AN EIGHTH AAF BOMBER COMMAND STATION, ENGLAND -- The Fortress "Green Fury II" made a perfect landing on one engine at a nearby airdrome following the return trip from Saarbrucken-Saarguemines during which the crew was warned three times to be ready to bail out. No one was injured.
Piloted by 1st Lt. John Beriont, 25, of 223 East Price Street, Linden, New Jersey, the ship lost two engines over Germany due to mechanical failure and a third conked out over the Channel.
"But the Fortress kept going somehow until it got us to England," Beriont said. "Coming in we saw an airfield and came down out of the clouds at the rate of 4,000 feet a minute. We just sat right down without making an approach."
Beriont and the co-pilot, 2nd Lt. Thomas W. Dempsey, 25, of 648 S. 12th Street, San Jose, Cal., nursed the ship along on the trip back home from Germany, though it fell far behind the formation and lost altitude sometimes at the rate of 4,000 feet a minute.
Dempsey said the No. 4 engine went out a half hour before the formation reached the target, but it was decided it would be safer to continue than to turn back.
"Just after we went over the target and dropped our bombs -- and what a plastering the burg got -- all the engines seemed to start kicking up." Dempsey said. "Then the No. 3 engine went out and the prop had to be feathered.
"We fell back and just tagged along hoping the fighters wouldn't give us any attention. Twice over Germany and once over the tip of France we gave the order for the men to go to the exit stations because we would lose lots of altitude suddenly, sometimes as much as 1,000 feet a minute. But the sturdy old ship seemed to catch its breath and kept limping on.
"Over the Channel the No. 2 engine went out because of a defective oil line and it, too, had to be feathered. At that time we thought we would have to ditch. Everybody was told to go to ditching stations, but to our amazement the ship kept going though it lost altitude rapidly.
"Somehow we made England, found a break in the clouds and came on down -- but fast. It was as good a landing as we've ever made," he concluded.
Other members of the crew include: 2nd Lt. Marshall E. Stelzriede, 24, navigator, of Orient, Ill., 2nd Lt. Nevin D. Beam, 28, bombardier, of 442 W. Main St., Palmyra, Pa., Sgt. Ross J. McKelvey, 25, radio operator, of 7939 NW 6th Ave, Miami, Fla., T/Sgt. Armando Cetin, 22, top turret, of 255 10147 Drive, Rosedale, N.J., S/Sgt. William Comfort, 20, ball turret gunner, of 411 W. Cedar St., Arkansas City, Kan., S/Sgt. Albert F. Everhart, 22, right waist gunner, of R. #2, LaFayette, Ohio, S/Sgt. Kenneth McCann, 19, left waist gunner, of 31 Houstead Dr., Old Greenwich, Conn., S/Sgt. Joseph J. Dwyer, 24, tail gunner, of 853 Parker Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana.