Duane Clair Heath

Military

Object Number - UPL 37930 - L to R: SSGT Thomas W. Floyd (TG) and TSGT Duane C. Heath (FE) Both members of the Don Prytulak Crew 492nd BG - 859th BS

Transferred 467th BG

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Units served with

Unofficial emblem of the 467th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 467th Bomb Group 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy) 788th Bomb Squadron 859th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-810948
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Breezy Lady/Superman/Marie
  • Unit: 458th Bomb Group 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy) 859th Bomb Squadron 752nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Oonie Doonie *
  • Unit: 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy) 859th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Broad+High
  • Unit: 467th Bomb Group 788th Bomb Squadron 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy) 859th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Bold Venture III
  • Unit: 467th Bomb Group 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy) 788th Bomb Squadron 859th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Eli Swof, Jr
  • Unit: 467th Bomb Group 790th Bomb Squadron 790th Bomb Squadron 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy) 857th Bomb Squadron 859th Bomb Squadron

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Other

25th Combat Mission

Bremen, Germany 29 July 194 Target was an oil refinery. Bombed from 26,000 ft. Bomb load was 4 - 500 inc. and 16 - 250 G.P. Boy, we finally got this mission in. Been briefed four times straight now and scruffed, but not today. Rode the Martin today. Boy, they sure had plenty of flak today. Good thing we had a heavy undercast. Had about 240 guns there. Didn't see any planes go down but two collided over England though. Only five more to go now and really sweating it out too. Just about cracked up on landing too.

Born

Merrill, Wisconsin 4 March 1923

Enlisted

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 5 January 1943

Other

492nd BG Combat Tour

North Pickenham Airfield, UK 11 May 1944 - 6 August 1944 28 combat missions

Other

1st Combat Mission

Mulhouse, France 11 May 1944 Target was a railroad yard. Bombed from 22,000 ft. Bomb load was 6 - 1000 lb. bombs. We hit the coast of France at about 20,000 and that's where we ran into the first flak. It was light stuff but damn accurate and I was really scared once. We got two flak holes but didn't know it till we landed. We had P38, 47, and 51 fighter escort all the way. Didn't see any enemy fighters. No flak over the target, but the other group hit it. Flight lasted for eight hours or so. Was glad to land too.

Other

3rd Combat Mission

Siracourt, France 21 May 1944 Target was a No Ball. Bombed from 21,000 ft. Bomb load was 8 - 1000 lb. bombs. This raid was short and sweet. We started our bomb run out over the channel at about 21,000 ft. I threw chaff out from the time the bomb bay doors were opened till we hit the coast again. It was cloudy and used a PFF (Pathfinder) ship. Bombed two ships trenched but don't know if we hit the target. No flak and no enemy fighters. Really a good trip. Flight was about six hours long. P-47 escort all the way. Hope I have 27 more just like this one. Had coffee and sandwiches when we landed.

Other

4th Combat Mission

Avord, France 23 May 1944 Target was an air field. Bombed from 18,000 ft. Bomb load was 52 incineraries. This was a hot flight. We only flew at 18,000 ft. No flak till we got by Paris, and then we were in it for at least 45 minutes. Was heavy and accurate stuff. No kids shooting those guns. We were off course about 12 miles. That flak sure scared me. I really threw out the chaff too. Had a tooth go bad on me. We just about missed the target and didn't do much damage. Other groups hit it though. Flight lasted about nine hours. Hit some flak coming out, but not much. P-47 and P-51 escort. Only 26 more to go.

Other

11th Combat Mission

Angers, France 8 June 1944 arget was a rail and road junction. Bombed from 18,000 ft. Bomb load was 12 - 500 lb. bombs, demo. This was really some mission. We took off without a radio man because he was sick. Rendezvous point was changed after take off and we didn't know that. I think someone got chewed out for that. Couldn't find the formation and joined up with a 17 outfit, but left shortly. We flew around all by ourselves. No fighters or flak thank heavens. We finally found a railroad with a train on it and chased that. Williams, the bombardier, used the gunsight in the nose turret to aim the bombs. Missed the train but hit the truck and a road. Bottled one train in the railroad yard. What a time that was. Robb and I wanted to go down and strafe the train, but we didn't. Only 19 more.

Other

15th Combat Mission

Politz, Germany 20 June 1944 arget was an oil refinery. Bombed from 23,000 ft. Bomb load was 12 - 500 G.P. bombs. This was the second time over this target for us. We just crossed Denmark when ME 210 and 410's hit us. The squadron behind us really got hit bad. Rode the Martin turret so didn't get a chance to do any shooting. We only had nine men today and Robb was holding down the waist. Mohney was sick and in the hospital. We had a lot of heavy and accurate flak over the target too. They sure know how to shoot those guns. We really destroyed the target today. When we landed we found out our group had lost 14 ships in that raid. All but one ship in the squadron was lost. Two planes made it to Sweden, the lucky guys. Sure lost a lot of pals today. Those 410's are sure a sweet looking ship, but I don't want anything to do with them. Had a flak hole right along side my turret today. Didn't have my flak suit on so I was really lucky. After this raid I think I can take anything yet to come.

Other

19th Combat Mission

Munich, Germany 11 July 1944 Target was center of town. Bomb load was 5 - 1000 lb. bombs. Bombed from 23,300 ft. Well, we hit the big M today. This is the third time we've been briefed on this and finally had to go. Dreaded it too but got back all right and that's all that matters. We had a long tedious trip today. Had a good escort all the way, and was I glad too. Had a dense undercast all the way and was glad too. Saw flak a couple of times before we hit the target, but it wasn't close. There was plenty of it over the target though and I don't mean maybe. It was more or less a block barrage though. We bombed PFF (Pathfinder) and in the center of town. Really must have did a lot of damage. Rode the Martin today. Had a new Co-Pilot too and he sure was scared. Couldn't blame him either. The trip back was really long. Hit the channel and checked the gas and thought we'd have to ditch. We threw out everything we could. Flak suits, radio, flares, guns, ammo, and everything. That was fun. We hit the coast and landed at the first base and refueled. That trip took us 8½ hours. About 6½ to 7 hours on oxygen and that isn't good. Lost two planes today. Only 11 more to go.

Other

467th BG Combat Tour

Rackheath Airfield, UK 14 August 1944 - 16 August 1944 3 combat missions

Died

Merrill, Wisconsin 25 July 2007

Buried

Merrill, Wisconsin 28 July 2007 Merrill Memorial Park Merrill, Lincoln County, Wisconsin, USA

Duane Clair Heath: Gallery (2 items)