“The sky was full of flak and I could hear it banging against the aircraft.” That’s how Sun Lakes resident Sid Singer described his first mission as a 21-year-old top turret B-24 gunner on a mission over BlackHammer, Germany in 1944. Singer spoke to a crowd of 96 persons attending a Sun Lakes Aero Club (SLAC) gathering November 21.
The target was protected by the highest concentration of anti-aircraft fire of any target in Germany, Singer said. “After we released our bomb load, our pilot said, ‘Let’s get the hell out of here.’ We were fortunate to come back in one piece, but I could not say the same for three other aircraft in our formation. One of our planes started climbing and cut the wing off a plane above it. I saw two parachutes, and heard that four others also got out. All spent the rest of the war in a German POW camp.”
Singer said crewmembers went through an intensive debriefing following each mission. “Following one mission, they offered me a shot of whiskey, but I didn’t accept it because I don’t drink. I told them about unusual enemy planes that flew through our formation at great speed, then flew off. The briefers told me those were the first German jet planes.”
Now in its 21st year, SLAC sponsors programs the third Monday of each month November through April at the Sun Lakes Country Club. The programs are open to all Sun Lakes residents and others interested in aviation. More information on the club is available from Cannon Hill at 509-539-7857 or Gary Vacin at 298-7017 or at the club’s web site at www.sunlakesaeroclub.org.