I was Bombardier in the B-24 crew commanded by Bob Pudelwitts. We were transferred from the 514th Bomb Squadron after the loss of the 512th aircraft and fliers about December 1943. Early in the morning of 17 Feb 1944, we were told there would be no combat that day. Many of the officers went into the 'town. But after the middle of the morning, we were called in for bombing Anzio ridge. We went to get the data and were ready to take-off just after noon. Our crew co-pilot, Lt. Jjm Foster. was in the city. Ours went to the city. Then Lt. Col. Gillett volunteered as co-pilot and we took off. I noticed the B-24 we flew the load of 500 pound bombs.
We flew North, climbed and used the masks. When we arrived north of Anzio. we had to drop lower. I had to drop the load using the sight. As we flew South. we were fired at by the German artillery. And as we went down the run going South. the firing was bad. I was using the Nordon. We received a shot just in front and below the No.3 engine. The flak came through to hit my right lower leg. I was on the Nordon. In a few seconds I dropped and called for the medical kit. In a second later, aft Gunner looked into the bomb rack aft and called a bomb was hit forward and hanging. I grabbed the intercom and said to leave it alone and I would go to the trouble. As I opened the bomb doors I picked up a .50 caliber round and went onto the bomb rack. Enclosed herewith is a copy of my the award to of the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
After the bomb dropped, I went up to patch my leg. Our aircraft went to Naples and spent the night there fixing the fuel problem. I went into the local hospital to get my leg fixed.
The following day. we took-off for our base.
Several weeks later. as I was standing at the bar. a courier pilot came in and from one end, he slid the Silver Star down to me. I still have it. And my Purple Heart is with me too.
Again. enclosed herewith is my B-24 bomber crew. All but two are still alive as I can locate.