A Vibrant Part of Reston History

The following was submitted by Fred Pierce:

The Pierces including Burt, Wib, and George were a vibrant part of Reston history.  Wib was a DFC squadron leader who like many brave Restonians fought for our freedom.  My dad was Wib.  Burt owned G S Munroe store for decades.  Attached is info from 1 flight with dad.  In 1944 as squadron leader of 433 squadron he had 28 bombers.  In 1944 his squadron lost 32 bombers.  Too brave for words.  God bless.

article continues below

September 27

Sterkrade – Ruhn Valley Oil Plant (Germany)

 At last we had our first “Happy Valley” target and it was a day. Boy, did we get a kick out of it. The weather was excellent over England on our way, but we flew over a layer of cumulus clouds all the way there, only to have trouble in finding target markers. The flak was heavy and plenty of it. While making our first run in just before releasing the bombs, clouds blotted out the target. Hence, Teddy was forced to do a dummy run and we had to orbit. We made our second run in and while running in were hit with flak (3 holes). Teddy managed to get the bombs on the markers and we turned for home. By this time, the flak was intense and we were weaving, corkscrewing across the sky, also whipping along at 240 mph to get in the stream again, as there was Focke Wolfe 189 coming our way ­– but upon seeing our lighter escort spitfires he just turned away and hit for home.

 On the way back, just after we crossed the English coast a friendly Bullfighter came a-winging in. We did a very smart corkscrew and rather shook him – but not to be out done he made about 7 or 8 more attacks, but without success, so we waggled his wings and banked at the engagement. Later we did a bit of formation flying with a fortress. “Gosh” they were steady and really got in close. We could see all the crew quite plain looking out the windows. After about half an hour they gave us the thumbs up sign and peeled off underneath us. It was a lovely, sunny day all the way back to England. We landed at base. There ended the first daylight on the Ruhr.

© Reston Recorder