1944 — Italy
Clarence, RETURNED the next day.
MISSING IN ACTION on 12 May 1944~Returned on 13 May 1944~On May 12th, 1944 while on a mission over a command post at Pico, Italy, Lieutenants’ Swanson’s plane was hit by flak over the target before dropping his bombs. A direct hit was scored in the right wing and on the right engine. As his hydraulic lines were severed, his wheels dropped and his bomb-bay doors remained open. He left the formation in order to salvo his bombs but succeeded in releasing only six of them. Meanwhile gasoline from a severed gas line sprayed into the plane. After leaving the Italian Coast he found it necessary to feather one engine. The plane was rapidly losing altitude and the crew lightened the ship by throwing over-board all moveable equipment. Due to the gasoline leak the plane’s right engine began to sputter and finally died. Realizing that he could not make the home base Lieutenant Swanson decided to ditch his plane about 12 miles off the coast of Corsica. He made an expert landing in the sea and during the two and one half minutes that the plane remained afloat all crew members succeeded in escaping into the life rafts. Several minor injuries were incurred in the landing. After rescue by ASR the crew was taken to Bastia aboard a PT boat and spent the next 24 hours in a hospital. The next day they returned to their home base.
A/C No. 41-30327 (ditched at sea)
P->Swanson, Erle G. “Swanny”, Jr., 2Lt 12 May 1944
CP->Connor, John C., Jr., 2Lt
B->Quartuccio, Anthony P., 2Lt
E->Carter, Eugene F., Sgt
R->Denny, Joseph C., Sgt
G->Bishop, William (NMI), Sgt
F->Edwards, Clarence C., S/Sgt