Bombing Targets Dedicated to U. S. Merchant Marine by Silver Streaks

Worth - Maritime 63 PR 1857(W)


For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 3, 1944
Cleared and Issued
Through Facilities of the
Office of War Information

Devastated targets in France recently were dedicated to the men of the U. S. Merchant Marine by the Silver Streaks, crack Marauder medium bombing group, the War Shipping Administration reported today.

Eye-witness account of unique tribute paid the seamen for their effort in keeping the supply lines open was received today by the War Shipping Administration, from Lt. (j. g.) William J. Donoghue, USMS, who watched the bombing from the nose of the EMPIRE STATE EXPRESS, commanded by Lt. Larry Dixon, U. S. Air Force.

Donoghue's account of the bombing mission follows:

"Thundering into Northern France, two flights of B26's dedicated the day's devastation to merchant seamen and officers who bring supplies across the Atlantic to this theater.

"Commended by Col. Reginald Vance, San Antonio veteran of Bataan, Corregidor, and the South Pacific, the bombing group crossed the French Coast late in the afternoon, smashed targets and returned. They encountered no enemy opposition.

“There were a few objectives knocked out,' said Vance. 'I can't think of a better way to let the Merchant Marine know of our high regard than destroying targets. They deliver goods and we make final delivery.'

"In the ship with Dixon, 1081 Sheridan Avenue, Bronx, were two other New Yorkers, Co-pilot Second Lt. Paul Deuel, Oswego; and, Staff Sgt. L. R. Weaver, Elmira, radio gunner.

"Veteran of 18 missions and carrying 48 flak scars, the EMPIRE STATE EXPRESS took off late in the afternoon, climbed above overcast, and in warm sunshine high above clouds crossed the Channel, swung as flight entered enemy territory, and. headed for the target.

"Gaps in billowing clouds revealed target. It had been battered a few minutes earlier by previous flight. No fighter appeared. No flak arose. Bombardier Navigator Roy Duke, short stocky Texan, pressed the bomb release and with target area smoking from hits of high explosives, the flight headed for home.

"It was the first time the Merchant Marine had a bird's eye view of such an operation. Usually the Merchant Marine gets the worm's eye view of aerial operations.

"Dixon grinned and. the ship headed across the Channel for home; Deuel upheld two cross fingers giving his hand short flip signifying, 'everything okay,' and later as White Cliffs of Dover could be seen through the breaks in clouds Dixon turned and said, 'Like Frank Buck, Pappy, I bring 'em back alive.'"

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