Miscellaneous Photographs by Quentin Kaiser of
the 489th Bomb Squadron,
"I see in my mission record I flew mission number 24 to Cannes, France on August 12, 1944.
It is noted that the target was coastal guns but that we did not drop our bombs. Mission
number 25 is on September 10, two days before my 23rd birthday. D-Day Southern France was
on August 15th. As I remember it, I flew the Cannes mission with a slight cold and also
went swimnming where the Alesani River flows into the sea when I returned. I developed an
earache and went on sick call and was grounded. I dimly recall sick call at the squadron
but think I was sent to the hospital for treatment. The doctor really reamed me out and I
wondered why because I felt bad enough as it was. He grumbled about the difficulty of
maintaining healthy flight crews. I later supposed he had been told to have all crews ready
for the invasion but, of course, he did not tell me that. I don't remember why there is a gap
of a month but I sure did not fly during that period. I think I would have remembered an
earache that lasted that long. On D-Day the 489th's target was the bridge at Avignon. I recall
we lost three B25s that day. Several Days later we were surprised to have four fellows come
back to the squadron in civilian clothes. We talked to them but we were not allowed to question
them about how they got back from behind enemy lines. Around that time all flight personnel had
their pictures taken in civilian clothes and we were given these small, square pictures so the
underground people could make passes for us to get through enemy checkpoints. We always carried
escape kits on missions. These were distributed along with our parachutes and also collected
after each mission. We carried them in the pockets in our flight suits which were below the
knee. The escape kits contained cloth maps of the area along with first aid items and candy
bars. I seem to remember there also being a pin which said "Je suis Americain." I am not sure
but I think the pictures were taken after D-Day and I don't remember how we carried them
because the escape kits were in sealed cloth bags and we could not open them. I have wondered
if the pictures were printed on German photographic paper. The ones I have are not marked
Here's my dad resting over the two barrels of the tail gunner's 50-caliber machine guns
in the tail of a B-25J Mitchell.
"I am pretty sure this picture of me and mom was taken in December of 1943
after I finished gunnery school. That is why the gunner's wings are plainly evident. I
would have been a corporal then. Of course, it could have been in April
(1944) when we were engaged but then I think a left hand would be more evident."
Here's a picture of the Italian Cruiser Taranto sunk by the 489th bomb squadron. My father has this photograph in his collection but he didn't take it.
I am dubious however because Marcello Biava says the following about this photo:
"This is the RN Gorizia at the end of the war in La Spezia."