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"We Remember"
by Dwayne O'Brien


1st Lt. Victor A. Bahr
723rd Squadron








Victor, Greaser to his friends, at the controls of a B-24



( 1) Entered service August 18, 1942

 

(2) Basic Training: St. Petersburg, Florida

 

(3) Airplane Mechanic School: Gulfport, Mississippi

 

(4) Cadet Pre-flight School: San Antonio, Texas

 

(5) Primary Flight School-PT 19: East St. Louis, Illinois

 

(6) Basic light School-BT 13: Coffeyville, Kansas

 

( 7) Advanced Flight School-AT9 Twin Engine: Altus, Oklahoma

Commissioned Second Lieutenant

 

( 8) Multi-Engine B-24: Ft. Worth, Texas

 

( 9) Picked up crew at Salt Lake City, Utah

 

(10) Overseas Combat Training-B24: Boise, Idaho

 

Naples, Italy

 

(11) Assigned to 723rd Squadron, 15th Air Force, Manduria, Italy. Flew 35 sorties (46 missions)

 

(12) Crashed on the Island of Vis in the Adriatic Sea... was gone 4 days

 

(13) Second crash landing in the Upper Po Valley, near the Alps Mountains. . . .

       Gone 8 days

 

During my tour of 9 months, besides the 2 crash landings, I lost 19 engines, plus had planes riddled with flack.

 

I flew the first lone wolf mission bomb-by-radar at night. We had no escort, only cloud coverage for protection.

 

We had a big surprise on my first mission. At the briefing, we new crews were told that our crews would be split up and would fly with veteran crews. The pilot that was assigned to me looked to be about 19 or 20 years old. When we got to our plane I walked around the plane inspecting it, but he just stood there under the wing with me. I was thinking "well, he has several missions and a lot of experience." When we got on the flight deck, he got in the co-pilot's seat. I said, "Do you want to fly as pilot?" "No," he said, "I'll stay over here." I taxied out on the runway to run the engines up and check the instruments. I asked him if he wanted to take off and he said, "No, you go ahead." I thought--''Boy, he bas a lot of confidence in me." After getting in formation about an hour later, he said, "I'll take over for awhile." As we were nearing the initial point, I asked, "Do you want to take it down the bomb run to the target?" ''No,'' he said, "you go ahead." Again I thought, "He surely has confidence in me." After the bombs were dropped and we were away from the target, he said, "I'll take over and let you rest." A short time later, I asked him how many missions he had and he said, "This makes me three. I am a co-pilot." Just then it seemed like my confidence in him all left me. But we made it.

 

My second mission to Polesti, I can't forget. The flack was so thick I believe that ducks would have walked on it. We lost one engine in the target area, and, a short time later, another engine quit. In order to stay airborne, we had to reduce speed to just above stalling. As we were approaching the mountains of Yugoslavia, they were higher than we were. I told the crew to throw anything that they could get loose out the waist windows. The rate of climb moved up a little and we made it over the mountains. When we landed we counted over 100 flack holes in the plane. That night, the holes were patched, engine replaced and 2,765 gallons of gasoline added. It was a miracle that we made it back.

 

SINCE THE SERVICE

 

We built our VFW building around 1985 and later built additions on both ends.

 

1 am a life member in the VFW, American Legion and the DAV. We participate at military funerals, athletic functions at the local school, visit disabled veterans and participate in the Poppy Fund Drive.

 

I am the last World War II B-24 pilot from Meigs County still living.

 

Bob Dean is the last World II B-24 co-pilot from Meigs County still living. He had to bailout over the Rumanian Oil Fields and was taken prisoner.































FLIGHT RECORDS

01 02 03 04
05 06 07 08


Information provided by Brenda Woodrow, granddaughter of Victor Bahr

Link To Other Photographs from the Victor Bahr Collection

Link To Target Photographs from the Victor Bahr Collection

Link To Crew Pictures
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