Charles Andrews the mission of Aug 22, 1944

Charles Andrews notes on the mission of August 22, 1944.

Back on August 22, 1944, I was badly shot up on a mission around Vienna. I had lost both engines on the left side of the ship, and brakes, hydraulic power, as well as oxygen, and some other things. but it was really rough to fly it in a straight line, but had to be flown with the right wing raised quite a bit, and it hard for my co-pilot Lindley R Zimmerman and I to keep It going straight,. I was determined that I would try to bring it back to our base, but just couldn't keep up any altitude, and kept dropping. I had been briefed about the emergency strip on the island of Vis, off the coast of Yugoslavia, and the city of Split. I had made the decision then, that I would be taking a big chance of having to ditch in the Adriatic sea, and asked each of my crew what they wanted to do. All of them said it was up to me, I offered to let them bail out over Yugoslavia.

So when I turned in to land at the island, I was committed to land. I had no other choice, as I couldn't go around again, or turn back. When I was close enough to see the strip, I could see a B-24 stopped on the end of the runway. I later learned that he had a blown tire. This factor was very important, as it shortened the original 3300' to much less. Not good. Just as we were coming over the hill before the runway, a Italian transport plane pulled out on the runway. He never bothered to look up and see if anyone was coming.

At that moment, I knew that we would have to crash, as there would be no other way to stop the airplane, which weighed about 25 tons now, and we were going about 130 miles an hour, as I didn't want to stall out. I planned to try and break the nose wheel so that it would slow us up, but the left gear (wheel) hit an irrigation ditch, and threw our plane head first, over on it's back.

I won't go into any more details, but that it took them some time to get us out of the wreckage. Eventually three of my crewmen were killed, and the rest survived I have thought of those three men almost every day of my life.

376 ARCHIVES

At the 2017 reunion, the board approved the donation of our archives to the Briscoe Center for American History, located on the University of Texas - Austin campus.

Click here to go to their main website.

Also, the board approved a $5,000 donation to add to Ed Clendenin's $20,000 donation in the memory of his father. Together, these funds begin an endowment for the preservation of the 376 archives.

2018 REUNION

DATES :  TBD

CITY : Dayton, Ohio

HOTEL: TBD

2018 reunion details


previous reunions

For Sale

The Other Doolittle Raid


The Liberandos


Three Crawford Brothers


Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior


376th Bomb Group Mission History


The Last Liberator


Full Circle


Shadows of Wings


Ten Men, A "Flying Boxcar," and A War


I Survived Ploesti


A Measure of Life


Shot Down In Yugoslavia


Stories of My Life


Attack


Born in Battle