LOUIS LOEVSKY, born
1920, enlisted U.S. Army Air Corps December 26, 1941. Graduated
Aviation Mechanic School and B-26 Specialist School. "Washed
Out!"…pilot training. He graduated Navigation School, Hondo,
TX, November 1943, he joined the 8th Air Force 466th
BG. Stationed at Attlebridge, England.
On March 22, 1944, 466th BG flew their first
mission. . . to Berlin. Our B-24 the "Terry and the Pirates"
was hit by flak over Berlin and we lost the #1 propeller. A mid-air
collision ensued causing "Terry" to lose props #2 and #3.
The "Brand" a B-24 lost its tail, causing it to go into a
tight spin. Len Smith, a Bombardier, was trapped in the
"Terry" nose turret, the electrical and manual systems
rendered it inoperable by the crash. The turret would not turn so that
its doors could open to let Len out. Len had sustained substantial
injury. For me to extricate Len from his predicament was most
difficult since he was in shock and kept removing his gloves (at –35oF
or below) and oxygen mask (at 23,500’). I tried putting his mask and
gloves back on repeatedly while trying to spring the nose turret door
open, I put an arm around his chest and pulled him out, that was quite
an achievement. Eventually Lou got Len out and released the bombs in
train. Thirteen of 20 crewmembers were KIA, 5 "Terry" and 8
After assisting Len to bail out, our pilot "Bill"
Terry yelled, "Hey, Lou wait for me!" I waited until he left
the control column then bailed out through the bomb bay. Distrusting
the Germans I free fell and saw one parachute open above me which had
to be Terry’s. While free-falling I realized that with the
"H" (Jewish) on my dog tags I risked being shot as a spy, if
I ripped them off and threw them away… and risked being shot as a
Jew if I left them on and fell into the hands of the Gestapo or S.S.!
I left them on. While free falling I thought of the gross of condoms
scattered in every pocket of every uniform… "My parents will
think they raised a sex fiend!"
I finally opened my parachute I found I was being shot at from the
ground. Slipping and spilling air I became an instant expert in
maneuvering the chute despite admonitions to keep our
"cotton-picking’ hands" off the shroud lines. I got away
from a small camp where they were shooting at me toward another small
camp where they were not. Selecting a small tree in Berlin, crossed my
legs for posterity, crashed branches off one side of the tree, chute
caught on top, feet whipped over head, back injured, blacked out
briefly, came to with toes touching ground. A Home Guard (Volkstrum)
shaking…had gun in my ribs, repeating: "Pis-tole?, Pis-tole?"
Two Wehrmacht troops appeared and took over my custody. While still
getting out of the parachute harness three S.S. arrived, apparently
from the small camp where they had been shooting at me. The S.S.
argued with the Wehrmacht, they wanted to take custody of me (and
since my parents sometimes talked Yiddish, I could understand).
Fortunately, the two Wehrmacht troops retained my custody.
As they marched me through the streets of Berlin to their
headquarters, the angry civilian mob were yelling in perfect AMERICAN
"string him up," "hang him," "lynch
him". . . they wanted a necktie party. As they were closing in
the Wehrmacht troops had to draw their sidearm to keep the ugly
lynching mob at bay. I believe "Bill" Terry was shot
from the ground as he floated down in his parachute.
I was now a POW at Stalag Luft III Sagan, Germany until the
Russians got close in January 1945. After that we were evacuated at
2:00 a.m. in a the freezing blizzard. From there we reached Stalag VII
A, in Moosburg by marching in sub-zero weather and being crammed
into (40 & 8) boxcars. We were improperly clothed or fed; our
conditions were unsanitary and inhumane. Imagine hundreds of American
officers and enlisted men lined up evacuating their bowels when the
train stopped at a station in full view of German women and children.
. . we were treated like swine!
We were liberated by General Patton’s troops on April 29,
1945. Joe Greenberg, flight engineer of "Terry" and the
Pirates" folded his wings in early 1993. Fifty-five years after
the mid-air collision, the three survivors of both crews are C. Wayne
Beigel (Brand crew), Len Smith and Lou Loevsky (Terry crew).
Lou lives in North Caldwell, NJ with a lovely lady, his sexy wife,
Lou Loevsky was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross,
on January 12, 1999, 55 years after the 2 doomed B-24’s collided
over Berlin, on March 22nd, 1944. To see awards and photos Click