B-26 Marauder 320th Bomb Group


Bombing the Breisach Bridge
by Ben West, 443rd Bomb Squadron


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Bridge is Not Destroyed, But Courage Abounds


The main bombing force later also came under heavy flak, but not as much as they would have, thanks to our advanced decoy actions. The coveted “Silver Star” was awarded to the main formation leader for his gallantry in holding his crippled marauder on course over the target. Their bombs did not take out the target, but damaged the bridge approaches temporarily impeding its use. The Germans would latter destroy the bridge after its retreating army had crossed over the Rhine.

Distinguished Flying Cross Medal awards were given to the other decoy formation leaders. I had previously been awarded the DFC. Besides I was at the moment not as popular with General Doyle. Could it have been something to due with the time the General was visiting our Countess in her chateau when his command car was swiped and wrecked by someone in my squadron? Or perhaps he mistook my concern in seeking replacements for those with high missions?

My father was a great bird hunter. I was also raised with a shotgun. How I used to love hunting doves. After the war I tried this so called sport once again. It had lost its thrill. I sold my guns. It wasn’t right any longer. I knew what the birds were experiencing.

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