|Lawrence A. Leibold|
|Takes Sightseeing Trip Over German Devastated Areas|
|AN 8TH AIR FORCE SERVICE COMMAND STATION, England—The Japan of tomorrow was mirrored
in the targets of yesterday for Private First Class Lawrence A. Leibold, 712
North Michigan Street, Eau Claire, WI, as he,
along with nine other ground crew members of the Eighth Air Force Service
Command with whom he has served, flew over devastated and defeated
Germany in a B-17 Flying Fortress on an 8-hour "sightseeing
mission" to witness the great part they played in the eventual
victory over Hitler's Germany.
From altitudes ranging from a couple thousand feet to treetop level in ideal weather, the Fortress skeleton crew and its passengers saw the results of 30 months intensive strategic bombing. The men were all "briefed" on what they would see on the flight over the Ruhr Valley, which was once considered one of the most highly industrialized areas in the world. Airmen referred to it as "Flak Valley" due to the very heavy concentration of anti-aircraft defenses.
The flight covered approximately 1,000 miles round trip and the men flew over parts of England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. The Reich's ruins—the heavily bombed marshalling yards, transportation, industrial centers, and destroyed bridges were given special attention on this flight.
A veteran of 26 months in the European Theater of Operations, Private First Class Leibold is a member of the Signal Section at this strategic air depot bomber repair base.