Donald Macrae mission April 6, 1943

April 6 - Woke feeling a bit tired but more relaxed. Good weather. Briefed for a mission at 11:00 am.  Going into the mess line when two of the lads on Hinson’s crew called me aside.  One of them was feeling ill or nervous and wanted to get off the mission.  He had had a bad time last mission and was worrying over his buddies in Hatton's ship that haven't been located.  Got hold of the flight surgeon and had him grounded OK.  He wasn't a coward but was worried that they would think he was.  Took off at 2:00 pm.  Had a pretty good ride to the target, climbed to 24,000 ft.  Good view of Italy and Sicily from the air.  24 ship formation.  Dick and I each flew.  Headed over the target (the ferry terminal at Messina) to the north.  The anti aircraft fire was fairly intense and accurate.  It was all around us could see it bursting to the side and in front and before and above.  Cou1d feel it hit.  A puff and the sound of metallic rain as it hit.  Made our bomb run and our element get a good hit. Turned right off the target, headed away out over the straits.  The man in the rear reported one of the gunners hit and unconscious.  We had to leave formation and as there were pursuit around us we had to head for the south for safety. Pointed the nose down and full power - 270 mph and 3,000 ft per minute down. 260 mph and 2500 ft per minute.  We were not fo1lowed and the man recovered consciousness.  Headed for the island of Malta.  Got there in short time - the British had an ambu1ance waiting.  Dick Hurd, pi1ot, went with the injured engineer and we took care of the routine.  Were fed and briefed and spent the night at Malta.  Met more Canadians at Malta. One fellow had lived in and ran a radio shop there. Knew my cousin Bill there. The engineer had been hit in the left arm just above the elbow by some shrapnel and lost a lot of blood.  We had to leave him at Malta.  Got to bed around 11:00 pm.