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The War Diary Of Will S. Arnett, 1st Lt. USAAF: May 9, 1943

by ateamwar

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Will S. Arnett, 1st Lt. USAAF
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01 August 2005

The following story appears courtesy of and with thanks to Will Seaton Arnett, 1st Lt. USAAF and John S. Green.

We were briefed to bomb the city of Palermo, the first time that we've ever bombed anything other than a military objective.

When we were about 1 hour and 30 minutes out, my number two engine went out due to maintenance default and had to turn back.

It was the biggest raid ever pulled in North Africa. All four B-17 groups went out with 96 P-38's for escort. Just as we were turning back. I saw swarms of B-25's and B-26's heading in the same direction. The report is that 400 planes went over with bombs.

I saw the impossible yesterday. A 97th plane crash-landed just south of our field, it was flown home with more than half of his tail cut away by another plane. The tail gunner was cut away completely and dropped over the target area. This plane ran into the props of another.

May 10, 1943

A bunch of us went to see the Roman Ruins of D'jennila and it was really interesting to. We had lunch at a Cafe up there run by an old French woman. She served us egg omelet and steak and it was wonderful.

After seeing the ruins, I am convinced that the Romans were a smart race of people.

We gave a farewell party for Col. Quick and Harman last night.

'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.'

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