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About Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 11, 1944)
Lieutenant Wren Tells
Of European Missions
By JOHN J. CRAIG
Americans reading of huge bombing raids over Europe can
have no conception of the beating taken by American bombing
planes, declared Lieutenant William D. WYen, former student
at the University of Oregon.
Lieutenant Wren, a veteran of 83 fighter plane missions over
Europe, was on the campus for a short leave from an air base
Utah, where he has been instruct
ing cadets how to fly the P-47
Thunderbolt, which he used suc
cessfully during his stay of two
years in the European theater.
Nearly all of Lieutenant Wren's
European missions were flown as
escort of English and American
bombers, although he did partici
pate in some strafing missions,
during which his squadron was
credited with smashing hundreds
of German planes on the ground
and doing great damage to enemy
air bases, supply depots, and com
The German anti-aircraft de
fences are particularly efficient,
Lieutenant Wren reports. Bombers
and fighters encounter exceedingly
effective flak patterns as high as
30,000 feet. German fliers, quite
different from some movie ver
sions, are brave and able opponents
and have planes that give excellent
performance. In the early days of
the war, their fighter planes were
superior to those of the allied pow
ers, but new designs, particularly
of American planes, have given the
allies the edge in firepower and
The German luftwaffe in the
early days of the war was devoted
to offensive tactics, Lieutenant
Wren said, but now the table is
turned and they are on the defen
The combination of flak and
enemy fighter resistance, coupled
with long flights at high altitudes,
make each bombing mission a
mighty tough experience, Wren
The Hun has been taught to re
spect American planes flying in
formation, these formations being
designed to utilize combination
firepower. Any plane which drops
out of formation is immediately in
trouble, as Wren learned on a
raid over France in July, 1943. See
ing a companion flier in trouble,
he dropped out of formation to dis
rupt the attacking German plane.
He succeeded in sending the en
emy out of action, only to find a
German looking down his neck and
tracers buzzing around his side.
A German fighter had dropped out
of the clouds and was diving on
‘ Wren’s Thunderbolt. Wren succeed
ed in evading the Hun and with
great difficulty herded his plane
home to England.
He experienced a number of
close calls over Europe and was
forced to land short of his base a
number of times because of gaso
line shortage, which Wren said was
the reason that a number of pilots
had to make forced landings in
France or in the channel.
Lieutenant Wren told of a spe
cial mask some German pilots
donned to produce terroristic ef
fects similar to the effect given
Nazi pilots in. the movies. Wren
said that only once did he see a
close-up of a German pilot, and
both he and the Nazi were startled.
Wren gave special credit to Eng
lish radar equipment that enabled
fighter pilots to find positions and
be warned in advance of German
fighter patrols or other planes.
The English people, especially
English women, go out of their
way to be helpful to the Yanks,
declared Lieutenant Wren, and are
given the highest regard by our
Wren, a student at the Univer
sity of Oregon when he enlisted in
the army air forces in July, 1941,
was trained at Kelly field, Tex.,
and went overseas in July, 1942.
Once in England, he was furnished
an English Spitfire pursuit plane
for his early missions and was
later transferred to the American
pursuit ship, the Thunderbolt,
which he praises as one of the best
planes of the war. His own ship,
fortunes Fool, gave excellent
performance. He participated in
some of the largest raids on the
European mainland but regrets
that he was never assigned to more
than one mission over Berlin, as
his ship lacked the necessary fly
ing range. During the last year of
his overseas service he saw duty
as a flight leader. He has two cer
tain victories and four probables to
his credit, in addition to planes
destroyed on the ground. The com
bat group of which he was a mem
ber has credit for 150 enemy air
craft. Wren wears the distin
guished flying cross with one oak
leaf cluster and the air medal with
Lieutenant Wren left Eugene
October 1 for Brunning, Nebraska,
where he plans to fly the new P-63
fighter in escort tactics with the
The class of 1929, University of '
Maine, would like to see ’29ers in
the armed forces hold their 1944
reunion in Berlin. Toward that end
they are bonding their reunion this
year. Instead of going back to
Orono, they are sending bonds back
to be held for the 25th reunion
class gift. For country, college, and
classmates, ’29ers hope to have 100
per cent war bond attendance.
FOR DELICIOUS PASTRIES
Mrs. Brooks’ Home Bakery
■•'6 E. Broathvay
Committees for 1944-45 for the
American Association of Univer
sity Professors were announced
yesterday. by the president of the
University chapter, Dr. Carl Kos
Head of the executive committee
will be: C. F. Kossack. chairman:
S. H. Jameson, secretary; C. B.
Beall. L. S. Cressman, Calvin
Crumbaker, H. C. Franchere, R. D.
Horn, C. L. Johnson, A. L. Lomax,
W. C. Price, John Stehn, H. G.
Townsend, and Hoyt Trowbridge.
On the annuities committee, C. F.
Kossack will serve as chairman,
with Calvin Crumbaker, J. T.
Ganoe, A. F. Moursund, A. L.
Soderwall, Hoyt Trowbridge, and
H. B. Yocom.
E. H. Moore, Waldo Schumacher,
and Harriet W. Thomson will serve
on the insurance committee with
H. C. Franchere as chairman.
Membership committee will be
headed by W. C. Price, with W. A.
Dahlberg, Maude Garnett, Olof
Larsell, and R. W. Leeper. A. L.
Lomax will be the chairman of the
salaries and promotions commit
tee with C. L. Johnson, J. C. Mc
Closkey, Leona Tyler, and Pierre
Summer sessions committee
chairman will be John Stehn, along
with D. E. Clark, R. H. Ernst,
P. A. Killgallon, and A. H. Kunz.
Serving on the teaching load com
See bow they light up a eootume
will* electric brilliance . . • how their
alluring femininity put* a gleam is
hi* eye! For black»with*a*bang,
wear Kalinon*ile*igne«l Patent*.
mittee as chairman will be C. B.
Beall. Others on this committee
are Louis Artau, Eyler Brown, and
A. B. Stillman. L. S'. Cressman,
Calvin Crumbaker, E. R. Knollin,
E. C. A. Lesch, and H. G. Town
send will serve on the tenure and
privileges committee with L. S.
Cressman as the. chairman.
Forty-eight coeds from the
Southwest Texas state teachers
college made a two-day whirlwind
bond drive among officers, cadets,
enlisted men and civilian workers
of the San Marcos air forces
school. The girls first paraded
through the streets of the post and
then scattered to tend more than a
dozen booths set up at strategic
points. They helped the field
achieve a $100,000 quota.
Massachusetts Institute of Tech
nology is establishing an urban re
development field station in its city
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