April 20, 1945


In England, Verne R. Gray’s unit, the 390th Bomb Group (H), flew its last combat mission in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).1

On April 20, Kenneth E. Cline’s unit, the 392nd Bombardment Group (H), bombed the rail yard at Schwandorf. Ken Cline and his crew did not fly on this mission. Ken was sick, and he and his crew were not among the 26 B-24s from the 392nd Bombardment Group (H) that participated in the mission.

The day before, he had written his wife:

We were scheduled for a mission tomorrow, but I told the operations officer that maybe he’d better take us off, for I still have a cold and my head is stopped up. I figure if I stay down tomorrow and then go on pass, I should be over it. Of course, going to London, probably won’t help it, but I plan on taking it easy there. Darling, I’ve been thinking that if I do miss going home by 2-3 missions, then I’ll never forgive myself for not pressing myself in getting more missions in. But I don’t want to fly if I have a cold.

Kenneth E. Cline in Piccadilly

Kenneth E. Cline in Picadilly

The last combat mission flown by the 392nd Bombardment Group (H) in the ETO occurred on April 25 when it attacked the marshaling yards at Hallein, Austria. Ken’s last mission was on April 17.

The air war for the heavy bombardment groups is slowly winding down, but in Europe the war rages on. As the Front moves forward, the Allies are having to come to terms with Germans and Germany.2

Blackout restrictions are to end this coming Monday, April 23, 1944.3 They had been in place since September 1, 1939. Nights had been without light for almost five years.

Notes & Commentary

1 United States and Albert E. Milliken. The story of the 390th Bombardment Group (H). [New York]: Priv. Print., 1947. pp. 29 & 131.

2 “Allies Come to Terms with Germans and Germany.” World War II Today. (http://ww2today.com/19-april-1945-allies-come-to-terms-with-germans-and-germany : accessed 19 April 2015)

3 “20th April 1945: black out to end — no more raids expected“, War and peace and the price of cat-fish. (http://myunclefred.blogspot.com/2015/04/20th-april-1945-blackout-to-end-no-more.html : accessed 20 April 2015).

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to April 20, 1945

  1. Jill Morelli says:

    As usual, Allen, a top notch blog posting. A great mix of scholarly work and “the story”. The picture is terrific. I only wish my uncle would have lived to experience the victory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ken’s last mission. Tell me he survived it!


  3. jfwknifton says:

    I don’t think the rather portly lady in the photograph would qualify, but you can probably work out what type of lady Piccadilly Circus was famous for. Not that Mr Cline would know this. He looks a charmingly innocent visitor!


  4. RSwank says:

    The photo was taken about where “The Sting” is located as it fronts on Picadilly Street. Picadilly runs into Regent Street and the store in the photo, Lillywhites is still there.

    Here on Google Street view we are standing the the street (not on the sidewalk where the photo was taken), but you can see Lillywhites as it is today to the NE. It looks pretty much the same.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mustang.Koji says:

    When I was in junior high school, my best friend’s mother recanted once of how she and her family lived under blackout conditions in 1942; this was Los Angeles. Although she was in her early teens at that time, I recall her saying it left clouds of depression, uncertainty and fear. While LA was never subjected to any true bombing, just life under blackout conditions was extremely stressful. I cannot imagine what five years must have done to lives.


Please leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s