John Curran notes before the mission of August 17, 1944.
August 16th, 1944. This date was a no mission date for Westby’s crew, and we planned a great day of just goofing off, but that ended when we were ordered to check out one of the planes that was having a problem with the electrical system. As I recall, it was to be a high altitude check. We took off that day and climbed to approximately 22,000 feet and leveled off. As bombardier, I went forward and set up the bomb sight, the panel, and any other electrical equipment. Using the portable oxygen bottle, I crawled forward to the nose and connected myself to the main oxygen system, only I failed to make a solid connection, and the next thing I knew the plane was in a long glide, and we were about 5,000 feet. It seems the copilot Charley Brotherton saw me weaving around the navigator's dome and knew something was wrong and got to me and clamped the emergency oxygen bottle on me and dragged me through to the flight deck. When we landed, the Doc was waiting for us (where can I find Doc's name and address?). He examined me and sent me to the hospital at Bari for that night and the next day. Aug. 17th 1944, Westby's crew and Old 83 went down over Ploesti. Later found out only copilot, eng. and top-gunner were saved.