e afternoon of 14th January 1945 was no ordinary day at USAAF Station 145 Rackheath, in Norfolk. Thirty B-24 Liberators from the 467th Bomb Group had been allocated to take part in a raid against steelworks at Hallendorf, near Hanover and had left the base at approximately 09.00. One of the aircraft taking part in the raid was named ‘Witchcraft’ and on her return, she would set a mission record for the entire Second Air Division, one which had attracted the attention of USAAF ‘Top Brass’. As the aircraft returned to their home airfield 6 hours and 35 minutes after they took off, 42-52534 ‘Witchcraft’ landed and parked up in her usual hardstanding position, to be met by General Ketner, Commander of the 2nd Air Division and other high ranking officials, not to mention a film crew and members of the press – even the famous ‘Rackheath Band’ were in attendance.
‘Witchcraft’ had just completed her 100th credited mission without suffering a single mechanical abort, a real testament to the efforts of her assigned ground crew. Known colloquially as the ‘League of Nations’, the ground crew was led by M/Sgt Joe Ramirez, who was of Mexican heritage, with other members of his team being of Chinese, German, Dutch and American extraction. General Ketner presented each member of the ground crew with an award to mark this significant wartime achievement and a quite extraordinary bomber.