LINEBACKER II

HOMEFRONT PRISONERS OF WAR THOMAS K. OLIVER (USAAF)      Tom Oliver in 2009      Oliver photos 2012 PETER DAHLBERG (ARMY)      December 7, 1941      Friends for Life      He Took My Place       Christmas Lights HAROLD TAYLOR (USAAF)      Story of Had Taylor STAN LIEBERMAN (ARMY)     Story of Stan Lieberman LESTER SNYDER (USAAF)       Durkee's Crew WARREN FAGERLAND (ARMY) EJI SUYAMA (ARMY)      My Combat in the 442nd HARRY NOLLSCH (ARMY)        Harry Nollsch       Taps Delayed       The Purple Heart FRANK MORAWA (GERM. ARMY)        Life of Frank Morawa LOYD BRANDT (MARINES)      Reluctant Heroes       Brothers in Arms JERRY TEACHOUT (USAAF)       Leaving Home for WWII CHUCK CHILDS (USAAF)       I Flew the Big One      Combat Mission 15      Riding Rails before WW2 HARRY PUTNAM (NAVY)       Veterans STEVEN WARREN (NAVY) GORDON LEASE (COAST GUARD) CLARENCE CARSNER (ARMY) WALLY DAHLQUIST (USAAF) GEORGE W. LARSON (NAVY) ALAN HERBERT (ARMY) RICHARD PERKINS (MARINES)      Letter home, 1944 RUSSEL FRINK (NAVY) JIM LOCKHART (NAVY) REX ALAN SMITH (ARMY ENG) VINCE FITZGERALD (NAVY) HONOR FLIGHTS CHARLES ANDERSON (USAAF)      Life of Charles Anderson HARLAND HERMANN (ARMY)      Letters during WWII WALTER MARCHAND (ARMY)      D-Day Doctor's Diary JUNO SUNDSTROM (ARMY) KEITH CHRISTENSEN (ARMY)      John Fuller Goes to War HAROLD JANSEN (Navy) JOHN W. FULLER (NAVY) DEAN SHAFFHAUSEN (NAVY) CHARLES GERLACH (NAVY) WAYNE BREWSTER (ARMY) WILLIAM A. SEMLEK (ARMY) KENNETH HALLIGAN (ARMY) WALTER MEHLHAFF (ARMY) EDDIE KODET (ARMY) TOM McDILL (ARMY) PAUL PRIEST (ARMY) VICTOR WEIDENSEE (ARMY)       Weidensee maps OLA CAMPBELL (USAAF) DALLAS BLOMQUIST (Marines) BILL LOFGREN (ARMY) JOHN WILKINSON (ROYAL AF) MARCELLA LeBEAU (ARMY) HILARY COLE (USAAF) TOM WENN (USAAF) JOHN GASTON (USAAF) MAURICE CROW (USAAF) GEORGE MOLSTAD (USAAF) GEORGE MOE (US ARMY)



The mission briefer told us that Air Force legal people were available for those of us who didn’t have wills in place. Boy, what an uplifting thing to tell us !!  I didn’t have a will, but I felt that getting one done would be like accepting the inevitable end result, so I chose not to have a will done.  Besides, my wife and I didn’t have much in the way of assets, anyway……


As an Electronic Warfare Officer, none of my previous training or experience (100+ missions) could have prepared me for the gauntlet of SAM sites that we had to go through on the way to the target.  I was trying to deal with a dozen or so SAM sites on my ECM equipment, along with numerous AAA sites as well…..and some of them were shifting frequencies as I hit them with jamming.  So, I was chasing some of them up and down their frequency range and trying to avoid letting any of their signals remain uncovered, as 8 seconds of un-jammed tracking by a SAM
site was considered enough for them to calculate an intercept.

To make matters worse, the ECM equipment in our G model B-52s was definitely inferior as compared to that equipment that the D models used.  Bottom line:  Even with our best ECM efforts, we needed a lot of luck as well.  And our bomb run tactics made matters much worse:  We had to make a big turn as soon as bombs were released, which sent most of our ECM jamming signals sideways rather than down towards the SAM sites.  Many of the B-52s that were shot down were hit as they made that big turn.  Looking back on it, I’m surprised that we didn’t lose even more B-52s.  After a few days, our superiors finally wised up and eliminated the “big turn” strategy.  By that time, however, a lot of lives had been unnecessarily lost.

More from (Capt.) Johnny L. Blye
January 14, 2015