This was sent to me by a friend of my dad’s awhile ago. It is a touching story, so enjoy!
What a heart wrenching story….and a reminder why we should remain steadfast in our commitment to the peoples of that nation.
This story is in Elmer Bendiner’s book, “The Fall of Fortresses”
Elmer Bendiner was a navigator in a B-17 during WW II. He tells this
story of a World War II bombing run over Kassel, Germany, and the
unexpected result of a direct hit on their gas tanks. “Our B-17, the
Tondelayo, was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was
not unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit.”
“Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a 20 millimeter shell piercing the
fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told
me it was not quite that simple.” On the morning following the raid, Bohn
had gone down to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of
The crew chief told Bohn that not just one but 11 shells had been found
in the gas tanks. 11 unexploded shells where only one was sufficient to
blast us out of the sky. It was as if the sea had been parted for us. A
near-miracle, I thought. Even after 35 years, so awesome an event leaves
me shaken, especially after I heard the rest of the story from Bohn.
He was told that the shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused.
The armorers told him that Intelligence had picked them up. They could
not say why at the time, but Bohn eventually sought out the answer.
“Apparently when the armorers opened each of those shells, they found
no explosive charge. They were as clean as a whistle and just as
Empty? Not all of them! One contained a carefully rolled piece of
paper. On it was a scrawl in Czech. The Intelligence people scoured our
base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually they found one to
decipher the note. Translated, the note read:
“This is all we can do for you now… using Jewish slave labor is never a