William Giambrone

William Giambrone was the radio operator on the James Sparta crew.

William and the crew were shot down on July 3, 1944.  This is his account:

We were near the target, when it happened. All of a sudden 5 or 6 fighters came at us from about 12:00 out of the sun. It all happened so fast, we really didn't have any time to react. I had just left the Radio Compartment for the waist. They shot us up real quick and #4 was smoking badly. All of a sudden the plane was in a dive. I don't have any idea what happened up front. I grabbed my chute and crawled up the floor pulling myself to the hatch. Morgan had just opened it so he could take pictures at the target and hadn't even had time to mount the camera in place. I got to the hatch and started to pull myself out when all of a sudden I was sucked out and it was real quiet. I finished hooking my parachute and pulled the ripcord. I didn't know if anyone else was out until I hit the ground. I was captured immediately. George Morrison was there and he had broken his ankle. Morgan was OK. They took me over to the crash site awhile later. The plane didn't burn when it hit. The others were all laid out in a row and I really couldn't look. I didn't have any shoes on so I did take someone's though I'm not sure who, as I couldn't recognize them. I figured he wouldn't mind, as I needed them. It was tough to figure these were my buddies only a little while before. Anyway, they took us away to PW camp from there. They were a great bunch of guys and we all got along pretty well together.