Alfred W. Young, Jr.

by Stuart Young
(San Antonio, Texas)

Alfred Young was a radio operator/gunner in the 514th Squadron. He was assigned to the Flight Officer Edward McGlynn crew at Westover Field, Massachusetts, in October 1944, and went through Combat Crew Training at Charleston and shipped overseas with the McGlynn crew on the United States Army Transport George W. Goethals arriving at San Pancrazio, Italy on December 29, 1944, after a truck and train ride from Naples. Al flew three combat missions with different crews while waiting for McGlynn, his pilot, to get in his orientation combat missions with veteran crews. Most of Al's crewmates also flew at least one combat mission with another crew while waiting for McGlynn to get his "new pilot" missions in. It was common practice in the 376th Heavy Bomb Group for new pilots to fly a few missions with veteran crews before flying their first mission with their own crews. On February 7, 1945, the McGlynn crew finally was scheduled to fly a mission as a crew, but for some reason Al was switched to fly with the Lt Estell crew and Robert Barrows, a radio operator flying his first combat mission, was assigned to fly in Al's place with the McGlynn crew. The target was the Moosbierbaum Oil Refinery near Vienna, one of the most heavily defended areas in the Third Reich. McGlynn started to lose engine #2 about a half hour before the bomb run and had to go over the target on full emergency power to keep up with the formation. After bombs away McGlynn lost engines three and four to flak. He had a hole in the waist big enough for a man to walk through. He then headed east on one engine, but fell behind the formation and was attacked by two German fighters. The fighters peppered the ship and knocked out one turret and the waist guns. Then two Mustangs dove across McGlynn's nose and scared off the German fighters. Lt. Estell, with Al aboard as his RCM (radar counter measures), dropped back and located McGlynn, who now had the two Mustangs as escorts. But Lt Estell and later, even the Mustangs had to leave McGlynn. With probably no chance in making it over the coastal Yugoslavian mountains, McGlynn and crew bailed out. They were all captured and spent the rest of the war in German POW camps. Al Young, McGlynn's original radio operator, who missed flying one combat mission with his original crew - the crew he trained with and shipped overseas with, made it safely back to San Pancrazio with Lt. Estell as pilot. After losing his crew, the McGlynn crew, Al flew a few missions with different crews until he was assigned to the Marvin Ehrenberg crew on a permament basis. Al completed 25 combat missions before he was ordered back home aboard the USS West Point. Coincidently, he arrived back in the states on April 29, 1945, the exact same day his crewmates on the McGlynn crew were liberated from their German POW camp by General Patton and his tanks.

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Nov 16, 2013
by: Clark Baldon

Great story! It seems that there were many, many stories of men not being where they were originally supposed to be and many were either saved or lost because of these circumstances! Thank You Alfred Young Jr. for your service!!!

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