‘The Cat Comes Home’ – by Keith Hill
On Oct 14th 1943 the US 8th Air Force undertook a mission to bomb the German ball bearing plants at Schwienfurt. Although the ball bearing plants were successfully bombed, the success came at a high cost and in all 60 B.17 bombers and their crews were lost.
Remarkably, the 303rd Bomb Group from RAF Molesworth lost just one aircraft.
Badly damaged over Germany ‘Cat ‘o 9 Tails’ made its way back to England with one of the crew seriously wounded. Unable to find any airfield on which to land and running low on fuel the crew baled out over Aylesbury. The aircraft set on automatic pilot and pointed towards the North Sea.
However it got no further than Bedfordshire, where it ran out of fuel and glided down, making an almost perfect landing in the village of Riseley.