Joseph J. Bitzer, Mission February 23, 1945

From Part I

On Feb. 23, 1945, Joe Bitzer flew his first mission to Verona-Porto Nuova Trackage, as a co-pilot with another crew - to get accustomed-to enemy fighters and flak before taking his own crew on a mission.

From Part II

So I told the crew to wait for me while I took a seven-hour ride to drop bombs on the Porto Nuova rail yards at Verona in Northern Italy. There is no way to describe the feeling when one looks out the window and sees what appears to be ink bottles exploding at your altitude. This is flak - metal flying through the air trying to keep you from doing what you’re doing. You pray - someone said "There are no atheists in foxholes". I guarantee you, when the going gets tough, EVERYONE prays.


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