By Robert Jackson
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Extra info for de Havilland Mosquito (Combat Legend)
The crew proceeded to the Legaspi target area alone and arrived after the other craft had dropped their bombs and departed. In their dogged persistence, they had no idea that the news of their mission would stir a sensation all across America. Lt Raymond Teborek, the copilot, related the story. We had planned on going over the target at 8,000 feet, On our climb-out to altitude, we had trouble keeping up with the others. We had turbo problems and a bad engine. We fell behind the rest of the flight and finally managed to get to 10,000 feet.
Those great United States, the trouble is we don’t appreciate them enough. One never realizes what they are and what they have to offer until he gets out and sees the world. It had become necessary for the new planes to fly east to the Philippines instead of across the Pacific as in the earlier flights. Japanese advances made the Pacific route untenable. , and selected maps suitable for the long route from the US to the Philippines via South America, Africa, and Asia. They then navigated on routes never flown before.
A 20-mm cannon shell hit our oxygen tank knocking out our hydraulic system, our brakes, landing gear and bomb release mechanism. We kicked the bombs out manually over Bali and returned to Java landing at Djokjakarta. Struthers crash-landed the plane wheels up with no injuries to the crew. From there we had to hitchhike our way back to our base at Malang. Three new planes were on the way from the States to Malang; so we divided our crew members up three ways. The young navigator told me I had selected the wrong plane because the pilot was a nut.