McCrory standing in the doorway leading
to the hole where he slept for three months
as he waited in Rome for the Allies to move
through. On June 5, 1944, he was freed.
mission was to knock out a railroad bridge near the
little town of Orte, Italy, about eighty miles north
of Rome, on January 16, 1944.
the Lead Aircraft we had eight crew members aboard:
I was Flight Commander; pilot was 1st Lt. Joseph A.
Green; co-pilot, 1st Lt. John B. Stewart; navigator,
2nd Lt. L.W. McDaniel, Jr.; bombardier, 1st Lt. James
Banaiki; flight engineer, S/Sgt. H.W. DeLisle; radio
operator, S/Sgt. William J. Gardner; and, gunner, S/Sgt.
William A. Harrison.
were at 9,000 feet, had the target in sight, and were
level on the bomb run when we were hit by a burst of
flak. The right engine was knocked out, a fuel tank
ruptured, and we caught fire. No question If we should
jump, the problem was how quickly could we all get out!
bailed out the hatch and as I came down I counted only
six other parachutes before the aircraft exploded in
mid-air. I assumed that the pilot Lt. Green didn't get
I landed I hid for a while, trying to compose myself
and get it all together. I realized that I had to have
help so I approached an old man that I'd spotted beating
the bushes looking for us. To my surprise he spoke perfect
English and seemed to be friendly. As I talked with
him, Sgt. Gardner and Sgt. DeLisle walked up and joined
old man hid us and after dark guided us to a cave up
in the mountains. We were to live in that cave for about
two months. The Italians brought us food and drink.
They were careful not to spend much time with us because
if they were caught the Germans would probably kill
them. They were wonderful people and took many chances
to help us. (Continued)