Recorded memoir of Elmer W. Clarey (MC 371/882/13)
Recorded memoir of Elmer W. Clarey
1 audio cassette (Tonemaster 60)
nd [c 1985]
492nd Bomb Group
Elmer W. Clarey
Summarizes his service in the 492nd Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group (Rackheath) and 3rd Strategic Air Depot (Watton). Comments on joining the Air Corps in 1942, and air cadet training at various bases in Texas, graduating as a pilot, December 1943. Remarks on assignment to B-24 crew, Salt Lake City, Utah, and names crew: William Prewitte (pilot); himself (co-pilot); Ed [Edward] Grooms (navigator); Henry Muller (bombardier); Charles Trout (engineer); Robert Mattson (armourer-gunner); Edgar Foss (radio operator); Wilford Craig, Oliver Meredith and Edward Cromley [gunners]. Remarks on crew training, Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas and night bombing and navigation training, New Mexico. Describes journey to North Pickenham, flying the southern route [usually via Trinidad; Brazil, South America; Dakar, Marrakech and Morocco, Africa, arriving in Scotland or Wales]. Comments on first mission, Zeitz, Germany, 12 May 1944, and his most memorable mission, Politz [Poland], 29 May 1944: flak hit aeroplane, low on fuel and crew bailing out. Describes his own recovery from the sea by RAF Air Sea Rescue boat, including crewman Charles Hayes Halliday. Comments on break up of the 492nd Bomb Group, due to its heavy losses, and transfer to Rackheath. Describes accident on practice mission, where the crew was shot down accidentally by another aeroplane flying in their group, killing several crew members and Prewitte. Comments on his duties on transferring to Watton, including flying fuel to General Patton's army in France. Remarks on Red Cross dances, fishing, visiting London and warm beer. Mentions his annual reunion with Charles Halliday on 29 May, memories of V-1 and V-2 rockets in London and returning to the United States on ship 'Queen Elizabeth'. For tape insert, see MC 376/431/3. Recorded on side A only.