World War II
Lieutenant Colonel Bernard Anthony Makwoski (aka "Col. Mack")
Father of Bambi Hay. After graduating high school, at the age of 17, he joined the United States Army Air Forces. The following passage is from an article about his new command of the 4756th Drone Squadron and excellent summary of his career.
Drone Sq. Gains New Commander
"A B-17 pilot during WW II and holder of the Silver Star Medal has assumed command of the 4756th Drone Squadron. He is Lt. Col. Bernard A. Makowksi, recently assigned to Tyndall from duty in France. The colonel also holds three Distinguished Flying Cross Medals, four Air Medals, and two Purple Heart decorations which he earned during the war. While stationed in England during 1942-44, he was wounded twice in combat missions. He was returned to the states following his second encounter.
He has flown 26 combat missions and has piloted the B-17, B-29, B-25, F-86, and expects to be checking out in the F-102 while here. He has also flown B-57s as commander of the 4713th Radar Evaluation Sq. which is often referred to as the "friendly enemies."
The colonel has worked his way through the ranks of the enlisted man. He started his career as a private and worked up to staff sergeant pilot in 1942. He received a direct commission to flight officer in 1943, and later was granted a second lieutenant commission. He said he missed only one rank on the way up and that was master sergeant.
Colonel Makowski has been a supply man, aircraft mechanic, and a flight engineer. He also wears the missile badge for duty at Eglin AFB, Fla., testing the BOMARC "A" and "B" models during 1960-61. Other overseas service has found him stationed in Okinawa as director of operations, 51st Fighter Wing, and as a radar officer in the Aleutian Islands.
The Wilkes-Barre, Pa., native is married and lives in Capehart housing with his wife, Peggy. The couple have one daughter, Beverly Ann, who is attending the University of Alabama. During his off-duty time, the colonel likes to work around the garden, and is especially fond of working with roses."
The following are entries, as written, from Col. Mack's journal detailing 24 raids he flew during WWII.
Raid #1 8/15/43: Flew as co-pilot with F. Wolfe, it was my first raid. We went to Flushing France and bombed an air field. It was the first flak I have seen, during the raid there were no enemy fighters. The name of the place Island of Walcherent. Flew for 4:05. Very little flak. No one was hurt on the crew!
Raid #2 8/18/43: Went way into Germay with my own crew. Schweingurt was our target a ball bearing plant. Met a lot of enemy fighters and little flak. We knocked down 4 enemy fighters in our ship. The trip was 6:45 and we ran out of gas. We were very low and while I tried to make the field of opportunity instead of going on to our home base. #1, 2, 3, engines are out. I came in on one engine and lined up with the runway. There was a car parked in the middle of where I had to land. Being I only had one engine I couldn't go around. So the next best thing I thought to do was dive the plane in front of him and bounce it over the car which in turn worked out very nicely. After pulling to a stop at the end of the runway, #4 engine out. The tanks were dry. We were the first bomber to ever land in that field. Our plane was badly shot up too. No one was hurt on the crew. In the parked on the runway where two English men. Received Oakleaf Cluster to D.F.C.
Raid #3 8/31/43: Went into France right near Paris. Had a good look at Paris. My number 1 and 4 engine were acting up. Was afraid I would have to feather there. We flew all over France look for an airport to bomb licecinse. Our primary was closed in. We bombed Amions Airdrone north west of Paris. Flak was mild, but very much on the beam. In fact it was a little to close for comfort. Returned safe and crew was all o.k. Flew 5:15.
Raid #4 9/3/43: Went into France and down around Paris. Seen B-17 go down. Pilot Bruce, 3 F.W. 190 attached and knocked him out of the formation. There was no flak and only a couple of fighter attacks. We bombed St. Andray Airport after we foused out the Primary was closed in. Had a chance to see Paris a little clsoer. All of the crew was O.K. 6:10.
Raid #5 9/22/43: Went into the southern part of France. Down into Nantes and knocked bombed ship buildings, sumbarine pins, and dry docks. Seen two B-17's go down, only one fighter attack. Flak was very well in there and pretty ruff. Got quite a few holes in the ship. Came in on one aileron. Every one on the crew was O.K. Flew 6:36. Received Air Medal this day.
Raid #6 10/2/43: Went on a raid into Ermeden Germany. Mission was pretty long but easy. Saw very little flak and had 10/10 undercast. We bombed through it. Seen 3 fighters, had an attack from 1:00 o'clock high. He came very close to us, but didn't fire any guns at us. I dove down to get out of his way. No damage to our ship and the crew O.K. Time we flew 6:45.
Raid #7 10/4/43: Went on a raid into Germany. Bombed Frankfort incountered very little flak but had a lot of fighters. It was a pretty rough flight. Those fighters were sure on my tail. Seen Fleming drop back and fighters attacked him. He dove for clouds but we haven't heard from him. Everyone on crew came in O.K. We flew 7:00.
Raid #8 10/20/43: Went on a raid into Germany- Duren. Ran into bad weather returned with bombs. No flak, seen two fighters shot down. All of crew O.K. Mission 4:30.
Raid #9 11/3/43: Went into Germany on a raid, Wilemohauen-Submarine pens. Had P-38 & P-47 escorts. Run a little flak and a few enemy fighters. Had two B-17B collide in mid air on way to target. The crew all O.K. Mission 6:00.
Raid #10 11/5/43: Went into Germany the Rhine Valley. Sure had a lot of flak. It's the worst I have ever seen. It had our course and altitude down pat. We didn't see very many fighters, in fact we only seen one. Our formation broek up when our leader was shot down and we had a little trouble getting back in there. Ever one on crew O.K. We also came in on 3 engines. Mission 5:00. Received Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal
Raid #11 11/26/43: Went into North West Germany. Bremen. It was a pretty ruff mission all the way. Flak was heavy, so was the fighters. A 20 mm went through the cock-pit injuring co-pilot and me. It hit soon as we turned off the target. Neither of us were hit badly. The co-pilot was put in the radio room and the engineer and bombidier helped me bring the ship home. My tail gunner was dead when we hit the ground. Altebury died due to the lack of oxygen. All in it was really ruff. Mission 5:35. Received purple heart on this raid - my hand was shot up - 20mm came through the cockpit. Received the D.F.C. for gallantry in action on this raid.
Raid #12 2/21/44: First raid since I was wounded on the last flew. We put lead of the low group. It was an easy up until some fighters joined us and then we got into some bad flak. Every one on crew O.K. Mission time 6:45.
Raid #13 2/22/44: Went up to Denmark to bomb an air field. It was quite a long trip and very tiresome. Flew Deputy lead of High Group. We had one fighter attack. If I must say so myself, he was mighty good at flying. Flak was very light and way out of range. Mission 9:00.
Raid #14 2/25/44: Went to Augshurg, Germany. It was a very long raid and every thing went along fine until we went through the middle of Stukgart. Flak was very ruff and quite a few fighters. It was the longest raid I've ever been. Man it was ruff. Mission 9:00.
Raid #15 2/28/44: Went into France to bomb the rocket coast. Seen little flak and no fighters. Make 6 runs on target. Mission 4:30. Received another cluster to Air medal on this raid.
Raid #16 3/2/44: Went into Frankfurt Germany. It was the 2nd time. This time it was a lot easier than the last. Seen very little flak and no enemy fighters what so ever. Mission 8:30.
Raid #17 3/4/44: Started for Berlin pretty big day. Weather closed in and we had to bomb a target of opportunity. Koln, south 10 miles was the target. We didn't see any fighters and flak was very light. Mission 6:15.
Raid #18 3/6/44: Today was the big one. Went to Berlin - It was a long ride and seen quite a few fighters about 30. Flak was a little ruff. Upson my co-pilot is reporting missing in action. He was flying a new crew. Had a pretty good look at Berlin. Seen quite a few of it's parks and high command buildings. Crew O.K. Lead High Group today. Mission 9:00.
Raid #19 3/16/44: Went into Germany the South Eastern Manchester. It's about 40 miles south east of Augsburg. Seen very little flak and no fighters. It was a long ride. Mission 8:15.
Raid #20 3/20/44: Started out in Frankfurt, Germany - ran into bad weather and combat wing had to abort. It was very ruff flying in the weather. B-17's were spinning in left and right. After coming back out of it, we were all over France. Didn't see any fighters but the flak was a little ruff in some places. The lead navigator was lost that was the reason for going all over France. Lead the low group today. Mission 7:30. Received cluster to Air Medal on this raid.
Raid #21 3/26/44: Went into the cost of France to bomb the rocket coast. Took Dr. Boden along, we also bombed by Squadrons. I was leading one squadron and the bombardire said we hit our target. The flak was a little ruff but we didn't see any fighters. Mission 3:15.
Raid #22 4/11/44: Went way into Germany. South east of Berlin about 100 miles. Couldn't see our primary target, so we went up to secondary. Stattin, Germany. It was a very long raid. Some of the group ran into bad fighter attacks, flak was pretty bad. All in all, the raid was easy but a little too long. Flew leading Air Division. Mission 10:45.
Raid #23 4/20/44: Went into France at some rocket sites about 40 miles east of Boulogne. Encountered no flak or fighters. Lead a 12 ship group over target. Bombardier did a pretty good job on target. Mission 3:30.
Raid #24 4/24/44: Well, here I go again getting laid up in the hospital. Got hit with a shell in both of my feet. Fighters were very eager today and it scared the hell out of me. I was hit before we came to the target. The flak wasn't to bad but the fighters shot my whole group down. There were 3 of us left out of 18. The mission was one of the worst I've had. Mission 10:00. Received cluster to purple heart on the raid. Cluster to DFC and Silver Star.