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Mission No. Twelve – September 10, 1944


 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster The Oak Leaf Cluster is a medal device used by the military to denote subsequent awards of a medal that has already been earned.  They are bronze or silver with bronze denoting one subsequent award and silver used to denote 5 subsequent awards.  In my dad's case, he earned Oak Leaf Clusters to denote additional Air Medals for every 5 missions successfully completed. Photo Credit: United States Government.

Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster

The Oak Leaf Cluster is a medal device used by the military to denote subsequent awards of a medal that has already been earned. They are bronze or silver with bronze denoting one subsequent award and silver used to denote 5 subsequent awards. In my dad’s case, he earned Oak Leaf Clusters to denote additional Air Medals for every 5 missions successfully completed. Photo Credit: United States Government.

Target: Stuttgart – Motor Transport Works
Bomb Load: 12-500# G.P.
Gas Load: 2700 gallons
Briefing: 0500
Plane: R4890 – Queen O’Hearts
Position: #3, #2 Element, Lead Sqdn., 41st “A” Gp.
T.O.: 0755 Land: 1421 Time: 6 hours, 26 minutes
Left Base: 0839 @ 7000′
Bombs Away: 1111; 25300′; -36 degrees C.
Distance: 1095 SM

Remarks: Light but extremely accurate flak crossing Rhine River. First four bursts bracketed our plane. Smoke from one burst filled plane. Damaged quite extensively. Salvoed bombs and left formation. Turned back. Oxygen system from radio room back shot out. Crew existed on oxygen bottles until over friendly territory. Joined another formation & came back. Flat tire on tail wheel but landed OK. Counted over 100 holes in plane. Miracle no one injured. Scared to hell on this mission. 1st Oak Leaf Cluster.

[Note: This was the 379th Bomb Group’s 201st mission. This is also the mission that was a news article in the local paper back home, probably the St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

 

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