Joseph A. Louzao Mission August 15, 1944

Memories of those days play in the cobwebs of my mind. It is the only source of information I have, not being one to seriously document those historic events of our times, regretfully so. Names and numbers are lost to me now, but as a radio operator, I remember one aircraft calling "A/C #XXXXX Your bombay is on fire", and then the coolest "---Roger----" I have ever heard, followed by an explosive silence, and my eyes searched for the trail of death. Even now the tragedy ever repeats.

----The early morning of August 15, 1944----

This was a long expected event, and now was that moment of action: the invasion of southern France. The mission itself was uneventful, but take off had brought disaster to one of our crews. We were on the left half of runway, second on take off position. The plane on right had started its run, and we were ready, and then the ltalian skies ignited with the reflection of one massive explosion ... planes came to sudden struggling stops and crews evacuated the aircraft for shelter. I can't remember the time span, but soon we were in flight, and my thoughts were heavy on those lost friends. These were not the great reflections of my combat tour, but to me, they were most impressive. A cool "----ROGER----", a tragic light in the night, and twenty young men reaching for the hand of ---GOD---.

Editor's note - The takeoff explosion was the Rimerman plane.

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

To read about other endowment donation options, click here.

2019 River Cruise

2018 REUNION

DATES : Sep 13-16

CITY : Dayton, Ohio

HOTEL: Crowne Plaza

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