Recorded memoir of Kenneth Healing, part 2 of 2 (side B of cassette) (MC 376/522/2)
Recorded memoir of Kenneth Healing, part 2 of 2 (side B of cassette)
1 side of audio cassette
late 20th century
2nd Air Division Memorial Library/Sound recordings collected by the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library
For preceding recording, see MC 376/522/1. Relates to wartime experiences of Kenneth Healing, who served in 392nd Bomb Group at Wendling. Continuation of mission descriptions, including the 'Big Week'. Describes leave passes to Bournemouth, London, King's Lynn and Norwich, with comments on flashlights, rationing and beer. Describes incident in which John Sands's oxygen mask became detached. Remarks on promotion to 1st Lieutenant, 2 April 1944, and receiving 2nd oak leaf cluster. Describes German fighter intrusion [the Night of the intruders'], 22 April 1944. Describes relief on last mission to Abbeville [France] and feeling lucky that his crew survived. Describes memories of German fighter attacks and ineffective early flight suits. Comments on public and his crew's opinion of Doolittle's popularity. Describes position of navigator in the B-24 and comments on a near miss at his position, with description of Sperry turret. Refers to officers' club in Piccadilly and meeting with Jack Beaker (navigator in 93rd Bomb Group). Describes staying in England for three months after completing tour in anticipation of need for experienced personnel to replace losses of D-day. Describes crossing to and from England. Describes return to United States with 30 days leave and reassignment. Reflects on wartime service including German destruction, oxygen, and luxuries. Reference to post-war reunions with crewmates. Some description of relative flight capabilities of the B-24 and B-17, with comments on target types. Describes equipment and clothing worn. Missions to Germany and France described on the recording include Ludwigshafen; Kiel; Frankfurt; Helmstadt; Furth airfield near Nurnburg, Gotha; Berlin; Brunswick; Friedrichshafen; Osnabruck, no-ball targets; Mont-De-Marsan; Ludwigshafen (a famous incident in which the Swiss city of Schaffhausen was hit instead, 1 April 1944); Tutow; Zwickau recalled; Gutersloh; Hamm and Abbeville.