There is a SECOND book, called Defenders of Liberty, on the 2nd Bomg Group, which has a repeat of the narrative in the book The Second Was First. It has a slightly different description of the loss of 42-30398.
Plane number 42-30398 "Patches", pilotoed by Lt George R. Howell, of the 429th Squadron, took a devasting flak strike through the fuel tank for number 3 engine seconds after bombs away. Now in flames, the plane nosed up.rolled completely over, went into a spin, and soon started to disentegrate. Observers reported four and five parachutes.
The narrative related by S/Sgt Francis H. Hughes is repeated word for word as in the first book, with the added sentence "These three crewmen, Hughes,Thompson, and Cashore were the only survivors".
"One of those who perished on Lt HOwell's crew, was the radio operator, T/Sgt Robert H. Bryson. He had written the poem, which is recorded in the 429th Squadron History (see top of next page)"
(This is on page 174 and 175 of the Defenders of Liberty).
This is the Poem referred to :
Lightnings in The Sky
Oh, Hedy Lamarr is a beautiful gal
And Madeline Carrol is too,
But, you'd find if you query a different theory,
Among any bomber crew;
For the loveliest thing of which one could sing,
(This side of The Heavenly Gates),
Is no blonde or brunette of the Hollywood set,
But an escort of P-38's.
Yes, in the days that were passed,when the tables were massed,
With Glasses of Scotch or Champagne,
It's quite true that the sight was a thing to delight,
Us,no longer the same nowadays in this game,
When we head North from Messina Straits;
Take the sparkling wine,make mine every time,
An escort of P-38's.
Byron, Shelley and Keats,ran at least a dozen dead heats,
Describing the view from the hills,
Or the valleys in MAy, when the winds gently sway,
An army of daffodils;
Take the daffodils,Byron,The wild flowers Shelley,
Yours to the myrtle,friend Keats,
Just reserve me,those cuties, those American beauties,
An escort of P-38's.
Sure, we're braver than hell,
On the ground all is swell,
In the air it's a different story;
We sweat out our track,throiugh the fighters and flak;
While we're willing to split up the glory,
Well, they wouldn't reject us, so heaven protect us,
And, before all this shooting abates;
Give us courage to fight 'em, and-
One other small item,
an escort of P-38's.
T/Sgt Robert H. Byron
Again, both books can be obtained through the 2nd Bomb Group Association.
As to accuracy, that you have referred to, I was not there, so any errors should be assigned to the recording clerk(s) in the 429th Bomb Squadron who wrote and recorded the MACR and other paperwork.
post edited by jpeters140 - 2005/02/04 06:33:35