Charles B. Morris

Charles B. Morris was a pilot. His crew was with the 513 squadron.

Charles wrote that he and his crew flew the "actual" last mission of the 376, not the one shown in the Liberandos.  This is what he wrote:

"That mission has been a source of pride for me over the past 50 years. I had discussed it with my three children when they asked me, 'What did you do in the war?'

"I told them that my crew led the 15th Air Force on my last mission. We flew lead aircraft in the 513th Sqd., which led the 376th, which led the rest of the 15th Air Force that day, the 15th of April, 1945."

Here is the way that Charles explained the events of that last mission against enemy troop concentrations, strong points, and gun positions in the Bologna area. "The members of that crew that led the mission were: Major Holsclaw (right seat, G.A.C.); Captain Charles B. Morris, Pilot; Pat Fiore (1st Lt.), Bombardier (deceased 1993); George Waal (lst Lt.), Navigator; Bob Gilmore, Sgt. Engineer; Glenn Grubb, Sgt. 2nd Engr. top turret (deceased 1993); Martin Hobelman, Sgt. Nose gunner (current member); Ken Lively, Sgt. Tail Gunner; Jim Fox, Sgt. Waist Gunner; Harold Searcy, Sgt., Ball Turret.

"Everything went without incident. We flew out over the Mediterranean close to Rome, and turned toward Pisa and opened bomb doors over water and flew with the doors open until bomb release, almost an hour later.

"When Pat, our bombardier, announced "Bombs Away," I set the rally angle-of-bank at 15 degrees, almost double the usual rally angle. We rallied to the left and within seconds the sky was filled with flak on our right, and it was fortunate that we were in the steeper bank for the rally because we missed the flak barrage by (I estimate) less than 300 yards. I did not hear of any damage to any plane on that, our last mission.

"Upon returning to base, we turned in our equipment again and departed for Taranto to board the West Point for our return to the States.

"Others, in the 'Group History Book,' have disputed who flew the lead on that last 451st mission, but I have contacted (Gen.) Bob Warren to ask him to recall the briefing at 47th Wing Hq. for this mission, and he confirmed that my crew did indeed lead the 513th Squadron, which led the 376th, which led the rest of the 15th A.F.

"I would like to have this account published in the next issue of the lntelligencer to set the record straight."

Editor's note: The records of the 376 show 2 sets of sortie reports for 2 different targets on April 15.  Only one of those targets is reflected in the Liberandos.  Mr. Morris is correct. 

Whether his mission departed before,at the same time, or after the other mission is unknown at this time.