J.’s grandfather, James Carter (pictured sitting front left), was a WWII and Korean War veteran. "Baba" (J.’s name for him) was a tailgunner for 765th Squadron, 461st Bomb Group, 15th Airforce and his crew was shot down in February 1945.
Throughout the war, the Squadron’s Combat Intelligence kept historical accounts. This is from February 1945:
"February saw the squadron hit unusually hard by disaster. … The greatest tragedy occurred on February 21st when two aircraft failed to return from a mission to Vienna, Austria. The lead ship flown by squadron commander, Major Baker, and Lt. Woodruff [Baba’s plane] suffered severe damage from flak and radioed in that they were heading for Russian territory. No further word was received on their fate."
This is the story of Mission #180 to Vienna, Austria – how they were shot down, and how they eventually made it to safety:www.461st.org/crews/woodruff.htm.