Copper Bullet member
This is a picture of 1LT Richard Scruggs, Army Air Corps B-25 pilot, my father and I miss him dearly. His bomber was shot up over Rabaul on a strafing mission, an enemy twin 25MM canon caught him on the break and knocked the L engine off it's mount and wounded the tail gunner. With no hydraulics, an engine on fire and no electric systems there was even worse news......the 4 VT fuze 250 pound fragmentation bombs set to explode at 100'AGL. Luckily the fire bottles put the fire out on the feathered L engine but they were at 1000 feet and losing altitude at 50'/minute. There was no way to open the bomb doors, however the Crew Chief and injured Tail Gunner used the ratchet tool and got the doors open. Dad tried to drop the bombs using the emergency manual trip but the shackles were not budging and they were down to 700 feet and losing 100'/minute due to the extra drag. Dad ordered the crew to bail out and they all said no way. After loosening the shackles, the turret gunner and waist gunner kicked the bombs free while the Bombardier and wounded tail gunner got rid of all the 50's, ammo, C-rations and everything else that wasn't bolted down. Their emergency landing field was the old dirt Japanese runway on Guadalcanal and that's where they headed. Half way back to GC, the turret gunner reported 4 bogies at 6 O'clock and coming fast. They all held their breath and then the turret gunned yelled out Corsairs Corsairs! They had a Marine escort who led them straight to GC, using chalk boards for commo. Dad put the crippled Mitchell down with no gear and no flaps and was greeted by a huge contingent of mechanics and soldiers who cheered the crew as they egressed. That's when this picture was taken and someone noticed Dad had been bleeding from his Left ear. The AA explosion had broken his ear drum and he didn't even notice. He spent the night in the 48th Station Hospital and his nurse was a 1LT Anna Dybing from Wild Rose ND.....my mother.....but that's another story. Dad was awarded the DFC, note his sidearm.....a Remington M1911A1. Regards, Rick.
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