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STRAFING AS IF IN A DREAM



 
 
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Old September 2nd 03, 04:30 AM
ArtKramr
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Default STRAFING AS IF IN A DREAM

Strafing as if in a Dream


It was a rare mission for us. Marauders were never meant to be thrown around at
low level at high speed. And this was a low-level mission. We were to bomb a
military target in a small city. Then we were to go down on the deck and
strafe. It was the first strafing mission we had ever flown since we left
flying school in the States. But this time it was for real. Unlike bombing from
10.000 feet, this was on the deck and we would actually see close up those who
we were shooting. This, for us, was war in a whole new light.

We did our bomb run then turned hard and dropped down fast to line up with the
target area for strafing. I had charged my .50 Browning with two fast strokes
earlier and now I cooked off a few rounds to make doubly sure it was clear. It
was.

We were now approaching the main street of the town. It was deserted. Not a
car. Not a person. No one. I started firing, shooting up the street, when
suddenly in the distance I saw what looked like an old woman, a little boy and
a dog trying to make it across the street as we approached. "Damn" I thought.
"Why the hell couldn't they stay under cover where they were?" I instinctively
lifted my thumbs away from the triggers and stopped shooting. When we had
passed well clear of them I commenced firing. I hoped that none of the planes
that came after us had hit them.

On landing I spoke to our tail gunner Greigo. "Hey Greigo, did you see that old
lady, kid and dog crossing the street?" Greigo shook his head. "No sir. Never
saw anybody. Streets were clear". "Hey Bo. Did you see them?" No sir. Sure
didn't" " Hey Bob, Paul, did you guys?" "Nope Art, never saw anybody down
there".

I remember them clearly to this day. Is it possible that I saw them and no one
else did? I know they were there. I remember every detail. Yet there is that
lingering doubt. When I think back to that day it was like moving in a dream
through a fog of remembrance that persists in lingering always.


Arthur Kramer
344th BG 494th BS
England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany
Visit my WW II B-26 website at:
http://www.coastcomp.com/artkramer

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