Kenneth S. Briggs, mission on Nov. 22, 1944

Kenneth S. Briggs, mission on November 22, 1944.

Our 33rd mission to Ferrara R. R. bridge was about as tough as a crew could endure and still have all aboard survive. By this time the Germans were in way over their heads with Russian closing in from the east and the Allies on two fronts in France and beyond in that area and General Clark and the American and British troops slowly backing the Germans out of Italy from the south. It was vitally necessary that they kept the railroad lines open for supplies and so they had doubled or more the anti-aircraft guns along R. R. bridges and lines. Flak was getting more plentiful and much more accurate.

This was our second mission to Ferrara since Bob James became our pilot and we had never seen such a concentration of fire-power as what we encountered on November 22, 1944. We had noticed on pieces of flak that we'd find in the plane after an attack that instead of having a scored shell that would break into pieces upon explosion small bits and pieces of scrap metal. The fire over the bridge scored two direct hits on our engines and I saw more red flashes than I'd seen before anywhere...meaning they were exploding right up against us and very accurately. In another section of this article, under McNeal's letter you will read about the piece of flak that had our plane number on it. Please find Col. Paul B. George's order dated Nov. 25, '44. Just 3 days after this very difficult mission, I was offered promotion to Capt. if I'd stay on as Special Services Officer but I declined that 2nd bar. Find medical boards, flight surgeon's, and shipment home orders among the stuff included in this poorly written article.

On our 11/22/44 mission we landed on a sandy strip of beach with all motors gone.