Leisnig - Witness To Disaster: Sergeant Marlyn Bonackers Short War
Publish Date: 2014-08-23
Author: Klaus Schumann
The authors relate an event from their childhood that happened right in their hometown of LEISNIG, Germany. On 6 April 1945, as the war in Europe drew to a close, two B-17 bombers collided overhead, raining debris from one B-17 over the area, and leaving the pilot of the other B-17 fighting desperately to save his barely flyable airplane and its crew. Narrowly avoiding a catastrophic crash into the populated area of the city, he nursed the crippled bomber past the city and across the river Mulde before his airspeed, altitude, and luck ran out. All seven remaining aboard his airplane perished in the ensuing crash into the side of a hill, leaving a solitary crewman who survived by parachuting to tell their tale. The other B-17 exploded in midair, flinging most of the crew to their doom. The survivors' unlikely escapes are described by the authors, as well as their fates at the hands of the local populace. This book follows the crews on their bombing mission, through the circumstances of the accident, and describes how the Germans, into whose midst they were thrust, treated them with humanity. Follow the trail of their research as they discover and interview eyewitnesses and survivors. Learn how a widening circle of contacts with researchers and archivists on two continents finally lead to a full picture of the events of that day, when catastrophe passed close by LEISNIG.