Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 11:50:35 :
Thursday, January 17, 1946
Thor Arnkilís Last Mission Is Described
Hope that her son might return from the war was finally given up by Mrs. Bertha Arnkil-Axilson of Sausalito last week following her receipt of a letter from Edwin R. Bush, former comrade of Thor Arnkil, who was reported missing in action over Germany in February 1943.
In describing the mission on which Thor Arnkil was shot down, Bush wrote: ďThe target for that day was Wilhelmshaven in northern Germany, and we left the English coast on the morning of the 26th. We were flying in elements of three, and the plane in which Thor was flying as navigator was in formation off our right wing until we reached the German coast. The pilotís name was Lt. Beaman Smith of Marietta, Ohio, and he was considered a very good pilot. Just as we crossed the enemy shoreline, Lt. Smithís plane waggled his wings to signal that he was breaking formation, and then turned back on the course to England.
ďAt the same time that their ship turned back, four German fighter planes flew by our formation and were seen to follow Lt. Smithís plane down, as he was trying to get down to a lower altitude.
ďAccording to the last reports of our tail-gunner, their airplane was under control and headed for England. As I said before, I would like to give you something to hope for, but in my opinion, the ship, with its crew was forced down in the North Sea, about forty or fifty miles off the coast of Holland, and if they had been picked up, naturally you would have heard from Thor by this time.
ďA short while after this happened, our plane was shot down over Bremen, Germany, and I became a Prisoner of War. While we were there, we checked with the Germans and the Red Cross, about all the fellows we knew of that had been shot down, and we never received any word about any of the crew members who flew in your sonís ship.Ē
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