Back to Duty
We promptly returned to flight missions (Derbin, Germany; Oil dump - Jan. 9, 1945) and eventually completed our tour of duty consisting of a total of 30 missions.
On our 16th mission, March 4, 1945, we had engine failure plus a run away propeller; and this time we were ablte to safely make an emergency landing on a fighter strip at Toul, France (Azlot). This landing was on a wire mesh runway, and the following summation was taken from my original handwritten notes, which were used to prepare the report submitted to our Squadron Officer:
Number 2455 was aborted at approximately 12:16 hours at an altitude of 21,000 feet at 5°, 53 minutes.
Shortly after takeoff, at an altitude of 8,000 feet, the number two engine began to detonate. Any power setting above 35 inches of manifold pressure and 2150 RPM's could no be used without causing severe detonation.
The number three tactometer became inoperative shortly after we rendevoused, and just after leaving the coast of England, the number three engine manifold pressure began falling off. After the climb began, we overboosted the number one and the number four engines to 42 inches manifold pressure at 2,400 RPM's, but we kept slowly dropping back; gaining on the formation only when the lead made a turn and then by cutting inside the turn.
As we slowly gained altitude, we gradually got further behind and below our squadron. At about 21,000 altitude the number three engine manifold pressure was down to 15 inches and we could no longer climb. The number three engine oil pressure and temperature was o.k. We double checked the number three engine manifold pressure by applying full throttle and full super charger boost but the manifold pressure did not increase. We could not cross check the manifold pressure and read "0". Next the engine RPM was reduced to observe if the increased propeller pitch would not raise the manifold pressure, thereby checking again for a dead engine; but the manifold pressure remained constant.
A replacement supercharger amplifier was installed by our engineer, but this did not help. He then tried to open and close the supercharger waste gate by changing tubes in the amplifier, but no change in manifold pressure resulted.
We then feathered the number three engine which reduced our drag and we found we could climb slightly.
It is believed that the number two engine had a bad carburetor mixture adjustment or bad plugs, making it inoperative.
We did not have a bombadier or a bombsight and because we could not bomb with the formation, we abortet; reveived permission from Basil to land. We landed at 14:10 (Signed Lt. Glenn T. Purdy).
As I think back over the years, I believe that our crew successfully flew their thirty missions because we had real down-to-earth-teamwork and each crew member could be counted on to to their job and to do it well. As a young man leaving the Army and finishing engineering school and entering the working world, I was disappointed to find a lack of teamwork between industry, government and labor and the lack of teamwork among the employees themselves.
I've always been convinced that teamwork is the only answer and that no one person can land it alone, and nobody did.
Glenn T. Purdy