Recorded memoir of Jim O'Brien (also known as James O'Brien) (MC 371/882/16)
Recorded memoir of Jim O'Brien (also known as James O'Brien)
1 audio cassette (Realistic 60)
nd [c 1985]
44th Bomb Group
Jim O'Brien (also known as James O'Brien)
[00:00-05:00] Describes enlistment, June 1941, pilot training in the United States and flight to Prestwick, Scotland, via Canada. [05:00-10:00] Journey continued. Remarks about Shipdam base and Royal Air Force [RAF] personnel including Women's Royal Naval Service [WRENS]. Describes relationships with English people: bicycle trips to East Dereham, Norfolk, with Malcolm Howell (co-pilot); friendship with Mitchell family and visits to local families with Capt. James ?Patterson (chaplain). Comments on British weather and impact on flying missions. Mentions military liaison work with bomber command. Describes aborted mission with RAF, April 1943, to bomb German battleship, 'Turpitz', Norway. [10:00-15:00] Continues about 'Turpitz'. Comments on places visited in Britain. Mentions Mac [Malcolm] Howell killed when aeroplane shot down over Kiel, Germany and the American Eagle Club, London. Summary of his military career at Barksdale, Louisiana, 1942. History of formation of 93rd and 44th Bomb Groups, July 1942. Mentions work as instructor pilot and crew member for anti-submarine patrols, Gulf of Mexico. Mission summary: including Kiel, Germany, shot down, 14 May 1943, and diversionary missions, December 1942-January 1943. [15:00-20:00] Missions continued: 7 December 1942, Abbeville airfield, France; 20 December, 1942, aircraft factories, Romilly sur Seine, France; 27 January 1943, diversion mission, Emden, Germany, aeroplane rammed by dead German pilot, bombardier and waist-gunner killed, and [? 27 February 1943], Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Remarks about British and German fighter aeroplanes. [20:00-25:00] Missions continued: 14 March, 1943, railroads, Rouen, France; 14 May 1943, Kiel, Germany. Describes being shot down and fates of crew including Malcolm Howell (killed), Richard Castillo (injured) and Sgt. Ben Oyen (drowned in Kiel Bay). Describes prisoner of war experiences: Stalag Luft 3; night march across Germany to Stalag 7a, Moosburg, and receiving Red Cross parcels. [25:00-30:00] Continues about prisoner of war experience and summarizes his post-war career. Recorded on side B only.