Maurice Johnson, mission May 29, 1944

1. May 29, 1944 - First Mission

Wallersdorf Air Field - Wiener Neustadt, Austria. The new aircraft that I took overseas was shot down on this our first mission. Lt. Whaley in command, Lt. Carnige in 2nd aircraft also shot down. My aircraft was severely damaged and #2 engine set on fire. Large chuck of flak narrowly missed my left leg over target. Ammunition in waist hit and exploded with fire. Several fuel cells shot out. Elevator trim tabs, radios, 4 of seven strands of main elevator cables severed, all four propellers ran away. Put engine fire out and fell out of formation, could not transfer fuel.  Number two engine would catch on fire and we would put it out. This continued until we finally flew back to Foggia #7 airfield where we landed severely damaged and on fire. Lt. Hintenak in another B-24 escorted us to Foggia, picked us up and returned to our base. Aircraft was finally repaired and returned to base. Crew fixed 44 items. such as radios, fuel cells, control and trim cables, inboard wing section, left wing flap, left landing gear, #2 engine nacelle, auto pilot servos, patched many flak holes in waist, and fire damage in waist, etc. This aircraft was later shot down over Bor Yugoslavia enroute to Giurgiu, Romaina. - Double Credit Mission.

NOTE #1:

Prior to landing #2 engine caught fire again and we could not put it out. It would eventually burn the wing off if we could not get the aircraft down. We made a high approach to the runway so crew could bail out if the aircraft became uncontrollable. As a result we overshot the runway. We then made a 360 degree tum to land on the other end. At this time we were told that a P-38 on fire was approaching the runway from the opposite direction and we were ordered to go around and let him land. I told the tower that we were burning too bad and I was going to land, and to tell the P-38 to go around.

A colonel came on the radio and gave me a direct order to go around and let the P-38 land. I told him that I was more afraid of my airplane than I was of him and proceeded to land. The P-38 flew over us and landed, burning, on one end of the runway, and we were burning on the other end. Lt. Hintenak landed, picked us up and took off over the burning P-38 before the irate colonel could get to us. We then buzzed the runway over the burning aircraft and proceeded to our base. I made a full report of the incident to my commander and he said "don't worry about it, you got your crew back OK.'" I never heard any more about the incident.

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.

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.

Donate directly to the 376 Endowment

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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