Recorded memoir of John Muka (MC 371/882/38)
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Recorded memoir of John Muka


MC 371/882/38

1 audio cassette

nd [c 1985]

392nd Bomb Group

John Muka

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[00:00-05:00] Comments on his induction, 21 July 1943, and training as aviation cadet: basic, Miami Beach, Florida; bombardier classification, Nashville, Tennessee; pre-flight, Maxwell Field, Alabama; aerial gunnery, Tindale Field, Florida and bombardier school, Carlsbad, New Mexico. Mentions dropping out of cadet training, 1944, and assignment as waist-gunner to a B-24 crew, Nebraska. Names crew: James Dodd (pilot); Carl Sholander (co-pilot); Kurt [Kenneth] Fleming (navigator); Morris Epstein (radio operator); Bob [Robert] Hartong (engineer); Bob [Robert] Page (nose-gunner); Leonard Hulbert (tail-gunner) and Mac [Maclovio] Olivas (waist-gunner). Comments on journey to Glasgow on ship, 'I'lle de France,' assignment to 577th Squadron and Wendling barracks. [05:00-10:00] Barracks continued. Comments on first mission, Mannheim, Germany. Describes second mission, Dortmund, Germany: dispensing chaff; problems with aeroplane; parachuting out with broken legs and kindness of villagers who found him. [10:00-15:00] Describes journey to and treatment in German hospital, Ludenscheid. Comments on people he met there including: GI's Frankie [? Dolly] and Bill Porter, captured in Battle of the Bulge [16 December 1944-25 January 1945]; Captain Cross [American]; Russian girls, who brought him black bread and turnip soup and French and German doctors. [15:00-20:26] Continues about his treatment at the hospital. Comments on his return to the United States and medical discharge from service. Describes learning the fate of his crew and crew of the aeroplane with which they collided. Remarks on meeting Mac Olivas (the only other survivor of the crash) in 1979, on his family and pays tribute to his crew. Recorded on side A only.