35 missions. 3 'crash' landings. 4 enemy aircraft destroyed by crew of B-24 'Shack Rat. ' One crew member captured by Luftwaffe. B-24H 42-95209 'Sabrina III'.
Lt Col Derr's 24th mission on 27th June 1944 was to a railroad bridge in France; flying time an estimated 5 hours 45 minutes. As they approached the target the flak became intense and the plane just ahead of them went down on fire. Their plane received numerous hits, No 3 engine was on fire and a fuel line was cut, fuel streaming everywhere. Two of the crew stuffed clothing into the hole and managed to stop the flow. They were losing altitude and had dropped behind the squadron when the waist gunner reported that one of the crew had bailed out. Their pilot had called for assistance and they were escorted home by a P-51. They did make it back to Shipdham - with only vapour for fuel - and landed on the grass. That night they all rode into town and got thoroughly 'soused', several casualties occurring from the guys who rode their bicycles into the ditch.
DFC/ Air Medal w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster
Units served with
The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...
Sabrina III, #42-95209, 506 Sq. was built at the Ford Willow Run plant and first flown in combat by the Richard Hruby crew. Her 106 missions were an amazing record for any B-24 at a time when 15 missions were about average.
Military site : airfield
Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...
||16 January 1920
||27 June 1944