Thurs. 7/23 & Fri. 7/24 HOME BASE Lydda, Palestine
TARGET Benghazi, Libya
COMBAT FLYING HRS. (this mission) 10:40 total tour 106:10
BRIEFING 1230 TAKE OFF 0745 LANDING 0910 (Fayid)
TAKE OFF 1525 LANDING 0040 (Lydda 7/24)
CREW Capt. Sibert (crew #9 HALPRO-B Flight) PLANE NO. 17 BOMB LOAD 9-500 lb. TARGET TIME 2030 BOMBING ALT. 26000'
NO. OF PLANES 9 of our B-24's
BOMBING RESULTS #}"engine began cutting out as we approached the target area ... we left the formation and bombed alone ... Group history shows hits observed on the docks, starting fires.
ENEMY ACTION No notation was made in diary … with engine problem, we were intent on getting out of there after the bomb run ... (Group history shows heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire).
OTHER REMARKS My first mission as volunteer with another crew ... assigned to waist gun position over target … about 2 hours from home, all 4 engines began cutting out ... kept them operating by switching back and forth from wing to bomb bay tanks ... we really "sweated" the landing at Lydda. There was no going around ... Capt. Sibert requested clearance to come straight in ... A check, later, showed about 2 inches of gas in the bomb bay tank.
The crew in #20, "Mona - the Lame Duck", was not as fortunate. Their right main landing gear would not extend. Finally, they set the plane on auto pilot ... and bailed out. T/Sgt. Wrigley's chute caught on the plane .... he died of a broken neck. Sgt. Lalonde suffered a broken leg ... the others landed safely.