Went on another raid to Benghazi. But if the raid at 80 ships materialized, I failed to see the damage they wrought. Of course I saw many flashes of exploding bombs, but certainly no results of incendiary or any catastrophic blow up of hundreds of thousands of lbs of bombs.
Left about 10:30 p.m. and bombed about 2:30 a.m.
On the way up, we had some queer bright lights to worry over - and all in British territory. It turned out to be the Germans raiding all the English advance posts. While passing the Jerry raiders, saw one ship explode in midair. It was an odd sight and was over with in a flash. Had little or no meaning to me. 'Twas much like the children‘s idea of the wolf eating the Grandmother in Little Red Riding Hood - she just wasn’t there any more. It didn't connote a terrific blast in which men were mangled and blown to bits. burned, flaming bits of wreckage hurling to the earth to insure complete destruction.
No, it didn't mean that to me; it simply was a large - rather pretty, spectacle of fire-works and then there was one Jerry less, We continued to our target without incident; if we had been aware of Jerry some 20 miles to our right, we might have simulated a night-fighter.
On reaching our target, the important part of Benghazi, we encountered a gorgeous display of Ak-Ak - it was far superior to even an elaborate 4th of July Celebration.
The sky opened up with a trillion myriads of red streaks of tracers - looked like the year of the red snow or hail _ interspersed among these smaller streaks were the larger, whiter flashes of larger Ak-Ak guns. These large explosions were higher and not nearly as colorful as the other sights. Then way down (20,000') on the ground, the reports of the guns were brilliantly visible along with the flashes of our explosive demolition bombs; All of this was superimposed on the coastline of West Africa. The moon was out in all its silver glory. At the rather low angle it had taken by this time, the Blue Mediterranean was a crystal silver. A few scattered clouds cast rather furtive shadows all about, and left a delicate touch of fine lacework to the pattern. The relative quietude called for thoughts of romance, beauty and peace, rather than gaping crates, flying pieces of shrapnel reaching out to tear and break flesh and bone, or the cursing hate each side tries to hold for the other.
It wasn't till I opened the bomb~bay doors and heard the near-miss of Jerry's ak-ak, that the realizition of danger and the bloody work we were engaged in was right here nearly in the cockpit with us. We returned to Fayid and landed about 6:30 a.m. We were quite lucky! Even tough Jerry had our range and altitude quite accurately, we didn't get nicked. All Liberators and B24s returned safe.