The crew arrived Manduria, Italy January, 1945. Completed 15 missions (counting
doubles). The crew flew a different aircraft on every mission.
On 8 April 1945, flying the aircraft "Strange Cargo" on a mission to Northern Italy to bomb
marshalling yards at a town near the Brenner Pass they received very heavy flak
& were shot down.
They lost 2 engines, the hydraulic system was gone, the right vertical stabilizer was shot off, landing gear unretractable, & they lost
altitude from 30,000' ' to 5,000' in the midst of the Alps.
The pilot, Richard Turk, maneuvered the craft through the higher mountain passes to get to
Lake Constance in N.E, Switzerland. A Wheels up landing at the Swiss Air Base at
Dubendorf. Turk said the emergency field looked to be no larger than a
After debriefing at Dubendorf, the crew was sent to
Adelboden, Switzerland and housed at the Nevada Palace Hotel until the end of
the war in Europe.
Submitted by Gene Shanks, former Staff Sergeant, USAAC