Carl (Radio Operator & Waist Gunner) is in the middle Thaddeus Wenzka (Tail Gunner) on the right
Carl is in the middle
On our 7th mission on October 7, 1944, to Vienna ,we lost 2 engines to flak and separated from the rest of the Squadron.
Luckily we were able to make it back toward Yugoslavia. There the navigator, Lt. Don Hall directed the pilot, Lt. Robert McCarthy to to a safe partisan area.
Hall said if they have to bailout, this would be the best place, in which we did. If my memory serves me correctly, it was a little after 12 noon and about 10,300 feet.
Some of us went out the back hatch and some from the front. I found out later on the ground that 3 or 4 were hurt. Melbourne Ponton was one of them because of a problem with his parachute harness.
I never saw him again after that. On the ground, I and Co-Pilot, Lt. Burns were immediately picked up by a partisan fighter and taken to his headquarters, were we got together with the rest of the crew, or what was left of it.
We were treated well. After 6 or 7 days they made arrangements to fly us back to Italy. Myself and a couple of the other fellows were given a week of R & R and assigned to another crew.
I went on to fly 50 missions in all. Had 1 crash landing and 2 emergency landings.