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Legacy Of:

James  F.  Casey

 

Personal Legacy
Shot down (flack). First time went down Nancy, France, behind American Lines, ground troops were fighting not far from where we landed. Spent 2 days, spent some money from our kits. Pilot Thomas Kay had to pay back before being discharged.

Second time, down outside Brussels, Belgium. Hooked up with the British Troops, who gave us tea. They were still fighting in the City of Brussels.

My memory about going down in Nancy, France. We saw ground troops coming back from the front, convoys, movements all over. We knew the pilot made contaact back to our base in Shipdham. There was no outfit to feed us, etc. They had their hands full. We broke open our kits and spent some French money in the town. It was years later I found out that Thomas Kay had to pay the amount we spent before he was discharged.

The second time we went down outside of Brussels, Belgiium we had a bad landing on a bombed out German air strip, surrounded with shot up German fighters. We hooked up with the British. The Master Sgt. took all the NCOs to his mess, it was tea time when we landed. The fighting was going on nearby but they had the NCO and Officer mess set-ups in operation.

My discharge shows 35 missions. They had a Kenneth Smith listed on the 3rd mission, St. Lo, when in fact it was I, who did the mission. Our initial tail gunner, Smith, had received notice that his brother had been killed in the tail of a B-17 and he could not bring himself to fly the tail again. Raather than for him to be grounded, we talked him into flying the waist. I did the tail for him with the consent of the pilot and everything worked out and all concened were happy.

The St. Lo missions is so vivid in my mind, because the first wave dropped short, killing Lt. Gen Leslie McNair and we were told to hold out bombs. You will notice this mentioned in flight sheet. Mission dated 7-24-1944. I received one battle star for the Normandy campaign, St. Lo was a part of that operation.

I must explain why the other gunners rotated. When we arrived in England, the Ball Turretts were removed, which left an extra gunner. The pilot wanted me in the rear on his missions and Smith, Summers and Olson rotated. The flight records indicate my doing the missions in various positions.
 
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Last modified: 01/26/14