Lester L. Rowekamp, mission June 16, 1944

June 16, 1944             We went on mission to Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (Yakia-Apollo Oil Refinery). Bratislava is on the Danube River, app. 33 miles from Vienna. We were tail end Charlie in our group. We were hit by about 40-50 enemy fighters (Me 110's, Me-210's, Me-l09's and FW-190's) at beginning of bomb run. 8 Me-210's came at us from 6 o'clock high. I got one when it reached 8 o'clock high but it was unconfirmed because it blew up and no one saw it go down. One of my guns jammed. 6 came in from 12 o'clock. Knocked plane # 89 down. Slug hit top turret dome above right ear and put hole in plexiglas. Intercom was not working too well. Seconds later a second slug hit dome above left ear. Saw two enemy fighters go down besides the one that blew up. Tail gunner claimed another. Altogether 12 enemy fighters and 3 B- 24's went down. Our squadron lost plane #26, Lt. Drake's crew. Attack lasted about 10 minutes and we had no fighter escort. Bombing was almost perfect. Huge storage tanks, sheds, office buildings, cracking plants RR yards left in flames. Trip back was drafty and very cold. Group received Presidential Citation for raid. App 8 hrs

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

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My Trip to San Pancrazio

October 2019


Reunion

DATES: Sep 15-18, 2022

CITY:Wichita, KS

HOTEL: Wichita Marriott

9100 Corporate Hills Dr.

Wichita, KS

316-651-0333

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


Attack


Born in Battle


Bombardier's Diary


Lost Airmen


Langdon Liberando