The Grace of God
Dec. 20, 1944. I worked up a good sweat again today. We had another rough one—again in 279, the same ship that landed on one wheel two days ago. Our target today was Brux, but I lost an engine short of the target. We had no sooner started for home than I last no. 3 engine and could not feather it. The first engine no. 2 came came back in partially after we came down from altitude but in the meantime no. 3 had caught fire. It continued to windmill until it froze up. I could hold altitude but couldn’t depend on no. 2 which was running rough. In addition to that we were low on fuel and the weather was bad. We had a 1500 foot ceiling and it was so hazy that the navigator could hardly help me at all. Sam was not with me and the navigator Lt. Vince apparently was unable to do much of anything. Ralph contacted “Big Fence” and they gave us a heading to the Isle of Viz—a little island near the eastern side of the Adriatic. We finally found the island and located the landing strip. It is a British fighter strip and too short for a heavy bomber to land on, but we made it O.K. by the grace of God. A C-47 which was taking off saw us coming in; so they waited for us to land and then brought us back to our base. We lost several planes and crews today in crash landings due to the shortage of fuel and bad weather. One of them is still unaccounted for.
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