Daniel Rice, mission October 19, 1943

10/19 07:40 Bridge south of Porto San Elpidio. Low level. Took off in the wee hours and hit the bridge shortly after dawn. Three ship element in night formation. Flew right wing on Capt. Miller.

Daniel would expand on these comments in 1991:

Thinking back over the mission, I suppose my first point is a question instead of a recollection. '* What' technique did we use to assemble our element in the dark after take off? Maybe the normal running lights were all we needed to locate the lead ship, but looking back from today, it would seem sort of "iffy". At any rate, the three of us did assemble our element, and flew night formation for probably three hours or so as we crossed over to the east coast of Italy. I recall very well keeping a constant view of the blue formation lights on Captain Miller's lead ship.

It seems to me now that once we were beyond the mountains, we dropped down to low altitude to avoid radar detection by the Germans as much as possible. It also seems that we began to see the first light of dawn at about the time we crossed the Adriatic coast. It was a relief to be able to see the form of the lead ship, instead of depending on just lights alone to maintain formation position.

At any rate we were already down to some near minimum altitude as we skimmed over the water ~ the Adriatic toward our bridge. We were approaching a point opposite the target, still in "V" formation, when unexpectedly and without warning, the lead ship banked into a fairly steep circling turn to the right. I believe the navigator was not dead certain of his location and needed a moment or so more to verify his position.

I was on the right wing, and all of a sudden I had a problem-keeping my right wing tip out of the Adriatic Sea, and at the same time keeping my Left one out of Jim Miller's right waist window.

If ever there was a time for good depth perception, and a light touch on the controls, that was it. The crew razzed me about going fishing in a B-24, They also said they could see ripples in the water made by the air currents from our right wing tip. If there was any drowsiness from our night of flying, perhaps this served to alert us all for the bomb run.

As we approached the bridge, we shifted over into a string formation. I followed Captain Miller, and Sandberg followed me. Immediately after leaving the bridge we had a long, steep hill to climb as we turned to our left and headed back out to sea. We used all the horses we had.

I have only a couple of recollections of the return flight.

One was a comfortable and relaxed loose formation as we flew between the mountain peaks and through the passes of Sicily.

To fully appreciate my other recollection of our return, you must be aware that it was a common practice at that time for any returning airplane to make a low level pass across the field before entering the traffic pattern and landing. On this day, Captain Miller chose to make a zero altitude pass down the runway in the landing direction. I glued us onto his wing, and we came roaring down the runway at a somewhat lower altitude than we would be a few minutes later on our landing roll. I truly believe that we were closer to the ground surface then, than when we were taxiing, or parked.

I think the entire crew relished the chance to fly this mission. Whatever reaction there may have been to flying a long period at minimum altitude, I probably would have been least affected by it. My attention, as on all formation flights, was concentrated on the lead ship, and on my job of maintaining a particular position relative to it. I would have been much more concerned about the three hours or so of night formation. The lights were dim at best, and in formation flying you can't afford to lose track of where you are, even for a moment; nor to lose one's concentration, which was demonstrated so clearly to me on the December 19 Augsburg mission. I refer, of course, to the collision which put us down that day.


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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


NOTE change in month !!!

DATES: Oct 26-29, 2023

CITY:Tucson, AZ

HOTEL: Double Tree Suites Airport hotel

7051 South Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85756


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

Lost Airmen

Langdon Liberando