12th AIR FORCE

57th BOMB WING

340th BOMB GROUP (M) 

MISSION JUNE 10, 1944

 

486th, 487th, and 489th Squadrons of the 340th Bomb Group on June 10, 1944

 

Fano, Italy today

 

 

340th BG 487th BS - SN 43-27556 - 7D

Description: Description: B25_7D_album

From Charles Cook’s 487th Squadron Album dated June 1944

 

Description: Description: Dominique_7D1A

Photo credit: Dominique Taddei

 

487th Veteran Capt. James Littlefield: “I was given the DFC for getting back from my 10th mission on one engine and we ran out of fuel, brakes shot out and my good engine quit 1/4 of the way down the runway. We crashed, but no one was hurt badly. Everyone else got the Purple Heart. [Your father’s album had] one of the pictures of 7D [after the landing]. I made Captain after I returned to the states.”   [I asked James for some details on this skilled emergency landing.] “ In regards to 7D, It's been a longtime since that happened, I can't say that it was my skill and determination that got us back. I did what I had been taught to do to get the plane and crew back. It was something a lot of pilots did from time to time. We were hit [by flak] over the target and lost the right engine and on this mission we were breaking left and down after we had dropped our bombs so I lost a lot of altitude. We were leaking fuel but we couldn't see it.  The B-25 could maintain altitude on one engine but couldn’t climb. We tossed out some equipment that wasn't tied down in order to clear the mountains on Italy’s west coast. We had no problems and made clear approach, with the meat wagons waiting on us. I lowered the nose and checked the brakes and they seemed OK. I then pulled the nose up to kill some speed. When the nose came down, the right brake gave away and the left brake locked. I hit the left throttle to bring the ship to the right and the left engine ran out of fuel, taking us left. I told the copilot to pull the emergency air lever. He pumped the hydraulic pump instead. We hit an old bomb casing, knocking out the nose gear. The mission [target] as have it noted in my log book was Fano [M/Y June 10, 1944  NE coast of Italy- a long way to  limp back to Corsica!].  I didn't keep very good records. 7D had no name or nose art. “

 

 

486th BS Mission sheet credit:  Herman Voss