- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Will Seaton Arnett, 1st Lt. USAAF
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 01 August 2005
The following story appears courtesy of and with thanks to Will Seaton Arnett, 1st Lt. USAAF and John S. Green.
Just got back from an eight hour bombing mission on Bizerte, Africa.
Up at 4:30 -- breakfast to 5:00 -- briefing at 5:30 -- take off 8:00, over the target 11:30, and landed at the base at 4:00 P.M.
No. 1 classmate "Toby" was shot down and the plane exploded when it hit the water. Capt. Bruce of the 32nd also went down. These were the first two crews and planes we've lost. It's kinda hard to take when they go down like that. Some of the crew members might have bailed but it is doubtful, nothing like living in hopes though.
This was the roughest one yet, more flak and a hell of a lot of enemy fighters -- FW 190 -- ME 109 -- and ME 210. We got a number of them but there is no way to tell how many. I saw one go down in flames and explode in mid air about 5000' above the water. I'll never forget it.
November 29, 1942 Tafaroui, Africa
Another hard day, loaded 500 lb. bombs this morning and brother that is a job winding them up by hand.
It's been like Xmas here tonight. Fred just got in from England and he brought a plane load of mail that had collected since we left. Everyone got mail and is in much better spirits. I got eleven letters and one package so I am really beaming.
We had some decent food today for the first time -- no hash thank God. The coffee is still just as horrible made from salt water.
Fred moved in with us -- so there is eleven of us in here now -- had to make room for my buddie.
Lt. Colonel Gormley just came in and announced a mission for tomorrow.
'This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his / her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.'
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.