Theodore Drazkowski, diary part 1

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I was not assigned to any Squadron, and flew three missions with three different Pilots - we had just gotten overseas. My first one was with a Lt. Gillespie - a night job to Naples on 12/24/42. My second mission was bombing a Jerry air base on 1/2/43 on the Island of Crete.

The last mission was to Naples 1/10/43 (the one when we were shot down).

I went overseas October 1942. My first air base was Lydda near Tel Aviv. Yes, I guess freezing was the whole problem. I thought it was sand from the desert until I read the reports Jim Walker sent me. No one was shooting from our plane. I was working with the receiver in the Tail Turret. I could pull it back but it wouldn't release. I was working trying to get my receiver going.

You remember those plexiglass windows in back? They were about 3 1/2" thick I think. I looked up and there was a hole dead center in it. The bullet didn't have enough power to go through. The next time I looked, it wasn't even there - it had fallen out. That's when the waist gunner opened up the back door and tapped me on the shoulder and motioned me to come out. I didn't know what was going on forward.

There wasn't any intercom - no nothing. All I could see was that Jerry off to my left and below. I could have hit him with a shotgun. Nothing would fire - nothing would work. That's when I climbed out and the waist gunner motioned to the bomb bay - so I opened the door and boy, did I slam it in a hurry. There was nothing but fire in there. We were carrying a spare gas tank in the bomb bay and that must have gotten a direct hit.

There were two of us in the back - only one waist gunner, Bob Krager from Omaha, NB. Bob and I bailed out - we both survived and he spent time in prison camp with me at Camp 59P - Provincia de Ancona in Northern Italy. In Walkers note to me he said other planes reported some object flying in the air - they didn't know if they were parts of an airplane or guys bailing out.

376 ARCHIVES

At the 2017 reunion, the board approved the donation of our archives to the Briscoe Center for American History, located on the University of Texas - Austin campus.

Click here to go to their main website.

Also, the board approved a $5,000 donation to add to Ed Clendenin's $20,000 donation in the memory of his father. Together, these funds begin an endowment for the preservation of the 376 archives.

2018 REUNION

DATES :  TBD

CITY : Dayton, Ohio

HOTEL: TBD

2018 reunion details


previous reunions

For Sale

The Other Doolittle Raid


The Liberandos


Three Crawford Brothers


Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior


376th Bomb Group Mission History


The Last Liberator


Full Circle


Shadows of Wings


Ten Men, A "Flying Boxcar," and A War


I Survived Ploesti


A Measure of Life


Shot Down In Yugoslavia


Stories of My Life


Attack


Born in Battle