One of the crew members with Louis in Corsica was Bob Hayes and in a telephone discussion with Bob Hayes on November 26, 2001 he shared some of his memories of Louis and their World War II efforts.
They flew Mitchell B-25s out of the island of Corsica. Louis flew the maximum of 70 missions. They would bomb the Germans in Italy and Yugoslavia and sometimes even other parts of Europe.
Bob Hayes was a flight engineer and turret gunner and Louis was also a top turret gunner.
Bob recalled that once the top of his turret was blown and he had to get the navigator to help him get down from turret because the glass part at top was shot off. The Germans and some Italians fighting with the Germans were always firing flak at them on each mission. There were many casualties and many planes were lost.
Their plane always caught quite a bit of flak during missions.
They were in the 379th Squadron – 20 airplanes per squadron -- and the 310th bomb group – 4 groups in a squadron -- and the 57th bomb wing – 2 wings in a group. They accomplished a tremendous amount: More History
They lived in tents in Corsica. Weather was mostly okay, relatively warm. They had stoves in the tent for heat when needed. Bob recalled that the food was good enough.
There was USO there for a while but there just wasn't much social entertainment.
They would go out in groups of six airplanes. They dropped lots of bombs on bridges. Bob recalls that his tail number was 043. The B-25 only flew at a 15,000 feet maximum. It got very cold and difficult to breathe because of the altitude. Couldn't go much higher because of the oxygen problem.
The B-24s had four engines and B-25s had two engines so the B-24s could go on longer flights. Fortunately, the shorter flights of the B-25s meant less flak from the enemy.
Bob Hayes shared his memories of living in the tent next to Louis and recalls that Louis was "one helluva nice guy." He also remembered that Jack Valenti was on one of the other B-25 crews on Corsica with them.