ME-109's MISTAKE: ATTACKS MARAUDER
A few days ago the first Me-109 to attack a crack Marauder finished at the bottom of the Channel. The Streak piloted by Capt. Clay was toiling home on one engine when the German pursuit far below zoomed up to cut down the isolated cripple. As he reared up with spitting guns astern, the American ship, Staff Sergeant George R. Anderson, a Californian, turned on his twin "choppers" in the tail turret and blew the attacker in half.
Besides the career of the Colonel, the Streaks take most pride in their association with Gen. Doolittle's famous Tokyo raid. Lt. Col. Bob Witty, 28, of Cleveland, Ohio, a former newspaperman and father of twin boys and second in command of the group, was among t o original volunteers for and planners of the Tokyo mission, but to his eternal regret was one of the historic group in a Minneapolis Hotel who offered to go but he was turned down.
WITTY WINS HONOR TO LEAD STREAKS.
It became known on Monday that Col. Witty, who had been grounded for nearly two weeks for the special purpose, was to lead the Streaks over the Invasion Coast in the place of honor of the whole first invasion phase - the first American airplane group over the beachhead and spearhead of the invading American forces.
As soon as we arrived at the advanced air base from which we were to set out on D-Day the following Tuesday, all of us were warned not to discuss our assignment with the combat crews who had not then any inkling of what impended.
On Sunday, the Silver Streaks piled off from the airfield in the green wooded English countryside side for their last run before the invasion. They were set to pound the 300 foot high trestle railway bridge over the river Seine just above Rouen, France. A magnificent placement of bombs cut the bridge in three places and sent it tumbling into the river.
WAIT H-HOUR WITH JAVA AND SANDWICHES.
Next day, the eve of D-Day, all machines of the Silver Streak group were grounded, and all personnel on the field were confined to camp. Those of us who know that the invasion was to take place on the morrow and that the paratroops would be landed behind the German lines just before dawn packed our kits and sat by drinking black coffee and eating massive cheese sandwiches waiting for reveille, which was timed for half an hour after midnight.
There was no air of ill-suppressed excitement. None of us outside the Colonel and a few others knew at what spot the first American invasion was to land. We knew that we would know at 2:30 when we were briefed.
But we did not know that perhaps thousands of lives depended upon the accuracy of the "Silver Streaks" bombing; that the job was to stun into stupidity the horde of German troops crouching under concrete shelters facing the beach where American troops were to spearhead the Army of Deliverance into France.