On April 23 the target was Schwechat, Austria. Thirty six of the forty planes which were launched made it over the target.
We were attacked by 10 ME-109s and heavy anti aircraft fire. One B-24 was lost over the target and our plane received a direct hit in the bomb bay which severed a gas line which was used for transferring fuel between tanks. Raw aviation fuel accumulated in the bomb bay and when the doors were opened to release the fuel it blew into the cockpit. Any spark would have caused an explosion and the temperature at 20000 feet over the Alps was minus 60 degrees F. Our flight engineer worked in the open bomb bay to -repair the damage while a Colonel, who was flying with us as an observer, kept filling small oxygen bottles for him. Working with gasoline in those temperatures caused severe damage to his hands. We returned safely due to his heroic efforts and both he and the Colonel received the Silver Star Medal.