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Legacy Of:

John  J.  Borah

 

Personal Legacy

Memories of John J. Borha
Provided by John Borha

We arrived at the 44th Bomb Group in June 1944 and were assigned to the 68th Squadron. Major Robert Lehnhausen was the squadron commander. My first mission was as co-pilot on an experienced crew. This was to show the new guy the procedures to follow and how to fly a combat mission. After that, I returned to my own crew and we flew our first mission a few days later. It was a deep penetration to Munich and was a tough target. We encountered heavy flak and were attacked by German fighters. The plane in front of us was shot down which was un-nerving but we hung in there and dropped our bombs and then headed for home. It was a long mission of over 10 hours and we nearly ran out of fuel but did make it to the base. We were very tired but happy to walk away from the plane. We continued to fly frequent missions until September when we were designated a lead crew. After that, we did not fly as often but had more responsibility when we did lead the mission. A couple of days after we had flown our 3rd lead mission, I was standing in line at the officer's mess when Major Lehnhausen came up to congratulate me and said I was promoted to Captain. The food tasted very good that day. On a later mission, we had just turned into the target when we discovered that the bomb bay doors on the right side were frozen shut so we just used the other side and the mission was completed as planned. Later I was mildly chewed out because we didn't drop through the doors. It was ok because we made some friends in the ground crew. In February 1945, we flew our 10th lead with a total of 34 missions and completed our tour of duty. We flew missions that were long and difficult and some others that were not as hard, We often suffered considerable flak damage but through it all I never had one crew member that was hurt. I am forever grateful for that. I was always proud of my crew and am proud ofthe small part we contributed to the 44th Bomb Group in the war over Europe.
 
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Last modified: 01/26/14