Segment 4

Annotation

John Noack and his crew finally got a plane. They took their time in breaking it in. Finally they received orders to go to England. When they took off from Salina, Kansas with their new plane, they flew to Bangor, Maine and then to Newfoundland. Each place they had to wait about four days for favorable weather. They left Newfoundland with favorable tail winds. They flew to Scotland. In Scotland the plane was taken away from them because apparently the plane had flammable insulation. Once again they were without an airplane, so then they were sent down to a base in England. From there they were put in a replacement pool awaiting reassignment. Noack’s crew was assigned to the 306th Bomb Group. When they arrived at their base they were told that the crew would be split up. Noack’s crew was assigned to a more experienced pilot. Noack was separated from his crew and put with a very experienced crew. Noack’s plane was the B flight leader. Noack flew three missions with him and then flew four other missions with different pilots. Noack’s first mission was on the 12th of August 1943. Noack was really eager to fly his first mission. He was not too scared and he was excited that he was going to war to bomb Hitler. Just about when they were to hit their initial point for their bomb run they were attacked by a flight of German Focke-Wulf 190s. They made an approach from about one o’clock and unfortunately one of their 20-millimeter shells came into the fuselage and exploded. Noack was wounded by fragments in his shin and right hip. It felt it had penetrated his stomach and exploded there. It was an awful feeling. That one thing put the fear of God into Noack for every mission flown thereafter. Every time they were briefed for a mission he was afraid. Noack had sense enough to be scared. Noack knew what was going on when he was under attack. When they practiced back in the states they did learn what it looked like to see an aircraft buzz their bomber. Noack enjoyed seeing the planes come at him in training. With the Luftwaffe that enjoyment turned to fear. Noack did not see which particular plane hit him. The Germans would attack in waves of four. Noack did not see anything when he got hit, but suddenly it felt like someone had taken a two-by-four and swung it as hard as they could on his hip. The immediate pain was tremendous. The squadron surgeon took an x-ray and told Noack that the fragments had exited his body. Years later, Noack got an x-ray and they found fragments. It does not bother Noack.

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