By Herbert Brooks Hatch
Memoirs of a WWII Fighter Pilot
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Additional resources for An Ace and His Angel: Memoirs of a WWII Fighter Pilot
He was flying, but barely. I talked to Hoey and found out he was out of ammunition, too. We hadn't flown more than four or five minutes more when another 38 joined us. He was John Allen from the 94th squadron. We were happy to see him and hoped he had some ammo. When we called to ask, we found out his radio was out and we couldn't talk to him. We hadn't gone more than twenty or thirty miles west and were just getting a little altitude when we ran into a bunch of flak. Morrison got separated again because he couldn't move as fast as we could and we had to go back again and find him.
Mel Hill, Bill Armstrong and m . We had been flying alternate missions for some time, always as squadron or group lead because we were the only really experienced pilots in the squadron. E. and I had been buddies since cadet days and Mel and Bill kinda hung together. I wasn't real close to either of the other two. , called the four of us into his office and told us we all had enough time to be eligible to return to the States, but that he needed us for a little while longer. "If each of you will fly four more missions, ['11 get you your Captaincies and cut your orders to go home.
We were briefed very early that morning. We were routed out at 0400, had some breakfast and went down to Group Headquarters for the briefi ng. When we walked in and sat down, it was apparent something unusual was in the air because the Group Commander, the Group Intelligence Officer 59 Flak over Ploesti. The "heavies" lOok fhe brunt of it. bllt fighter pilots sOInefimes got their share. and all the other brass in the Group were in the room. " And then, when they told us what the mission was, there was absolute silence in the briefing area - and utter disbelief.