Written Accounts

Carroll SnidowHautman Crew
"They woke us up very early on the morning of September 27, 1944. The briefing was to be held at three thirty, which was about an hour earlier than usual. “Jonesy” and myself, walking to the mess hall in the darkness of night, figured it must be “Big B”. It was a cool morning and you could tell fall was fast approaching."
Fabian MackHeitz Crew
"I was radio operator on Lt. Heitz's crew and were on our 23rd mission. We lost two engines during the attack and with two other Libs we headed for the clouds and home."
Frank BertramMiner Crew
"Someone called out, ‘Here comes our fighter escort!’ I looked out my little window, and there’s a hell of a lot of commotion, and I saw these radial engine planes. I thought, ‘Those are our P-47s.’ All of a sudden they peeled off and there was the Swastika. And about that instant, they start flying through the ships."
Maynard JonesHautman Crew
"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."
Maynard WatsonHeitz Crew
"One of our A/C was on our right and about 400 yards behind us. About 11 FW 190's dived from above him at about 5:30 from his tail. When they level off at out altitude, six of them swap around and the first three crossed my tail and turn in on our left wing man."
Paul SwoffordSwofford Crew
"The Kassel Mission on September 27, 1944, resulted in the largest loss of bomber aircraft by any single Bomber Group in the history of the 8th Air Force. The 88% loss of B-24 bombers by the 445th Bomb Group on that day, most likely represents the greatest single-mission loss by any bomb group in the history of American Military Aviation."
Peter BelitsosBruland Crew
"I was at the controls when the German fighters came in and on the internal intercom system. There was no warning from our crew and, according to Bruland, none from the other planes. Apparently it happened that fast."
Raphael CarrowCarrow Crew
"That day, September 27, 1994, began as all the others had; being rudely awakened in the earliest hours of the morning. A think fog reflected the sharp beam of the bicycle light as I pedaled, more intuitively than visually, to the mess hall."
Robert TimsFrench Crew
"I awakened, a flashlight shining in my eyes and someone shaking me. 'Wake up, sir! You’re flying today. Briefing at three o’clock – it’s 0215 now. Fresh eggs for breakfast!”
William BruceBruce Crew
"We were up at this hour for breakfast and then to the Briefing Area. We had a full load of gas so we knew it was going to be a long, long flight. The ship had a full load of 1,000-pound bombs and all the .50-caliber machine gun ammunition we could squeeze in."
William DeweyDewey Crew
"Out of 37 bombers dispatched on a mission to Kassel on 27 September 1944 the 445th Bomb Group lost 30 B-24 Liberator bombers in the space of just a few minutes to a mass attack by the Luftwaffe’s three Sturmgruppen. This was the highest Group loss during World War II…."