...from a newspaper, May 20, 1944

S. Sgt. Setzer On 50 Missions
Part of Berwick Flier's Plane Damaged In Several Instances

Shooting down of at least one, and probably several more German fighters, narrow escapes from flak and machine gun bullets, flying back to his field with a quarter of one wing missing on one occasion and with engines knocked out several times are among the experiences of Staff Sgt. Walter C. Setzer who returned to his home at Berwick after 50 missions. His raids were over vital spots to the Nazis.

The first armorer and gunner, whose crew came through the 50 bombing raids unscathed although their plane was damaged many times by flak and bullets, had his biggest thrill of the war, to date, when he saw the three-bladed propeller of an attacking Messerschmidt fighter plane shatter and fly into the air with the plane then plummeting to earth. The attacking Nazi 109 was coming in at "4 o'clock" and was about 600 yards from the Fortress when S/Sgt. Setzer opened up on it. That raid was on airfields near Athens.

The gunner is confident he hit many more planes but on those occasions the planes were so numerous and action so fast that he had no time to see whether the planes went down.

Fly On Reputation
Great praise for the Flying Fortresses is given by S/Sgt. Setzer who says jokingly, "When they are disabled we fly them on their reputation'' The manner in which his ship pulled through substantiates his claim.

A direct hit near the end of one wing by anti-aircraft shells, or flak shot away about a quarter of that wing and left one of the wing gasoline tanks sticking out in the air. Despite that condition the ship flew back to the base and was landed safely. That raid was on Foggia.

Toughest Raid
The airman's toughest raid, he states, was on Klagenfurt, a railroad marshaling yard in the southern part of Germany, near Austria. On that occasion the Fortresses were in actual combat for an hour and forty-five minutes as the German fighters made repeated attempts to keep them from the target, fought them while they were over the target and followed them as they returned toward their field.

One thing that made the Klagenfurt raid especially difficult was that. treacherous mountains had to be flown over before they could reach the area.

Questioned as to whether bullets or flak very often hit the plane, S/Sgt. Setzer said, "Oh sure, lots of times, but we were lucky and no one was hurt."

Feather Props
It was necessary several times to feather the props" of at least one of the plane's four engines, meaning to adjust the blades of the propellors so that they knife directly into the wind and are not forced bv the air to revolve. With the propellor feathered and the engine shut off the motor is not a fire menace and is not the great liability it would be if the propellor kept revolving in operating the motor.

Cassino, Belzano and Toulon were other important Nazi targets among the many that were blasted by the local man's ships in its 50 bombing raids. He is a waist gunner, operating a 50 cal. machine gun in addition to his duties as armorer.

S/Sgt. Setzer was flying from African airfields until the Allies invaded Italy and then began flying from Italian airfields. He said comparatively little work was necessary in preparing the fields for use by the Fortresses.

The local man was engaged in the raids for a period of 10 months but was hospitalized two and a half months of that time as a result of malaria and yellow jaundice, contracted in Africa. He was in hospitals in both Africa and Italy.

S/Sgt.. Setzer is the son of John Setzer, of 207 Line street, and the husband of the former Arlene Adams, of Bloomsburg.