B-26 Marauder 320th Bomb Group

 

Memories of My Time With the 320th B.G. During WW II
by Donald Wilson Round, 444th Bomb Squadron

 

Home 
Editor's Message 
History 
Missions 
Photo Archive 
Film Clips 
Stories 
320th Aircraft 
Reunion Assoc. 
Memorials 
POWs 
Books/Art 
Bulletin Board 
Roster 
Remembrances 
Memorabilia 
Links 
Search 
Contact me 

  

Lucky

 

One might think if you have read my tour of duty that I had an easy time, but I would say that I was very lucky. I did have an easy time during my tour of duty. My training was very easy for me, it was an interesting trip through South America and Africa and we had no troubles. When I arrived at the base in Sardinia and joined the 444th Squadron it turned out to be a very friendly squadron. All the officers at the 444th squadron headquarters had been in North Africa where things were very bad at times so they had lot of experience. Some of the pilots had built an Officer's Club so they were always trying to make life more pleasant if they could. One would never know that they were in the Air Force except for flying duties. I never got cold and had plenty to eat and after we built our house we had a very nice living.

I was able to fly. I told the flight commander I would fly first pilot or co-pilot because I wanted to get my missions in. Several times I flew 7 missions in seven days so the missions started to add up. In 10 months, I flew 64 missions. I was the first one in the squadron to go home after the Air Force set the limit of missions at sixty-four.

 
 

One of the better known WW II photos shows B-26 Zero Six of the 441st squadron flown by pilots Wigington & Wiggington just before it goes out of control after suffering a direct hit during the 10 July 1944 mission to Marzabotta, Italy. There were no survivors. The credit for this unusual photo is lost to history.

On many missions the flak was very accurate and the gunners spent a lot time shooting at enemy fighters. The flak made many holes in the airplane. One mission while we were flying over the Island of Elba one bullet hit the dash board of the airplane and another bullet made a hole in a self sealing wing tank. If the bullet had been a tracer bullet it might have blown the wing off. Once I watched the crew of an airplane jump out of their airplane into the ocean where the water was so cold you would be lucky to live for five minutes. Another time I watched two airplanes: one was shot up heading for home and in the other airplane, we could see some of the crew moving around, so we tried to make radio contract, but failed. The airplane just blew up. I was on a lot of dangerous missions. I sometimes think I was too young and too dumb to worry about them. I have a picture of a B-26 with one wing gone. It fell under a B-26 that happened to have a camera that was taking pictures of something on the ground.

I flew one mission to Anzio, Italy on the first day of the invasion. About 20 miles over the ocean we could see a fighter airplane coming out to meet us, head on. A very short distance from us it turned to the left. It was a German fighter, it didn't fire at us and no one in our 36-ship formation fired at it, later no one ever mentioned it.

All I can say is that a lot of my friends are dead from doing their duty.Sometimes one is in the right place and survives while others are not so lucky.


Articles Index Page


Copyright(c) 2003 320th History Preservation. All rights reserved.

 

affordable hostingBest Website Builder