Edward C Quigley

Edward C Quigley

Stories about Edward C Quigley

The Oschersleben Raid

  • Germany

The day before its final fatal flight, Lt Walters' "Little Caesar" was on a raid over Oscherlegen. In his diary, 2nd Lt Edward Quigley (who did not make the final flight) reported that cloudy weather had caused several planes to break off formation. He called this the "Battle of the Clouds -- clouds all around us -- fighters had a field day . . . five forts including us . . . went all the way alone."
The report of this raid in _Snetterton Falcons, (_as the 96th group was called), comes fromes Lt. Ed McQuigley, bombardier, "There was nothing left of the lead squadron by now of the lead squadron by now. The lead and his deputy had been shot down. The others had aborted. Over in the lower squadron, Hugh Moore had been shot down and the others, heading for home, were running a terrible German gamut.
"At this juncture, Captain Francis Madsen had taken over the 96th lead from his high squadron position. He didn't have much of a group left behind him, just Walters, Bob Hudson and Charlie Mooreland (and perhaps that mysterious 5th plane mentioned in the press release, which was lost near the English coast.)
"Fighters were pressing home savage attacks. A fortress broke out in flames across our four engines. A german fighter exploded, a ball of orange flame hanging in the air. Another fort twisted out of control, an engine burning, its tail sheared off. In the nose of Little Caesar, empty shell casings were piling up. Jerry was coming in for the kill and swarming all over our tiny four-ship element.
"I began firing the right nose gun. A Yellow Nose dipped to go under. All the guns on Little Caesar were firing now. I could hear the pounding of the top-turret and the distinctive CHUG-CHUG of the ball. Tracers were everywhere. I started to turn back to the nose guns when something smashed me in the back. I was thrown face-down upon the bombsight. I looked around. Sid Rosberger, the navigator, was sprawled on his back, almost on the escape hatch. The unmanned guns were swinging wildly and smoke was pouring though the shards of plexiglass. Then, Sid and I both got up. Walt, the pilot, was calling on the interphone. Told him everything was OK and got back on the guns. About ten minutes later, when the Germans gave us a breathing spell, I knew that I had been hit. I put my hand under my jacket in back and showed Sid the blood. He took a closer look and said he thought it wasn't too bad. I went back to the fighters again."
Lt Quigley eventually put his bombs on target.
"I guess there must have been flak, but I don't remember. We turned on the I.P., the lead ship shot off its flares and I opened the bomb bay doors. I tried looking for the target, but it was too painful to bend over. The lead ship dropped and I let our bombs go too and close [sic] the doors.
"When England appeared on the horizon, I went into the radio room, whhere I became scared the first time. I started shaking and smoking my way though a pack of cigarettes. We came over the field, shot off a flare to tell the Sawbones to be ready with the meat wagon and came in. Walt pulled off the runway, leaned out the cockpit window and waved to me as I struggled between the two medics. That's the last I ever saw of him."

2nd Lt Edward C Quigley was recommended for the Silver Star.  In his diary he wrote about hearing about Little Caesar's fate of 29 July 1943: "Lost Walt [pilot Lt Cecil Walters] & Ollie [co-pilot Ly James Clay Olsen] and all my crew today - - I was in Hospital - - So God-damned hard to believe they're all gone -- plane from another Group crashed into them, cutting my plane in two -- they had finished raid & were almost back to England -- down to about 2,000 ft. when hit -- no chance for any of boys to get out"
    He was hospitalized for several months. In November, when he returned to combat, "the only person he recognized was felloe bombardier R. McKinnon. 'Dear God, Ray, where is everybody?' McKinnon didn't have an answer. Inside the lonely Nissen, the two charter members embraced and wept."

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Created:
9/2/2008
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10/7/2013
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