TSgt Alfred W. Young, Jr. - 514th Squadron Radio Operator/Gunner
by Stuart Young
(San Antonio, TX)
April 11, 1945 - Target: Diverted from original target after the tailgunner was hit in the arm by flak. Bombed airdrome in Osoppo, Italy instead. Bombs hit Osoppo.
TSgt Young's 25th and last combat sortie was to hit the Campodazzo Railroad Bridge near Bolzano, Italy on April 11, 1945. Sgt Young wrote, "Mission with the Ehrenberg crew in Ship #65 to a rail line bridge in Italy to Brenner, 6 miles northeast of Bolzano. Merrill (the tail gunner) got hit when the first four bursts were right along the side of us. His right arm was hit while throwing out chaff on the bomb run. The interphone and command were all knocked out at that same instant. Two holes by my waist window and through the glass right by where I was standing. We gave Merrill first aid, etc, after he lost about a pint of blood. Then I gave him a morphine shot. We dropped our bombs on an alternate target, the Ossopo Airdrome in the northern Udine area. Arriving back at base had an ambulance waiting by sending coded CW. The major flight surgeon said we did a good job. The doc at the dispensary took the piece of flak out of Merrill and Merrill kept it. That was just about my roughest mission yet even though there was no mechanical trouble." On the 13th of April TSgt Young and the rest of the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group learned many in the group were being sent back to the states and the 376th's mission in Italy would soon be over. The last mission was flown on April 15th. On April 19, 1945, a convoy of trucks with Young aboard departed San Pancrazio for the Italian port of Taranto where Young and the 376th shipped out on the USS West Point, arriving back in the states on April 29, 1945. By coincidence, April 29th was the same day Young's original crew was liberated from their German POW camp by General Patton and his tanks. Have faith and hope, indeed!
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