Several Accounts by 2nd Lt. Maynard L. Jones
The following account is a portion of a letter to Carroll Snidow written by 2nd Lt. Maynard L. Jones on September 3, 1945:
I was really glad to hear your report about “our” mission because to have been right in the plane I knew very little about what happened. I never saw any of the you fellows’ chutes. I sure thought it was funny because I Jumped just before you did. When I was taken P.W. one of the jerries told me 2 men from my plane were “kaput”. I was scared to death that it was both you and Ed. Thank God! I was only half right, but I’m sorry that I was even that much.
I didn’t even know Skippy (Waldron) was wounded. I called Land and he said the plane was shot up badly but no one was hurt. I thought that we were pretty lucky to come through that without a bullet hitting someone.
What you told me about Doc (Tarbert) didn’t surprise me too much because he quite often quit everything to pray. He did on the St. Lo raid. I guess every one of us were praying with all our might during that, but I couldn’t see where crying would help any. Poor kid. I feel so sorry for his wife and his baby he’s never seen.
But Ed, I just can’t believe it. He was always so sure and confident. One would think that if any one got out okay it would be Ed. He was funny sometimes but I always liked him. He wasn’t the best pilot on the plane but he was our skipper.
Maynard Jones wrote a letter to 445th Bomb Group veteran David Patterson on September 26, 1979, thirty years after the above letter:
As with Frank (Bertram) I remember it was a rather routine mission and because we had seen so few fighters on the past few missions we had become somewhat too relaxed about them.
I I also remember being off on the bombing run.
Shortly after the drop it seemed that all hell broke loose. It seemed like all hell broke loose (phrase repeated). Enemy fighters were everywhere and our planes were going down right and left. We were shot up badly. Our tail gunner was killed (not true) on the 1st sweep. No one else was shot.
Our far right engine was hit and the pilot was unable to feather it. The prop flew off and into the inner engine knocking the prop off it, (leaving us with only 2 engines) Soon we picked up 2 P-38s as escort but they had difficulty staying with us because of our loss of air speed and gradual loss of altitude. They finally had to “waggle” goodbye.
We limped back and got across the Rhine where we were shot up with Flak—shortly thereafter Capt Haptman (sic) gave the order to abandon the plane. At the time we were north and west of Cologne (actually Coblenz or Koblenz). I was injured when I hit the ground (fracture of my right femur). I understand one waist gunner (Tarbert) went down with the plane. Capt Hauptman’s dog tags were given to Lt Snidow later with an explanation that he died due to action of angry civilians. This I learned (hearsay) later.