Segment 2


Onesi recalls the aircraft flying in a very tight V formation to protect each other. They bombed their targets during the day, while the British bombed at night. He was told it "was all politics," but he did not like it; they did what they were told to do. They had extensive equipment to keep warm in the airplane, all fleece lined and heated. If they lost power in the airplane, they had to decrease altitude or freeze to death, their flight suits were tapped into the power on the B-17. Onesi did not fly in Black Week in October of 1942 [Annotator's Note: Onesi probably means October 1943, or the second Schweinfurt raid, called Black Thursday because the loss of aircrewmen was the highest for any USAAF mission.]When they arrived in England, they flew training missions with the 95th Division. Onesi flew with the same crew, the pilots flew with other pilots to train. From the time they woke up, to the time they came back to England after the mission, they had 13-14 hour days. Onesi was more afraid of the flack than the German fighters. On 30 December of 1943, Onesi's plane was shot down over Germany. At first, they lost one engine. They were at the channel when they were attacked by German fighters. The gunners were not were they were supposed to be, they were not firing. They knew they were going down without the warning from the pilot.Onesi and the other waist gunner stayed were they were in the airplane, they could not move. The other waist gunner was impaled by a 20mm machine gun. He was taken to a barn by a doctor, where one of his kidneys was removed. The underground resistance could not take Onesi and the other man because they were too much of a liability.


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