Recorded memoir of James H. Lorenz, part 1 of 2 (side A of cassette) (MC 376/225/1)
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Recorded memoir of James H. Lorenz, part 1 of 2 (side A of cassette)


MC 376/225/1

1 side of audio cassette

nd [c 1985]

466th Bomb Group

James H. Lorenz

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[00:00-05:00] Comments on volunteering for service, aged 18 years, requiring his mother's consent, 28 November 1942. Describes aviation cadet programme: college training, University of Nevada, until April 1943; pre-flight, including code, navigation, aircraft recognition and physics, ?Santa Ana; primary flight, Ryan School of Aeronautics, from September 1943, and basic flight, Taft, California, from November 1943. [05:00-10:00] Training continued: advanced flight, Marfa, Texas and graduation as pilot, second lieutenant, 12 March 1944. Comments on crew assignment, Lincoln, Nebraska, as co-pilot for Lt Don [Donald] Poutry and B-24 flight training, Boise, Idaho. Describes journey to England, July 1943, flying northern route [usually via Bangor, Maine; Gander, Newfoundland and Reykjavik, Iceland] arriving in Valley, Wales. Remarks on acting as navigator aeroplane for group of Mosquitos built in Canada for the RAF on the journey. Mentions training in Ireland, assignment as replacement crew, 785th Squadron, August 1944, and their living quarters at Attlebridge. Mentions that their bombardier, Lt Westby, was detached from the crew. [10:00-15:00] Quarters at Attlebridge continued. Mentions his difficulty understanding Welsh and Irish accents. Comments on lack of time to meet local people and the Brighty family who did their laundry. Remarks on visiting Norwich, local pubs, and hospitality of British people. Mentions some resentment of Americans, mostly by older men. Comments on first mission, flown with experienced crew, Karlsruhe, Germany, 5 September 1944: heavy flak and aeroplane damage. [15:00-20:00] Karlsruhe continued: landing at Canadian base, Amiens, France; staying overnight and concern about German snipers; RAF fighter escort home and crew spending emergency Francs from escape kits. Comments on German's use of wooden bullets and being briefed on gas bombs, which they never used, 7 September 1944. Remarks on flying missions to supply fuel to General Patton's army in France. [20:00-25:00] Describes second combat mission, with his crew, Ulm, Germany, 10 September 1944. Remarks on flying rest of his missions with different pilots and as an instructor for new crews on their first mission. Lists serial numbers of aeroplanes flown, including his favourite, 'Connie.' Comments on structure of the 2nd Air Division. [25:00-30:00] Describes a typical mission routine: notification and briefing, aeroplane assembly, the bomb-run, return flight and debriefing. Mentions officers receiving shots of whisky from Red cross girls on return from mission. For continuation recording, see MC 376/225/2. For tape insert, see MC 376/431/17.