Richard Fellows, Mission July 20, 1944

This was the 7/20/44 mission on Friedrichshafen/Lowenthal A/O, on the shores of Lake Constance ~ bordering Switzerland. We had been running an inordinate number of maintenance aborts without finding their maintenance problems. At the 0500 briefing, I had used some strong language about this matter which “by God, is going to have to stop". The group lead-aircraft, #96 of the 512th Sq. (Garrison Wood, pilot, Fellows, copilot and Air Commander), takes off at 0645. We had hardly raised wheels when #4 engine started showing bad readings, or did it? We’re climbing on course now and trying an assortment of cowl setting and power and prop adjustments. At 0830, we ditch half our bombs. #4’s temp keeps climbing and pressure keeps dropping. There’s no question but that we will have to chop #4 - the only question is when? If it is before we get over the Alps, we have one problem; we probably won't be able to. If we chuck the rest of our bombs, we can’t keep the lead: bombing orders today are to “drop on leaders". Then too, if we do get to the target on three engines and have more engine trouble, we may have to consider Swiss residency. Garrison and I had already decided that there would be no damned abort that day and treated that engine as tenderly and as long as we could, and that good old Pratt and Whitney (although we finally had to chop it) got us to the bomb run. There is a moral to this story somewhere. I think it has to do with watching your tongue and don’t take the Big Man’s name in vain.