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.
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).