World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
699 Church Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
22 February 1989
Just to expand a bit on my most memorable mission. Magdeburg 3 March 1945 - only because of the public chewing out I got from Snavely. I still cannot comprehend why no one hard the scout's report to find a secondary target. No back-up whatever.
I do not know Bob Lehnhausen as command pilot. Major Middleton was the scout and it as from him to find a secondary target - water under the dam.
I do remember the clarity of the day and the absence of flak until the bombs went away and I glanced up and almost saw a completely black sky. All of the flak was breaking above us. IT was really heavy and at the same time my only observance of a German jet coming in from above and behind us with those red twinkles from before us either collided or were sent down by him and away he went. Listened to VHF or UHF as the P-51 boys went after him - what little I heard they must have gotten him as he was in a turn and had to slow down. Anyway I have a strike photo of that mission (as the lead bombardiers were supposedly entitled to and also have a flak map of a mission to Hamburg 6 October 1944). In case anyone may be interested in it I'll send you a copy. I suppose a copy machine would give good results - never tried it.
Amazing that Cliff MacDonald should remember the Sanpan and Hercules Dance Halls - if you ever see MacDonald, again remind him of the two lassies that he and Goose "Brown" dated - Irene and Peggy. Irene Bacon - two girlfriends - would you believe??
David "Goose": brown as I remember, came from Carlisle, PA and became a township engineer of some sort. Polen's first name was Fred and he came from Ohio somewhere. I think Sgt. Bilko, the TV show, was patterned after a real character, but a very nice man.
Incidentally, the one smokestack I saw was right - you were right in that count. I had no idea what it was connected to. It must have been part of the "docks and wharves," that were destroyed according to our group bombardier. I remember him saying "Don't feel bad." The next day after the Snavely incident I told him that was the furthest thing from my mind. I saw where the bombs went.
Incidentally, they awarded me a DFC when I became a civilian.
Please excuse the poor penmanship and the rambling. I guess we could go on and on.
This is the longest letter I've written in 45 years.
Note from Kazmirzak re Kuklewicz:
Was with 67th. First mission 28 September 1944. End 4 March 1945. Small bit of dis-information. Printed in 44th log in regards Magdeburg 3 March 1945. I was lead bombardier flying with Brown N. Lowe. 1st group hit oil target. Major Middleton in scout called and fixed secondary - as lead. I saw one smokestack through smoke and hit it. On return, everyone denied hearing scouts ordered. Snavely really chewed me out until I reminded of bombardier's prerogative if primary obscured. Next day I was informed by group bomb - you destroyed docks and wharves.