Mission 14: Bordeaux, France
December 5, 1943

Forts, Libs, Marauders
Raid France

Formations Meet Intense
Flak Across Channel;
11 Bombers Missing


    USAAF Fortresses, Liberators and Marauders, striking their first December blows, resumed the daylight hammering of Nazi Europe yesterday, while heavily bombed Berlin and Leipzig dug out from fresh weekend attacks by RAF block-busters.
    The heavies' objectives were identified in the Eighth Air Force communique only as "targets in occupied France." Marauders attacked "military objectives in northern France."
    Eleven heavy bombers and one of the escorting fighters were reported missing, but the crews of two missing bombers were announced as safe.
    The communique added that 11 enemy fighters were destroyed by the bombers.
    The heavies were supported by Thunderbolts and Lightnings, the Marauders by RAF, Dominion and Allied fighters which also made offensive sweeps at the same time.

Offensive Goes On

    The American operations kept up the Anglo-American offensive, marked in the last four days by Thursday night's block buster raid on the German capital, Friday night's surprise descent on Leipzig, a vital railway center, which cost 23 RAF bombers, and Saturday night's Mosquito dashes through western Germany.
    S/Sgt. John I. Pritchard, of Wilmington, Del., who flew 50 missions in the South Pacific, came back from his 51st, flying as a gunner on the Liberator Golden Sandstorm, declaring the flak was deadly and the ETO "rougher than the South Pacific."
    Maj. Paul T. Burton, of New York and Magnolia, Ark., flying in Screamin' Mimi, agreed that "it was the worst flak I've seen in three war sections in which our Lib has been in action."
    Capt. Daniel Minnick, of New York, flying in the Liberator OK, said the fighter escort "was magnificent."
    Some Fortress formations found it easy going. "No fighters came in close enough for our gunners to shoot at," said 2/Lt. John G. McGlynn, of Gratiot, Wis.

A Cold Ride

    S/Sgt. Gerald E. Massie, of Ellington, Mo., tail gunner on Special Delivery, said, "It was a cold ride all the way down and back. I saw only five fighters and they kept far in the distance."
    1/Lt. Max C. Grebe, of Kansas City, Mo., bombardier on the Loil One, on his 24th mission, reported: "When the fighters hit us I went into the nose to man my gun and a 30-caliber shell went over my other position. It was a near miss for me."

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