11

[The following takes place during World War II, from the perspective of Army Air Force bombers flying out of liberated Italy.]

There were many empty bunks. Lt. Victor McWilliams was a pilot in the 741st Squadron. Once that January he was watching as other pilots and crew from the squadron took off for a mission that was ultimately aborted. One B-24 got into the sky but then turned around to come back to base. Suddenly, for no reason McWilliams could ever find out, the ten bombs in the plane exploded. “You looked up and all you saw was dust.” Everyone on the plane was killed.

Another plane was headed down the runway. The pilot got the nose up and the tail went down and “you knew he wouldn’t make it. At the end of the runway he cut the throttle and the plane nosed over and caught fire.” McWilliams and four others dashed to the plane, picked up a piece of drill pipe and knocked the windows off around the cockpit. The tail gunner meanwhile jumped out ,as did a waist gunner, who broke his arm. ”But the cockpit was on fire and the plane was burning. We hauled out the pilot. He was burned almost beyond recognition. We laid him on the ground. All the time he was saying, ‘Just leave me in the plane, leave me here, leave me here,’ because he knew he was gone.” McWilliams and the others got him into the ambulance” and he didn’t even last to get to the hospital. That was the first time I ever saw anybody burned up that way. His hands were just burnt down to nothing.” Somehow the co-pilot got out. “I don’t know how. Just one of these unexplained things.”


Source:

Ambrose, Stephen E. “The Isle of Capri.” The Wild Blue: The Crews of the B-24. Simon & Schuster, 2002. 201. Print.

Original Source Listed:

Viktor McWilliams interview with Hugh Ambrose, Eisenhower Center.


If you enjoy this type of content, please consider donating to my Patreon!

[**The following takes place during World War II, from the perspective of Army Air Force bombers flying out of liberated Italy.**] >There were many empty bunks. Lt. Victor McWilliams was a pilot in the 741st Squadron. Once that January he was watching as other pilots and crew from the squadron took off for a mission that was ultimately aborted. One B-24 got into the sky but then turned around to come back to base. Suddenly, for no reason McWilliams could ever find out, the ten bombs in the plane exploded. “You looked up and all you saw was dust.” Everyone on the plane was killed. >Another plane was headed down the runway. The pilot got the nose up and the tail went down and “you knew he wouldn’t make it. At the end of the runway he cut the throttle and the plane nosed over and caught fire.” McWilliams and four others dashed to the plane, picked up a piece of drill pipe and knocked the windows off around the cockpit. The tail gunner meanwhile jumped out ,as did a waist gunner, who broke his arm. ”But the cockpit was on fire and the plane was burning. We hauled out the pilot. He was burned almost beyond recognition. We laid him on the ground. All the time he was saying, ‘Just leave me in the plane, leave me here, leave me here,’ because he knew he was gone.” McWilliams and the others got him into the ambulance” and he didn’t even last to get to the hospital. That was the first time I ever saw anybody burned up that way. His hands were just burnt down to nothing.” Somehow the co-pilot got out. “I don’t know how. Just one of these unexplained things.” _______________________ **Source:** Ambrose, Stephen E. “The Isle of Capri.” *The Wild Blue: The Crews of the B-24*. Simon & Schuster, 2002. 201. Print. **Original Source Listed:** Viktor McWilliams interview with Hugh Ambrose, Eisenhower Center. ___________________________ **If you enjoy this type of content, please consider donating to my [Patreon](https://www.patreon.com/HistoryLockeBox)!**

No comments yet...