Robert N. McLean, Jr. Mission on June 26, 1944

June 26, 1944 – Monday

“Flak should be seen and not heard”

Mission #16,17 – target – Schwechat Air Drome and aircraft plant 3 miles south east of Vienna in Austria.  Takeoff 0530 landing 1340 (0810) total combat hours (8340) Load 5000 lbs (500 lb incendiary clusters – each containing 120 bombs to a cluster.  Remarks

1)     Target effectively bombed and completely destroyed

2)     15th Air Force was out in full strength, attacking targets all around the Vienna area

3)     Flak was very heavy and extremely accurate

4)     We received three terrific flak bursts directly under the ship

5)     One piece of flak 2 inches long cut through the right side of the fuselage in back of the nose and hit the nose wheel guard and nose wheel, then bounced off the nose wheel and after bouncing around it settled on the nose wheel door.  This noisey demonstration was very disconcerting to the bombardier (3 feet behind)

6)     Another flak impact just back of the left side of the nose glanced off (also 3 feet behind the bombardier)

7)     No fighters encountered

8)     This mission ranks second (behind Wiener-Neustadt) as a rough trip

9)     Four planes shot down in our group, but none from our squadron

10)  Chutes all over the sky

11)  Enroute back home, with our co-pilot at the controls, we bumped the rudder of the lead ship with our wing tip – no damage

12)  No casualties

13)  Statistics – total bomb tonnage – 54000 lbs (27 tons)