Leo Adamski
Birthday: May 27, 1925
Birthplace: Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Family: Helen Michaliski and John Adamski
Occupation: Nekoosa Corp. as an Accountant and Book Keeper
Branch: Army Air Corps
Unit: 404th Bomb Squadron, 28 Bomb Group
Post: Ball Turret gunner
Rank: Staff Sargeant

Leo Adamski

Leo Adamski

" I was drafted. Once you turned eighteen you were eligible for military services. I was eighteen in May. In July I was inducted of 1943, and in August I was in the service."

"There was one hundred and seventy-five of us that left from Stevens Point on a troop train. From Stevens Point we went to camp in Grant, Illinois.

I wanted to get in the Air Force and do my part. All of sudden you go into the big wide world and you travel all over."

" Icy conditions were the worse. Because the planes would ice up so hard that they don't want to stay in the air. They keep flip flopping in the air up and down like a rubber ball. That was probably worse than anything. So we have to stay down in low altitude."

"We flew in a lot of heavy pea soup fog. What we'd have to do if we couldn't get high enough because of the ice, we'd stay at five hundred feet for maybe eight hundred feet miles and then go up to altitudes when we got near enemy territory and got ready to bomb."

" There were times you would come back from bombing missions and we'd try to land but we'd have to stay in the air for at least an hour because we couldn't see enough to land. Finally if our gas fuel was low, we'd just go in and take a chance and bounce twenty to thirty feet in the air."

" We has a lot of time on our hands. One time we never took off for three weeks, it stayed foggy right down to the ground the whole time. There was a theater at the base, so we saw of movies, good ones."

" The service gave us a case of coke per month, which we kept under our bed. They also gave us a case of beer. Sometimes there wre cilian crew working on the islands and somehow they'd get some liquor into our base. But it was very expensive. I think it was one hundred and twenty-five dollars for a fifth, and this was 1945. It was expensive , but I never had any of that stuff."

"Whenever we came back from a mission, of course they'd have a debrief in about what they saw happened. After that they fed us real well, fresh eggs, steak, fresh milk, but the other ground troops that serviced the plane, they got powdered eggs, powdered milk, everything imitation! Of course the objective there was you may not come back next time, so we'll feed you real good."

"One time we had hit antiaircraft and we had 800 miles to get back. We didn't know if we were going to make it, so we took a chance. We took our food kits; we had food kits because some of the missions were 10 to 12 hours long. That one mission our plane was shot up and we had 800 miles to come back. A B-24 is like a flying boxcar, their heavy. So we dumped out all our guns, all our ammunition, all our food kits and we made it back with three engines."

The official military report reads as follow "On the return flight when east of Kod Mari Cape, a single engine Shimushu fighter bore into Lt. Reynolds position. One of his first shots hit the Number 4 engine requiring the prop to be feathered. Gunners fired at the fighter which nosed up and dived head first into the water, The Number 4 engine was damaged with the plane at an altitude of only 100 feet. The airplane was only able to reach approximately 400 feet before the engine had to be feathered. The crew jettisoned all the excess equipment and the airplane was able to climb."

"Over time we were on a special photograph mission. They sent out three planes to get special photos of a place called Paramashiro Straights, where the Japanese had some ships in there. We were going to go up to a higher altitude then anybody ever did before; we were going up to 28,000 feet. Usually our bombing was 18,00 to 22,000 feet. So we went up and our instruments were freezing. We were having a problems with our plane. They sent out three bombers with cameras and photographers. Two planes had to go back, so we went alone. But the Jap fighters apparently didn't have the capability of coming up that high. They were down below but they didn't come up."

"Antiaircraft was all around us, in front of us, below us, behind us and we never got hit. We were kind of lucky, sometimes you do dare evil things. I froze my feet, my toes one time it was 45 degrees below zero and we had electric heated shoes and gloves and suits. Gloves and shoes were separate from the suit. My gloves were out and my shoes, the wires were burned out, do I froze my feet."

"We were quite fortunate you know, as a crew nothing real serious happened. Not like some other guys. That's the way it is, you can go through hell and high water and nothing happens. The next guy or the next group of guys will have all kinds of problems. They didn't get back, got shot or whatever."

" I successfully flew thirty-four missions over enemy occupied territory and Japan with the same crew all through the war. I flew in a B-24 which had a ten man crew, and I flew in the 404 Bomber Squadron of the 28th Bombardment Group. Our group bombed and strafed shipping, harbor facilities, canneries, fisheries, and the military installations in the Kuril islands."

"I was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Air Medal with two Oak Leaf clusters Distinguished Flying Cross, with one Oak Leaf cluster, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, one bronze Service Star, and the World War Two Victory Medal. After the war I went to college in Milwaukee. Later I worked as a accountant and a book keeper for the Nekoosa Corporation."