USAAF Nose Art Research Project



"I can recall how we used to 'suit up' for Berlin. Go sit in our planes awaiting the Start Engine flare. . . . and then see the red 'scrub' flare and go back to our bunks. The idea of going to Big B was something which sent shudders up and down our spines. I actually believe the high Command purposely scheduled those first several missions, knowing they would scrub them, so that by the time we DID go, we would consider it just another damn mission! It worked for me, because by the time we finally went, I was actually relieved that we were going!"

Bill Heller, pilot 303BG's Miss Liberty (42-31340)

"Finally, you could recognise Berlin in the distance . . . .
It wasn't that you could see the city. What you could see was the black cloud of smoke from the spent 88mm and 105mm anti-aircraft shells and the smoke rising from the ground below . . . ."

Mike Banta, pilot 91BG's Yankee Gal (43-37844)

". . . . they cued up on us and started loosing 20mm at us. Then started in . . . .
I poured lead at a Ju88, he was on fire in his left wing then he exploded . . .
I started firing on a 410, he caught fire and dived down to earth . . . ."

Gil Bradley, top turret gunner, 91BG's Old Faithful (42-37958)