Therman D. Brown mission December 19, 1942

I remember a daylight mission we flew on December 19, 1942. The target was to be Sousse, Tunisia. Again we were turned back because the weather in route became too bad to penetrate in formation. I was leading a three plane element of a nine plane group. Most of the flight was over the Mediterranean. Somewhere north of Libya, in the Gulf of Sidra, we spotted a ship below. It had to be an enemy ship for these were enemy waters.

I couldn't understand why the group leader didn't call for a bombing run on it. Maybe he had not seen it. We were at perhaps 10,000 feet. I peeled our element off and we went down for a better look. It looked like a burned out hull of a cargo ship. It wasn't moving. It didn't shoot at us. I decided we would bomb it anyway. This could be a well camouflaged ship.

I told the bombardier, Lt. Earl Matheny, that we would bomb from four thousand feet and we made our run broadside the ship. Our sticks of bombs should have straddled the ship but our pictures showed they only started at the ship without the direct hit we wanted. The first bomb was close enough to blow in the side of any commercial ship. We couldn't stick around long enough to see lf it sank. I think we just took out a navigation hazard from the enemy's shipping lanes. Who knows, maybe we did destroy some real enemy shipping. No one put me in for a medal for this effort. Maj. Paul Davis, the group leader, said he didn't appreciate my breaking away from his formation. Nevertheless, I thought it was fun.