Vergil H. Bates, Mission February 5, 1945

Vergil Bates of the 513th tells the story of how his engineer, Henry Pace saved his life and maybe the whole crew on a mission to Salzburg in early 1945.

"I was co-pilot on our crew," Vergil began, "and was flying the plane as our pilot had a double hernia that he was keeping secret. But he couldn't do his job. Anyway, it was a rough day, we were up over 25,000 feet, the controls were mushy and we were ducking in and out of clouds when I suddenly realized my oxygen tube had come loose and I was passing out. I hollered for Henry."

Pace takes up the story: "I was in the bomb bay when I heard Verg yelling for help. By the time I got to the cockpit, he was about out. I reached down almost to his ankles, grabbed his tube, stuck it back into his mask and turned on pure oxygen."

Vergil: "That brought me around, but I tell you, if Henry hadn't been as tall as he is, or had those long arms, he wouldn't have been able to reach that tube and maybe we all would have gone down,"


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.

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.

Donate directly to the 376 Endowment

To read about other endowment donation options, click here.

2019 River Cruise


DATES : Sep 13-16

CITY : Dayton, Ohio

HOTEL: Crowne Plaza

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


Born in Battle