Recorded memoir of David G. Patterson, part 1 of 2 (side A of cassette) (MC 371/882/21/1)
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Recorded memoir of David G. Patterson, part 1 of 2 (side A of cassette)


MC 371/882/21/1

1 side of audio cassette

Feb 1983

445th Bomb Group

David G. Patterson

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[00:00-05:00] Introduction to his memoir, 'Russian excursion World War II style': an account of a mission on which he was a co-pilot, based on information gathered from the crew. Comments on 445th Bomb Group's assignment, missions and American airmen. Comments on his career: entering service from final year of a university course in mechanical industry and his post-war work in engineering. [05:00-10:00] Remarks on post-war activities of his crew: Ken Branson, killed in service; Bob Honeycutt and Art Fetskos, retired from service; Claud Palmer (pilot) accountant; Charlie Cooper (engineer) accountant; Ed [Edward] Vaughan (radio operator) businessman; Dick [Richard] Nason, businessman and Carlton 'Scottie' Scott, employed in the coal mining industry. Comments on voluntary entry into service, training and crew formation, Gowan Field [Boise, Idaho]. [10:00-15:00] Comments on journey to England by ship to become a replacement crew, December 1944 and further training. Summarizes his missions, January-April 1945, and lack of time to meet English people. Introduction to his account of the mission, 15 March 1945. [15:00-20:00] Mission continued: target, Zossen, Germany. Remarks on official records which state that four B-24 aeroplanes landed safely on the Continent. Describes mission briefing, including advice to continue into Russian territory if they encountered problems. Describes mission, including aeroplane hit by guns over Hanover, and damage to the aeroplane. [20:00-25:00] Aeroplane damage continued and crew's decision to land at a Russian airfield in Poland. [25:00-30:00] Comments on their landing and hostile reception by armed Russian soldiers. Describes the airfield. [30:00-35:00] Describes their accommodation in the airfield's hospital, the nurse, Tanya, their limited freedom, other patients and the doctor. Anecdote about Art Fetskos discovering that both he and the doctor spoke German and expressing their wish to return to their Group. Anecdote about party held for them by Russian commanding officer. [35:00-40:00] Party continued: comments on food, vodka and dancing. Remarks on Russians not communicating their plight to the American Air Force. Describes aeroplanes flown by the Russian Air Force. [40:00-45:00] Aeroplanes continued. Comments on Russian Air Force: training, flying ability and emergency facilities at airfield. Remarks on other American airmen arriving, their increasing frustration with the situation and inability to contact the American Air Force. For continuation recording, see MC 371/882/21/2.