JAMES M. BURTON|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
Memphis, TN 38108
3295 North H St.
San Bernardino, CA 9240___
December 18, 1988
One mission that left an impression, I can't recall the date or target, we ran into heavy flak and received considerable damage to the aircraft. One wheel was damaged, there was a large hole in the wing, part of the tail section was damaged (I was the tail gunner). Durrett decided the plane could not land safely and told the crew we could jump and he and Don (copilot) would land it.
I picked up my chute to hook it on and there was a large hole from flak in it. I reported this to Durrett and requested permission to ride the plane down. Permission was granted. The rest of the crew then asked for permission to ride the plane in. This request was also granted.
We only had one wheel down so when we touched down and finally lost enough speed, our wing dropped, we ground looped off the runway. At that time, another plane was landing on fire. The tower was yelling, "You're on fire!" We though he was talking to us. By the time our plane had stopped, we hit the ground running. No one was injured. [cannot identify aircraft...Will].
I do have a list of crewmembers and hometowns. It is misplaced right now, but will pass it on to you as soon as I find it. As of now, I Plant o attend the reunion and celebration in May at Fort Worth.
I enjoyed reading the logbook of the 44th and hope to remain on the mailing list.
Happy holidays to you and yours,
James M. Burton