18 November, 2017

Salizar, Bruno

Service: Army Air CorpsUnit: 546th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force

Bruno was born in 1922 and went into the Army Air Corps in 1942.  He was trained as a Engineer/50 Caliber machine-gunner on the heavy bomber a B-24 named “Stinky”  he was assigned to the 546th bomb group of the 8th Air Force which was also called the Mighty 8th or the Fighting 8th.  I just talked to  a B-24 Pilot named Howard Robb about what an engineer would have been responsible for doing when the B-24 was on a mission but not into combat yet.  Howard said that as a engineer Bruno would have transferred fuel out of one tank into another to keep the plane level as well as working on mechanical parts of the plane to keep them working properly.  Bruno had to go through a lot of training on  guns since he was a 50 cal. machine gunner.  He would have fired shot guns from the back of a pickup truck to get used to hitting a target while bouncing around in the truck to simulate the movement on a heavy bomber like either the B-17 or B-24.  Bruno was very proud to say that he was in the great actor Jimmie Stewart’s bomb group.  Some Hollywood actors might come to England to fly on one mission just so the movie studio’s could say they were involved in the War effort and while they were very dangerous what Jimmie Stewart did was fly all the time as a Pilot on B-24 on a lot of missions.  Bruno made some very dangerous missions, the two  that came to his mind were Ploesti Romania and Berlin both were very well protected by fighter planes as well as artillery or flak.  The Germans had taken over the Romanian oil fields for their war effort.  Bruno was shot down over Giessne Germany on his 8th mission.  He was a POW for eight months.  He was shot at by the civilians but treated reasonably well once he was taken by the German Wehrmacht.

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