Joseph J. Bitzer, Mission February 27, 1945

On the 27th, get up a bit earlier, you're going to Salzburg marshalling yards up in Austria, which will prove to be an eight-hour trip, deeper into enemy territory with the chance of more fighters and more flak. The fighters we encountered were more pesky than anything, never a real concentrated effort by large numbers of fighters. The reason for this is that our bombing, that is, the 8th Air Force out of England and the 15th from Italy, did a lot of damage to production plants and railroad yards and bridges - plus our fighters shot down many Axis planes. So they had to use what planes they had where they thought they would do the most damage to us. Flak, however, was something else. As the enemy was driven back by our ground forces, along with being hit by our Air Forces, they took with them as many weapons as possible. So the concentration of the 88mm and other guns gave them more firepower from the ground with each passing day.

We got a few holes now and then, some planes really got hit, some shot down, others struggled back as far as they could go, and we just thanked God that we didn't get it. A word about enemy- fighters, if they did not have the numbers, they did not stray too close. Think of a few hundred B24’s flying towards one target, each plane with 10 50-caliber machine guns, and gunners with one thought, "I gotta get him before he gets me". How close would YOU come?

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.

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.

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