Joe Taddonio, Mission December 28, 1943

"We failed to meet the 98th Bomb Group and the P-38 escort. Col. Ted Graff ordered us to go on alone. The flak is light and very accurate. Fighters: 70 EI A, comprised of ME-I09's, Mach- 202's. Bomb Load: Ten 500 lb, demos; time 6 hrs" 35 min.

Comments: "Were hit by fighters 10 min. before reaching target. Fight lasted 50 min, Of 17 planes set out, 7 returned to base. Lt. Brown pilot, crash landed on nose wheel and one main gear. Lt. Weakland, bombardier, bailed out over field. Two other ships scrapped. Sgt. Allen wounded in right leg by 20 m/m, Hit in leg myself by 20 m/m which did not explode but only ripped my pants' leg and electric suit; another 29 m/m exploded, frags tore my left glove leaving blood blister. Gas lines and bomb racks split by EI A fire. Entire ship a mess. Froze hands reloading ammo. Firing almost pointblank to make every shot count. Less than 200 rounds left after fight (all guns),"

"On the way back to base, saw the 98th and P- 38's at another target. E/A were gaudily painted and told at debriefing this could have been Goering's crack outfit. Our "B" (high section) is wiped out. Recollect one B-24 going down with its belly turret blazing away, Sgt. DeAngelis seen bailing out. EI A came in four to six-abreast making attack after attack. Our top-turret gunner Sgt. Hardison advised by Col. Graff to fire only short bursts to save ammo since it looked like a long fight. Hardison's reply: 'Sir, fighters are filling my gun sight!'"

"Capt. Nuttall is aboard, thought that this would be 'baksheesh'." Sgt. Allen goes up front. Five minutes pass and no Allen in sight. Later, we find him working on cut and leaking gas lines. After that, he works on the bomb-bay doors blown open; hooking pulling and wiring shut to be able to land. Peter Aspesi is our radio operator, also kept very busy. Sgt. Allen later received the silver star,

Pilot on the mission was Capt. Ralph Thompson, his co-pilot Col. Ted Graff. Have no report on damage inflicted to target.

Sgt. Taddonio's mother after having read an account of her son having his coveralls ripped by the 20mm, which appeared in a Boston newspaper, "fainted".

376 ARCHIVES

The website 376bg.org is NOT our site nor is it our endowment fund.

At the 2017 reunion, the board approved the donation of our archives to the Briscoe Center for American History, located on the University of Texas - Austin campus.

Also, the board approved a $5,000 donation to add to Ed Clendenin's $20,000 donation in the memory of his father. Together, these funds begin an endowment for the preservation of the 376 archives.

Donate directly to the 376 Endowment

To read about other endowment donation options, click here.

2019 River Cruise

2019 REUNION

DATES : Sep 19-22

CITY : Dallas, Texas

HOTEL: The Wyndham Garden Dallas North Hotel

2019 hotel reservations


previous reunions

For Sale

The Other Doolittle Raid


The Liberandos


Three Crawford Brothers


Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior


376th Bomb Group Mission History


The Last Liberator


Full Circle


Shadows of Wings


Ten Men, A "Flying Boxcar," and A War


I Survived Ploesti


A Measure of Life


Shot Down In Yugoslavia


Stories of My Life


Attack


Born in Battle