Regarding: August 16, 1944: James R. Knaub


Exert about the August 16, 1944 Komet attack from:


Two Me 109s and a FW 190 came in on No. 579, “Betty Lou’s Buggy”, in the No. 2 position of the Fourth Element, with 1Lt W. Reese Mullins’ (“Moon Mullins”, after a popular cartoon character of the day) crew aboard. The fighters dived down on “Betty Lou’s Buggy” firing 20 mm cannon shells into the aircraft as they bore down upon her. Both the No. 3 and 4 engines were knocked out and the No. 2 engine hit, which thereafter was able to pull only about one half power. The Tail Gunner, S/Sgt Mabry D. Barker, the waist gunner, S/Sgt Robert D. Loomis, and the ball turret gunner, S/Sgt Kenneth L. Blackburn, all got off shots at the fighters, but did not score any hits. A 20 mm cannon shell hit the tail gun position knocking Sgt Barker off his seat. Fragments went through his right leg leaving a hole the size of a silver dollar. He quickly pulled himself back onto his seat in case other enemy aircraft came at them. None did.


At the same time, splinters from a shell that hit the top turret gun sight cut a crease along side of the backward facing T/Sgt Carl A. Dickson. Although a superficial wound, blood flowed down over his face as from a “stuck pig.” The radio operator, T/Sgt James B. Knaub, hooked on a walk-around oxygen bottle and went to the tail gun position and dragged Sgt Barker back into the fuselage to administer to him. He cut loose Sgt Barker’s pant leg, put on a bandage and went to give him a morphine shot. There was no morphine syrettes in any of the first aid kits on board the aircraft! Most likely someone had stolen them for the morphine.


“Betty Lou’s Buggy” was now flying on only one and a half engines. Lt Mullins had the Bombardier, F/O Orville G. Chaney, jettison the bombs as they continued on with the Strike Force alone, under and north of the 91st formation.



(Note from Jean K. Hughes: Should be: James R. Knaub not “B”)