Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radioman | 446th Bomb Group
September 1944 to March 1945.
DFC/ AM w/ 4 Oak Leaf Cluster/ EAME w/ 4 stars.
Keith describes his experience with the lead crew on a mission to Berlin in the winter of 1944/5 following the Battle of the Bulge. Due to bad weather over the city the formation was diverted to the secondary target, a synthetic oil plant some fifty miles away. They hit a 'tremendous' barrage of flak, one shell piercing a gas tank without exploding but lost all hydraulic fluid and two engines. The pilot ordered everything dumped overboard and they managed to make it to a fighter airfield behind Allied lines, albeit soaked in gasoline. By a stroke of luck no electric sparks set them alight.
They spent three days in France near Nancy, which the Germans had vacated just a week earlier, enthusiastically welcomed by the locals 'we drank a fair amount of champagne'. The crew were trucked to Paris where they spent a further three days because of bad weather and got to see the 'Folies Bergeres'. When they eventually got back to base they discovered their bunks had been cleared as they were presumed KIA or taken prisoner.
The 446th Bomb Group, who came to be known as "the Bungay Buckaroos" after the name of their Suffolk base, flew B-24 Liberators on strategic, support and interdictory missions over Europe. The Group led the Eighth Air Force and 2nd Bomb Division on the...
|04 October 2019 10:58:26||general ira snapsorter||Changes to biography|
Biography completed by historian Helen Millgate. Information sourced from correspondence files and articles related to the service of Keith Babcock.
|27 September 2014 18:17:45||AAM||AAM ingest|
Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / self