Time is now about 4:00 in the morning. We are in the briefing shack for the mission of the day. The intelligence officer enters the room, marches up to the front, pulls back the curtain, and says, “Today the raid is going to Leipzig.” My friend Lt. A at that moment broke down and started sobbing and saying, “I ain’t gonna make it; I ain’t gonna make it.” This was his last mission and he said, “Of all the ones that I could have picked, why did it have to be Leipzig?” It’s important to tell that Leipzig was not a very safe target. It was dangerous. It was well defended. It was a bad one! None of the navigators at that briefing disagreed with Lt. A’s analysis. All of us knew it was going to be a bad one and the intelligence officer confirmed it. After a few moments, Lt. A got himself together and with my help and that of other navigators, we prepared his maps and got him ready to go. On the truck to the planes, he again expressed a feeling that he wasn’t going to make it. But, he said that if he did, the night that he got back we were going to have lots of drinks. As he left the truck, at his plane we wished him well and said, “ We know you’re gonna make it; we’ll meet you when it’s all over tonight.” So we took off. The weather was stinking. Almost immediately, we went into light fog and mist that made visibility very difficult. However, we did make rendezvous. The squadron assembled and we got with the group. Visibility was a little better for a while. As we continued on toward the Channel everything, got worse. We were up to twenty-nine thousand, five hundred feet and still didn’t have good visibility. At times, I could hardly see my wingman. It was impossible for us to go up another five hundred feet to get out of the clouds. Our airplane was to the point that it would not fly any higher! Needless to say, we could not see the ground, could not see anything. We reached the initial point to begin our bomb run by radar. Turning, on the bomb run we could see nothing. We saw no anti-aircraft fire or fighters. We proceeded down the bomb run and received no battle damage. After dropping our bombs, the squadron turned off the target. Again, we saw no anti-aircraft fire or fighters of any kind. We bombed something, but in those days the radar was not too good and whether or not we actually hit anything worthwhile is debatable. However, the weather was so bad that we were not under any gun- fire or attack. Our return trip to England was without incident. We still couldn’t see anything. We were flying strictly on radar. Our usual procedure for such bad weather return is to fly to a radio station at Derby, England. At Derby the formation would slowly circle around this station. One by one, planes would peel off on a pre-determined course and at a pre- determined loss of altitude, until they broke out under the clouds and went in, visually, to the field. As we were revolving around Derby, the pilot called me and said, “Lee, there’s somebody on the radio wants to talk to you.” So I switched over on radio and this voice said, “Lee, this is A. I think I’m gonna make it. How about singing a few verses of ‘Freight Train Blues’ with me?” I said, “Ok.” So there; right over England on command radio, we sing, “I got them freight train blu-ewwws, lordy, lordy, lordy, gotta ‘em in the bottom of my ramblin’ shooooos.” After this song he says, “Well, Lee, I’ll see you on the ground. The drinks are on me.” I said, “No, the drinks are on me and I’ll see you in a little bit.” He peeled off. He made it. Then, it was my turn to peel off. I still had one surprise coming up. We dropped down to about two thousand feet and broke out just under the clouds. OH MY GOD! Looking to my left, here came twelve- B17s- out of the mist, fog, and clouds-directly at me! A collision was imminent! My pilot and I saw these planes at the same time. He dropped and dove the left wing down to get out of their way. They passed very close over the top of us, but we were safe. From then on, it was just a matter of creeping to the airfield and landing. We made it without any further trouble. That night Lt. A and I did have a lot of drinks. He made it and went home.