Segment 5

Annotation

Herbertert Heilbrun believes in the power of prayer. On his fourth mission, Heilbrun was flying with 36 airplanes in nine squadrons, staying in tight formation. Heilbrun and the other pilot would trade off flying every 15 minutes because the plane was hard to fly. He traded off and suddenly the plane was upside down while his other pilot was shouting for Heilbrun to take over. They could have taken out four planes that day. Heilbrun took control and got back in formation. His other pilot was paralyzed with fear and had to control the plane for hours. He became very tired and asked god to help him and believes he became stronger from praying. Heilbrun’s first mission was as a copilot. He was finally overseas and enjoyed flying around. Heilbrun was not shot at until his third mission which was his last mission as a copilot. They ran a milk run which was supposed to be easy. They were flying at 18000 feet with limited guns. They were being tracked by flak guns. The fire missed Heilbrun’s plane and hit the plane next to his. After they landed he saw the pilot in the plane next to him with his head on the glass and a bottle of plasma hanging from the compass. Heilbrun’s fourth mission was his first with a crew. Poe was the navigator that lost control and almost jumped out of the plane. After that mission, Heilbrun told Poe that the men were being watched on rendezvous and when the men were asked who was practicing inverted flight, Poe walked forward and claimed what he did. He got behind prop wash and out of formation. Halfway through their missions the men could either go to Rome or Capri. Since it was cold, they went to Rome so Poe could make up extra missions and the crew could finish and go home together. Poe was shot down a couple days after their final mission. Heilbrun was told Poe was dead and when he and the men returned Poe was sitting on the bunk. Poe told them he jumped out of the plane while it was on fire and had holes in his parachute. Poe landed near the Russians, where he gave them his watch. He and other men drank vodka and black wine until he was turned over to partisans and brought back to base. Poe ended up finishing with the rest of his crew.

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