The historic first combat mission the Army Air Force flew against the Germans, out of England in World War Two, took place on the Fourth of July 1942. General Ira Eaker thought it fitting to schedule our first raid on America's Independence Day, so he borrowed six of the RAF's Douglas A-20 Bostons the Yanks had been training in and, along with the help of six British crews, sent them out to attack Luftwaffe airfields located in Holland. The group of twelve A-20s split up into four groups of three and each attacked a separate target. The worst problems faced the group attacking the airfield at DeKooy. The second plane in this group, the A-20 flown by Capt. Charles C. Kegelman, took a direct hit in its right engine, knocking off its propeller. Momentarily losing control, Kegelman's right wingtip, then his belly hit the ground. Miraculously, he bounced back into the air, regained control and made it back to his base at Swanton Morley with his crew unscathed. This extraordinary mission resulted in the DSC for Kegelman and a DFC for each member of his crew.