That night I learned I was to fly my first mission next day with an experienced co-pilot - Lt. Williams. A swell fellow. I was to fly Paterick's left wing. He was flying Flame McGoon a famous ship with 75 missions without a turn back.
The squadron was trying to establish a record of 100. This was its 76th mission. About 45 min. before target time we flew over a flak area and they really threw it up accurately. Our element was perfectly bracketed - the bursts hit directly ahead and to the sides of us. One of the early bursts hit Flame directly in the bomb bay and she blew up and headed right for us. It was just lucky he didn't run in to us. Those who saw it said they didn't know how he missed us.