Both Groups experienced moderate
to intense and accurate flak.
The main "A" Group sustained one
wounded crewman (Richard G.
Scharch) and 15 damaged aircraft
and the "B" Group had eight
wounded crewmen and nine damaged
aircraft–all from flak. Enemy
fighter opposition was generally
weak with only a few attacks on
the Group. Strung-out fighter
support over the route resulted
in no support over the target
area for about one hour.
Co-pilot, Lt. John C. Cook was
hit by flak in his arm. Pilot,
Lt. Robert W. Snyder was hit in
the neck. They were flying in
#42-97617 (No Name).
Bombing excellence was a tribute
to the courage of the
bombardiers who stayed crouched
over their bombsights through
one of the worst flak barrages
ever encountered by the 303rd
BG(H). Nearly every Group B-17
had several holes to testify to
the accuracy of the German
Credit for the successful
operations went to Maj. Shumake,
who took a Combat Wing to
Augsburg, and Maj. Cole, who led
a Group to attack Stuttgart.
Both men made almost identical
reports on their missions. Maj.
Shumake said, "I think we did a
darned good job as far as
bombing is concerned. We didn't
have much trouble until we got
over the target, but they really
gave it to us there. We didn't
get jumped by fighters, but we
could hear other Groups calling
for help. It was a long, rough
haul, but worth it." Maj. Cole
said, "Our Group had excellent
bombing. All of our bombs went
right in there. There was a lot
of smoke coming up from the
target when we left."
Capt. Gamble, who piloted Maj.
Shumake, said he had seen enough
flak to last him for a long
time, and "We had flak all the
way and it was pretty fierce.
"Luckily our fighters kept the
Germans away from us and we had
a good bomb run in spite of the
flak. Our bombardier did a swell
job and our bombs seemed to go
right into the target. "When our
pilot said we were at the French
border, I looked back at
Augsburg and could still see
smoke coming up from our target.
It was a big black column and it
seemed to be getting
bigger," Davis said. S/Sgt.
Elwood R. Pelkey, waist gunner
on The '8' Ball MK II which went
to Stuttgart, reported lots of
smoke there, too. "We could see
black smoke coming up from
Stuttgart thirty minutes after
we left the place," he said.