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Target; Gymnich Airdrome
January 10, 1945 | Gymnich Airdrome, Germany
A/C No 2102396. 92nd Bomb Group, 325th Squadron, piloted by 1st Lt Robert C Hirsch exhibited a high degree of skill and tenacity of purpose in completeing the mission, even though at one time none of his engines was functioning. On the first run, Flak knocked out the No. 1 engine, and on the second run, the No. 2 engine. On this run, the lead bombardier was unable to identify the target in time and bombs were not dropped. Lt Hirsch's aircraft began to lag behind the formation as it regrouped for the third run, but he was determined to bomb. Maintaining air speed by dropping altitude and using the full power of his remaining two engines he was able to stay close to the formation. Just before bombs away, Flak knocked out both of the remaining engines.
Working feverishly, with the aircraft losing considerable air speed and altitude, Lt Hirsch then displayed remarkable aeronautical ability. He brought the No. 1 engine back into operation even though the prop was still running away. Dropping the bomb load on an unidentified German town, he headed for friendly territory, losing altitude at about 1,000 to 1,500 feet per minute. Spotting a field near Liege, Belgium, and behind friendly lines, Lt Hirsch ordered the crew to the radio room and prepared to crash land a badly damaged aircraft... not only were three engines out, but the bomb-bay doors were opened and jammed, and the guns in the inoperative ball turret were at a 90 degree angle. At 300 feet, without order, S/Sgt Jay L. Adams, the waist gunner bailed out and was killed. Lt Hirsch landed the aircraft without injury to the crew
Source; 92nd Archive records,
"The Route As Briefed; John Sloan