These pictures were taken in North
Africa at Hergla during June of
1943. Apparently - Lt. Sowell ran into a slit trench while taxing to runway
- My father's notes refers to the incident as "Sowell's unfortunate aircraft"
From his notes, the left engine was damaged.
Another set of pictures taken by my dad during November of 1943 at
San Pancrasio. The B-25 skidded into the edge of the concrete road knocking
down its left wheel. Apparently, I mis-judged my dad's writing - I thought
all along that the pilot was Lt. Saul. Looking more closely it appears that
the individual in these pictures is Lt Sowell of San Angelo, Texas. (Strange
- when I was in the Air Force - I was stationed at Goodfellow AFB in San
Angelo). The other individual in the picture is of Fred Sanvitti.
These are pix of a '25 that has taxied into something collapsing the left main gear. The place was San Pancrasio, Italy. Beryl, that was about the same time that your buddy Heck made first pilot.
I don't remember this happening, but I do remember Lt. R. (Rufus) Saylor loading up a full load of troops to fly them back to Algiers for R&R and as he fired up and began to taxi out of his parking spot he taxied right into a fox hole and wiped out the left gear...not the right one...the one he could see!
I don't know if you old
sports remember San Pan, but I damn sure do. When they made the first landings on
the west side of Italy, operations, either Homer Howard or Garsky sent me and another ship
over to San Pan to hold the field. Homer denies it. I don't remember any
briefing about what force we were to use to accomplish and defend our position.besides
telling me that the Germans were pulling out of the heel if Italy and should give no
Tom, you said you flew over with me...so your input would be good. Anyway we taxied up on the slight hill west of the runway and parked the aircraft about 100 yards apart and dug in. The only sign of support was every morning a gaggle of P-38s would buzz us (grass high) to make sure we were there...as I recall we were there four days till more A/C came in to assist us...no matter how I look at that episode of my life, I'm sure someone had a hit out on me...could'a been Cassada.
I'm sure you guys remember the mad house of trying to land the whole squadron at once through the haze of red flares and low fuel lights gleaming. The highlight was we flew right past Sofia (it was five miles on our left...my bombardier Sgt. Hawley damn near had a hemmorage...screaming, "TURN LEFT!) We went right past Sofia to the next town twenty miles beyond and then wheeled the whole wing in a ten mile turn back to Sofia. About half the bombs hit in the marshaling yards, most of them were all over the place out in the country.
The great memory to you old sots is the first day we raided Sofia Bulgaria. After a half hour of circling in a mess of Wing weenies screwing up the join up we started to climb out over the Adriatic. I turned it over to the co-pilot and ran a quick TAR on the gas situation and figured we would have used a hundred gallon more fuel than we had on board when we again crossed the coast.
Anyway Bob, thanks a million for the pix. I feel sure if Len Hanten were asked about those pix, he could give you all the details you could want.
So thanks again Bob. On my printer they came through as beautiful, aged (Yellowed) black and whites.
Cheers...Robert M. Johnston