Recorded memoir of Tom Stephens (MC 371/882/55)
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Recorded memoir of Tom Stephens


MC 371/882/55

1 audio cassette (Sony HF60)

nd [c 1985]

389th Bomb Group

Tom Stephens

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[00:00-05:00] Summarizes his service in 564th and 565th Squadrons: enlisting, 2 April 1942; gunnery school, Las Vegas, Nevada, 17 April 1943; commissioned as bombardier, Roswell, New Mexico, 5 June 1943 and B-24 training, Boise, Idaho and Tonopah, Nevada, mentioning his crew. Describes crashes in training and mentions radar training, Langley Field, Virginia. Describes journey to England: enlisted men on ship 'Queen Elizabeth,' 27 March 1944, and the rest by aeroplane. Mentions heavy losses of aeroplanes by Air Force at that time and Germans following squadrons back to base after missions to destroy bombers. Remarks on facilities at Hethel airbase, Norfolk, and courage of the English people. Describes visit to London during 'buzz bomb' attack. [05:00-10:00] Continues about the attack. Mentions assignment to 389th Bomb Group, 565th Squadron, 31 May 1944, and crews he flew with including Lt ?Vanns's crew. Comments on first mission, D-Day and last mission, Paderborn, Germany, 29 November 1944. Describes memorable mission to Politz [Poland]. Mentions fates of crews he flew with including ?Vanns's crew. Comments on damage to aeroplane on missions to France, 25 June and 18 July. Concluding remarks on combat and tribute to ground crews. Discusses dangers of taxi journeys and cycling back to base, after nights out, during the black-out. Recorded on side A only.