War on Their Minds
1940s   Mr. William Gilmour
Age in 1941: 20

Interview Team: Rich Scioli and Jon Trimby

This is Richard Scioli. I'm here with my partner Jonathan Trimby and we are interviewing Mr. William Gilmour in the cafeteria conference room at the Wayland High School. The date is May 16th, 2002.

Q: What is your name?

Mr. Gilmour: William Gilmour.

Q: What was your age in 1941?

Mr. Gilmour: I was twenty years old.

Q: Where were you born and raised?

Mr. Gilmour: I was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, and raised in Arlington, Massachusetts and Lewiston, Maine.

Q: To what extent were you aware of the happenings in Japan, Italy, and Germany during the 1930s?

Mr. Gilmour: We were all rather interested. My father was interested, so we used to listen to the radio every night. There were some good commentators on that kept telling us all about it. So I was interested in it.

Q: Could you please explain how you first became aware of the dangers in Europe, involving Adolph Hitler, and in Asia with Emperor Hirohito and War Minister Tojo?

Mr. Gilmour: I can't answer very much about Japan; I was in Germany, and in England all the time. We didn't like what happened with Chamberlain and his infamous conversation with Hitler. And that stirred a lot of people to wonder just what England was doing. We knew what Roosevelt was doing during those days and we had a feeling that he was trying to help the English as much as he could without antagonizing the US Senate. Eventually it worked out such that we had to go into the war with England.

Q: What was your reaction to the war in Europe as well as the invasion of Poland, and Battle of Britain in the Fall of 1940?

Mr. Gilmour: Well, I was pretty young, and I knew it wasn't nice. I knew that Hitler was walking all over the place, and that I don't think people really appreciated that. We were wondering when the United States was going to get into it. We were already throttled down somewhat with some things that we could not buy in stores that we used to be able to. But it was sort of a growing thing as things went on.

Q: On the homefront, could you feel the effects of the war in Europe?

Mr. Gilmour: Yeah. Pearl Harbor started it off for the United States, as you know, because until we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, we even didn't think about the war, we didn't think seriously about going over and helping England. But we knew we were going to have to someday.

Q: What were your feelings about Pearl Harbor, and America's declaration of war?

Mr. Gilmour: Well, being a bit of a history buff, I knew that Billy Mitchell had, in the late1920s and early 1930s, had written an article saying that the vulnerable point of the United States was for the Japanese to sneak in, and bomb Pearl Harbor, on a Sunday morning, when all the army guys in Pearl Harbor would be drunk and sleeping. And he was going to hit them before they woke up. And that's exactly what they did. They followed the Mitchell's plan.

Q: What were your feelings about America's decleration of war?

Mr. Gilmour: Necessary.

Q: It was necessary?

Mr. Gilmour: Oh yes.

Q: Did these feelings of yours change throughout the course of the war?

Mr. Gilmour: No, I just became more involved mentally with it, knowing more about it, always made it more interesting. And seeing the different ramifications of it was also good, and being a part of it, instead of just hearing about it on the radio.

Q: Why did you join the armed forces?

Mr. Gilmour: Well, it was about two or three months after Pearl Harbor that I joined the Army Air Corps. I decided, having done some thought and talking with my parents, that it would be much smarter to volunteer, cause then you could pick which service you wanted to go into to, and I was not one that was happy sleeping in mud puddles, and so forth. So the Air Force was the, or the Air Corps as it was in those days, was the ideal situation.

Q: So, to repeat, you were in the army Air Corps, and you picked the army Air Corps because...

Mr. Gilmour: Because I was interested in it. I was interested in flying, and I was interested in the things the Army Air corps was doing,

Q: What do you remember about boot camp?

Mr. Gilmour: Well I didn't go through boot camp - I went through preflight training. Then after that I went through the Army radio school. Next, out of a class of three or four hundred at Scott Field, I was selected with ten other guys to go down to the radar school in Boca Raton, Florida. Of course at the time they said they had something interesting for us, but they couldn't tell us what it was. "Did you want to volunteer for it or didn't you" (they said). Well, I thought it would be interesting. It really had to be something different or something good. So we went down there and we found out it was radar school and we went to school for about six or eight weeks or so behind barbed wire with armed guards walking around the classroom. So it was secret in those days. I couldn't tell my folks that I was in radar.

Q: What was it like saying good-bye to your loved ones?

Mr. Gilmour: Well I had been at summer camp for many years and we had traveled. It wasn't too bad to leave after you've done that before for short times and it was sort of exciting to hop a train, and go down to Alabama and go from there to Missouri and then go from there down to Florida. It was all sort of exciting in a way.

Q: Where were you sent after your training was completed?

Mr. Gilmour: To Jacksonville, Florida. I was flying anti-sub patrol. We were going out of Jacksonville and flying over the east coast looking for submarines. We found submarines because they were that close to the United States in 1942.

Q: What special skills, other then the radar and the flying, did you acquire through your training?

Mr. Gilmour: That was enough. I was in a radar search during the anti-sub time and then we were transferred to England. We flew out of there about six months down over the Bay of Biscay. That's the time we were flying 13 hours a day. That was a long trip. Then we came back and the navy had taken that over finally because it was really their job to go out over the water. So I was transferred to Bombardment. There I had another shift because I was in electronic countermeasures and we had some brand new radar receivers in which we went over and tried to find out what frequencies the Germans were running their radar at, so the next time we came over, we could jam them. They wouldn't be able to fire on our planes that were flying over to bomb them. So that was the shift there and I did that for about six or eight months.

Q: How did faith impact your thoughts through the war?

Mr. Gilmour: Well, I guess all of us were at that age, and you're going to approach that age soon if you haven't already, where you have a feeling that you're somewhat impervious. You know what you have been trained to do and you know what your capable of doing, and you think its going to be all right, its going to be fine.

Q: Would you say faith helped you through the war?

Mr. Gilmour: Oh sure, Oh yeah, yeah.

Q: Could you please describe, in detail the operations or battles, which you were put through?

Mr. Gilmour: Well, I was trying to remember several times all the different areas that I hit. I hit Tappy valley, which was just Lebensraums and Manheim, many times, and Brunswick, Germany, in which we were the only bomb group to go in. This is because everybody else got recalled and the recall to us got scrambled, so we didn't honor it. We went in and bombed Brunswick any way, 21 planes alone over England.

Q: What was that like?

Mr. Gilmour: Well, that was a little hairy. We lost ten planes out of the twenty-one, but we got back with an engine and a half running and climbed back to England, and we got back all right. I was on the first Berlin mission. The first time we went over it was cloudy and we didn't bomb Berlin. The next day we were going to go and it was lousy. Finally, I think it was March 6th, 1943 that we finally got in and bombed Berlin for the first time. Gering had said that the Army Air Corps would never bomb Berlin. Well, here we were over Berlin at 30 some odd thousand feet and bombing Berlin Factories. So that was a good accomplishment, everybody was pleased with that. Incidentally here's a little sideline. The B-17s in those days had open windows, because you open the windows and put the guns out to protect yourself. The air blew right through the plane and we were up at 32,000 feet. The temperature was minus 62. It was chilly. Yes it was, but everything worked out okay.

Q: Were you ever involved in direct combat?

Mr. Gilmour: Only flying over targets and dropping bombs on them. No not really. On my 23rd mission as a bomb group, which had a great success in being protective against German fighters. Well we got hit with 40 German fighters and they knocked down ten of us and I was one of them, so I went down.

Q: How was that?

Mr. Gilmour: Have you ever fallen out of an airplane? Oh that's fun. You don't feel anything when you're falling because you don't have the ability, or anything to judge your speed, or the fact that you are falling. You're just in the air. You're falling, but you're in the air and you don't sense anything at all about falling. It's a weird sensation. You have to do it to really understand it.

Q: What do you think your greatest challenge of the war was?

Mr. Gilmour: Ah, being a pain in the neck to the Germans when we were in the PW camp, and trying to antagonize them as much as we could without getting them really aggravated. And, other than that, before that, doing the job that I had been trained to do.

Q: You say you were in a prisoner of war camp?

Mr. Gilmour: Yes. Fifteen months.

Q: What was that like?

Mr. Gilmour: Well, it was like being in prison. We couldn't do anything, except walk around. And we did set up some classes. A French class from one of the guys who was there, who had been a teacher; there were all sorts of people. There were four thousand Americans in this one camp. And there were ten thousand Russians, and they were not treated very well at all. But we were treated as well as could be; I'm glad I wasn't in Japan in one of those prisoner of war camps, 'cause they were no fun at all.

Q: Where was your camp?

Mr. Gilmour: Down, about forty miles east of Vienna, in a town called Krems.

Q: Were you liberated, or did the Germans let you go?

Mr. Gilmour: Well, when it came to be May of 1945, we knew the Russians were marching towards that area. Our guys, as I said, tried to be a pain in the neck to the Germans. We convinced the Germans to let us go out of the camp en masse, all four thousand of us, and march towards the Americans. We told the Germans: "If the Americans capture you, it will be nice, but if the Russians capture you, you're going to get shot. " so they helped us. For three weeks we were out on the road and we marched towards Patten's 13th army. We were finally freed by those guys.

Q: Did you ever consider trying to escape from the camp?

Mr. Gilmour: Oh yes. Yes everybody did, but when you look at the map and you find out where Krems is in Austria and you see all the German towns and so forth around there, you realize that the odds are not very good. One thing, which I found to be interesting, was that the Luftwaffe ground people treated us fairly well. We did not want to run into the Gestapo. They would not have been as kind. We heard stories of them and we had first line information of what they would do to people.

Q: On a personal level what did you think of the Germans and the Japanese?

Mr. Gilmour: Well, as I say, I cannot answer about the Japanese. Anything I heard about them was strictly in the papers, or on television, or the latest movie on Pearl Harbor. The German Luftwaffe men that we had guarding us were the elderly men left over from World War I. They were relatively not antagonistic to us. They sort of realized that we were doing our job and they were doing their job. It really wasn't bad as long as we didn't try to escape and get caught. One of our guys got half way over the fence and got shot. No time at all to get back down off the fence. He just got shot. Well that was the rules and you got to play by the rules. Other than that they did what they could to give us as much food as they could spare, which was sparse. We had American Red Cross food parcels coming into us, but because they came by train from Switzerland sometimes the eager Americans would be bombing marshaling yards where all the trains gathered. Our parcels would get blown up because the railroad cars were there. So we didn't get much food that week. Anyway, by in large there was a spirit of decor. They really understood that we were Air Force and they were Air Force and it made a difference. It is hard to describe and I am not saying it was easy, but anyway they did feel sympathetic towards us.

Q: Since the war, have you kept in contact with any friends you made during the war?

Mr. Gilmour: Very few. Our bomb group has had several meetings about every five years. Usually they have been in the far west, or in the southwest, and I haven't had time or sometimes the finances to go out there and join them. So most of it has just been done by the newspapers that they send out a couple times a year with the different stories of different people that were in the 94th bomb group.

Q: Of all the experiences that you had during the war what do you think is your most memorable?

Mr. Gilmour: Well there is probably two or three, but one of them is standing at the open door of a B-17 with everybody else already gone and I had blown up my radar set. I was standing out the door and I rolled out the door and I know that it was 30,000 feet down to ground.

Q: Was this after you were shot down?

Mr. Gilmour: Yes, and in the process of. Another time, was while I was in London on leave I was in one restaurant and Tuey Sparts the three star general was in the restaurant. He saw me in my uniform and he was gracious enough to come over and say hello and we shook hands. That was it, but it was memorable. Things like that, I don't remember all of them, but that's not too memorable. I do remember different things that happened, different Tech schools and different opportunities. I had a chance to tour most of London, which was very interesting. I might not have ever gotten there otherwise. Of course one other thing, which had little or nothing to do with the war except it was because of the war. I was one of those lucky people who got to go to college on the G.I bill. That was a big deal in those days.

Q: What was London like during the war?

Mr. Gilmour: Black. I was walking down a sidewalk one night and the blackout was on as it was every night. LiterallyI walked into a lamppost. I didn't see the lamppost. It was literally black, but they had to be because the Germans were bombing them and I was in several of the bombings. I went down into the subway until it was over.

Q: Do you remember where you were when you heard that the Japanese had surrendered?

Mr. Gilmour: Well yes, I was back here.

Q: Was there a lot of celebrating?

Mr. Gilmour: Oh yes, New York went wild and even Boston went wild and Lewiston, Maine. I was back there on leave. I will say the in the prisoner of war camp that three hours after the Americans and British had landed in France on D-Day we knew about because we had radios. We told the German guards it was the beginning of the end. They wouldn't believe us, for it wasn't in their newspapers for another three or four days. So we were in contact with them.

Q: Coming home from the war, what was it like seeing friends and family?

Mr. Gilmour: Oh that was great because when I went over to England in a B-24 it took ten hours, which is long in todayís time. Coming back I was on a boat and it took 21 days. There were still German subs out there and nobody was sure if they had been told that Germany had surrendered. We zigzagged all the way home.

Q: During the war were you aware of the internment of Japanese Americans?

Mr. Gilmour: No, we didn't get any of that information in Germany at all.

Q: Did you find out about it in the States?

Mr. Gilmour: Oh yeah, as a matter of fact there were some friends of mine and some friends of my wife who were in the Bataan march. So we found out some things about that.

Q: What is you're opinion about the Japanese Americans being put into camps?

Mr. Gilmour: I think it was a bit much. I think people were panicking a bit. I think they probably locked up a few that they should have, but they tried to do things by sweeping a broom rather than taking time to see who was who.

Q: What was your reaction to the news of F.D.R's death?

Mr. Gilmour: Very sad. He had done a lot, but we knew it was coming. I think a lot of us felt then when he was elected the 4th time it would not be long. He was not a well man, but he had done his share.

Q: Do you think he had done a good job with leadership during the depression and the war?

Mr. Gilmour: In some ways during the depression, and very definitely during the war. I didn't always agree with some of the things he came up with politically, but then that's another story.

Q: What's your reaction to the treatment of the Jewish people and other minorities during the war by the Germans?

Mr. Gilmour: I think itís a darn shame. If you ask about the Palestinians, the same answer. They have got to get together otherwise it is just going to continue and get worse and worse. Unfortunately as far as the Germans were concerned it is my belief and thought that it was only a few of the Germans. It was not the whole German race that was against the Jews. There we a few, just like in the United States we have a few, who want to make changes not necessarily for the good of the country.

Q: Did you lose any friends or family during the war?

Mr. Gilmour: Yes, a boy that I went to summer camp with did not make it back. Another boy that I knew was in the Air Corps. He jumped out of his plane and unfortunately he forgot what most of us had been taught in training. He pulled his parachute immediately, and while he was floating down a German farmer shot him. I am not trying to justify it, but while we were over there bombing, there were ten five hundred pound bombs in the plane, and we would drop them at a certain time and now and then one would get hung up and would not drop. The bomb would ride back with us and be dangling until, invariably one of us would go out to the catwalk and kick it and drop it By this time you are a good many miles away from the target. Often you are over a field. Lets say, just for example, that the bomb drops and kills two or three cows that belong to a farmer. The next time the farmer sees an American floating down, what is he going to do? He will try to get even. I am not saying it's right, but that is a little bit of justification there.

Q: At the time of the war, what were your opinions about segregation of the armed forces?

Mr. Gilmour: We did not run into very much segregation up where we were because the segregation was so complete. Over in England for example, there was a large transportation group not too far away from our air base, and they were all black. They did not associate with us, and we did not associate with them. If we saw them in town we ignored them and they ignored us. We really did not get to know them for obvious reasons, but there was segregation. Not all colored people were truck drivers. There was a very efficient fighter group in England, all black and they did a fantastic job protecting the bombers on different missions. They were rewarded and praised very often, so they could do a good job if they were given the chance.

Q: What is your opinion about president Truman's wartime leadership?

Mr. Gilmour: Dropping the bomb was the most important thing he ever did. It was absolutely necessary. If you stop and think of it as some of us have in World War Two, and some of those who were in Japan, and a good friend of mine was on a boat heading for Japan when the bomb was dropped. The general feeling is that by dropping the bomb and making such devastation out of it, it probably saved a million lives. It saved most of the Japanese men. They would have fought to the death if the Americans had to invade. Can you imagine Japan with all ladies and no men? If you stop to think of it, we saved Japanese men. As I understand it there was only 50,000 people killed by the bomb. You have to be in the context of this. That was a small number in relation to the amount that could have been lost. Every time our group commander sent out twenty one planes with ten men in each plane, he knew that most of the time he would lose a couple hundred men. Two or three not coming back, three or four. There are forty or fifty men right away, but in order to do the job that was necessary. One of the targets that we hit was Regansburg, where they made ball bearings. I can say that after I was freed, I was around a German air force base and I saw a large number of German air planes all lined up ready to fly, except they had no ball bearings. Can you imagine an engine without ball bearings? Wheels without them? The rest of the plane was built, but it would not fly. When they hit Regansburg the first time, they lost sixty percent of the planes, and it was a big loss. But, when you can look around after the war and see all the planes that would have been available to shoot down bombers and to attack England and to continue with France. Can you say it was worth it? I think so.

Q: Do you think it was necessary for Truman to drop the second bomb on Japan?

Mr. Gilmour: I can only go by what I heard. The first bomb woke them up, but I read somewhere that they were not sure we could do it again. They felt they had only lost a few thousand people. They thought it was nothing and they were ready to keep fighting. When the second bomb dropped they didn't know if we had another two or three bombs. We didn't, but they did not know that. That's when they decided to quit.

Q: After the war did you think that all of the carnage was over; did you think that there were going to be any more wars?

Mr. Gilmour: My father was at World War I, which was "the war to end all wars". Then World War II came and we thought that was going to be it. Then wars in Korea and Vietnam and now the latest war going on with others came. I think in people's minds thoughts have to change before war will end completely.

Q: What are your feelings on the actions of September 11th?

Mr. Gilmour: Dirty pool. That isn't the way that you fight a war. That's a sneak attack on civilians. I will say they had done all their homework and they knew that if they hit the buildings that the jet fuel would burn and would collapse the frame work causing the buildings to fall down. They did not have to knock them down they would fall down. Anybody who is a mechanical engineer would know that it fall. Well, they did their homework, even though they may not have liked it.

Q: Did you feel that there was a similarity between the way the country acted after December 7th, 1941 and September 11th, 2001?

Mr. Gilmour: I think very similar. It was such a sudden thing to a lot of people that I think there was a great deal of comparative thoughts between the two incidents.

Q: I've heard that a lot of recruiting offices had an initial wave of interest after September 11th, and their Web site got a lot of hits, but the actual recruitment after September 11th did not increase much. Did that surprise you, because after December 1941 there lines around the block at recruitment offices after pearl Harbor.

Mr. Gilmour: After Pearl Harbor the interest and feeling of the country lasted for a many months. People were still upset and involved and wanted to do something. I think that maybe September 11th was done and over with so quick that after a few weeks people became reticent.

Q: Do you think World War Two has taught us anything?

Mr. Gilmour: I hope so. It has taught us politically what we should and shouldn't do to tyrants like Hitler. You don't appease them. You don't get anywhere doing that. It showed the world that the United States could react. A little side story, and I know this for a fact because I was taught it, before World War II back in 1940 the German Air force was the largest Air Force in the world. On June 6th, 1944, when the evasion went on Eisenhower was quoted as saying, "Don't fire on any planes in the sky there all ours.î So in the period of time between 40 and 44 the German Air Force had become almost nothing.

Q: What do you think of today's generation of younger Americans?

Mr. Gilmour: Some of them are awful good guys, awful smart guys. And a lot of them do a great deal of interesting things. I've got four grandsons, four grand daughters, and it's interesting to see what they are doing. There are now six of them about the age I was when I was in WW II. It's been interesting watching them.

Q: Do you have any advice for the next generation?

Mr. Gilmour: Read Broakhart's book. He really sums it up very well. I think, remember that every action you have, you have responsibility for it. You cannot expect to do something and not take the blame for it. Or the credit for it, if it happens to work out right. If you do this, and come out with some of the statements that have been coming out by some people, it doesn't fly. It really shouldn't fly. You've got to be responsible for all your actions.

Q: Could you describe what it was like to fly in a B-17?

Mr. Gilmour: The first time we took a landing, it was 62. We had electric suits, we had fleece-lined jackets, fleece lined pants, fleece lined pants; the radio operator and I and several others were standing up and walking; just to keep walking. Not going anywhere, but just walking. And we all came back with black marks here (face), 'cause the oxygen mask was here, and the helmet was here, and we all got burned. Frost bite.

Q: How often would the mechanics rig the B-24's? Was it permanently armed like that?

Mr. Gilmour: Yes. 50 calibers in the front, and out the back, out the waist, and on the top turret, and we would have had it in the bulk turret, but that was where the radar antennae was. On the B-17s, we had bulk turrets, guns in the back, front, and rear.

Q: How many missions did you fly in the B-24s?

Mr. Gilmour: About a dozen.

Q: Mostly over the Bay of Biscay?

Mr. Gilmour: Yes, over the Bay of Biscay. 13 hours over the trip.

Q: Did the radar help detect the sonar subs?

Mr. Gilmour: No, the sonar didn't help detect subs. So we had radar, and the radar was good enough that we did find some subs. But I remember sending the plane off course for about 70 miles, cause I thought I saw a German periscope. We got over there and it was a steel drum. We could see that 70 miles away. That was a lot in those days. When I was on the B-17s, I was doing radar counter measures find out what the Russians were doing with their radar, what frequencies they were using, that the next time we went over, we could jam them. And when we did jam them, the first time I flew, and I knew we were jamming this area, because we had been there before and we knew the frequencies, and so forth, there was a solid mass of flack that came up half a mile to our right. They thought we were there, and we were here, which makes it rather nice. You really think you're doing something.

Q: How did you communicate with all of the other fighters?

Mr. Gilmour: We saw the flack there, but the group I was with, the 94th, was of the old, one of the first groups that was there. They had been through a lot of this and lost a lot of their planes and they had done a lot of thinking about how do we avoid this. And one thing was that when the lead plane saw an action of some kind up ahead, let's say flack, they would go on the radio and they would say "flack". All the planes would scatter; as far apart as they could and still maintain some semblance of a formation. If he hollered fighters, they would until their wings tips were almost touching, and the reason for that was that there were two 50 calibers here, two more 50 calibers there, and two 50 calibers up in the bulk area, making six 50 caliber guns pointing at the planes flying towards us. That didn't always work, as I got shot down when 40 planes jumped us.

Q: 40 fighters?

Mr. Gilmour: Yes, 40 fighter planes; 40 FW-190s. And I think the book says we shot down 10 or 15 of them, but they got 10 of us. But in those days, as I said, those 10 fighter pilots that they lost were more valuable to them than our 10 17s that we lost. Now, I know we lost 100 men, but they didn't have any pilots in reserve. And starting in 1944, we were just starting to run thousand plane runs. A thousands planes would take off from England, then two or three hundred would break off for one target, then another two or three hundred would break off for another target. Then in the end, they would all come back to the base in England.

Q: How many guys( in your plane) made it out when you were shot down?

Mr. Gilmour: All of us made it out. I was the last man out, since I had to blow up the radar device as we were going down. And I didn't want to do it with the men in the plane. So, they all got out in time.

Q: How long did it take for the enemy to capture you all?

Mr. Gilmour: Only a few hours.

Q: Did you all meet when you landed?

Mr. Gilmour: Oh, no. I didn't see them again until after I came out of solitary confinement, where they kept me for about 2 days, asking questions and trying to get the whole story. They had found the plane, and they had found some information about the crew of the plane, but I was an extra to the crew, so they didn't know me. But they knew the rest of the crew. So they held them for about 10 days, trying to find out about these two boxes with holes in them. But they didn't know. Afterwards, when they got out, they talked to me, and I found out who had gotten out.

Q: Did your family know that you had been captured?

Mr. Gilmour: My folks knew within a few days that I was missing in action. On mother's day, my parents got a telegram saying that I was a prisoner of war. That was as good a time as any; I still have those telegrams today. Course, they don't say where I was, or where they were sent from, and they don't give any more information except "The Secretary of the Army would like to announce to you, blah, blah, blah...". They were rather interesting.

Q: How later after VE day were you brought home?

Mr. Gilmour: I was brought home before VE day. We were freed around the first of May. We spent 10 days at Laharve, where they almost starved us, but they gave us pretty good food. We all lost a lot of weight; I got down to about 130 pounds, which is rather skinny.

Q: When flying your missions, were you focused on any particular region of Europe?

Mr. Gilmour: When we went into our briefing room, there was a big map of Europe on the wall, which showed us the path we were suppose to take. It showed where we were taking off, where the flack was likely to be, where the fighter planes were likely to be, and what our specific target was. If, for some reason, we were unable to bomb the target, such as weather or any other reason, there was an alternate target. We were never supposed to hunt over Germany, looking for a target.

Q: What were the types of target that were hit?

Mr. Gilmour: Ball bearing factories, power generators, and any other parts factories, such as carburators. We had specific targets - military targets. Sometimes our bombs fell beyond our thousand-mile radius, striking civilian installations. But we were never ordered to attack any civilian sites.


Mr. Gilmour recalls being shot down (Quicktime)

Mr. Gilmour's adapted B-24 (sub-hunter)

book pix
Mr. Gilmour's superior

Lucky Bastards' Club certificate