Ted Hill – WWII P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot

In the spring of 1945, Lt. Ted Hill and his P-47 squadron were returning from a mission over Germany to their base in Kelz, Germany. The Thunderbolts flew support missions patrolling roads for concentrations of enemy troops, strafing German military trains and vehicles, and dropping bombs on gun emplacements. Once, their squad leader dropped down through the clouds over what he thought was their home base. Unfortunately, he guessed wrong, and they quickly realized they were actually over Cologne, Germany, where 1800+ 88 cannons ringed the city and all were seemingly firing at them. Ted said “the sky turned black from all the flak.” All the pilots had to quickly get back above the clouds and out of the range of the 88’s. Surprisingly, every one of the planes made it back safely to their home base.