Theodore Drazkowski, mission January 11, 1943

As for our 1/11/43 mission over Naples - I would like to begin with the absolute silence over the inter-com during and prior to our bomb run. Either the system was B.D. or it was shot out.

Upon seeing E.A. coming up to greet us I attempted to fire my twin 50's to warm them up. They wouldn't fire so I spent the rest of the time trying to operate them manually. They were jammed and I assumed full of sand.

I looked out of my plexi-glass window and on my left at about 5 o'clock sat this jerry ME109 just keeping pace with us. I swung my guns on him. and he must have spotted this movement because ha banked to his left and went underneath us. I had attempted to fire but to no avail. Then all hell broke loose. A 20mm hit my plexi-glass window (3 3/4" thick) dead center and it was smashed. I could not see anymore. That shell sure had my name on it.

Soon there was pounding on my turret door - I opened it and Bob Krager motioned for me to come out which I did. The plane was staggering badly by now and it was difficult to stand up or walk. Bob kept pointing to the bomb bay so I opened it up and a huge mass of flames shot out singeing Bob and I. I slammed the door shut and pointed to the rear escape hatch. I checked my chute straps - opened the door and bailed out. Bob followed. On the way down the jerry pilot flew by me and for what I could make out, saluted me. I saluted back.

On landing in a mountainous region I instantly was surrounded by soldiers, police and peasants with guns, pitch forks and clubs jabbering away in Italian which of course I couldn't understand.

I was taken to a small town and thrown into a single cell jail. That night they brought Bob Krager in and we slept the night on a concrete floor full of human feces and urine - god we stunk!

The next morning they brought in a body for us to see and verify - it was Lt. Angel. The back of his head was all bashed in, from what, I can't say.

We were then transported to another town and boarded a train to a monastery near Rome. (This monastery was nothing but an interrogation center). After a couple of days we were moved to prison camp #59 Provincia Di Ancona near Servigliano where we spent 10 months.