Theodore Drazkowski, mission January 11, 1943

As for our 1/11/43 mission over Naples - I would like to begin with the absolute silence over the inter-com during and prior to our bomb run. Either the system was B.D. or it was shot out.

Upon seeing E.A. coming up to greet us I attempted to fire my twin 50's to warm them up. They wouldn't fire so I spent the rest of the time trying to operate them manually. They were jammed and I assumed full of sand.

I looked out of my plexi-glass window and on my left at about 5 o'clock sat this jerry ME109 just keeping pace with us. I swung my guns on him. and he must have spotted this movement because ha banked to his left and went underneath us. I had attempted to fire but to no avail. Then all hell broke loose. A 20mm hit my plexi-glass window (3 3/4" thick) dead center and it was smashed. I could not see anymore. That shell sure had my name on it.

Soon there was pounding on my turret door - I opened it and Bob Krager motioned for me to come out which I did. The plane was staggering badly by now and it was difficult to stand up or walk. Bob kept pointing to the bomb bay so I opened it up and a huge mass of flames shot out singeing Bob and I. I slammed the door shut and pointed to the rear escape hatch. I checked my chute straps - opened the door and bailed out. Bob followed. On the way down the jerry pilot flew by me and for what I could make out, saluted me. I saluted back.

On landing in a mountainous region I instantly was surrounded by soldiers, police and peasants with guns, pitch forks and clubs jabbering away in Italian which of course I couldn't understand.

I was taken to a small town and thrown into a single cell jail. That night they brought Bob Krager in and we slept the night on a concrete floor full of human feces and urine - god we stunk!

The next morning they brought in a body for us to see and verify - it was Lt. Angel. The back of his head was all bashed in, from what, I can't say.

We were then transported to another town and boarded a train to a monastery near Rome. (This monastery was nothing but an interrogation center). After a couple of days we were moved to prison camp #59 Provincia Di Ancona near Servigliano where we spent 10 months.


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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.

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My Trip to San Pancrazio

October 2019


DATES: Sep 15-18, 2022

CITY:Wichita, KS

HOTEL: Wichita Marriott

9100 Corporate Hills Dr.

Wichita, KS


Click here to read about the reunion details.

previous reunions

For Sale

The Other Doolittle Raid

The Broken Wings of Zlatibor

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


Born in Battle

Bombardier's Diary