, other than the air medals, did you get any other medals or citations when you were serving in England?

DB: No, I think we got a Presidential Citation or a citation for something, I forget what.

RS: When did you go back home?

DB: I went back home in June or July of ’45. We got liberated 29 April by Patton’s forces and then they flew us to La Havre [France],

RS: La Havre?

DB: Someways that. We went to Camp Lucky Strike.

RS: Okay. Now, you didn’t mention about when you were shot down.

DB: No. Well, we were, we kept losing altitude.

RS: Now, which mission was this?

DB: This was the 18th [28 October 1944, Target: Marshalling Yards, Munster, Germany]

RS: It was the 18th.

DB: Yeah.

RS: And what happened?

DB: Well, I have never said too much about it, but everybody is trained when you drop the bombs, the first thing you do is get the hell off the target because you are getting shot at, and the German radar is on you. So, there was a couple of errors that got into this.

We turned wide on the IP [initial point] which leaves you maybe a half a minute behind. We were coming in at a little different angle. When you cut wide, you are coming in this way and everyone is going in this way. The German radar has a little better spot on you because there is nobody out in front of you dropping chafe because you are off course a little bit.

Then we could see the ground straight down but the telescope and the bomb site, you couldn’t pick up the target on account of high clouds, something like the clouds over Cincinnati.

So, we had Mickey ship and the radio operator [Staff Sergeant Donald M. Menard] and we conversed back and forth and synchronized the bomb site. I told the co-pilot [1st Lieutenant Roy M. Sheely, Jr.] that the lead and the low had dropped the bombs and turned off the target. So, we got down and we dropped our bombs. [I] told the pilot [Captain Talma A. Scott, Jr., Command Pilot] and co-pilot [1st Lieutenant Roy M. Sheely, Jr.] to turn off the target. I told them earlier that you dropped the bombs and five seconds later, you better be in the turn.

The answer I got was, ‘We can’t see the lead and the low,” and I thought, “Well, if you knew what the hell you was doing, you’d be five hundred above them and it didn’t make a damn bit of difference where they were at.”

So, we got hit. We got hit in engine two, three, and four. Naturally, we were out of formation by that time and lost a little altitude, was down and may have feathered the engines. [Sighs]

The flak knocked down about a sixth flaps and they didn’t even look at it. They just stuck the nose down to keep up the air speed, where you could have dropped air speed quite a little and held altitude. But being on a crew that was on their fourth mission and having an acting command [Captain Talma A. Scott, Jr., Command Pilot] that was on his sixth mission, they shouldn’t have been on the position that we were in because the lack of experience allowed us to get hit by flak.

In retrospect, I’m almost certain that the automatic pilot was hooked in and if I had just had been quite so big, fat, dumb, and happy, I’d have reached out there and grabbed that bomb sight and went zoom. We should have turned.

But that’s in retrospect; I didn’t think of it at that time. If I had it, I would have done it. You think that the pilot, after you had dropped the bombs, the pilot and co-pilot are supposed to …..

RS: Disconnect the auto – disconnect the bomb site.

DB: On auto, yeah.

RS: On auto-pilot.

DB: I didn’t even know whether it was hooked up yet or not. Of course, there’s a lot of things you have retrospect, if I had only done this or done that, you know.

RS: So, you are losing altitude, I assume they tried to turn to go home …

DB: Yeah.

RS: …or just looking for a place to set it down.

DB: I asked the navigator [2nd Lieutenant Robert H. Robinson] for a heading and he said, “Just a minute,” and I said, “You don’t have a damn minute! Fly 270 degrees!” So, they did. Pretty soon, he said, “Would you fly at 278 degrees?” So, 8 degrees took us over to Holland, which was alright but we so low then that we were down about five, six thousand feet and they started to shoot at us with .40 mm and it’s getting a little too close for comfort.

The pilot [Captain Talma A. Scott, Jr., Command Pilot], of course, he said before that, “I think we are going to have to bailout,” and I said, “Oh no!” But we did throw guns and ammunition out of the plane. We still had to bail out.

RS: Where did you end up bailing out?

DB: Over Zevenaar, Holland. Back in the ‘90’s when we were back to Holland, I ran across the old farmer that watched all of us bail out.

RS: Really!

DB: About 50, 60 years ago. Yeah.

RS: For you, the war was over. [Laughs]

DB: Parachute come down around the tree and I am pulling and tugging and looked up and finally just unbuckled it and got out, took off running and went under a brush pile. Pretty soon, the German Army came through, about five feet apart, so I got up. “For you, the war is over”. I could never to this day figure out why this guy put that P38 in my back and never pulled the trigger. You think, if he was pushing, you know, he’d [Dale makes a gesture of pulling a gun trigger].

RS: So, where did they take you?

DB: Took me into town on top of the Tiger tank. All the time I am thinking, “Where is the ditch? If a P51 comes over, I am going in the ditch.”

We got to town and we was in a POW temporary in a school yard, it was all fenced up for guys like us.

RS: Did the Wehrmacht or SS interrogate you?

DB: Well, it’s kind of a combination. The SS was watching this prison camp, or this temporary prison camp, quite well.

RS: Right.

DB: They didn’t interrogate us there, per se, because they had to move us to let the professionals do it, I guess.

RS: Uh-hm.

DB: Of course, they got mixed up too, like everybody else, they set us up north to Hamburg, or some place, I think, and it was the wrong place to go. So, we came back the whole way, laid out there on the corral by the little by-way station off the railroad up in northern Germany, watched the Battle of November the 2nd [2 November 1944, Target: Leuna Oil Plant and Refinery and Synthetic Oil Refineries, in Merseburg, Germany] in the air, from the ground.

RS: So where did they end up ….?

DB: They ended up taking you to Frankfurt for interrogation.

RS: But was that Luftwaffe or SS?

DB: Luftwaffe.

RS: Luftwaffe.

DB: Yeah, I am pretty sure that’s all Air Force.

RS: They had pretty good intelligence on the unit as I understand.

DB: Oh yeah, they had a book on the bomb group, opened it up and there is a picture of Colonel Hunter [Colonel Frank P. Hunter, Jr., Group Commanding Officer/Pilot] on the fly leaf inside. Out of curiosity, I started looking up to see where my buddies were and what I could find out in that book.

And McArthur’s crew that blew up on September the 8th of ’44 over ??? [McArthur’s crew went down on 4 August 1944 on a mission to Peenemunde, Wade’s crew went down 8 September 1944 on a mission to Ludwigshafen, Germany. It is unclear which one Dale meant], we assumed that everybody was instantly killed, but one of them lived until the next day, according to that book.

RS: How long did they have you in that interrogation center?

DB: I think it was eleven days in solitary. Kind of a bread and water thing.

RS: Uh-hm.

DB: Finally, my navigator [2nd Lieutenant Robert H. Robinson] got tired of that and told them who I was. I was the only one, I guess, who didn’t.

Anyway, they wanted to know about the bombing through the overcast, a whole bunch of stuff, but name, rank, and serial number is all I give them.

RS: Well, where did they send you once they were done talking to you?

DB: They sent me to Sagan, Germany, Stalag Luft III [Sagan-Silesia Bavaria]. There was a new compound that opened up, up on the hill above town, and that’s the one we were in because I think all the others were full.

RS: And, how long did you spend in Stalag Luft III?

DB: About three months. At the end of January [1945] they moved us; the Russians were coming.

RS: I assume you got moved to Moosberg, is that correct, Stalag Luft VII? You had to walk there, right?

DB: You walked to Spremberg and there they put you on a train. Forty in each boxcar with fifty-four men. You had to figure out how to put fifty-four men in there, mathematically.

RS: Did the – were the accommodations any better or worse?

DB: Well, the accommodations were good. You went to the bathroom when you slid the door open when you were going down the railroad track, whatever you had to do, you did it.

RS: Did they feed you at all during the trip?

DB: No.

RS: How many days was the trip?

DB: About six. You only had the food that you carried with you, a combination of Red Cross parcels and nothing else.

RS: Pretty much survived on Red Cross parcels, right?

DB: Right, and we never got more than half of what we were supposed to get.

RS: Yeah.

DB: It was a good place to lose weight. I lost fifty pounds in six months. At 135 pounds, everything hangs pretty loose on me.

RS: Yeah. How was the accommodations at Moosberg?

DB: Pretty terrible. I think the first week, I think we slept on the ground in tents, wet ground, with enough straw to try to keep out all the water.

RS: Did you manage to keep from getting dysentery?

DB: No, never.

RS: No.

DB: It took about ten days to get over it. And, it took you about twenty minutes to get to a slit trench that wasn’t occupied.

RS: How about lice biting you, and what not. Was it pretty bad?

DB: Oh yeah. Of course, you got a shower every three months, whether you needed it or not. That was pretty gross.

RS: You couldn’t do laundry?

DB: No. All you could do was wash underwear and socks, if you were lucky.

RS: And then General Patton finally liberated the camp?

DB: The 14th Armored come through, Sunday morning. That was pretty good. Patton came in second day, first day, second day. He is head and shoulders above everybody. Old silver hat should have made a good target for somebody. But, he looked at what we was eating, he said, “By tonight, you’ll have white bread,” and I thought, “Yeah, you bet.” By eight o’clock, the trucks rolled in from Nuremberg, from the bakery, white bread.

RS: I understand some of your other friends celebrated by eating a bunch of their ??? cake and got ill.

DB: I don’t recall that.

RS: [Lieutenant] Russ Reed [Pilot, 603rd Squadron] had told me that.

DB: Oh, did he?

RS: Oh yeah, he wasn’t feeling real good but they were happy to be liberated.

DB: Well, some of the guys went out the first day or so and celebrated quite a bit and got to the local brewery that burned down the night before and the basement was full of brew. You mix this, you mix that and wine and all that good stuff together. Well, that’s not very good to drink because then you put MPs on their and then you couldn’t make the Russians understand that you couldn’t drink that stuff because they were there coming with buckets.

Actually, I guess they told me that the MPs shot a couple Russians to get the message through that you didn’t do that. There was a bunch of guys that got sick.

A bunch of guys that went to town come home with a big radio and hooked it up to the electricity, and the lights got dim when they turned it on and pretty soon, here come, I don’t know what band or who was singing it at the time, but they were singing “Don’t Fence Me In”. That was a little odd but just got out of prison camp but it was pretty appropriate.

We had gone out about the third day and gone out to visit a farmer. I was with about four other guys. We was visiting the farmer and we got such a sob story, we had got the guys crying, that I went out to the chicken coop and got a chicken and some eggs [Laughs].

RS: Did you happen to talk to any of the POWs that were taken over to act as interpreters at Dachau [Dachau, Germany concentration camp]?

DB: No, I didn’t realize it at the time, but we weren’t far from Dachau.

RS: No, and from one of the other POWs, Bob Hart [2nd Lieutenant Robert Tan Hart, Co-pilot 600th Squadron] said one of the fellows in his hut said they came in and asked if anybody spoke Hebrew or Yiddish and they took him off and I guess a few days later, he came back and said as bad as things were at Moosberg…

DB: It was nothing.

RS: … it was horrendous and he just couldn’t do it. He wanted to go back to the camp.

DB: Yeah, when we stayed in Dachau at a hotel when we went over on a trip. When I went with a bunch of people, a group from Colorado Springs. They wanted to go to the Beerfest in Munich, but I didn’t choose to go. I went out to Dachau to look that place over. It was pretty bad but I think they had more slats in their beds at Dachau than we did.

RS: Really? That’s a reconstruction; they probably added extras.

DB: Probably was. I am sure it was.

RS: So, about a week after the camp was liberated, you went to France to Camp Lucky Strike [La Havre, France]. Is that correct?

DB: Yeah, yeah.

RS: And how long did you spend at Lucky Strike then?

DB: Well, I stayed there about ten days to two weeks because I got a pass and went to Paris. I had a sister in Paris, in the Paris military, the WAFFs.

RS: Oh.

DB: So, I went to Paris to see her and I got by pretty good. Overstayed my leave, but who cares?

RS: Did the Red Cross manage to inform your parents that you had been captured?

DB: I don’t really remember how that worked. They never knew I was alive until I was shot down 28th October and I think it was mid-November until they even knew I was alive and I don’t recall, but it was quite a gap in informing and it came through the Army, it wasn’t the Red Cross.

RS: Oh, okay. So, when did you end up getting home, then?

DB: I got home in July.

RS: Were you on a troop transport then out of Camp Lucky Strike to go home?

DB: Well, yeah, we went to La Havre and got a liberty ship. Had to climb up the cargo nets on side of it to get on board. Went out to the boat in the ducks, the Army ducks, and came home on a liberty ship.

RS: Where did you land when you got home to the U.S.?

DB: We ended up in Camp Kilburn, New Jersey, I think. Then I got sixty days R and R to go home, got on a train and sat on my suitcase because nobody would give a GI a seat, I guess, but there wasn’t enough seats to ….. So, I got home that night, pretty well. Yeah, it was out to Western Pennsylvania, it was only a sixteen hour trip.

RS: You got home and visited with the family and friends and …?

DB: Yeah, and there was this young girl I met from South Dakota, got on a train and came to Pittsburgh and I met her. Two weeks later, we got married.

RS: Is that Dorothy?

DB: Yeah.

RS: Then, after your leave did you….?

DB: Went to Miami Beach to get some new teeth built. I lost some teeth in Germany. I think one of the worst experiences was a German dentist, pulled a tooth of mine.

RS: Yeah.

DB: I really suffered. I got in the dentist chair at Camp Lucky Strike in France, and I guess I was shaking so much that the chair was rocking. The dentist said, “What’s the matter with you?” and I said, “The last dentist that worked on me was a German.” He said the Novocain he used, he got it out of a swill pail, I think because it took a couple of guys to hold me down when it wore off after he pulled the tooth and he had to go to the British doctor to get me some pain pills to knock me out again.

When I came out of that, it felt like this jaw [Dale points to his lower, right jaw] had pulled the tooth down here [Dale then point to the lower, right jaw close to his chin] felt like this jaw was coming unjointed [He then points to his lower, right jaw, next to his ear]. The pain was excruciating. The guy in Camp Lucky Strike reassured me that they were not going to hurt me that bad and they didn’t. So, it was fortunate.

Then when I went to Miami Beach, I had to get a partial plate because at Camp Lucky Strike I was taking a bite and the tooth right here [Dale point to his upper, front teeth] was abscessed and the pain went clear to the top of your head when you took a bite.

RS: Right. So, they had to pull that one out too, then?

DB: Well, they made the plate; they forgot to put the tooth in it.

RS: Oh.

DB: Then they looked at the record and says, “Oh, we are supposed to pull that tooth,” and yeah, I suppose you are supposed to put it on that plate, too.

So, I had to stay another three days in Miami Beach to get the plate built right. And since that I have had got by with GI teeth and I have got one thing to say about the VA is that they did a good job on my dental work

RS: That’s good. You deserve it.

DB: Well, you know, I thought I was starving so damn bad, but it really wasn’t that horrible, but I said, “I am never going to be hungry again.” [Dale pats his belly and laughs] I haven’t been, you can see that! You and me both.

RS: So, where did you next go?

DB: Oh, I went to work for a little while at my old job with Allegheny Ludlim Steel. I decided this wasn’t for me. I went to a GI school and got to be a tradesman; I was a carpenter for many years.

Then, I got in to, well, I was a pretty good carpenter and I did some work at Rapid City Army Air Base and ran into guys who were working for the Army Corp of Engineers and they said, “We need a guy like you.” About that time I decided that my knees had about had its course. This carpenter work was getting a little bit old for bad knees so I went to work for the government. Worked for them for twenty-eight years.

RS: What were you doing for them, just carpentry?

DB: No, I was doing construction inspection.

RS: Oh, okay.

DB: I was the guy that made the contractor do it right.

RS: Got their money worth out of them.

DB: Tried to. Tried to get what the contract calls for.

RS: Yeah.

DB: That’s all.

RS: And, did you end up retiring after that or what else did you do?

DB: Oh, that’s about all I did. I retired in ’82, twenty-one years ago.

RS: Yeah. Well, is there anything else you can think of, Dale?

DB: Not a great deal.

RS: Okay, well, I appreciate your time.

DB: I wished I had kept a diary all through this, which was you wasn’t supposed to, I guess.

RS: No, you weren’t.

DB: Your dad did but I should have.

RS: My dad did but Dad pitched it into the North Atlantic because they were afraid of taking it through customs along with the pictures he took.

DB: And they never bothered him a bit, I bet.

RS: No, he was just waived through. And, I know a lot of guys, same thing, they just waived them through.

DB: Yeah.

RS: Next reunion, I’ll bring the silk maps, if you like.

DB: You know, Al Turney gave me one.

RS: Oh, okay.

DB: They are pretty good.

RS: I have got three.

DB: You have got three. I think I have only seen one.

RS: I have got three different versions, too.

DB: I bet they are interesting.

RS: I will bring them in next time.

DB: Yeah, do that.

RS: Let me turn this off.

The interview ends at this point.


See also:
  1. Magnan's Crew - 603rd Squadron - late 1943
  2. Magnan's Crew - 603rd Squadron - 15 August 1944
  3. Return to 398th Timeless Voices Interviews to view and listen to the interview.


  1. Lt. Dale Brown was the Bombardier on Mark Magnan's 603rd Squadron crew , but also flew some missions with Ken Hastings.
  2. The above transcription was provided by Jan Silverstein, one of our 398th volunteers in May 2011.
  3. The transcription was obtained from a video file.
  4. Punctuation, grammar and minor word changes may have been made to improve readability.
  5. Additional information may be shown in brackets [ ].