Wilfred Barton, Mission December 25, 1944

Wilfred Barton notes on the Mission on Dec 25, 1944.  Click here to read his detailed account.  The following is his "short" version.

We qualified for it 12-25-44. After the usual early morning call, briefing, breakfast, and checking an “Old B-24 with a big 63 on its side, we got underway and were soon out over the Adriatic heading north and gaining altitude. Part way up, we saw a group of B-17's ahead on their way to Brux (15th A.F. Story) and soon left them behind. We came in over the Udine area of northern Italy and were on our way toward the Snow Covered Alps of northern Italy and then Austria in route to our destination, the Hall Main Marshalling Yards near Innsbruck.

We had encountered moderate to heavy flak, but at the target area, our luck ran out. From my position in the top turret, I could see #1 engine had been feathered and a prop missing, shortly #2 was shut down, and we went into a flat spin. The left horizontal stabilizer was also badly damaged. My interphone was out, but the copilot slapped my leg as he headed for the open bomb bay; I followed as quickly as possible with only the pilot, Don Williams, still at the controls. He didn't stay long because Old 63 exploded before I was able (with some delay) to get my chute open. We all survived with few injuries to become P.O.W.'s.