Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Aviso Viaduct Missions

(Continuation of Captain Charles H. Estes's War Memoirs)

"Well, after that came many other missions. We flew the
Aviso Viaduct. That was a -- there was a river that came
out of Germany into Italy, and there were many bridges
over it, and all of these bridges were necessary for the
supply lines of the Germans to stay open; and we were
always bombing the bridges on the Aviso Viaduct.
I can recall several of those, and they were fairly
good missions because we were not bothered too
much with flak on these missions. The missions
we caught hell on were the ones that were around
big towns like Vienna, Austria. That place was
protected like you just wouldn't believe, and we
had flown 33 missions when -- and I had been named
squadron leader when it was -- became evident that
I was going to be a lead pilot of my flight on a mission
to Austria, Schwechat Oil Refinery.

We were always after oil refineries, and they were very
very protected by flak and everything else. Well,
thankfully I was over there at a time when the German
Air Force, Luftwaffe, was not very active. They didn't
have a lot of fuel and they were more engaged in trying
to keep the 8th Air Force off their back than they were
the 15th flying out of Italy, because we couldn't reach --
well, like Berlin, we couldn't get to Berlin and get back
home. So we -- we were assigned this mission to lead
our flight and were going to bomb Schwechat Oil Refinery
which was outside of Vienna, Austria."

(To be Continued.)

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