Biography of Fred "Fritz" Kraft
385th Bomb Group, 3rd Air Division, U.S.A.A.F.
My uncle was Fred (Fritz) Kraft. He was with the 385th Bombardment Group that was commanded by Colonel George Y. Jumper, Natoma California. Fritz (Fred) completed 35 bombing operations. His group was part of the Third Air Division. Fritz participated in bombing attacks on Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg, submarine pens, docks and warehouses of Bremen and Swinemunde. tire factories of Hanover, oils refineries and storage tanks of Merseberg; and armored tank factories of Kassel. Fred (Fritz) received his wings as Pecos Field Texas in May of 1944. So he was in the European Theatre during the 1944-45 years.
Although his bomber met anti-aircraft opposition over every target, it was damaged seriously on only two occasions. Over industrial areas of Munich one engine was destroyed by flak and a gasoline tank was punctured. The escaping gasoline caused a fire hazard during the entire return trip. The flak over Mannheim railroad years destroyed and engine and the electric and hydraulic systems. Another engine was set on fire and the windmilling prop of the dead engine threatened to tear the Fort apart. The crew jettisoned all of the equipment they could and prepared to bail out. Fritz and the pilot succeeded in keeping the plane airborne to reach a field in France. Fritz received a fifth Oak Leaf Cluster to his Air Medal.
Fred died in April of 1960, his wife Marianne Donnelly died a few years later.
That's all I know about Fritz. He was my uncle and got me my first job. I would love to know what base he was stationed at, who his crewmates were and what his Fortress was named.
----- John Kraft
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