Howard Conlee, Mission Jul 8, 1943

Mission #28 Time 6:45 Sicily has been invaded and the allies are making good headway. We bombed Catania as one of the preliminaries to the invasion. The ack-ack over the target wasn't heavy but as we were leaving the coast our formation was attacked by about 12 MEI09's and we really had some fireworks for awhile. The ship flying next to us on our right (#99) was badly hit by the fighters and caught on fire and blew up. It was a sight I wouldn't care to witness again. Some of the crew were able to bale out and the rest of them were blown up with the ship. I was riding the top turret of #84 and watched as much of it as I could between attacks. #92 was also badly hit but managed to limp into Malta - with one man dead and three injured. The results of the bombing were good.