William R. Davis

by William M. Davis
(Richmond, Va)

PART 1D
Part 1D
We started making the plane lighter as we moved out of the fighter territory. We had now come all the way down the Hungarian Plains, past Lake Balaton and were crossing the line into Yugoslavia. The navigator had to be especially alert now so as not to take us over any flak areas as we would be easy pickings at 14,000 ft. We had travelled that route many times before, and both he and I knew where every gun in Yugo and Hungary were placed. The enlisted men were busy in the waist jettisoning anything that would reduce our load. Our engines were still holding up and we were hobbling along toward the Adriatic Sea – had to be careful of coastal flak, though. Maybe we could pull a sneak play in between two areas.
We made the coast in due time, slipped thru the flak and started across the water in the direction that would bring us to the Italian mainland the quickest. We had let down to 13,000 ft. and our spirits brightened up, as it looked as though we might make it. If we could only make land we could bail out in safety if the engines quit. I noticed the sea as I always do; it was rather calm that day only waves about two feet high – very good condition if we had to ditch. Of course if we had to go into the water, we were in favor of ditching rather than bailing out as the chance of saving the whole crew is much better. A man who bails out, alone in a Mae West, is not likely to be found and will die.
(5)
But in ditching you have the dinghies and all the crew together a much better solution. Things were still going fairly well. I wanted more than ever to get that plane home, so I could see for myself just how much damage had been done. We must have had at least 200 flak holes in it. I wanted to get a good look at those engines too. Time passed; we had gone down to 10,000 ft. now and suddenly the coastline came into sight about 30 miles distant. I felt much better; looked like we’d made it. But wait – then it started – it was as we had tossed a coin and lost.
End Part 1D



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My Trip to San Pancrazio

October 2019


Reunion

DATES: Sep ?->?, 2022

CITY:TBD

HOTEL: TBD

TBD

TBD

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