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 Dailies of the 323rd Squadron

1944

Transcribed by Nancy Perri

1 Jan. 1944: New Years Day in the squadron was but little if any different from any other in the year. That is, there was nothing in the way of a celebration that most of the personnel have been accustomed to in civilian life. The normal routine, when no operational mission was scheduled, was followed. Four radio operators attended Wing Radio Network. Four pilots had Link Trainer for an hour each, and three ships made local cross country flights. At the mess halls, all personnel were served with a nice turkey dinner.
 
 2 Jan. 1944: Next day, three ships did local formation flying as a training project. This is often the case in order to give experience to pilots who are expected to get adjusted to flying together in formation. There was nothing done in the way of ground school training.
 
 3 Jan. 1944: January 3, 1944 was a busy day. All the Synthetic Trainers were in full operation. Link, Shadowgraph, Spotlight and Gee trainers were all taken up. Ass't radio operators had their check. Aircraft recognition class was held, and radio operators had code practice. With them, this is necessary. An assistant radio operator is not often called upon to take over as a radio operator unless in case of emergency. Such instances very seldom occur in this squadron, but it is felt that there should be a capable assistant on the ship at all times during an operational mission.
 
 4 Jan. 1944: After an interval of four days in operational missions, eight of our ships participated in a mission to Kiel, Germany. Ships 815, 939, 372, 774, 761, 746, 172 and 759 flown by Capt. Warrington B. Dalton, Jr., 2/Lt. Roman V. Maziarz, 1/Lt. Charles H. Samuelson, 2/Lt. Kenneth Sutherland, 1/Lt. Kenneth T. McFarland, Jr., 2/Lt. Frank R. Kolts, 2/Lt. Douglas C. Harding, 2/Lt. Doyle E. Bradford, and their crews, respectively, went over the target and dropped their bombs and returned to this base. They had a good escort of American fighters, which seemed to have kept the enemy fighters from giving our ships any trouble. The flak was moderately heavy but inflicted little damage to our planes. Our ground crews soon made them ready for another mission the next day. Such events tend to raise morale among all the men both ground and air echelons. While no enemy planes were shot down by our gunners, the primary purpose of the mission was accomplished. We dropped our bombs on the target and returned safely without loss of ships or personnel. Flying personnel, who did not participate in today's mission, took training on the ground. The basic policy is to stress training so as to enable each individual to be occupied in developing his ability to the highest degree as well as building morale. A man on the ground doing nothing while his comrades are in the air slugging it out with the enemy is far from happy. He should have something to occupy his mind until the ships come home.
 
 5 Jan. 1944: Again, eight ships took off. This time the target was Tours, France. Nine were scheduled but Ship #372 did not succeed in taking off due to mechanical failure. Ships # 774, 428, 739, 712, 070, 939, 172, and 746 flew over the target and dropped their bombs. Capt. Thompson, 2/Lt. Pickard, 2/Lt. Maziarz, Capt. Dalton, Lt. Sutherland and 2/Lt. Harding, 1/Lt. Samuelson and 2/Lt. Kolts and their crews flew their ships in the order indicated above. The fighter escort was again on the job and prevented the enemy fighters from coming within close range of our guns. Damage by enemy anti-aircraft guns was slight.

Some of our gunners witnessed or experienced the effects of flak hitting their ships. It is not a pleasant sound, but so long as the flak fails to strike the men, it is not taken very seriously. These eight ships returned safely. Bombs were dropped in the target area so the mission was considered as "completed" and each man added one more to hit total toward the one they all look forward to - twenty-five. The men on the ground, not flying, had physical training and attended a class in Aircraft Recognition.
 
 6 Jan. 1944: On the sixth day of the New Year, two ships made a local cross-country flight of about three hours duration. Flights of this nature are beneficial to both the pilot and navigator. In this country, navigation is a very important factor in flying. It is very easy for a ship to become lost without getting very far away from its home base. Looking downward from above, the countryside looks pretty much the same, so if the pilot is aiming to land at a specific point, he must have the services of a navigator who knows his job. Thirty man-hours were spent in studying aircraft recognition. Tests are given the men from time to time in order to ascertain their ability to recognize all types of aircraft both friendly and enemy. Instructors try, by using various devices such as flashing pictures on the screen, and posting the various models of aircraft in a room to help gunners to quickly recognize all types. Also, there was a critique lecture given by Capt. Fisher, Group Gunnery Officer, to all gunners. Their training is of the utmost importance in the type of warfare which this squadron is engaged in.
 
The mission of the fifth was the ONE HUNDREDTH for this group. There was one scheduled for the sixth but it was "scrubbed" which means that everything was made ready for the takeoff but for reasons known to higher headquarters, plans were cancelled. Such occurrences are quite frequent. Crews were called up from their beds early in the morning, rushed to the combat mess halls for breakfast, and then attended the briefing, drew their flying clothes and equipment and went to their planes, only to be advised later on that they were not going out on a mission after all. Whether they are glad or not, is open to question.
It depends on the individual. The general opinion is, however, that once they have gone to so much trouble making ready for the take-off, that they had as well go on for a completed mission.
 
 7 thru 10 Jan. 1944: Mission to Ludwigshaven, Germany: On the 7th, the mission was not "scrubbed". Eight of our ships made it to Ludwigshaven, Germany and back without any serious difficulty. Major John C. Bishop, Squadron Commander, and Captain John T. Gladstone, Squadron Operations Officer, led the group in ship #639 "The Careful Virgin" which has made an enviable record as a ship. It is equipped with all the accessories that make it a lead ship and seems to be the one that Major Bishop usually flies when he leads. It was formerly flown by Captain William E. Clancy who, with his crew, completed twenty-five missions and are now, back in the United States. Other ships taking part in this mission were: #761, 2/Lt. Kolts and crew; #815, Capt. Dalton and crew; #372, 1/Lt. Edwin R. Reid and crew; #712, 2/Lt. Sutherland and crew; #739, 1/Lt. Bramble and crew, #172, 1/Lt. Samuelson and crew; and 2/Lt. Maziarz and crew.

Enemy aircraft seldom came within range of our guns. Fighter escort was provided by the American fighter Squadrons. Bombs were dropped in the target area and this, the one hundred and first for the squadron and group, is chalked up as a completed mission. It marked the twenty-fourth for both Major Bishop and Captain Gladstone. Crews left on the ground attended school and took part in various training activities. Such work was continued by all crews until January 11, when another mission was flow. However, the 9th being Sunday, all ground training activity was cancelled. This is done in order to give the men a breathing spell, to take stock of themselves. The church services are quite well attended and a lot of the fellows take this time off as an opportunity to write home and to do a lot of things of a personal nature. Passes are given so they can visit with the local people in towns nearby.

 There is a library provided by the American Red Cross, as well as a snack bar where a soldier can go for refreshments or to read a book or a newspaper. Also, there is a theater located over the consolidated mess, which shows American films, as well as English. The Church Services, Red Cross Club, and the Theater contribute no little art toward maintaining the high level of morale that is to be found among the troops of this squadron.
 
 11 Jan. 1944: Mission to Oschersleben, Germany: Oschersleben, Germany, that is the FW-190 factory there, felt the full impact of tons of bomb's dropped from ships of the 8th Air Force on January 11, 1944. This squadron sent seven ships, all of which returned except ship #372. It fell a victim to German fighters, which gave us a lot of trouble for a change. Our fighter escort did not seem to our gunners, so efficient as they have been in the past. However, the enemy lost six fighters destroyed, and two damaged by our gunners. T/Sgt. Joseph T. Depoti, top turret gunner, and S/Sgt. Walter P. Meader, Jr., ball turret gunner, both flying in ship #939, each shot down a FW-190. S/Sgt. Robert C. Kyle, top turret gunner, S/Sgt. Rathel C. Bennett, tail gunner, and S/Sgt. Fred A. Tabor, waist gunner, flying in ship #172, each shot down an ME-109 or FW-190.

One FW-190 and one ME-109 were identified as damaged by T/Sgt. Marvin Powers, Jr., a top turret gunner, and 2/Lt. Roy L. Jones, bombardier, nose gunner, respectively who were flying in ship #739. Those individuals, who succeed in taking such a toll of the enemy, earn the gratitude of all in this command and of all the people of the United Nations who are allied in this war against the enemy. For each enemy fighter destroyed, the gunner who does it is awarded the Air Medal or an Oak Leaf Cluster thereto.

Ships of this squadron taking part in this mission and their crews were: #774, Captain Thompson and crew; #739, 2/Lt. Hackleman and crew; #761, 1/Lt. McFarland and crew; #939, 2/Lt. Maziarz and crew; #172, 2/Lt. Sutherland and crew; #040, 2/Lt. Gorby and crew; and #372, 1/Lt. Reid and crew. The latter was shot down by enemy fighters in the vicinity of the target. It is not known whether or not they are alive and prisoners of war or still at large somewhere in enemy occupied territory Even if the ship is severely damaged or destroyed, its personnel can often don their parachutes and bail out to safety. Here is a complete list of the crew which is carried as "mission in action": Pilot, 1/Lt. Edwin R. Reid, Co-pilot, 2/Lt. Richard O. Morgan, Navigator, 2/Lt. John S. Haus, Bombardier, 2/Lt. George Marghita, Engineer, T/Sgt. Ernest O. Kretchmer, Assistant Engineer, Sgt. Melvin P. Stoddard, Radio Operator, T/Sgt. Benton E. Lowry, Sr., Assistant Radio Operator, S/Sgt. Arnold L. Hovey, Tail Gunner, S/Sgt. Anthony W. Czarnecki, and Utility Gunner, S/Sgt. John A. Gustafson, Jr. This was a crew that had anywhere from nine to ten missions credited to each individual. They had a good record for combat and as soldiers. Every reason of hope that they are safe is still held by this squadron. As yet, nothing has been heard of them.

 Ships returning to the base, after this mission, were all considerably damaged by the enemy. During the following three days, the ground crews were busy getting them back into commission again. That was achieved by the 14th thanks to a very capable engineering staff who spared no pains to do their best work on ships in need of it. Combat crew engaged in ground school and training activities.

 It is the policy of the Squadron Commander to permit forty-eight hour passes to combat crews. This is handled by means of a roster posted by squadron operations in advance so that a man may make up his mind as to where he would rather go and make plans to enjoy his time off duty. In that period, both officers and enlisted men are enabled to visit most any place in England that strikes their fancy. These passes are given as often as conditions warrant and usually, each man gets two a month. In addition, twenty-four hour passes are given as well as the usual evening pass, which is called the "blue" one and is for local use only.
 
 14 - 20 Jan. 1944:Mission to Croisette, France: On January 14th another of Hitler's secret construction works at Croisette, France was successfully bombed, three ships of this squadron participating. All returned safely. The crews reported but little enemy opposition. Ships #712, #746 and #965, with Capt. Bramble and crew, 2/Lt. Harding and crew, 2/Lt. Pickard and crew represented this squadron. This was what the crews speak of as "an easy one". They like one of this sort now and then. One reason for it being easy for us is a strong escort all the way.

 On the 15th, 18th, 19th and 20th, missions were scheduled but usually, just before their takeoff, they were scrubbed. Our ships that were scheduled to take off were curtailed since the ground crew had spent a lot of time getting ready for the missions that did not materialize. Major Bishop and Captain Gladstone would wait for next time since it would be their 25th mission, then they would be through with combat flying in this theatre.
 
 21 Jan. 1944: Enemy airfields and installations in France are often times attacked by flying fortresses of the 8th Air Force. On January 21, this was done. Ten ships of our squadron took part. We were leading ship of our group formation that day. Major Bishop and Captain Gladstone flew the lead ship #639, "The Careful Virgin". 1/Lt. Sidney R. Francis went along as an observer. The "A" crew is one that fly's in the lead ship when our squadron is leading the group. It is composed of personnel who are more experienced combat men and who know their jobs thoroughly.

 Other crews taking part in this mission were: Ship's  #746 Lt. Kolts and crew; #761, Lt. McFarland and crew; #739, Lt. James and crew; #172, Lt. Samuelson and crew; #815, Lt. Dalton and crew; #965 Lt. Sutherland and crew; #040 Lt. Harding and crew; #759 Lt. Register and crew; and #712 Lt. Ward and crew. But little enemy opposition was encountered from either their fighters or anti-aircraft. Three of our ships, including #639 made more than one bomb run over the target area. Members of the "A" crew reported that they were "sweating" it out as they repeatedly made that bomb run trying to make a perfect release right on the target. After it was made, our ships made what is called the "Old 91st Getaway" when they really speed for home. No ships were lost.

 It being the last mission for Major Bishop and Captain Gladstone, there was a nice reception prepared for them when they landed. Major Bishop had been with the squadron ever since it was formed at Mac Dill Field, Florida. As a Pilot, Squadron Operations Officer, and as Squadron Commander, he had won the respect and friendship of all that came in contact with him. Captain Gladstone joined the organization at Boise, Idaho as a co-pilot. He served in that capacity with a crew on ship #639.  Later, he became a pilot and then Squadron Operations Officer. He and the Major made what one would call the perfect pair. With their good nature, love of fun, warm devotion to duty and the welfare of the men who served under their direction and to all in this squadron and the 91st group as well. So there was a reception made ready for them, the main feature of which was a big tub of ice-cold water in a truck. By several husky young ground crewmen. Being aware that they would perhaps try to evade such a kindly reception the ground crew managed to cure that situation. The Group Commander, Colonel Putnam, went to where the ship was to land and put them both in his Staff Car and brought them to the very place where they were most wanted.

 As the ships came back, three of them gave the field a "medium buzz". These ships were being flown by Major Bishop, Lt. Ward and Lt. Kolts. Lt.'s Ward and Kolts, later left Major Bishop to put on the show alone on ship #639 "Careful Virgin". He came so low the first time that the men on the ground thought of falling for cover. Next time, they started for cover, and the third time they fled, supposedly praying as they went. That ship came so low that a man standing up would have fallen flat, either for his own safety or for fright. Photographers were on hand taking pictures of the "buzz job" and afterwards they showed just what a job it was. They say that Captain Gladstone, himself, was getting scared, but Major Bishop just kept getting lower and lower. Finally, he came in and landed. Col. Putnam brought him up to the water wagon and the ducking was definitely begun. M/Sgt. Leathers, a Crew Chief, seemed to have been ducked himself, having been caught by a hose that was also in very much use.

 For two men to be so handled upon completion of a tour of twenty-five missions, to be manhandled and ducked into a tub of water and otherwise tossed about might seem to the more "Pius" person, a cruel way of doing things that is, of expression of our good feeling toward them. Well, that is how it was done. For them, it was not all bad. The individual, with something under his coat, promptly came forward and handed them a long quart bottle of spirits to revive them. After that, it was all over. Both officers and enlisted men felt proud of them and relieved of their having completed their tour so successfully. Wherever they go, afterward, the good wishes of this squadron go with them.
 
 22 Jan. 1944: Upon Major Bishop being relieved as Squadron Commander, Major James F. Berry assumed command on January 22, 1944. With his background of training and experience, he is eminently well qualified for the position, and the squadron feels lucky in having him as its leader. 1/Lt. Albert R. Koehl had been serving as assistant operations officer for several months. So he carried on as Operations Officer in lieu of Captain Gladstone, being relieved. It is the policy to relieve flying officers from duty with their organization upon their completion of twenty-five operational missions; so Major Bishop and Captain Gladstone were replaced.
 
 23 - 24 Jan. 1944: From the twenty-second to the twenty-fourth of January, ground school and other training activities were engaged in. On the 24th there was a practice mission. It was made up of six of the least experienced crews. They were briefed and handled just as if going on a real mission. It was at high altitude. Each crewmember was at his assigned position and instructed to do his work just the same as on the real thing. Such missions are of especial value to the pilots, co-pilots, bombardiers and navigators. With experiences leaders to check them on their weak points, they learn to do well in practice what is so necessary to them later on when it is real combat. Personnel such realize the value of time spent on a practice mission once they come in contact with the enemy.

 On the 24th, nine of our crews were briefed and took off on a mission to Frankfurt, Germany. Ships and crews were: #759, Capt. Thompson and crew; #712, Lt. Ward and crew; #040 Lt. Gorby and crew; #815, Capt. Dalton and crew; #759, Lt. Bradford and crew; #985, Lt. Hackleman and crew. For some reason, known only to higher headquarters, the mission was recalled after the ships had reached enemy territory. On their return, they were unable to land due to weather conditions so they went to a distant field for their landing. No ships were lost on this occasion. For several days it was hoped credit would be allowed for this, but no sortie credit was given.
 
 25 - 28 Jan. 1944: During the four days between the 24th and the 29th, ground school and training activities were engaged in. Local formation flying was prominent as part of the training of aircrews. Ground school was well attended, however, flying is given preference in training of crews. Practice in the air is of the greatest importance. Crewmembers had a lot of training in handling their equipment. Keeping their guns in good condition, adjusting their oxygen equipment, and learning how to keep them warm at high altitude. On the 27th there was a feature event for the squadron. A formation was held of both ground and flying personnel to partake in the ceremony of awarding the Air Medals and Oak Leaf Clusters to same that had been earned by individuals in the squadron. This had been done in the group, before. Doing it in the squadron seemed to add more spirit to the organization. All personnel liked to see the boys get their awards for work well done. Major Berry presented the award to each person cited in the general orders in the presence of the whole squadron. Also, he expressed his intention as squadron commander of continuing to carry on and adding to the record made in the past.
 
 29 Jan. 1944: On January 29, Frankfurt, Germany, was the target for bombers of the 8th Air Force. That day, twelve of our crews and twelve of our ships took part in this mission. It was made possible because of the recent increase in strength of the squadron as well as the absence of so many losses as we have had in the past. Following is the list of crews and ships taking part: Ship's #774, Capt. Thompson and crew; #739, Lt. Gorby and crew; #712, Lt. Ward and crew; #815, Capt. Dalton and crew; #939, Lt. Maziarz and crew; #761, Lt. James and crew; #172, Lt. Samuelson and crew; #965, Lt. Hackleman and crew; #758, Lt. Bradford and crew; # 040, Lt. Register and crew; #639, Lt. Harding and crew; and #746, Lt. Kolts and crew. Considerable enemy opposition was encountered both from their fighters and their flak. All ships returned safely without injury to their personnel, but some of the ships were quite severely damaged by flak, especially Ship #759. Had it not been for the courage and skill of the pilot, 1/Lt. Doyle E. Bradford, most likely it would have been lost. The top of its rudder was torn off in a collision with another ship, as well as being damaged by flak. S/Sgt. James L. Greene, tail gunner on ship #761 shot down one FW-190. T/Sgt. David O. Armstrong, top turret gunner on the same ship, probably
destroyed one ME-110. S/Sgt. Wallace R. Beyer, waist gunner on ship #639, severely damaged one ME-109. The above named individuals are among the newer men in the squadron and the skill displayed on this occasion reflects credit on themselves and the quality of training they have received. This was a completed mission for ten ships. Ships #746 and #712 reached enemy territory but had to return to base due to mechanical failures.
 
 30 Jan. 1944: Next day, the 30th, another mission was made against Germany. The target was Brunswick, Germany. Nine of our ships participated listed as follows: Ship's #815, Major Berry and Lt. McFarland and the "A" crew (this was the lead ship for the group); #965, Lt. Register and crew; # 774 Lt. Stringer and crew; #604, Lt. Ward and crew; #428 (322nd squadron's), Lt. Pickard and crew; #939, Lt. Harding and crew; #739 Capt. Bramble and crew; #678 (324th squadron's), Lt. Bradford and crew; #967 Lt. Sutherland and crew. This mission was completed without loss of ships or personnel. However, it was not an "easy one", considerable enemy opposition was encountered. T/Sgt. Hobart P. Peterson, top turret gunner on ship #679, shot down one FW-190. 1/Lt. Wilbur W. Nicoll, bombardier on ship #774, shot down one FW-190; 2/Lt. Leslie A. Price, bombardier on ship #967, severely damaged one FW-190; 2/Lt. Albert T. Trendell, navigator on ship #678, shot down one FW-190. Those men deserve the gratitude of all people engaged in this war against Germany. The courage and skill displayed by them on this occasion, reflects credit not only to themselves but to this organization as well.
 
 31 Jan. 1944: The last day of January found the squadron scheduled for another mission. This time against the enemy at Frankfurt, Germany. However, it did not materialize. It was "scrubbed" after due preparation had been made for the take off. This is done quite often and is taken by the personnel scheduled as part of the game of war. Maybe at the time they feel as if they have been "all built up for a letdown" still, they must feel relieved at being on the ground instead of up there fighting.

 During the month, all personnel gave more attention to ground school and training activities than formerly. Compared with what was accomplished this month a year ago, one can realize that the squadron has been growing all the time into a more efficient organization regardless of the losses suffered during the past year. Replacement crews have proven themselves in combat, thereby, indication that our training program has functioned efficiently. One hundred and twenty (120) recommendations were submitted giving the Air Medal or Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal to men of this squadron who earned them in combat. Out of the eight missions completed, only one ship, #372 and its crew, is listed as missing in action. Frequent liberty runs to nearby towns, the Red Cross activities, Church Services, movies and parties and have helped greatly to maintain and build moral in the squadron. (The next sentence was illegible)
 It is remarkable how few man-hours were lost as a result of sickness.  

 1 Feb. 1944:   On February 1, 1944, combat crews were briefed and made ready for a mission against Frankfurt, Germany, but for the second time in so many days, it was "scrubbed" and there was nothing left to do about it except forget about it until the next time and go to ground school. Practically all training devices were in operation all day. There was one local flight, a two-ship
formation, for a period of two hours.
 
 2 Feb. 1944: Next day, there was no operational mission scheduled. Six ships did formation flying at low altitude for five hours. This was done in the forenoon. That afternoon, five ships were in the air for four and one half hours. This type of flying is what all crews like doing. To put on a good show in practice gives all personnel confidence and makes them feel as if they can do the job well in actual combat. The best feature of such activity is that with experienced leaders to check them, the pilots and navigators, especially, can discover their weak points and get them corrected. Ten men made use of the skeet range. Six officers had link trainer, and classes were held in radio, gunnery and navigation. Ground school attendance has improved considerably during the past month.
 
 3 Feb. 1944: On February 3, nine of our crews were briefed and took part in a mission against Wilhelmshaven, Germany, where large submarine and shipping facilities are located. Two ships aborted, that is, they failed to go over the target. One due to mechanical difficulty and the other, being late in taking off, was unable to catch the formation. Ships and crews which went over the target and dropped their bombs were: ship #730, Capt. Dalton and crew; ship #580, Lt. Gorby and crew; ship #746, Lt. Kolts and crew; ship #839, Lt. Register and crew; ship #761, Lt. Pickard and crew; ship #774, Lt. Harding and crew; and ship #172, Lt. Samuelson and crew. The latter ship failed to drop its bombs and did not reach the target area, but it went quite far into enemy territory. Enemy opposition was slight, either from weakness at that point or for fear of our guns and the fighter escort which went along to deal with them in case they did start a fight. Total attendance at ground school was thirty three man hours.

 4 Feb. 1944: Next day, Frankfurt, Germany was the object of attack once more. This target had been high on our list for several days. Perhaps fate decided this as its day to be plastered by our bombers for all in this squadron went
over the target and dropped their bombs with fairly good results. There were seven of them from this squadron: ship #774, Capt. Thompson and crew; ship #040, Lt. Hackleman and crew; ship #815, Lt. Harding and crew; ship #027 (322nd ship), Lt. C. M. Williams and crew; ship #712, Lt. Ward and crew; ship #939, Lt. Register and crew; and ship #739, Lt. Wood and crew. Very little enemy opposition was encountered except for flak coming up around the target area. It did very little damage to our ships and none to personnel. In the past, this has been known as a "rough one" due to enemy fighters in that area, but now it seems to a lot of the men as a sort of "milk run" mission. thirty seven man hours
of ground school was done by personnel who did not take part in this mission. This was a big day for S/Sgt. Venceslaus M. Sikich, waist gunner on Capt. Thompson's crew, as he finished his tour of twenty-five missions which means that he was relieved from combat flying. He was given the DFC for his good work.
 
 5 Feb. 1944: For the third day in succession, another mission was flown. The target was Avord, an Air Field, about 125 miles south of Paris, France. The group was led by Capt. Bramble as Air Commander in our ship #504, with Lt. McFarland as pilot. Six of our ships took part: ship #504, Lt. McFarland and crew, Capt. Bramble and crew; ship # 585, Lt. Maziarz and crew; ship #580, Lt. W. E. Raid and crew; ship #739, Lt. Samuelson and crew; ship #815, Lt. Pickard and crew; and ship #748, Lt. Sutherland and crew. All dropped their bombs with excellent results. As none aborted, or failed to reach the target, the squadron felt proud of the day's work. When a ship takes off on a mission and then has to turn back, neither its crew nor the ground crews feel happy about it. To them, it is a lot of hard work and effort wasted. This was the twenty-seventh mission for T/Sgt. Henry J. Streets, a veteran tail gunner who has done all his missions with this squadron.
 
 6 Feb. 1944: On the 6th, a mission was undertaken against another airfield in France near Nancy/Essay. Nine ships of this squadron took part: Ship #639, Capt. Dalton and crew; ship #939, Lt. Stringer and crew; ship #172, Lt. Osterburg and crew; ship #504, Lt. Kolts and crew; ship #585, Lt. Bradford and crew; ship #580, Lt. Gorby and crew; ship #965, Lt. Hackleman and crew. Enemy opposition was slight.

 The mission was not completed as bombs were not dropped on target area. It was called an "abortive sortie", a term used to indicate that ships were near the target but for various reasons they did not complete the mission. All returned without loss. This being Sunday, there was no ground school or training  activity. All personnel had an opportunity to attend church services and to devote their time as they thought best. Only those men on the mission were kept busy.

 7 - 9 Feb. 1944: For the next two days as there were no operational missions scheduled, the squadron engaged in ground school and training activities. More attention is given the physical training now. Certain officers and enlisted men are specially trained as leaders in this program so as to enable it to be carried out with more efficiency than in the past when it was the policy to detail someone as leader without much preparation beforehand. By dividing the men up into smaller groups with an officer and a specially trained enlisted man
in charge it is found that a better program is being carried out. Classes for such leaders are being held in the gymnasium from time to time. Ground school was well attended during this two days. On the 8th, there was a six-ship formation which went on a practice mission at high altitude for a period of five hours. This is the best feature of the training program. All crew members are at their assigned position and do the work just as if on the real thing. This is of great value to the less experience men. They soon learn how to use their equipment to the best advantage and adjust themselves to high altitude flying.

 On the 9th, crews were briefed and made ready for a mission against enemy aircraft factories at Leipzig, Germany. However, because of the unfavorable weather prevailing, the mission did not materialize. It was recalled. 

 10 Feb. 1944: On the 10th, Captain David A. Bramble was designated Operation Officer. Lt. Albert R. Kuehl had been serving in that capacity since the relief of Captain Gladstone, who completed his tour of duty on January 21, 1944. Lt. Kuehl is now a flight leader. Extensive training operations were carried out. A six-ship practice mission at low altitude, two local formation flights of two ships each, and fifty-six hours of ground school for personnel not flying. Training is being stressed more and more with the idea of future operations in mind. All personnel realize its importance and want to learn what they can.

 11 Feb. 1944: Frankfurt, Germany was the target again for the 11th. Six ships from this squadron took part. One ship, #172 aborted, but the remaining five went on over the target and dropped their bombs. Enemy opposition was not serious. Perhaps the strong fighter escort scares his fighters away, or else he thinks it best to hold them on the ground for future action. A considerable amount of flak was encountered in the target area, but it did very little damage. Our ships taking part were: ship #939, Lt. Samuelson and crew; ship #761, Lt. Wood and crew; ship #815, Lt. Osterburg and crew; ship #580, Lt. Sutherland and crew; ship #172, Lt. Wilkinson and crew (aborted); ship #759, Lt. C. M. Williams and crew. This was the fifth mission for the month; all without loss of either ships or personnel. Crew members not flying did more than twenty man hours of ground school.

 12 - 19 Feb. 1944: During the period from the 12th to 20th, no operational missions were flown because of unfavorable weather and for strategic reasons. On the 12th and 19th, practice missions were flown and considerable practice bombing was done. As all crews were available for it, ground school was well attended. On the 16th, there was a squadron formation for combat men for the purpose of presenting the medal awards to both officers and enlisted men concerned. Presentation was made by the squadron commander, Major James F. Berry.

 At this time of month, it is not known how many enemy fighters have been destroyed or damaged by our gunners. Claims have to be checked and verified by higher headquarters. To accurately determine when an enemy fighter has been destroyed and to credit the individual gunner for same, requires a lot of work and time. Usually by the eighth of the succeeding month, a report is sent to this squadron showing the names of gunners who are given credit for shooting down the enemy planes.

 20 Feb. 1944: Targets in Germany were again attacked on the 20th. Leipzig and to Oschersleben. Fourteen ships of this squadron took off. One, ship #985, aborted due to mechanical difficulty. Enemy opposition was stronger than it had been for the past three weeks. Two members of crew on ship #739 were wounded; S/Sgt. Samuel Orazie suffered slight wounds in one arm and one leg and S/Sgt. Calvin E. Camp, enlisted bombardier, quite seriously wounded in his hand, losing one finger.

 Ships taking part from this squadron were: Ship #504, Lt. McFarland and Lt. Kuehl and crew; ship #739, Lt. W. E. Reid and crew; ship #761, Lt. Wood and crew; ship #746, Lt. Kolts and crew; ship #965, Lt. Hackleman and crew (aborted), ship #939, Lt. Maziarz and crew; ship #774, Capt. Thompson (91st BG) and Lt. Stringer and crew; ship #639, Lt. Osterburg and crew; ship #585, Lt. Bradford and crew; ship #580, Lt. Mack and crew; ship #759, Lt. Register and crew; ship #172, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; ship #815, Capt. Dalton and crew; ship #712, Lt. Pickard and crew. Thirteen ships, a record number for the squadron went over the target and dropped their bombs.

 Capt. Karl W. Thompson completed twenty-five missions on this date. So did Lt. Drayton W. Stringer, pilot and S/Sgt. James S. Hachey. Capt. Thompson was recently transferred from the squadron and assigned to duty as assistant group operations officer, but he elected to do his twenty-fifth mission with his original crew. As their ship approached the landing field, they gave it a "real buzz" coming close to the ground and putting on a good show. It was fully as sensational as that of Major Bishop in the "Careful Virgin" on the 21st of January, although the "ducking" ceremony was not carried out by the ground crew. Lt. Stringer and S/Sgt. Hackey have earned the DFC, after presentation of which they will be transferred to a new assignment. The three individuals mentioned have a splendid record in the squadron, and the fact that they did their allotted score of missions without serious difficulty indicates their skill and efficiency as airmen of the highest type.
 
 21 Feb. 1944: On the 21st, Germany was attacked again at Gutersloh and Achmer. Eight ships of this squadron took part, as follows: Ship #504, Major Berry , Air Commander, and Lt. Samuelson Pilot and his crew led the group; ship #939, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; ship #746, Lt. Register and crew; ship #815, Capt. Dalton and crew; ship #965, Lt. G. M. Williams and crew; ship #712, Lt. Ward and crew; ship #040, Lt. Osterburg and crew; ship #759, Lt. Mack and crew; six of these ships completed the mission and returned to base. The flak was quite heavy as well as fighter opposition. . Our ship's #712, #040 and #759 were flying as an extra three-ship element. They were hit hard by enemy fighters and two of them were knocked down, ship #712, Lt. Ward and crew and ship #040, Lt. Osterburg and crew. Both seemed under control when last seen and it is believed that personnel had a very good chance of getting safely to the ground. Ship #712 was last seen near Winden, Germany.

 The following personnel are carried as missing in action: 1/Lt. Neal P. Ward, Pilot; 1/Lt. James McNulty, Co-pilot; 1/Lt. Donald S. Murray, Navigator; 1/Lt. Marion M. Walshe, Bombardier; T/Sgt. Kenneth F. Jerge, Engineer; S/Sgt. Lawrence H. Silberger, Waist Gunner; T/Sgt. Thomas G. Vinson, Radio Operator; S/Sgt, Richard T. Clarity, Ball Turret Operator; S/Sgt. Willard P. Chandler, Tail Gunner and S/Sgt. Paul W. King, Waist Gunner. This was an experienced crew, each individual having at least fourteen missions to his credit.

 Ship #040 was last seen near Achner, Germany. The following personnel are carried as missing in action: 2/Lt. Spencer K. Osterburg, Pilot; 2/Lt. Van John E. Beran, Co-pilot; 2/Lt. Morris J. Joy, Jr., Navigator; 1/Lt. George J. Zebrowski, Bombardier; T/Sgt. Lambert R. Brestrom, Engineer; S/Sgt. Alexander W. Siatowski, Waist Gunner; T/Sgt. Harold L. Klem, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Samuel P. Aldridge, Ball Turret Operator; S/Sgt. Jay J. Milewski, Tail Gunner; and S/Sgt. Clayton E. Morningstar, Waist Gunner. This was one of the newer crews in the squadron, but each individual is credited with not less than three missions before this one.

Added comments below:

Capt. Warrington B. Dalton, Jr., Pilot, completed his twenty-fifth mission on this date. So did a waist gunner on his crew, S/Sgt. William L. Hoots. Both individuals will be remembered in this squadron for their good personalities and devotion to duty on the ground as well as in the air. They participated in some of the roughest of our missions and always came back in good spirits. Upon their completion of twenty-five missions, they were transferred to a new assignment, perhaps in the zone of the interior.

The question of name came up several years ago. It happened that I was flying as Pilot in command on the left wing of a three-ship spare element on a mission 21 Feb 44 to Gutersloh, Germany.  This was my first mission in the left seat.  I had been flying co-pilot for Dave Bramble as a regular assignment.  Dave was now 323rd Sq. Operations Officer.  This was also my 21st combat mission.  Major Berry personally checked me out in the left seat.

I didn't have a regular crew.  With only five missions to go to complete my tour  the decision was to let me fly as PIC with other crews as required.  (I actually had six missions to go as the length of the "tour" was increased about this time from 25 missions to 30. I and to do one extra mission above the regular 25-mission tour.) 

 

En route to the target (Gutersloh) and flying over the English Channel, our element leader was lagging well behind the main body of the Group formation.  I believe he held this position so he could see any aircraft abort and  one of us could fill the vacant position.  I don't recall any instructions on what we should do if there were no "aborts."

 

As we were about midway across the Channel, our spare element was attacked by four Me109s.  We had no friendly fighter coverage. 

 

On one of my earlier missions with Capt. Bramble, we had been in a similar position--crossing the Channel in a spare element and attacked by enemy fighters.  Now as Pilot in command, I wasn't about to remain in such a vulnerable position. 

 

Radio silence was the order of the day.  I couldn't call the element leader to tell him to get up to the main body of the formation.  Short of that, I did the best I could.  I pulled my ship forward and had our Co-Pilot make hand signals to him to move up.  The element leader didn't respond.  I repeated this several times but there still was no response.

 

I actually pulled our ship out in front of the element leader and continued to give hand signals but again there was no response.  We fired a flare but no response.  I had the co-pilot flash some signals with the Aldis lamp.  No response.

 

On an earlier mission, my second mission, flying with Dave Bramble, we were in an identical position:  wingman in a three-ship spare element.  We had been attacked by "109s" over the Channel and lost one of the three ships.  I would not permit this to happen again!  I pulled our ship out of the spare element and took a position as the seventh ship in the high flight of the Group.  This happened to be the 401st Squadron. 

 

Some years after the War, I visited the National Archives in Washington DC and looked up the record on this mission.  The report  showed that the entire spare element joined the high flight of the high group.   This wasn't true.  I was the only one that took that position.  Unfortunately, the two ships from the spare element were both shot down over enemy territory.

 

Over Central Germany there was another problem.  There were some well-developed cumulus clouds all around us.  The wing leader had to do a lot of turning to avoid flying through them.  Naturally this caused the formation to scatter somewhat.  My recollection was that the primary target was obscured and we were doing a lot of maneuvering to get to an alternate target and avoid the large cumulo-nimbus clouds over central Germany. 

 

Some of these maneuvers required the Wing leader to make tighter turns to avoid the clouds.  This scattered the formation somewhat.  At about the worst time, the Wing was attacked by enemy fighters nose and tail.  At one time, my Co-Pilot, "Kelly" Kovachovich, another "old Co-Pilot," had the controls and we were attacked from the nose and tail.  I looked up to see a "109" making a head-on attack.  I felt he was aiming at me! 

 

Though "Kelly" had the controls at the moment, I didn't have time to say anything,  I pushed right rudder as hard as I could and caused the ship to skid to the right. The line of fire from the -109 came down between our number 2 engine and the cabin.  We took a bullet in the number 2 fuel tank and a cannon shell in the left horizontal stabilizer. 

 

In my Advanced Pilot Training program, I had expressed a desire to fly light bombardment aircraft.  For this I was given training in a T-6 in aerial gunnery.  I fired on air -to-ground targets at Eglin Field.  I never fired a gun in combat but had some knowledge of aerial gunnery and problems if the airplane wasn't trimmed right as in a "skid.".  This is exactly what I did.  I caused the B-17 to skid to the right.  The attacking pilot might not have noticed this as his fire came down the left side of the fuselage.

 

I asked the crew to check in.  I was worried about our tail Gunner, "Dutch" Reich from my old crew (Bramble's).  He said he was okay but couldn't see how they missed him.  Him.  After we landed he had several holes in  the tail cone and we had a hole from the 20mm cannon shell in the left horizontal stabilizer.  Neither of these was significant.

 

In 1945, I was in Las Vegas and ran "Dutch" Reich from my old crew.  He was still in the service and in uniform.  I noticed he had and Oak Leaf Cluster on his Purple Heart ribbon.  I recalled he had received a Purple Heart on an earlier mission and I asked him where and when he got the Oak Leaf Cluster.  He admitted that he had been wounded on the Gutersloh mission but didn't report it at the time.  He reported it when he got back to the States.

 

It was sad but both the element leader and right wing men were  shot down.  There were other casualties. 

 

In addition to these losses, the High Flight I had joined when I left the Spare element, was the 401st Squadron.  Two more B-17s were lost on this mission from the 401st on this mission to Gutersloh.

 

I corresponded with the pilot of Miss Ouachita after the war.  I didn't think to ask him how his airplane got its name.

 

You had to have a little luck on these missions.  Or maybe it was a little help from an unexpected source. 

 

Regards, Phil Mack

 22 Feb. 1944: Next day, the 22nd, Oschersleben and Bunde were targets of attack, both in Germany. This was the third mission in so many days against the Germans in their own country. Seven of our ships took part as follows: Ship #746, Lt. Kolts and crew, ship #965 Lt. Harding and crew; ship #761, Lt. Wood and crew; ship #815, Lt. Sutherland and crew; ship #585, Lt. Bradford and crew; ship #774, Lt. W. E. Reid and crew; and ship #939,Lt. Maziarz and crew. Ship #761, Lt. Wood, Pilot, aborted and returned to base after getting far into enemy territory. Three ships completed the mission and returned to base. One was compelled to ditch in the North Sea, fifty-five miles from the coast of Holland and two were shot down by enemy fighters.

 Ship #815 was last seen going down near Gutersloh, Germany. It had been badly damaged by fighters. Crews who returned reported that numerous fighters were seen in that area attacking their formation, and especially striking our ships that were already in trouble. The following crew is carried missing in action. 1/Lt. Kenneth Sutherland, Pilot; 2/Lt. Stanley L. Jordan, Co-pilot; 2/Lt. Frederick H. McBride, Navigator; 2/Lt. Leslie A. Price, Bombardier; T/Sgt. Robert O. Kyle, Engineer; S/Sgt. Andrew E. Tarabuk, Waist Gunner; T/Sgt. Malcolm M. McCurry, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Rathel C. Bennett, Tail Gunner; S/Sgt. Raymond Butler, Ball Turret Operator; S/Sgt. Fred A. Tabor, Waist Gunner. Each individual of this crew had at least eight combat missions to his credit. They had done excellent work in training operations and in combat. Ship #746 was last seen going down near Gutersloh, Germany, Also. Apparently it had been badly damaged. The following crew is carried as missing in action: 1/Lt. Frank R. Kolts, Pilot; 2/Lt. Ehud Merkel, Co-pilot; 1/Lt. Charles R. Alexander, Navigator; 2/Lt. Harold H. White, Bombardier; T/Sgt. Matthew S. Kryjak, Engineer; S/Sgt. Abraham S. Homar, Waist Gunner; T/Sgt. John P. Guros, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Omer E. Sharpe, Ball Turret Operator; S/Sgt. John V. Hill, Tail Gunner; S/Sgt. Roy F. Grandquist, Waist Gunner. This was an excellent crew. Records show that each individual had at least fourteen combat missions to his credit.

 Ship #965 was furiously attacked by enemy fighters coming toward it from all angles, but the ones coming head-on gave our ships the most trouble. Lt. Henry L. Bogucki, Bombardier, was fatally wounded by a shot fired from one of the attacking planes.

 Ship #774 was also subjected to the same type of attack. 2/Lt. John L. Smith was fatally wounded and died within a short time afterward. 1/Lt. Thomas J. Gannon, Bombardier, was slightly wounded. Funeral services were held for the above-named officers at Cambridge. A delegation of officers and enlisted men from this squadron attended.

 Ship #939 was severely damaged from repeated attacks of enemy fighters. It was unable to stay in formation so, on its way back, it  had to return as best it could. Along the way it came at low altitude, scarcely able to stay in the air. After leaving the enemy coast, it headed out over the North Sea. Seeing that chances of getting back were very doubtful, the pilot decided to "ditch". By rare coolness and remarkable skill, this maneuver was carried out without loss of life. They were in the water for approximately four and one half hours when they were picked up by Air Sea Rescue. The co-pilot suffered injuries and was hospitalized. The remaining members of the crew returned to their home base. The following named individuals composed the crew: 1/Lt. Roman V. Maziarz, Pilot; 2/Lt. Peter M. Delo, Co-pilot; 2/Lt. Mortimer Pudnos, Navigator, 2/Lt. Arthur D. Clay, Bombardier; T/Sgt. Joseph T. Depoti, Engineer; S/Sgt. Urban A. Jacoboski, Waist Gunner; T/Sgt. Joseph LaCascia, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Walter P. Meader, Jr. Ball Turret Operator; S/Sgt. Robert W. Heller, Tail Gunner; S/Sgt. Anthony J. Barbotti, Waist Gunner. The courage and skill displayed by all these men reflects the highest of credit to themselves and to their organization.

 1/Lt. Wilbur W. Nicoll completed his twenty-fifth mission on this date. He did his tour with courage and efficiency and has one enemy fighter to his credit, having shot down one FW-190 on the Brunswick raid, January 30, 1944. He was relieved from combat duty and transferred to a new assignment.

 On the 20th, 1/Lt. Kenneth C. Homuth, Navigator, completed his twenty-fifth mission. He was a navigation officer of this squadron. He was relieved from combat duty and transferred to a new assignment.

23 Feb. 1944: On the 23rd, as there was no mission, ground school and training activities were carried out on a limited scale. This was due to the hard work of the past several days. However, two local flights were made. Link trainer was in operation, and a class in radio was held.

 24 Feb. 1944: Next day, the 24th, the enemy's ball bearing works at Schweinfurt, Germany, was bombed with excellent results. This is the third occasion that the squadron has participated in a mission against this place. The first one being on August 17, 1943. Crews briefed for this target expect to find the going "rough" which it was in the past. This time, it did not seem so. All our ships returned safely, but only two of them dropped their bombs over the target. This squadron's abortion rate on this mission was unusually high. Six ships and crews took off: #761 , Lt. Wood and crew; #736, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #759, Lt. Pickard and crew; #359, Lt. Williams and crew; #006 (324th ship), Lt. Bradford and crew. The first two completed the mission, dropping their bombs with good results; the latter four aborted, turning back for various reasons without getting to the target or dropping their bombs. It seemed that the main reasons were malfunction of the oxygen systems and engine trouble. Immediate steps were taken by the Squadron Commander to ascertain these reasons and to take corrective action so as to avoid future occurrences of this nature. 

 Ground school was well attended by crews not flying: link trainer, bomb trainer, shadowgraph, radio class and aircraft recognition.

 25 Feb. 1944: Augsburg Germany was bombed on the 25th with devastating effect. Eight ships of this organization took part and all returned safely, very little battle damage being inflicted on our ships and no injuries to personnel.
Fighter escort was very good. Ships as listed went on this mission: #761, Lt. Wood and crew; #774, Lt. Gorby and crew; #965, Lt. Pickard and crew; #359, Lt. C. M. Williams and crew; #483 (322nd ship), Lt. Bradford and crew; #909, Lt. Samuelson and crew. The latter two ships flew what is called a "diversion
flight".

26 Feb. 1944: On the 26th, weather conditions prevented flying of any kind. Ground school and training was carried out by all ground crews of this and two other squadrons to acquaint them with the work the combat crews have been doing during the month. The Group Commander, Col. Putnam, Major McPartlin and Captain Dieble described the missions that had been flown by the 8th Air Force, and by showing pictures on the screen and by use of maps, gave a vivid description of how the German Air Force is being knocked out of the war, or else made ineffective as a means of defense against our attacks. Each person at that meeting surely felt the significance of his job. An aerial offensive on the scale that this squadron has participated in during the past two weeks requires a lot of hard work and effort on the part of the men on the ground. It is their job to "keep ‘em flying" and judging from what was accomplished, it can be seen that they have done their work very efficiently.

 27 Feb. 1944: On the 27th, adverse weather conditions prevented flying of any sort. It being Sunday, there was no ground school or training activities. It was a "day off" for everyone to make use of his time as he saw fit. Church services, as usual, were well attended.

 28 - 29 Feb.1944: The remaining two days, there was no operational mission. There were four practice flights, and two ships did practice bombing, dropping ten bombs each. The usual ground school program was carried out.

 On the mission of the 22nd, S/Sgt. Robert W. Heller, Tail Gunner on ship #939, shot down one ME-110. It will be noted that S/Sgt. Heller was a member of Lt. Maziarz's crew which was compelled to ditch their ship in the north sea and were later picked up by Air Sea Rescue. At least one enemy fighter was shot down to compensate for the loss of ship #939.

 On the mission of the 21st, T/Sgt. Glenn L. Jensen, Top Turret Gunner on ship #815, shot down one FW-190. S/Sgt. Walter W. Reich, Tail Gunner on ship #759, damaged one FW-190.

 The individual gunners who succeed in shooting down the enemy ships are awarded the Air Medal, or a cluster to same if they already have earned the Air Medal before.

 During the month, ten missions were participated in by this squadron. That is considered a good number for a winter month. One reason which made this possible was that the weather was the best for flying that it had been for a period of several years before. Another, of course, is that an aerial offensive was conducted against the Germans with the aim of so crippling her Air Forces and production facilities that the war would be brought to an end much sooner. This month certainly has marked a good beginning of the realization of that aim.

 Ground school was well attended. Records show even better attendance than that of the previous month. More practice flying and air training was carried out, especially camera and practice bombing. The physical training program was better organized and is functioning well.

 On the 20th, ship #630, "The Careful Virgin" completed its 50th mission. It is the only ship of this squadron that has completed so many missions. Eight individual members of combat crews completed their tours of operational missions this month.
 
 Five ships were lost during the month. Four complete combat crews are listed as "missing in action". Two officers were killed in action. One officer and two enlisted men were wounded.
 
 One hundred twenty-three (123) recommendations were submitted, giving the Air Medal, Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal or DFC to individuals who earned them in combat.

 During the month, quite frequent air raid warnings were heard, but the field was not subjected to enemy attack. These warnings and alerts did not cause any interruption of schedules that were planned.

 Frequent liberty runs to nearby towns, the Red Cross and Church army activities, movies and dances helped greatly to maintain and build morale in the squadron, but the biggest single factor is the satisfaction of the men in hitting the enemy hard and so hastening his downfall. The number of man hours lost on account of sickness is remarkably small. 

1 March 1944: There being no operational mission scheduled, all combat members engaged in ground school activities. Sixty-one man hours of class instruction was given. Two ships flew practice formation flights of six hours duration. So the first day of the month was spent.

2 March 1944:    On the second, an operation mission was carried out  against Frankfurt, Germany.  Nine ships of this squadron anticipating 1/Lt Joseph M. Sulli, Navigator, and S/Sgt. Phillip  Taylor, gunner, completed their tour of operation duty. As there was a 10/10 overcast above the target, results of bombing could not be ascertained, but all ships returned safely to base after having dropped their bombs.  Crews and ships participating were: Ship #513, 1/Lt. Kuehl and crew; #580, 2/Lt. Claude Williams and crew; #585 1/Lt. Bradford and crew; #911, 1/Lt. Harding and crew; #965, 1/Lt. Pickard and crew; #774, 2/Lt. Register and drew; #761, 2/Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #909, 1/Lt. Reid and crew; #118, 1/Lt. Samuelson and crew.  Combat crewmembers not flying on this mission participated in ground school and training activities.

 

3 March 1944:   An operational mission was carried out with Berlin, Germany as the target, but due to weather conditions Wilhelmshaven, Germany, was bombed. 1/Lt. Thomas J. Gannon, formerly squadron bombardier, finished his tour of operational duty.  Ships of this squadron on this mission were: #761, Lt. Wood and crew; #774, Lt. Register and crew; #965, Lt. Pickard and crew; #911, Lt. Harding and crew; #580, Lt. Claude  Williams and crew; #585, Lt. Bradford and crew; #909, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #513, Lt. James and crew, and #118, Lt. McFarland and crew.  Due to unfavorable weather conditions, this mission was not successful.  All ships returned safely to base except ship #965 which, due to being shot up by the enemy and all its engine failing, was compelled to ditch in the North Sea.  All crew members succeeded in getting out before it sank, but five members  perished from exposure in the water due to the life raft's failing to inflate.  Here are the names of the five who could not be rescued in time to prevent their deaths: Lt. Milton L. Pike, Navigator; 2/Lt. Robert Warren, Bombardier; T/Sgt. Edward C. White, Engineer; S/Sgt. Lewis C. Alger, Tail Gunner; and S/Sgt. Darrel Moran Ball Turret Gunner.  Air Sea Rescue succeeded in saving the following men: 2/Lt. Walter M. Pickard, Pilot; 2/Lt.  Smith, Copilot; S/Sgt. Perry E. Wofford, Waist Gunner; T/Sgt. Edward Crafton, Radio operator/gunner; and S/Sgt. James Dumouchel, waist gunner.

 

4 March 1944: March 4, Berlin, Germany was again the target, but due to unfavorable weather conditions, the bombing was not considered successful.  Seven ships from this squadron participated - all returned safely.  Two of them failed to reach the target area, one of which did not get far enough into enemy territory to be allowed credit for a sortie.  This was ship #779 (324th ship) flown by 2/Lt. Fourny and crew.  Ship #774, Lt. Register and crew, had to return because of mechanical failure but had gone quite far into enemy territory and had seen enemy fighters, so it was considered a sortie.  Other ships and their crews were: #513, 1/Lt. Kuehl And crew; #118, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #909, Lt. Gorby and crew; #580, Lt. Hackleman and crew; #911, Lt. Claude Williams and crew.

5 March 1944:  Next day, being Sunday, there was nothing done in the way of ground school.  One local flight of two hours made up the day's activity.  Individuals went to church services, wrote letters, and visited nearby towns.  It is evident that no one suffers from being bored with a lot of time on his hands that he knows not how to spend.  It is noticed that the mess halls serve chicken for the noon meal at the Consolidated mess, and, usually in the evening, at the Combat and Officer's messes.  The Reading Room at the Red Cross Aero Club is fully occupied on Sundays.  There the men have facilities for writing letters and reading books from the library.

 

6 March 1944:   On the 6th, Berlin, Germany was again the target, especially Hoppergarten.  Seven ships of this squadron took part, two of which aborted.  One ship #761, crash-landed at Steeple Morten shortly after take-off.  All crew members escaped uninjured, but the ship was so badly damaged that it was considered a complete loss.  As there was 10/10ths cloud cover over the target, results of the bombing were not observed; however, photos indicate that the primary target was not hit - the bombs going in the Hoppergarten area.  Two ships were lost and their crews are being carried as missing in action.  Ship #118, with the following crew members missing: 2/Lt. Benjamin J. Fourmy, Pilot; 2/Lt. Herbert A. Merkle, Copilot; 2/Lt. James G. Daragan, Navigator; 2/Lt. Arleigh F. Hale, Bombardier; S/Sgt. Frederick B. Walker, Engineer/gunner; S/Sgt. Russell  Brinkerhoff, Waist Gunner; Sgt. James H. Pultz, Radio Operator; Sgt. Arthur P. Collins, Jr. , Ball Turret Gunner; S/Sgt. Theodore C. Zawadski, Tail Gunner; S/Sgt. Joseph Meroit, Waist Gunner.  This was a new crew which was on its second mission at the time.

Ship #911, with the following crew members, also fell a victim to enemy fighters; 1/Lt. Eugene G. Harding, Pilot; 2/Lt. Leonard J. Hosack, Copilot; 2/Lt. Watson L. Grant, Navigator; 2/Lt. Walter R. Donahue, Bombardier; T/Sgt. John J. Frawley, Engineer/Gunner; S/Sgt. Wallace S, Bayor, Waist Gunner; T/Sgt. Hubert Peterson, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Manuel Grazio, Ball Turret Gunner; S/Sgt. Charles W. Pesco Tail Gunner; and S/Sgt. Jerry  Bernasconi, Waist Gunner.  This was an experienced crew.

2nd/Lt. Herbert J. Merkle, Copilot on ship #118, was on his fourth mission at this time. S/Sgt. Lawrence Morel and S/Sgt. William Donmoyer completing their tour of twenty-five missions on this date.  They were reassigned to duty elsewhere.
1/Lt. Cecil Williams, Squadron Bombardier, flew as bombardier in the lead ship leading the first wing over target on this mission.

 

7 March 1944:   Usually after there have been as many as three operational missions in as many days, there is very little activity on the Fourth day, because the crew members are quite tired.  So it was on the 7th, there being no ground school and only one cross-country flight of 2 ½ hours.  It will be noted that there have been four missions within a period of five days.  However, another reason for there being no training activity, and perhaps the chief one was that a mission was planned against Gutersloh, Germany, but was later scrubbed after the crews had been called from their beds early in the morning and had attended briefing.

8 March 1944:   On the 8th, Germany was again bombed.  Erkner, a suburb of Berlin, Germany, and the ball bearing factory there being very successfully attacked.  There were a few fights with the enemy, but our escort was quite strong that day and all ships but one returned safely to base.  Ship #513 aborted due to technical difficulty within a short time after takeoff.  The following ships took part: #513, Lt. Kuehl and crew; #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew; #774, Lt. Register and crew; #580, Lt. Gorby and crew; and #892, Lt. McWilliams and crew.
The last-named ship was seen turning back, after having dropped its load of leaflets, near the I. P. Which is in the vicinity of the target.  He was having some sort of mechanical trouble.  When a single ship has to leave the formation and undertake the return journey alone  so far into enemy territory, its chances of doing so safely are very slim.  Enemy fighters are on the lookout for such ships and endeavor to shoot them down.  This is what apparently happened to Ship #892.  The following crew members are missing: 2/Lt. Claud Williams, Pilot; 2/Lt. John Armstrong, Copilot; 2/Lt. Thomas Brooks, Jr., Navigator; 2/Lt. Richard Matthews Bombardier; S/Sgt. James J. Miller, Engineer-Gunner; S/Sgt. Francis Rumble, Waist Gunner; T/Sgt. Russell Schleyer, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Raymond Winkler, Waist Gunner; S/Sgt. Roy Norby, Tail Gunner; and S/Sgt. Thomas Roberts, Ball Turret Gunner.  This was a well trained and experienced crew.

 

9 March 1944: On the 9th,Oranienburg, another suburb of Berlin,  was the target for attack by members of the 91st Bomb Group (H).  Six ships of this squadron took part as follows: #504, Lt. Col. Berry A. O., 1/Lt. McFarland and the "A" crew of our squadron was leading, the squadron commander and the squadron "A" crew flew in the: lead ship; #774, Lt. Register and crew; #672, Lt. Gorby and crew; #909, Capt. Bramble, Squadron Operations Officer and Lt. Mack and crew; #736, Lt. Bradford and crew; #580 Lt. Hackleman and crew; Ship #736 had to turn back due to mechanical failure.  All ships returned safely.  Fighter support was excellent that day.  It accompanied the formation of bomber to and from the target area.  The primary target could not be attacked due to 10/10ths cloud cover over the target so the secondary target, the center of the city of Berlin was attacked, bombs being dropped on PFF and results were unobserved.
Five individuals on ship #909 completed  their tours of operational duty.  The Pilot, Captain Bramble, Operations Officer, gave the air base a medium buzz as he came in for landing.  In addition to Captain Bramble, the following personnel also completed their tours; 1/Lt. Quentin  Ellis, Navigator; 1/Lt. Robert C. Singer, Bombardier; T/Sgt. Paul L. Zimmerman, Radio Operator; and S/Sgt. Raymond Ridings, Ball Turret Gunner.  The above named individuals formed a part of one of our best crews.  With the exception of S/Sgt. Jerry T. Bernasconi, Waist Gunner, who was missing in action on the 6th, it looks as if this crew will complete its tour.

 

10 - 12 March 1944:   During the period of the tenth and twelfth, inclusive, there was no operational mission.  Time was spent in ground school and training activities.  Maximum attendance was maintained at classes and all training devices were made use of.  However, on the 12th, the usual Sunday schedule was followed.

 

13-14 March 1944:   On the 13th, a mission was planned against a target near St. Omer but it was scrubbed because of unfavorable weather.  Likewise on the 14th the same thing occurred.  Classes in ground school were held on both days, but no practice flying was done on account of the weather.

 

15 March 1944:   On the 15th, there being no operational mission, considerable practice flying was done, local, practice bombing, and formation flying.  All training devices on the ground were also used to capacity.

 

16 March 1944:  The 16th found another operation mission on  our schedule. The target was the Lechfeld A/F Six ships of this squadron participated. Results of bombing as observed indicate but little success on this mission. Ship #542 aborted due to mechanical trouble. The taking part in this operation were: Ship #513, Lt. Wood and crew; #542, Lt. Reid and crew; #774 Lt. Register and crew; #580 Lt. Gorby and crew: #909 Lt. Hackleman and crew: and #565, Lt. Bradford and crew.  The latter is listed as missing in action, but it is believed that the ship may have landed in Switzerland with the following crew: 1/Lt. Doyle Bradford, 1/Lt. Robert C. Mersereau, Copilot, 1/Lt. Albert Trendell, Navigator; 1/Lt. Jack T. Alhern, Bombardier; S/Sgt. Robert A. Peterson, Engineer; S/Sgt. Lucien Bright, Waist Gunner; S/Sgt. Norman Smith, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Nicholas. Merlotti, Waist Gunner; S/Sgt. Malcolm G. Brandt, Tail Gunner; and S/Sgt. Robert E. Sodel, Ball Turret Gunner.  There is good reason to believe that all are safe and interned for the duration of the war.

1/Lt. Manuel Fisher, Navigator, completed his tour of operational duty and was transferred to another station. S/Sgt. Melvin Schissler, Ball Turret Gunner, also completed his tour and was
transferred.
 
17 March 1944:   On the 17th, there was a mission canceled against Augsburg, Germany, but it was sometime due to adverse weather conditions.  In so far as the ground crews are concerned, they would much rather the mission is carried out once it is scheduled since a big part of their work consists of getting the ships loaded and in condition for a take-off. Combat crews, once they have been briefed and made ready so as if they would just as soon go on. However, since the mission was scrubbed, there was nothing left to do except to go to ground school and to other training.
 
On the 16th, two new crews reported to the squadron for tours of operational duty with the exception of the pilot.  Individuals reporting were: 2/Lt. Bruce, Pilot; 2/Lt. Grimmer, Copilot;  F/O Pluskey, Navigator; F/O Cusick, Bombardier S/Sgt. Lakes  Engineer; Sgt. Brown, Assistant Engineer; S/Sgt. Chaves, Radio Operator; Sgt Hurley, Assistant Radio Operator; S/Sgt. LeBard, Tail Gunner; Sgt. Erlinghauser, Ball Turret Gunner; F/O Nash, Copilot; 2/Lt. Antoniuk, Navigator; 2/Lt. Lausberg, Bombardier; Sgt. Raffia, Engineer; Sgt. Kreage, Assistant Radio Operator, Ball Turret; Sgt. Trevetes, Assistant Engineer; Taskall, Radio Operator; Sgt. Parisy, Tail Gunner; and Sgt. Peterson, Waist Gunner.
 
18 March 1944:   On the 18th, one new crew reported to the squadron for a tour of operational duty as follows: 2/Lt. Thomas, Pilot; 2/Lt.  Sprinkle, Copilot; 2/Lt. Kayman, Navigator; 1/lt. Sloat, Bombardier; S/Sgt. Fife, Engineer; Sgt. Arledge, Assistant Engineer; Sgt. Tastad, Radio Operator; Sgt. Brashears, Assistant Radio Operator; Sgt. Mullins, Tail Gunner; and Sgt, Possnack, Ball Turret Gunner.
 
Also, on the 18th, a mission was scheduled to Oberpfaffenoffen, Germany, which was considered successful.  Fighter escort did an excellent job.  Six ships of this squadron took part in this mission as follows: Ship #513 Lt. 1/Lt. William L. Wood and crew, #636, 1st/Lt. William E. Reid and crew;, #909, 1st/Lt. Basil F. Hackleman and crew; #580, 1/Lt. Cecil G. Gorby and crew; #774, 1st/Lt. Edwin B. Register, Jr. and crew; and #542, 1/Lt. Phillip G. Mack and crew.

On this mission, 1/Lt. _?????????  Pilot and T/Sgt????????__Engineer/Gunner, finished their tours of duty with the squadron and they were assigned to duty elsewhere.
 
19 March 1944: The 19th, being a Sunday, the usual ground schools were followed. There was no operational mission.
 
20 March 1944:   Frankfurt, Germany was the target for the 20th.  This was the 125th mission   in which the squadron has participated. There being 10/10 clouds over the target the mission could not be completely  observed, but the
mission was considered as successful.  The following ships participated  #776, Lt. Register and crew; #636, Lt.. Mack and crew; #513, Capt Kuehl and crew; #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew and #541, Lt. Wilkinson and crew.

T/Sgt. John Williams, Engineer/Gunner; and T/Sgt. Jenson, Engineer/Gunner completed their tours of duty and have been assigned elsewhere.
 
21 March 1944: On the 21st, there being no operational missions, ground school and training activities were carried out.  No ships flew locally.
 
22 March 1944:   Next day, the 22nd,  Berlin Germany was the target.  It was spoken of by members of the crews as to , there being a sort of thrill on the part of each one participating in a raid against the German Capital.  This mission was considered successful.  Our ships did not encounter attack opposition from the enemy as anticipated.  Fighter escort was on the job and perhaps kept the enemy from trying to attack.  Ships taking part were; #513, Capt Kuehl and crew; #580, Lt. Mack and crew; #947 (322 ship). Capt Ranzoni and crew; #774, Lt. Register and crew; #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew; #636, Lt. Reid and crew; and #333 (322nd  ship). Lt. Wilkinson and crew.  The latter ship aborted due to mechanical failure.

S/Sgt. Walter M. Reich,  and S/Sgt. Rocco Poppa  both completed their tours of duty.

23 March 1944: On the 23,an Airdrome at Kiel, Germany, was the primary target.  Due to 10/10 cloud cover over the A/P an alternate target , Ahlen, Germany was bombed with fair results.  Six ships of this squadron participated.  All of them completed the mission and returned safely.  1st/Lt. Philip Mack, Pilot, completed his tour of duty.  The following ships too part in this mission: Ship #563, Lt. Gorby and crew, #542, Capt Ranzoni and crew; #172, Lt. Pickard and crew, #075, Lt. Register and crew; #909, Lt. James and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew.

On this day, when Lt. Mack completed his tour, it marked the completion of tours for all members of Capt. Bramble's crew, with the exception of S/Sgt. Bernasconi, who is missing in action.

Two complete crews reported to the squadron for tours of operational duty which are as follows: 1/Lt. Sheriff, Pilot, 2/Lt. Kerr, Copilot; 2/Lt. Oliver, Navigator, 2/Lt. Wagner, Bombardier; S/Sgt. Jankos, Radio Operator; S/Sgt.
Brousseau, Engineer; Sgt. Gargac, Flexible Gunner; Sgt. Dennison, Ball Turret Gunner; Sgt. Farwell, Tail Gunner; Sgt. Autry, Gunner; Capt. Ranzoni, Pilot; 2/Lt. Ransberger, Copilot, F/O Bartoli, Navigator; 2/Lt. Blum, Bombardier; S/Sgt. McDonald, Engineer; Sgt. Steiner, Flexible gunner; Sgt. Lamkin, Radio Operator; Sgt. Shields, Tail Gunner; Sgt. Moad, Ball Turret Gunner; and Sgt. Hinkle, Flexible Gunner.
 
24 March 1944: On the 24th, Frankfurt, Germany was bombed as the secondary target due to 10/10th clouds over the primary, Schweinfurt, Germany.   Bombing results were unobserved as there was 10/10th clouds over the secondary also.

Ten ships of this squadron took part, one of which aborted due to mechanical failure. The ships and crews participating were as follows: Ship #504, ? Lt./Col. Berry, Air Commander, Capt McFarland, Jr. And the "A" crew, #542, Capt. Ranzoni #513,  Capt. Kuehl  and crew;; #909, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #070, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #543, Lt. Reid and crew; #171 Lt. James  and crew; and #636, Lt. Pryor and crew, (the ship that aborted.)
 
25 March 1944:   On the 25th, there being no operational mission, ground school and training activities were engaged in.  Effort is being made to improve both the instruction and attendance of ground school and is much more efficient use of all synthetic training devices.

On this date a new crew reported for a tour of operation duty as follows: 2/Lt. Klinger, Pilot; 2/Lt. Rider, Copilot; 2/Lt. Young, Navigator; 2/Lt. Stiles, Bombardier; Sgt. Grosh Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Reash, Engineer; Sgt. Murphy, Tail Gunner; Sgt. Luke,  Ball Turret Gunner; Sgt. Holmer, Flexible Gunner; Sgt. Sierpin, Flexible Gunner.
 
26 March 1944:   On the 26th, a mission was carried out against one of the Military Constructional Works at Mimoyecques, France.  Seven ships participating: Ship #542 Capt. Panzoni and crew; #563, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #151, Lt. Gorby and crew; #172 2/Lt. Rotsinger and crew; #110, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #075, Lt. Reid and crew; #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew.  Bombing results were good and the mission was considered as successful.  All ships returned safely to base.  It was one of the shortest of all the squadron has participated in. Enemy flak was surprisingly heavy in this area.  A fragment struck S/Sgt. Joseph C. Fowler, Flexible Gunner on Ship #075 squarely on his chest but, by his wearing his flak suit, he escaped without injury.  It is believed that the flak suit saved his life.

27 March 1944:   On the 27th an Airdrome at St. Jean d' Angely France was bombed.  The bombing was excellent and the results considered excellent.  Eight ships of this squadron took part, but one aborted due to mechanical failure. 

Ships were: #151, Lt. Gorby and crew; #563, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew; #075, Lt. Register and crew; #695, Lt. Pryor And crew; #542, Lt. Kovackevich and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; and #774, Lt. James and crew; this ship aborted.  All the above named ships returned safely to base.  There was some enemy anti-aircraft fire encountered, but that and  their fighters was negligible.  The bombers were escorted by fighters both to and from the target area.

In the Liaison of the 26th, T/Sgt. Williby R. Scheible completed his tour of duty with the squadron.  He did most of his missions as an Aerial Engineer, but he completed his tour as an Enlisted Bombardier.  Only one other man from his original crew is in the squadron.  S/Sgt. Calvin Camp who is also a Bombardier.  The remainder of their crew are listed as prisoners of war in Germany.

28 March 1944:   A target in France was attacked on the 28th.  The Airdrome at Reims/Champagne is the designation.  Results indicate this mission to be a complete success.  Ten ships participated: Ships #504, Lt. Samuelson and crew, leading the composite group.  This ship was forced to abort due to mechanical failure. #909, Lt. Hacklemen and crew; #542, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #075, Lt. Register and crew; #172, Lt. James and crew #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #636, Lt. Reid and crew; #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #515, Lt. Pryor and crew; #563, Lt. Kovachavich and crew.

All ships returned safely.  Again this day as it has been throughout the month when missions have been carried out.   Our bombers have had the assistance of a strong fighter escort which has helped in keeping losses of ships and personnel to a minimum.

29 March 1944:  Brunswick, Germany was attacked on the 29th.  While there was a 10/10 formation of clouds over the target and bombing results could not be observed.  All ships succeeded in dropping their bombs and returned safely to base.  Not without considerable enemy opposition, however, for a change they sent up quite a few number of fighters in an attempt to deal with our bombers and escorting aircraft.  No ships or crew members were lost from this squadron, but they reported the opposition a lot stronger than it had been for some days. 

The following ships and their crews represented this squadron: Ships #563, Lt. Gorby and crew; #151,Lt. Sheriff and crew; #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew, #075, Lt. Register and crew, #542, Capt. Ranzoni and crew, #513, Lt. Pryor and crew; #636, Lt. James and crew.

30 March 1944:   On the 30th, there being no operational mission on our schedule combat crew members engaged in ground school and training activities. One crew went out to the skeet range; the synthetic trainers were all in operation; Radio operators attended classes,; and there was a good attendance at Aircraft recognition classes.  Four ships flew locally for a period of about two hours each.

31 march 1944:   There was a mission scheduled for the 31st and everything made ready for the takeoff, but, due to the inclement weather prevailing (one of the few snow squalls of the whole winter) this mission was scrubbed.  Crews returned to their barracks after getting their equipment properly stored for another day, and made ready to attend ground school.

Pay  Formation was held at 1400 hours.
T/Sgt. Roy J. Schleich, Jr. Destroyed one FW-190 on March 2, 1944.  He was flying as waist gunner on Ship #774.
S/Sgt. Merritt Hetager destroyed one FW-109 on 29 March 1944.  He was flying as Ball Turret gunner on Ship #075.
S/Sgt. Christopher A. Belmonte damaged one FW-190 on 29 March 1944.  He was flying as Tail Gunner on Ship #513.
 
In the past the tour of operational duty for combat crew members has been twenty-five operational sorties over enemy territory.  Recently, this policy has been changed so that an individual must complete at least thirty.  He is then given a period of rest and may then be reassigned to do more missions.  The idea is to utilize services of trained men more efficiently.  At the time this policy went into effect, there was a period of readjustment during which each individual was informed of the change and reconciled to the new set-up.  In this squadron, the reaction to this new policy was quite favorable, there being no noticeable set-back in moral of the men concerned.

T/Sgt. Henry W. Streets, a tail gunners, has successfully completed thirty four operation sorties.  He is considered an efficient Tail Gunner, and an excellent observer.  During the month, he flew as such with other squadrons in this group, as well as his own.  His case is an instance of the value of a trained and experienced individual who is doing more than the formerly required twenty-five missions.

During the month it will be noted that there was an increase in the number of missions flown.  In fact, a record was set for the squadron.  Sixteen missions were flown this month.  During the month of January, 1944, 441 airplane operational hours; flown; February 1944, 579 airplane operational hours flown and during March, 1944, 786 airplane operational hours flown.  So it can be seen that there has been quite an increase of operational activity.  During this period, the number of training hours in the air have decreased, since the crews have been engaged in flying assigned missions.

One ship ditched during the month.  Five men lost.  One ship crash landed and was a total loss but no personnel were lost.  The ship and its crew is also listed as missing in action.  Also, two ships and their crews were lost over Berlin in the raid of 6 March, 1944.  From this it can be seen that our losses are small in comparison with the results attained during the month.

Ground school was well attended, considering that crews have been otherwise engaged on operational missions. The number of man hours so spent is considerably smaller than that of last month.

New crews that have reported for duty during the month have reacted well to operational flying, a good many of them having completed the required five missions as a basis of their award of The Air Medal.

During the month, there has been an increase in the number of man hours lost on account of personnel being grounded for medical reasons.  This may be attributed to the increase in operational hours flown by the men.  Health of the squadron is still excellent.

A good many of the experience men on the ground crews were transferred to other stations which needed trained men.  This caused but little inconvenience as all key positions are filled with trained and well qualified individuals.

All departments in the squadron have maintained their high standard of efficiency during the month.  The Red Cross Club, Army and church services continued as assisting forces in keeping up the moral of the men.  There were several USO shows on the post by performers who travel from station to station for that purpose.  The theater has contributed no little part to the welfare of the men during the month.

Awards and Citations will be found listed in the Group Diary for this month.

1 - 5 April 1944:   April 1st to 5th, inclusive, there being no operational mission scheduled, activities of the squadron were confined to ground school and training activities.  With exception  of Sunday, the 3rd, one combat crew practiced skeet shooting each day.  This is good training for gunners as well as a pleasant form of recreation.  Average score is usually eleven out of a possible twenty five.  Gunners also got practice on mobile turrets and the  range.   Considerable local flying was done, and on the 5th two ships did practice bombing dropping 20 practice bombs each.

6 April 1944:    On the 6th, there was a mission scheduled with Oberpfaffenoffen, Germany, the target.  However, it was scrubbed shortly before take-off due to severe weather conditions.  During the day there were 43 man-hours of ground school and training activities by men who had not been scheduled to fly on this mission.  Once a crew makes ready for a mission which is later scrubbed; the men, having been up early in the morning, are permitted to go back to bed for more sleep.

7 April 1944:    Next day, the intended target was Oldenburg, Germany, but this mission was cancelled.  Considerable ground school was done, and one crew went on the skeet range for gunnery practice.  At the dispensary there is a sun Lamp installed for the purpose of giving combat crew members the benefit of more sun light which is an aid in maintaining physical fitness.  At first a man gets under the lamp for two minutes and then increases  the time so spent each day,  until the maximum of ten minutes is reached.  This is quite beneficial to the men and they seem to enjoy it.  In this day there were thirty combat crew members who took their turn under the lamp.

8 April 1944:   Oldenburg, Germany was again the target on the 8th.  This time the mission was completed with success.  Nine ships from this squadron took part, as follows: Ship #636  Lt. Reid and crew; #774, Lt. Bruce and crew; #563, Lt. Thomas and crew; #075, Lt. Register and crew; #304 Lt. Riser and crew; #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #342,  Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; and #909, Capt Kuehl and crew.  Ship #774 aborted shortly after take-off due to a runaway prop.  The crew was credited with an engineering abortive which means that they were not held responsible for the turn-back, but it was due to mechanical failure over which the crew had no control.  The other eight ships completed the mission and returned safely to base.

9 April 1944:   On the 9th, Odynia, in German-occupied Poland, was the target.  Nine ships from this squadron took part in this mission, but due to adverse weather conditions, they were recalled after having been in the air for about four hours.  Ship #563 with Lt. Fred T. Garner, Pilot, fell in with another group and went on to bomb Orienburg as their target.

10 April 1944:   Brussels Germany, occupied Belgium, was the target for the 10th.  Seven ships from this squadron took part as follows: Ship #509, Capt. Samuelson and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew: #075, Lt. Register and crew; #576, Lt. Bruce and crew; #636 Lt. Hackleman and crew; and #234, Lt. Gorby and crew.  Ships took off at and early hour and returned safely at 1041 hours.  This was one of the shortest missions of all and was completed, without loss or damage to ships and to air crews.

On this day the base was inspected by Brig. General Williams, Commanding General, 1st bombardment division.  Capt. McFarland and the "A" crew stood by one ship which was inspected by Gen. Williams.

11 April 1944:      Costies, Germany,  was the target on the 11th but Stettin  the secondary target, was attacked due to cloud cover over the primary target.  The mission was considered a success.  All ships and their crews of this squadron returned safely to base.  1/Lt. Burk, Bombardier, completed his tour of duty of thirty missions.  It will be noted that during the month of March, this officer went on fifteen operation missions and did more than 120 combat hours flying time.  This was a record achievement for a combat crew member in this squadron.

Ships taking part in this mission were: #534, Capt Kuehl and crew, #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #542, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #276, Lt. Hackleman and crew, #563, Lt. Klinger and crew; #116, Lt. Thomas and crew; #075, Lt. Register and crew; #304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #634, Lt. Gardner and crew; #540, Lt. Gorby and crew; #504 Lt. Reid and crew.

It was thought that 1/Lt. George Brooks, Copilot on Ship #276, had completed his tour of thirty missions,  due to the fact that he had been on two with the Royal Air Force before transferring to the USAAF ( Which it was thought were counted on his tour of thirty). But such was not the case.  At any rate,  several members of the ground crew were on hand with a tub of water and gave him the "Customary Dunking" immediately after he landed.  Since a mistake had been made, it was decided to credit him with a "Dunking" so he will not be subjected to that ordeal after he completes the two remaining missions he has to do.

12 April 1944:   On the 12th, there being no operational mission scheduled, considerable ground school and training activities was engaged in by all members of combat crews.  Two ships did practice bombing, each dropping twenty  practice bombs.  The  crew engaged in what is called mobile skeet, each firing 20 rounds with an average score of eleven.  This is a new feature in the training program.  Firing is done from a truck which is moving at about thirty five miles an hour.  It is thought that firing while in motion gives better training to the gunner than if he is standing still and shooting at a moving target.

13 April 1944:    Schweinfurt, Germany, was the target for the 13th.  That has come to be quite a familiar one to this squadron.  In the past it has been the very toughest of targets, especially when we recalled the 17th of August, 1943, when  the three ships of this squadron went on this mission and  failed to return.  On this date eight of our ships participated in the mission, all of which successfully dropped their bomb loads and returned safely to base.  The eight ships and their crews are as follows: #909, Lt. Gorby and crew; #563, Lt. Moran and crew; #636, Lt. Bruce and crew; #774, Lt. Riser and crew; #509 Lt. Hackleman and crew; #304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew; and #276, Lt. Wilkinson and crew.

One new combat crew reported for a tour of duty with the squadron composed of the following individuals: 2/Lt. William Clements, Navigator; 2/Lt. Jack Collier, Pilot; 2/Lt. John Kelleher, Copilot, 2/Lt. Barry McDermott, Jr.,  Bombardier; S/Sgt. Harry Word Engineer; S/Sgt. Stephen Kocut,  Radio Operator; Sgt. Charles Semon, Tail Gunner; Sgt. Tommy Candall, Waist Gunner; Sgt. Denker, Waist Gunner; and Sgt. Zirnheld,  Ball Turret Gunner.

Combat crew members who did not participate in the mission on this date engaged in ground school and training activities.  One ship flew a practice bombing mission and dropped 20 - 100 lb. Practice bombs.

On this date, another combat crew reported for a tour of duty with this squadron  composed of the following individuals.  1/Lt. Albert F. McCardle, Pilot; 2/Lt. Joseph Vandenboom, copilot; 2/Lt. Clifford Stanton, Jr. Navigator; 2/Lt. Everett Lunde, Bombardier; S/Sgt. Billy Standlet, Engineer S/Sgt. Roy Neumann, Radio Operator , Sgt. Guy Johnson, Tail Gunner; Sgt. Harold McMurray, Ball Turret Trainer; Sgt. Donald Kovall, Waist Gunner; and Sgt. Rex Silver, Waist Gunner.

 14 - 16 April 1944:   During the period of the 14th to 16th, inclusive, due to adverse weather conditions, there was no operational mission scheduled.  Considerable local flying was done on the 14th, and the ships flew a practice bombing mission dropping thirty-nine 100 Lb. Practice bombs.  Ground school was well attended during this period.

17 April 1944:   On the 17th, a mission was scheduled against? Leon, but just as the ships began to taxi for the take-off, it was scrubbed.

18 April, 1944:    Oranienburg, Germany, was the target for the 18th.  Six ships from this squadron participated and all of them returned without losses.  On this trip there were no "aborts" and this is always considered good.  Ground crews,  who work on a ship and get it ready for a mission,  like to see it  completed.  This causes them to know the value of their work. So for the ground crew, of course they would rather go on and complete the mission, hit the target and chalk up another completed mission on their tour.  Those taking part in today's raid were: Lt. Hackleman and crew in ship #940, #276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #636, Lt. Reid and crew; #304, Lt. Pryer and crew; #151, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #563, Lt. Klinger and crew.  Bombs were dropped and the mission was considered successful.

 Since only six crews were flying in the mission, there were several available men for ground school and training activities.  One ship flew a practice bombing  mission, one crew practiced on the skeet range , and all synthetic trainers were in use throughout the day.

19 April, 1944:   On the 19th, Eschwege Airfield, Kassel, Germany, was the target.  Weather conditions were unfavorable.  Results of the mission were judged unsuccessful.  Again, six of the 323rd ships took part, listed as follows: #543, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #075, Lt. Register and crew; #563, Lt. Klinger and crew; #036, Lt. Bruce and crew.  Ships #543 and #075 aborted due to the failure of gasoline to flow into No. 1 engine fuel tank on ship  #543,  and in the case of ship #075, a fire started in the back of the instrument panel, due to a short circuit in the rheostat of the florescent lighting on the panel.  Both pilots were credited with engineering abortives which means they were not responsible for what happened,  the cause being due to mechanical and electrical failures.

Again, there was a full schedule of ground school and training. One ship flew a practice bombing mission and dropped 20 -100 lb. Practice bombs.   Aircraft recognition classes were held.

20 April, 1944: Targets at Croiselle/ Beauvoir, France were bombed on the 20th.  The mission was completed but results of the bombing considered unsuccessful. Eleven ships from this squadron participated as follows: #234, Capt. Samuelson and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #909, Lt. Bruce and crew; #504, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #580, Lt. Gorby and crew; #276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #542, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #304, Lt. Pryor and crew, #636, Lt. Klinger and crew; #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #075, Lt. Collier and crew.  The latter were on their first mission.  One experienced officer went as Copilot.  Lt. Fred T. Gardner went along   This is done to make sure that a crew can stay in formation and take care of itself.  After its first mission this way, the crew is then put on its own and takes its place with the veteran crews for regular combat flying.

Ground school was well attended on this date even though several crews were in the air..  Efforts to increase training on the ground are bearing fruit.  It is no doubt the knowledge gained will be helpful in future operations.

21 April, 1944: Acohnie, Germany, was the scheduled target for the 21st.Ten ships took off and remained in the air the about three hours, at which time the mission was recalled.  It did not sufficiently materialize so as to give sortie credit to the crew.  All the nine ships as listed returned safely to base without encountering  the enemy.  Crews taking part in this flight are already experienced  in combat flying.  Its no doubt they received training in this days work, that is if you think of it as a sort of practice mission.  Ships taking part were: #131,  Capt. Samuelson,6and Lt. Reid, with Capt. Samuelson's crew in the lead ship; #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #636, Lt. Bruce and crew; #580, Lt. Gorby and crew; .#304, Lt. Collier and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #075, Lt. Register and crew; #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew; #383 Lt. Thomas and crew and ship #304, Lt. Collier and his crew were on their first mission as a crew.  They seemed to be right there with the best of them.

On this date, the "A" crew was on pass, so there was no practice bombing mission flow.  The skeet range was in use as well as the synthetic trainers as scheduled for this squadron.  It is found that ground school can be well maintained even though no operational mission is flown during the day.

22 April 1944:   On the 22nd, Hamm, Germany, was the target for attack.  This one has been hit by our bombers in the past by crews who have finished their tours and are crews elsewhere.
There is a certain thrill that gets into an Airman's blood when he goes over to hit the enemy as they go time after time on today's mission.  The target was successfully bombed and the ships and their crews returned safely to base without injury.  Those taking part were: Ships #234 Capt. Samuelson and crew, Leading; #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #116, Lt Wilkinson and crew; # 636 Lt. Bruce and crew; #580, Lt. Gorby and crew; #304, Lt. Collier and crew; #075, Lt. Register and crew; #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew; and #563, Lt. Thomas and crew.  1/Lt. George M. Brooks, Copilot, on ship #909, completed his tour and has been assigned to a Photo Reconnaissance Squadron as a pilot.  On the same ship, S/Sgt. Lyman Schafer, also completed his tour and is awaiting reassignment to duty   He was an excellent Ball Turret Gunner.  S/Sgt. Vincent Garofalo, waist gunner, on ship #234, also completed his tour and is now assigned to duty with a crew flying a relay ship with the 91st bomb group. 

Ships #580 and #563 aborted due to mechanical trouble.
Ground school and training activities were carried out by combat crews who did not participate in today's mission.

23 April 1944:   Next day, there was no operational mission.  It being a Sunday, there was no ground school.  However, there was a practice mission of six-ship formation flying as well as a practice bombing flight by the "A" crew.  Twenty 100 lb. Practice bombs were dropped.

On this date, there was an  operational mission scheduled, but it did not materialize sufficiently as to cause the men to have to get up and go to briefing etc.

24 April 1944: The 24th found seven ships of this squadron participating in a mission against a target at Erding, Germany, which was quite successful.  The ships taking part were Ships #504, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #563, Lt. Klinger and crew; 1/Lt. Gardner and crew; #542, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #276, Lt. Riser and crew; #490, Lt. Bruce and crew.  All returned safely to base.

An extensive ground school and training program was carried out by combat men who did not participate in this mission.  They seem to realize more than ever the value of their ground school training; and  make a better effort to attend all classes than in the past.  At times attendance becomes low, especially if the men have been flying frequent operational missions and feel a bit tired out.

25 April, 1944:   On the 25th, an Airdrome at Metz/Frescaty was effectively bombed.  Nine ships of this squadron taking part as follows: Ships #580, Lt. Gorby and crew: #636 Lt. Gardner and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew, #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew; #276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #563, Lt. Collier and crew; #236, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #075, Lt. Klinger and crew; #304, Lt. Pryor and crew.  All the above ships and their crews returned safely to base.

26 April, 1944:   Eight ships from this squadron participated in a mission against Brunswick, Germany, on the 26th.  It will be noted that activities over enemy territory was not so frequent at the beginning of the month as at the last, so the missions were almost daily.  All personnel in the squadron are busy at a time like this., as well as the combat men  and personnel attached  to actual operations.  The men in each of the departments, such as Armament, Ordinance, Communications, Engineering, Technical Supply etc. have a full schedule of work to do in order to "keep them flying," and it  is a source of satisfaction to know that constant work is proving a stimulus to moral throughout the various departments in the squadron.  The bare knowledge of getting a difficult job well done inspires the ground crew to carry on,  and put forth their effort to get their ships in the air. The results of their efforts can be seen in the steadily reducing of abortives of ships going out to meet the enemy. 
Ships on today's mission were: #490, Capt. McFarland and crew, Leading; #909 Lt. Samuelson and crew; #304, Lt. Thomas and crew; #636, Lt. Gardner and crew; #580, Lt. Gorby and crew; #075, Lt. Riser and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #276, Lt. Pryor and crew. #116, Lt. Wilkinson,  aborted .  On this mission 1/Lt. Basil Hacklemen completed his tour of duty with the squadron, and has been reassigned to duty at Bovingdon.  He leaves many friends here who realize that he was an excellent pilot and a splendid officer in every respect.

27 April, 1944:   On the 27th, the 91st Bomb Group participated in a mission against a target designated La Glacerie France, but this squadron was "stand down", that is none of its ships or crews participated. Some more ships were obtained from other squadrons to supply a sufficient number for the mission without drawing on this squadron. It will be noted that the 323rd has been furnishing a goodly number of ships and personnel for all missions from this base.  This is the first time, however, that a mission has been participated in by this group without the squadron's being represented by either ships or personnel.
In ground school, attendance of , the training operations  of the squadron was by no means idle.  Classes were held in all departments with a splendid attendance, and there was a practice bombing mission of four ships in formation.  They dropped forty 100-lb. Practice bombs.  Figures on this activity show that the squadron is leading all others in the group in the number of practice bombs dropped.  Capt. C. W. Williams, Lt. Maiserski, and Lt. Rodrigues having dropped  the biggest number for this squadron.  The reasons for practice bombing may be summarized  under four headings;

1.  To improve the bombardier's procedure.

2.  To get coordination between the Bombardier and Pilot in using AFCE.

3.  To realize his mistakes, while in the air, by seeing the bombs hitting or missing the target.

4. To keep in practice in using bombing tables and computers.  The results of the training by practice bombing can best be seen by observation of photographs obtained of the number of hits scored on enemy targets by our bombers on operational missions.

28 April 1944:   Next day, the 28th, Avord, France, Airdrome was hit by our bombers with success.  Twelve ships and their crews from this squadron participated.  All returned safely without a single abortive.  Ships and their crews on this mission were: #234, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #542, Lt. Klinger and crew, #636, Lt. McCardle and crew, #504, Lt. Bruce and crew; #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #075, Lt. Register and crew; #563, Lt. Riser and crew; #504, Lt. Pryor and crew; #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #560,  Lt. Gorby and crew.

It will be seen that Lt. Hackleman completed his tour of duty on the 29th instead of the 26th as previously stated.  1/Lt. Edward S. Register, Jr. Completed his tour of duty today.  Both he and Lt. Hackleman represent the highest type of airmen and they made enviable records for themselves and the squadron during their tours.  Lt. Register established a record number of missions for a pilot during any one month when he flew fifteen during the month of March, 1944.

29 April 1944:   There was a mission against Berlin, Germany, "Big B", on the 29th when twelve ships participated in giving that big city a good dose of what the Germans so rejoiced in giving to London in 1940.  No doubt the crew members took no little pleasure in pounding that city which the German leaders use to think was safe from such attacks.  This mission once again indicates that no city in the Reich is safe from our attacks.  Ships and crews participating were: Capt. Samuelson and Lt. Maziarz in the lead ship, #061 (401st); #304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #151, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #040, Lt. Collier and crew; #909, Lt. Hackleman and crew; #580, Lt. Gorby and crew; #636, Lt. Riser and crew; #075, Lt. Gardner and crew; #542, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #504, Lt. Bruce and crew; #276, Lt. Thomas and crew.  All ships and their crews returned safely to base.   In this respect, the squadron had it lucky as the flak was heavy and accurate and as several losses of ships and personnel were sustained by other organizations participating in this mission.  Ship #116, was severely damaged and the crew seemed to believe they were especially fortunate in escaping injury.  In addition to Lt. Hackleman, 1/Lt. Edward J. Kaiserski, Bombardier; and 1/Lt. Carl L. Kroll, Navigator, completed their tours of duty with the squadron and will be assigned elsewhere.
Ground school and training activities were participated in by personnel not flying on today's mission, but there was a small attendance due to the large number of crews on the mission.

30 April 1944:   On the 30th, nine ships from the 91st Bomb Group participated in a mission against an Airdrome near Lyons, France.  This squadron furnished three of the nine as follows: Ship #075, Lt. Kovachevich and crew; #560, Lt. Collier and crew; #234, Capt. Kuehl and crew.  All three returned without injury or much excitement in the way of enemy opposition.  On this mission, 1/Lt. William C. Hotsinger, flying as a Copilot, completed his tour of duty; so did 1/Lt. Dan Jordan, Navigator . On the 22nd of March, Lt. Hotsinger was checked out as a Pilot.  Such attainment is something that one may well be proud of, for it shows that the person concerned has continued gaining in proficiency under the difficult condition of aerial combat when the average person does well to maintain the rating he starts in with, let alone reaching to new heights of achievement in a career that is nerve racking to say the least.

Results of bombing of the target show that the mission was very successful.  So ends the chronological account of activity of the squadron for the month of April, 1944.  An attempt will be made in the following paragraphs to comment on a few of the highlights of that activity.

During the month of April the squadron participated in fourteen operational  missions over enemy territory not including the one of April 9, 1944, when only one of our ships completed its mission due to the fact that the mission had been recalled.  No losses of ships or personnel due to enemy action was sustained during this time, however, Sgt. Anthony C. Frevete, 32692196, suffered serious wounds on the mission of the 13th and was later relieved from flying duty.  Such a record during the month when 114 sorties were flown without losses indicates that a high standard of efficiency has prevailed throughout the squadron.  Not one "Abortive" was caused by failure of personnel.  Many of the ships returned to base quite seriously damaged, but the ground crews soon put them back into commission ready to fly again.  Ship #513, was on a local flight when it caught afire just as it landed on the runway.  The fire had such a start that it was impossible to extinguish it, and the ship was a total loss.  The Pilot and all members by quick action, managed to get out of it and escape without injury to themselves.  This incident happened on the afternoon of April 5, 1944.

This field was inspected by General Eisenhower, Allied Supreme Commander, on the 11th.  With him were General Spaats, General Doolittle, and other high ranking Officers.  The squadron was well represented in all phases of this event.  Also, during the month, Mr. Stettinious, Assistant Secretary of State of the United States , paid a visit to this field and reviewed much of its work.  Both General Eisenhower and Mr. Stettinious seemed well pleased with the base as a whole.

During the month, the number of man hours lost on account of personnel being grounded for medical reasons is much less than that of the previous month.  General health of the squadron continued excellent throughout the month.  Due to the small amount of rainfall in this region, the water supply is short but not to the extent as to cause much concern.  Frequent shower baths have been temporarily halted for all personnel due to a break in the main line nearby.

Personnel newly assigned to the squadron have reacted well to the training and discipline incident to serving in a squadron under combat conditions.

On all missions flown during the month, our ships were escorted by fighters from other bases which did their work so well that they deserve a lot of the credit for the good record made.  It seemed that they had the Germans on the run.  Many times the enemy refused to take to the air against them.  Had they dared to, no doubt our gunners would have accounted for more of their planes destroyed that is the case.  On the 11th, S/Sgt. Wayne C. Wrightsman, Jr. 17050909, flying as enlisted Bombardier on Ship #504, Lt. William E. Reid, Pilot, shot down an ME-109.  S/Sgt. Wrightsman, in addition to being checked out as a Bombardier, is also a qualified Aerial Engineer and an excellent gunner.  He was promoted to the rank of Technical Sergeant on the 15th of April.

Morale of all personnel in the squadron is excellent.  Those agencies on the base such as the Church Services, Red Cross Activities, and the Church Army, an English Agency, have done excellent work in this connection.  However, experienced and capable leadership to guide them and the knowledge of the results of the job well done contribute more to maintain the morale among men than any other factors.  The men realize the importance of their jobs and have the satisfaction of knowing of the part they are playing in the greatest event in the World's History.  No wonder their morale is excellent.

323rd DAILIES, 1944, May   Prepared by Capt. Laurence E. Baird

 1 May 1944: There was a mission with the Roundhouse and Marshalling Yards of the enemy located at Troyes, France, as the target.  Results of bombing were good.  Eleven ships of this squadron participated as follows; Ship #490, Lt. Col. Berry, Squadron, Commander, and the “A” crew, leading first combat wing; #276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #542, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #504, Lt. Bruce and crew; #392 (401st) Lt. McCardle and crew; #234, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #563, Lt. Klinger and crew; #975, Lt. Knight and crew; #636, Lt. Riser and crew; #075, Lt. Pryor and crew; and #151, Lt. Kovachevich and crew.  All crews and ships dropped their bombs and returned safely to base except one.  Ship #392 (401st), Lt. McCardle and crew, was shot down by enemy flak as it was approaching the coast on its way back from the target area.  The following crew- members are missing in action:  Pilot, 1/Lt. Albert F. McCardle; Copilot, 2/Lt. Joseph Vandenboom; Navigator, 2/Lt. Clifford A. Stanton, Jr.; Bombardier, 2/Lt. Everett D. Lunde; Engineer, S/Sgt. Billy J. Standley; Ass’t. Engineer; Donald Kowall; Radio Operator, S/Sgt. Roy Newmann; Assistant Radio Operator, Sgt. Rex Silver; Tail Gunner, S/Sgt. Guy Johnson; Ball Turret Gunner, Harold McMurray.

Ship #151, was involved in an accident as it landed due to faulty brakes.  It ran into three trucks that were parked nearby and damaged them considerably.  The ship was also damaged, but none of the crew injured.

Sgt. Harry LeBard, Tail Gunner on ship #504, was quite seriously wounded by enemy flak that struck him in his foot.

Usual ground school and training activities were carried out by combat men not flying on today’s mission.

Five new crews were transferred into the squadron, from the 324th Squadron.  They are well trained and ready to participate in active operational duty.  Also, two new men were transferred into the squadron.  They are assigned as flexible gunners.

1/Lt. Charles M. Mooney, Bombardier, completed his tour of missions on this date.  He was a member of a crew that had just transferred from the 324th.

2 – 3 May 1944: On May 2nd and 3rd, there were no operational missions due to adverse weather conditions.  The “A” crew was on pass.  Considerable local flying was done, and all the synthetic trainers and ground school classes were well attended.

4 May 1944:  On the 4th, there was a mission with Berlin Germany as the target; however, due to adverse weather conditions, it was recalled after about two hours from takeoff.  Ten ships from this squadron made the start.

5 May 1944:  On the 5th, there was no mission scheduled.  Crews engaged in ground school and training. As they had been flying a good bit the last several days, they were not required to attend as extensive as is usually the case.

6 May 1944:  On the 6th, Sottevast, France was the target. Ships went over the target but did not drop bombs due to the targets being obscured by clouds.  This was considered an abortive-sortie; meaning that the mission was not carried out but the crews were credited with a mission.  This squadron sent six ships as follows:  #580, Lt. Gorby and crew; #075, Lt. Riser and crew; #276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #040, Lt. Knight and crew; #938, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #975, Lt. Wilkinson and crew.  Ship #075 aborted before leaving the English Coast due to failure of No. 2 Engine.  The crew was given credit for engineering abortive, since the abortive was not due to personnel failure.

On this date, six individuals completed their “Tours of Duty” as follows:  1/Lt. Cecil G. Gorby, Pilot; 1/Lt. Roy L. Jones, Bombardier; T/Sgt. Anthony J. Klazura, Engineer; T/Sgt. Lewis E. Hendrix, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. James E. Davis, Waist Gunner; and S/Sgt. Laddie F. Chavatol, Ball Turret Gunner.  All the above-named are awaiting assignment to other duty.

Individuals remaining on the ground carried out an extensive ground school schedule.  It is becoming even more apparent, that time so spent, pays dividends in the air.

7 May 1944: Today, Berlin, Germany was the target.  The mission was completed but results of bombing remained unobserved due to the overcast.  This Squadron sent seven ships as follows:  Ship #040, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #276, Lt. Bruce and crew; #580, Lt. Kovachevich and crew; #304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #975, Lt. Collier and crew; #938, Lt. Maxwell and crew. Ship #938 aborted due to malfunction of supercharger.  Also, ship #276 aborted.  This was due to a malfunction of the oxygen system. #580 failed to return.  Before reaching the target, one of its engines had quit.  Later on reports were that it had been seen on its way back, coming near the enemy coast.  Several ships from this group went out on air sea rescue in hopes of picking the crewmembers up, but no trace was seen of them.   The crew was composed of the following individuals:  1/Lt. Nenad Kovachevich, Pilot; 1/Lt. William J. Thurman, Copilot; 1/Lt. Edward H. Wallner, Navigator; 1/Lt. Eleuterio C. Rodriguez, Bombardier; T/Sgt. Frederick G. Parkins, Engineer; S/Sgt. Donald F. Pilcher, Ball Turret Gunner; Sgt. Ralph Liedtke, Radio Operator; S/S Bernard F. Bellettiere, Waist Gunner; and S/Sgt. William A. Reynolds, Jr. Tail Gunner.  This was an experienced crew.  Lt. Wallner was on his thirtieth mission. All the others were near completion of their tours.

8 May 1944:  On the 8th, Berlin, Germany was bombed again, results of which were unobserved.  Six ships of this squadron took part as follows:  #240, Lt. Knight and crew; #276, Lt. Haskell and crew:  #075 Lt. Gardner and crew; #116, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #304, Lt. Bruce and crew; and #075, Lt. Riser and crew.  The latter ship aborted due to inability of crew to close bomb bay doors either electrically or manually after dropping one bomb to lighten load in order to land.

S/Sgt. Roy J. Schleich, Jr., Waist Gunner; completed his tour of operational duty on this mission.  All ships returned safely to base.

9 May 1944:  A target at St. Dizier, France, was bombed on the 9th.  All ships of this squadron returned safely to base.  There were no abortives.  The bombing was successful.  Six ships from this organization took part as follows:  Ship #234, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #563, Lt. Miller and crew; #562, Lt. Collier and crew; #278, Lt. Thomas and crew; #304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #116, Lt. Wilkinson and crew. 

Ground school and training operations were carried out by crews not flying.

10 May 1944:  On the 10th, there was a mission against Rotenburg, but it was recalled shortly after the takeoff due to inclement weather.

11 May 1944:  This day there was a mission against a target designated as “Konz Karthaus”.  It was successfully completed.  Ships and crews participating were as follows:  #499, Lt./Col. Berry and the “A” crew leading the wing; #234, Lt. Collier and crew; #110, Lt. Wilkinson and crew; #563, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #173, Lt. Gardner and crew; #504 Lt. Bruce and crew; #304, Lt. Pryor and crew.  There were no abortives.  All ships returned safely.

1/Lt. Walter Wilkinson, Pilot, completed his tour of thirty missions.  So did S/Sgt. Theodore Wyzkoski, Flexible Gunner on the “A” crew.  Both individuals will be assigned to duty elsewhere.

As usual, the ground school and training activities for combat crews not flying on today’s mission was carried out. Attendance was excellent.

12 May 1944:  On the 12th Lutzkendorf was the target.  This squadron sent the following ten ships as follows:  #075, Lt. Riser and crew; #116, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #563, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #975, Lt. Collier and crew; #234, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #173, Lt. Gardner and crew; #933, Lt. Bruce and crew; #909, Lt. Thomas and crew and #480 Capt. Samuelson and crew. Results of bombing were only fair.  This squadron had no abortives.  All completed the mission and returned safely to base. 

Letter of commendation was addressed to all personnel of this organization under date of May 12, 1944.  It is listed in full below: 

1. During the month of April 1944, the 323rd squadron of the 91st Bomb Group (H) achieved a high degree of proficiency.  We sent more aircraft to the target than any other squadron in the group.  We had a lower loss rate than any squadron in the group.  We dropped a heavier load of bombs than any other group.  Our abortive record was second to that of the 401st bombardment squadron. 

  1. Such a record could not have been established without the hearty and full cooperation of all personnel of each department.  Extra hours and the backbreaking work which each of you have put in willingly and without complaint, has meant that this squadron, during the month of April 1944, visited more destruction upon the enemy than ever before.

  1. My hearty thanks and congratulations to each member of the squadron for a job well done.  In our effort to subdue the enemy and bring peace quickly, we must increase our efforts yet again.  Let us determine to improve this record as each month brings us closer to victory.

  2. The above was signed by Lt. Col. James F. Berry, Commanding Officer of the 323rd Bomb Squadron, (H).

13 May 1944:  A target at Straslsund, Germany, was attacked on the 13th.  The mission was considered unsuccessful.  All ships of this squadron returned safely.  Those taking part were, #234, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #516, 2/Lt. Mosley and crew; #040, Lt. Miller and crew: #903, Lt. Thomas and crew; #304, Lt. Riser and crew; #909, Lt. Klinger and crew.

Ground school and training activities were carried out by combat men not flying on this mission.

T/Sgt. Charles J. Justin, Engineer/Gunner, completed his tour of thirty missions and was assigned to another base.

14 May 1944:  There was no mission on the 14th, it being Sunday. There was no ground school, but there was a practice mission with five ships flying formation.

15 May 1944:  Today, there was a mission scheduled with Orly Airdrome in France as the target.  Due to adverse weather conditions, it was “scrubbed”.  Some local flying was done in the afternoon, and an extensive ground school schedule was carried out.  

16 May 1944:  On the 16th, the same target was scheduled for attack.  The still unfavorable weather prevented it.    Ground School and training activities were carried out by all crewmembers.

17 May 1944:  On the 17th, the mission scheduled for Rotterfeld, Germany was “scrubbed”.  Ground school and training activities were carried out on a limited scale.

18 May 1944:  On the 18th, there was no mission scheduled.  Extensive training activities and ground school were carried out.

19 May 1944:  Berlin, Germany, was the target for the 19th. This was a successful mission.  Twelve ships of this squadron participated as follows:  #1542, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #079, Lt. Collier and crew; #7504, Lt. Bruce and crew; #2116, Lt. Maziarz and crew; #7304, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #7563, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #7234, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; 7040, Lt. Miller and crew; #7173, Lt. Gardner and crew;  #7075, Lt. Riser and crew; #7276, Lt. Mosley and crew.  All ships completed the mission except two.

Ship #7504 aborted due to the fact that the pilot believed he would have an insufficient amount of gasoline to complete the mission.

Ship #7563 aborted due to the fact or rather failure of the exhaust stack on #2 engine causing loss of manifold pressure and excess cylinder head temperature due to hot exhaust gasses blowing on the thermo coupler.  This was an engineering abortive.  Pilot and crew not held responsible.

No members of the crews were injured on this mission.

20 May 1944:  On the 20th, a target at Villacoublay, France. Was bombed.  This was a successful mission.  There were no abortives, and all ships returned safely to base.  Four from this squadron took part as follows:  #7234, Lt. Knight and crew, #7075, Lt. Bruce and crew; #7270, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #7173, Lt. Collier and crew.  1/Lt. John Lloyd, Bombardier, 1/Lt. Gerald Schottmiller, Navigator; S/Sgt. Arthur Huber, Bombardier; S/Sgt. Earl Williamson, Jr. Flexible Gunner; and S/Sgt. George O. Ferrell, Tail Gunner, completed their tours of duty on this mission.  They have been assigned to other duties.  S/Sgt. Huber went on thirty-one missions; having been assessed one extra due to some sort of failure on the mission of March 18, 1944.  S/Sgt. Ferrell completed his tour of duty without the required identification tags.  For some reason or other, they were never delivered to him, but the were ordered in the routine manner.

21 May 1944:  The 21st, being a Sunday and as there was no operational mission scheduled, the men had a day off. Many of them, both the air and ground crews really needed the rest for all personnel have been working hard for the past two weeks.

22 May 1944:  Kiel, Germany was bombed on the 22nd.  The mission was successfully completed.  Several ships from this squadron participated as follows:  #7234, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #7075, Lt. Kerb and crew; #2116, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #1542, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #7173, Lt. Gardner and crew; #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #7563 Lt. Maxwell and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew.  All the above ships returned safely to base.  They dropped their bombs, and there were no abortives.

Ground School was well attended by men not flying on this mission.  Two ships flew a practice-bombing mission.  They dropped forty 100-lb. Practice bombs.

23 May 1944:  On the 23rd, Saarbrucken, Germany, was bombed.  Results of the bombing were unobserved as it was done by pathfinder.  Eight ships of this squadron took part as follows:  #2490, Capt. Samuelson and crew, leading the group; #2116, Lt. Riser and crew; #7075, Lt. Maghee and crew; #7173, Lt. Gardner and crew; #7276, Lt. Kerr and crew; #1542, Lt. Miller and crew; #9975, Lt. Collier and crew; and #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew.  The latter ship aborted due to trouble with the oxygen system.  Credit was given to the pilot for an oxygen abortive.  That means it was a malfunction of the oxygen equipment and not a fault of personnel on the crew.

1/Lt. Val B. Maghee, Pilot, completed his tour on this date.  He has volunteered for another tour of duty, but will be given some time off, in the zone of the interior, before starting on his next tour.

T/Sgt. Glenn E. Smith, Radio Operator/Gunner, completed his tour on this date.  He also volunteered for another tour, but for the time being, he will not be accepted, due to a change in the policy of permitting enlisted personnel to volunteer for such duty.  Such personnel were normally given a thirty-day furlough at home in the U.S.

T/Sgt. Emmett Hooper, Engineer/Gunner, also completed his tour and is awaiting assignment to other duties.

All three of the above-named personnel have an excellent record as airmen of the highest type.

24 May 1944:  On the 24th, Berlin, Germany, was again bombed.  As a good number of missions have been made against that important city of Germany, it is being thought of, as more or less, what the men like to call a “milk run”.  However, it is still considered a rough mission.

Twelve ships of this squadron took part as follows:  #490, Capt. McFarland and the “A” crew, leading the group; #542, Lt. Miller and crew; #563, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #040, Lt. Knight and crew; #116, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #7234, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #7075, Lt. Risor and crew; #7173, Lt. Collier and crew; #7276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #7504, Lt. Kerr and crew.  In addition to the above crews, Lt. Sanders, Navigator; Lt. Kruzen, Navigator; and Sgt. Koch, Ball Turret Gunner, flew with the 401st Squadron.  The mission was successfully completed, and there were no abortives.

The three men flying with the 401st Squadron were used to make up a shortage of personnel in that squadron.  This is done so as to enable all squadrons to use the maximum number of crews on a mission.

25 May 1944:  On the 25th, Nancy/Essey, France, was the target for attack.  It was successfully bombed.  Ten ships from this squadron took part as follows:  Ship #1634, Lt. Col. Berry, Squadron Commander, and the “A” crew, leading the combat wing; #7504, Lt. Bruce and crew; #7173, Lt. Gardner and crew; #1909, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7304, Lt. Miller and crew; #1579, Lt. Thomas and crew; #7276, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #9975, Lt. Pryor and crew; #k7075, Lt. Riser and crew; #7563, Lt. Kerr and crew.  Ship #1579 aborted before reaching the enemy coast.  Number four oil temperature was climbing and oil pressure went down to sixty pounds and was still going down when engine was feathered.  No. four engine was also losing oil.  It was considered as an engineering abortive.  All ships returned safely to base without injury to any of their crews.

Ground school was attended by combat men not flying on today’s mission.

26 May 1944:  On the 26th, there was a  “stand down” which means no operational mission was scheduled for the day.  Attendance at ground school was greater than normal as there were more personnel available for it.  Attendance is being checked very closely in order to make sure that all combat men realize the maximum benefit from such training.  Personnel having a good record in their ground schoolwork, almost invariably show better performance in the air, than the indifferent ones, who do not apply themselves to the training on the ground.

27 May 1944:  Ludwigshaven, Germany, was the objective of our bombers on the 27th.  Nine of our aircraft participated as follows:  Ship #7040, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #9975, Lt. Collier and crew; #1579, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #7563, Lt. Maziarz and crew; #7504, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #1542 Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #7276, Lt. Thomas and crew.  Ship #7304 aborted before reaching the target. Flak caused No. 3 engine prop to run away, making it impossible for the ship to stay in formation.  The crew was given credit for an abortive sortie.  It counts as a mission for all members of the crew.

Enemy flak was more intense and accurate than usual.  Also, several enemy fighter attacks were made.  Ship #7040 was severely damaged by both flak and enemy fighters, and S/Sgt. Walter P. Meader, Jr., the Waist Gunner, was instantly killed when a big burst of flak went through the ship.  He was buried in the cemetery near Cambridge.

T/Sgt. Joseph T. Depoti, Engineer, was severely wounded in the legs at the same time.  He is now in the hospital.

Although the opposition was considerable, our ships succeeded in hitting their target and successfully completing the mission.

28 May 1944:  Germany was again hit on the 28th.  This time the target at Dessau, but the mission as a whole was not successful.  Nine of our ships took part as follows:  #7173, Lt. Gardner and crew; #7504, Lt. Bruce and crew; #1542, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #9996, (322nd) Lt. Thomas and crew; #7075, Lt. Kerr and crew; #9975, Lt. Stunf, and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #7938, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew.  Ship #7938 aborted.   No. 4 engine oil temperature was very high and oil pressure dropping to 60 lbs.  It would have been necessary to feather the engine if the climb continued.

This airplane has taken off five times and has a record of three abortives that have been caused by many things, but all the pilots have claimed it is slow.  The Squadron Commander personally test flew it and found it defective, so until it makes a better showing on a test flight, he has grounded it for combat operation.

All ships and their crews returned safely to base after this mission.  Enemy opposition was meager.

29 May 1944:  A target in Poland, Posen, was attacked by our bombers on the 29th.  The mission was not considered successful.  However, all our ships completed it and returned safely to base.  Success of a mission, chiefly hinges on whether or not the target was hit.  There are so many factors entering in to prevent accurate bombing that it is difficult to ascertain the reasons for failure, but the main one on today’s mission was unfavorable weather conditions.  Ships taking part today were: #7304, Lt. Knight and crew; #1909, Lt. Miller and crew; #7563, Lt. Collier and crew; #1542, Lt. Maziarz and crew; #7075, Lt. Stunf and crew; and #7504, Lt. Bruce and crew.  There were no abortives.

1/Lt. Felix O’Quinn, Navigator, completed his tour on this date and is awaiting assignment to other duties.  Effective May 1, 1944, he was transferred to this squadron from the 324th squadron.

30 May 1944: On the 30th, Dessau, Germany, was again attacked for the second time this month.  All reports indicate that the mission was very successful.  Thirteen ships from this squadron took part:  Ships #2490, Lt. Col. Milton, Deputy Group Commander, and Lt. Sheriff in lead ship, leading the first combat wing; #7304, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #2116, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #9975, Lt. Collier and crew; #7276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #7075, Lt. Kerr and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #7173, Lt. Gardner and crew; #7563, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #1579, Lt. Miller and crew; #7027, Lt. Pryor and crew; #7504, Lt. Bruce and crew; #8027 (322nd) Lt. Stunf an crew.  The latter ship aborted shortly after takeoff on account of there being excessive gasoline fumes in radio compartment and bomb bay; also, in the cockpit, waist and nose.  The fumes persisted and increased in intensity.  This was considered as an engineering abortive.

Enemy opposition, both from flak and fighters, was greater than it had been for some time.  The flak was heavy and accurate and the fighters came right into the attack formation.  The flak disabled ship #9975, and when it started out of formation, the fighters pounced on it.  Our P-51 escort went to the rescue to drive them off, but still our bomber went down.  The following crewmembers are missing in action:  1/Lt. Zack C. Collier, Pilot; 2/Lt. John T. Kelleher, Copilot; 2/Lt. William P. Clements, Navigator; 2/Lt. Henry J. McDermott, Jr., Bombardier; T/Sgt. Barry L. Ward, Engineer; S/Sgt. Tommy Cogdill, Waist Gunner; T/Sgt. Stephen Kogut, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. George R. Zirnheld, Ball Turret Gunner; and S/Sgt. Charles J. Semon, Tail Gunner.  This was an excellent crew, experienced and well trained.  The average number of missions to their credit was sixteen.  This proves that any crew is likely to “go down” no matter how well trained and experienced they may be.

T/Sgt. Roy M. Ford, Radio Operator; T/Sgt. Edwin D. Walsh, Engineer; and S/Sgt. Milton Franchuk, Waist Gunner; all three completed their tours on this mission.  They are being kept in the squadron temporarily, awaiting disposition by higher headquarters.

Though there were thirteen crews flying on today’s mission, the ground school attendance was especially good.

31 May 1944:  The last day of the month found our bombers out again.  Target was at Mulhouse, France.  This mission was not carried out although the formation was in the vicinity of the target.  It was considered an abortive-sortie.  Bombs were not dropped.  This is in keeping with the policy of not dropping bombs indiscriminately on France.  Unless precision bombing can be carried out as planned, the bombs are brought back.  Nine of our ships took part as follows:  #7234, Capt. Kuehl and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #7075, Lt. Kerr and crew; #2116, Lt. Maziarz and crew; #7563, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #1542, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7173, Lt. Knight and crew; #7276, Lt. Miller and crew; and #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew.  There were no abortives.

Capt. Albert R. Kuehl, Pilot, completed his tour of duties on this date.  During his tour with this squadron, he served in the capacity of operations officer and leader of “D” flight.

Also, 1/Lt. Arthur D. Clay, Bombardier; 1/Lt. Mortimer Pudnos, Navigator; and 1/Lt. Fred Knight, Jr., completed their tours on this date.  All the above individuals are awaiting their orders for other assignments.

All ships and crews on this mission returned safely to base.  Enemy opposition was slight.

The above record of events is as they occurred during the month. 

In the following paragraphs, and attempt will be made to record a few more of the highlights of that activity not specifically covered before:

323RD DAILIES JUNE 1944

1 June 1944: Due to adverse weather conditions, there was no mission scheduled for the 1st of June 1944. Ground School and training activities were carried out. This was on a limited scale as many of the crew had been on several consecutive missions during the last few days of May.

2 June 1944: On the 2nd, a target a Boulogne, France was bombed.  Results unobserved. The six ships taking part were:  #7234, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #7304, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #37075, Lt. Albin and crew; #7504, Lt. Grimmer and crew; #1333 (322nd) Lt. Klinger and crew; and #2116, Lt. Stunf and crew.  All returned safely to base.

In the afternoon, another target in France, Massy/Palaiseau, was successfully bombed.  This date is significant for the squadron; it being the first day on which two operational missions were flown.  Ships taking part were:  #7276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #1773, Lt. Miller and crew; #1542, Lt. Ransberger and crew.  All returned safely. 

3 June 1944:   An enemy coastal battery at Hardelot, France, was attached. Results were unobserved. Six ships took part as follows: #7173, Lt. Gardner and crew, #7304, Lt. Maxwell and crew, #7234, Lt. Albin and crew, #, 7504 Lt. Grimmer and crew, #2116, Lt. Maziarz and crew, #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew. All returned safely to base.   

4 June 1944:   On the 4th, practically the same target as the day before was bombed. This time, results were very good. Only three ships form this squadron participated: #7173, Lt. Thomas and crew, #7234m Lt, Ransberger and crew, #2116, Lt. Stunf and crew. all returned safely to base. Other individuals, Capt. Samuelson, Pilot; Lt. Oliver, Navigator, and S/Sgt. Dumochel, Tail Gunner, flew with the 324th Squadron. They each completed their tours of duty on this mission. T/Sgt. Streets, Tail Gunner, also flew with the 324th Squadron. All returned safely to base. There were no abortives.

5 June 1944:   On this date, six new crews reported for a tour of duty with the squadron, namely: 2/Lt. L. C. Basinger, Pilot, F/O Milton E. Hensen, Co-Pilot; 2/Lt. Billy D. Richardson, Bombardier; S/Sgt. Robert L. Bombardier, Engineer; S/Sgt. Alexander R. Blake, Sgt. Rolin U. Ashford, Gunners; Sgt. Harry H. Bullock, Jr., Gunner; Sgt Donald R. Mitchell, Gunner and Sgt. Howard D. Van Cleave, Gunner. This crew needed but little training on this base before they were ready to go on operational missions. 

The following five crews reported for duty and became part of a special group organized for further training on this base before being available for duty.  They were known as the “Fancher Group” since they were in training under the direction of Captain Fancher.  Crews:  2/Lt. Cyril J. Braund, Pilot; 2/Lt. John Sykes, Jr., Copilot; 2/Lt. Kenneth N. Boltz, Navigator; 2/Lt. John Grubka, Bombardier; S/Sgt. William W. Bridges, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Donald J. McBey, Engineer; Sgt. Chester J. Czyz, Gunner; Sgt. Clifford G. Johnson, Gunner; Sgt. Robert W. Lockard, Gunner; Pvt. Carl C. McCarrell, Gunner.  2/Lt. Normand N. Burwick, Pilot; 2/Lt. Frank J. Way, Copilot; 2/Lt. Gerald F. Childress, Navigator; 2/Lt. Benjamin Badman, Jr., Bombardier; S/Sgt. George R. Beltz, Radio- Operator; S/Sgt. Gerald L. Romero, Engineer; Sgt. Mabry D. Barker, Gunner; Sgt. Bryce E. Barnes, Gunner; Sgt. Peter J. Campion, Gunner; Sgt. Melvin A. Gemmell, Gunner.  2/Lt. Arnold J. O’Toole, Pilot; 2/Lt. Robert E. Gould, Copilot; 2/Lt. Walter L. Strait, Navigator; 2/Lt. David Bronstein, Bombardier; S/Sgt. Elroy E. Vetter, Engineer; Sgt. Emile R. Gelinas, Radio-Operator; Sgt. Robert C. Lee, Gunner; Sgt. Frank T. Pratt, Jr., Gunner; Sgt. George N. Sparr, Gunner; Cpl. William T. Stripling, Gunner.  2/Lt. John C. Pullen, Pilot; 2/Lt. Robert W. Harris, Copilot; 2/Lt. Armando J. Sinibaldo, Navigator; 2/Lt. Robert R. Medford, Bombardier; S/Sgt. James R. Kilgallen, Engineer; Sgt. Manuel P. Nunez, Radio-operator; Sgt. Gene V. Reynolds, Gunner; Sgt. Joseph Uhrick, Gunner; Cpl. Gordon L. Lenaz, Gunner; Cpl. John J. Stack; Gunner.  2/Lt. Carl E. Rizer, Pilot; 2/Lt. Edward J. Stone, Copilot; 2/Lt. Earl R. Krones, Navigator; 2/Lt. Ora W. Norris, Bombardier; S/Sgt. Robert S. Quilty, Engineer; Sgt. John F. Harten, Radio Operator; Sgt. Edward L. Mills, Gunner; Sgt. Walter L. Wade, Gunner; Cpl. Robert S. Newman, Gunner; Cpl. Paul A. Perkins, Gunner.

D-DAY

6 June 1944:  On the 6th,  a target on the Cherbourg Peninsula, France, was bombed.  This was a tactical operation in cooperation with the invasion troops.  It being “D” Day, a special effort was made to send up a good formation.  Twelve ships from this squadron took part as follows:  #7173, Lt. Kerr and crew; #7176, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7540, Lt. Pickard and crew; #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #1759, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7075, Lt. Miller and crew; #7040, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #1542, Lt. Supchak and crew; and #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #2116, Lt. Bruce and crew; #2490, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #7956, Lt. Col. Berry, and Lt. Reid, in a lead ship with the “A” crew.  Bombing of the enemy gun emplacements was unobserved as to the actual results.  All ships returned safely to base, and there were no abortives.

Crews not flying went to ground school and participated in training activities, but due to the situation pending at the time, this was on a limited scale.  The crews were alerted for another mission that day, but it did not materialize.

7 June 1944:  On the 7th, an Airfield at Kerlin/Bastard was partially destroyed by our bombers.  Eight of our ships participated as follows:  #7563, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7540, Lt. Pickard and crew; #7075, Lt. Kerr and crew; #2116, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #7173, Lt. Miller and crew; #7040, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #7340, Lt. Pryor and crew.  All returned safely to base and there were no abortives.

At this particular time, when the invasion of continental Europe is underway, all personnel are held ready and available for immediate duty, regardless of the number of missions they have flown in the past.  For this reason, no one is being relieved from combat duty after completion of thirty missions.  Several individuals have that number to their credit but are still on duty with the squadron.  Their training and combat experience enable them to be of much value to the service at this time.

8 June 1944:  On the 8th, a railroad bridge over the Loire River was bombed.  Results were considered successful.  Nine ships started on this mission as follows:  #2490, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #7504, Lt. Bruce and crew; #1542, Lt. Supchak and crew; #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #7563, Lt. Stunf and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #7234, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #7173, Lt. Miller and crew; #2116, Lt. Grimmer and crew.  All ships returned safely to base.  There were 3 abortives.  Ship #7504 aborted – No. 2 engine was detonating and running rough.  This was investigated by the Squadron Commander who found that the engine showed signed of detonation above 35” HG. Above 12,000 ft.  Also that above 20,000 ft., No 1 engine showed signed of detonation above 37” HG.  However, using low power settings on these engines, he experienced no trouble getting the aircraft to altitude and maintaining normal flight.  This mission was counted an abortive, for this ship and the pilot.  Ship #7563, aborted.  No. 2 engine started throwing oil in a steady flow through cowl flaps.  Difficulties with oil pressure increased until the pilot was compelled to return to base. This was engineering abortive.  Ship #2116 aborted.  Oxygen filler line on right side of radio compartment was stuck in the open position.  After the ship landed, inspection showed that the radio compartment line tended to stick open.  This was draining the oxygen from three positions.  It was felt that walk-around bottles should have been sufficient to complete the trip.  This was counted as an abortive.

Ground school and training activities were carried out.  There was a lecture on tactics for a period of one hour.  This was attended by 81 combat crewmembers. 

9 June 1944:  On the 9th, as there was no mission scheduled, the crews were not busy.  Ground school and training activities were carried out but on a limited scale. 

10 June 1944:  On the 10th, enemy gun installations were bombed.  They were located south of Boulogne, France, four miles.  Results were unobserved.  Nine ships participated:  Ship #2116, Lt. Maziarz and crew; #7540, Lt. Pickard and crew; #1542, Lt. Smith and crew; #947 (322nd) Lt. Kerr and crew; #7276, Lt. Supchak and crew; #7504, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #7173, Lt. Miller and crew; #1909, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew.  All ships returned safely, and there were no abortives.  

11 June 1944:  An airdrome at Beaumont Le Roger, France, was attacked on the 11th.  Results of bombing unobserved due to overcast and poor weather conditions in general.  There were six ships from this squadron who took part as follows:  #7234, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #7075, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #1542, Lt. Smith and crew; #7276, Lt. Thomas and crew; #7304, Lt. Supchak and crew.  Also, Lt. Col. Berry, Squadron Commander, Lt. Sloat, Squadron Bombardier, and T/Sgt. Streets, Tail Gunner, flew in a ship from the 379th group.  All returned safely to base and there were no abortives. 

12 June 1944:  On the 12th, an airdrome at Cambrai/Niergnies, France was bombed.  This mission was successful.  Twelve ships participated as follows:  #2116, Lt. Maziarz and crew; #7540, Lt. Pickard and crew; #7504, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #7075, Lt. Kerr and crew; #7234, Lt. Stunf and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #7173, Lt. Miller and crew; #1542, Lt. Basinger and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7040, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #2490, Lt. Sheriff and crew.  All returned safely to base and there were no abortives. 

13 June 1944:  On the 13th, an airfield at Beaumont-Sur-Oise, France, was bombed.  Due to poor visibility and weather conditions, prevailing results could not be observed.  This was a tactical operation in order to assist invasion troops.  Even the weather was bad.  The mission was carried out.  A year ago the ships would have been grounded from flying in such weather, but the target was a vital one and whatever could be done to cripple the enemy at this time was necessary.  All our ships returned safely to base without battle damage or injury to any member of the crews.  Nineteen ships, a record number for the squadron on any one mission, participated as follows:  A#7540, Lt. Smith and crew; #7504, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #2490, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #7563, Lt. Stunf and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #7956, Lt. Kerr and crew; #1542, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7173, Lt. Miller and crew; #7276, Lt. Riser and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7040, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #7234, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #2116, Lt. Supchak and crew; #7625, Lt. Maziarz and crew; #7594, Lt. Sprinkle and crew; #7075, Lt. Rider and crew; #1515 (401st) Lt. Grimmer and crew (new), #1678, Lt. Mosley and crew.

It is the practice that when a new crew completes its ground training and is ready for an operational mission, an experienced pilot is sent with it on the first mission; rather than for in-experienced personnel to be alone..  One experienced member of the crew in a key position proves of immense value on the ship.  This way it doesn’t take long for new men to get on to flying combat and to take their place in the formation as trained and experienced men.  This was the case with the crew of ship #1515 on today’s mission.

Lt. Riser and crew with the exception of the Ball Turret Gunner were recently transferred back from the 324th Squadron.  Less than a month ago, they were transferred to the 324th as a pathfinder crew, but were brought back when it was found they could be released from that squadron.

As all available combat crewmembers have been used for operational missions during the past several days, there has been but little done in the way of attendance at ground school.  It seems to have been on continuous “alert” since the 6th of June, “D” Day and every man, both from the air and the ground echelons, have had the one purpose in mind; to give all possible air support to the invasion troops.  How well they have succeeded in this, only time and history will tell. 

14 June 1944:  On the 14th, there was no operational mission scheduled.  Three ships flew a practice-bombing mission and dropped thirty 100-lb. Practice bombs.  Two ships flew locally. 

15 June 1944:  June 15th, an airdrome at Bordeaux, France, was bombed.  Results showed it was successfully bombed.  Eighteen ships from this squadron took part.  This number is quite large for one squadron.  All returned safely to base and there were no abortives.  Ships and crews taking part were:  Ship #7234, Capt. Ranzoni and crew; #2116, Lt. Grimmer and crew; #7040, Lt. Mosley and crew; #7540, Lt. Pickard and crew; #7173, Lt. Rider and crew; #7563, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7625, Lt. Maziarz and crew;  #7594, Lt. Sprinkle and crew. #1542, Lt. Stunf and crew; #911 (401st) Lt. Maxwell and crew; #7304, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #7276, Lt. Skupchak and crew; #7075, Lt. Kerr and crew; #7504, Lt. Miller and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #1909, Lt. Riser and crew; #2490, Capt. Reid and Lt. Col. Lewis P. Ensign and the “A” crew, in lead ship; #7956, Capt Sheriff and Col. Terry, Group Commander, and crew in lead ship, leading the wing.

16 June 1944:  On the 16th, there being no operational mission scheduled, an extensive training program on the ground was carried out.  Attendance was especially good considering the amount of operational flying that has been done during the past several days.

17 June 1944:  On the 17th, a mission was planned with Amiens, France as the target, but it was “scrubbed” due to adverse weather.

18 June 1944:  On the 18th, the dock area of Hamburg, Germany as successfully bombed.  This was the first mission against a target in Germany for the past while.  Combat crews, when starting to bomb the German’s own territory, expect more opposition than when they are attacking a target in another country.  Opposition today was more intense than usual.  Several of our ships returned with holes torn through them, mostly from flak.  Enemy fighters also made one sweep through our formation but they failed to get a single one of our ships.

Eighteen ships took part as follows:  #7304, Lt. Pryor and crew; #1542, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7234, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #7276, Lt. Braund and crew; #7851, Lt. Riser and crew; #7540, Lt. Pickard and crew; #7563, Lt. Stunf and crew; #2116, Lt. Burwick and crew; #7075, Lt. Kerr and crew; #7594, Lt. Sprinkle and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7625, Lt. Maziarz and crew; #7040, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #k7504, Lt. Col. Ensign and Lt. Morey, with a 323rd crew; #7173, Lt. Miller and crew; #7959, Lt. Sheriff and crew; #7956, Capt. Reid and the “A” crew in the lead ship.

Ship #7959 (401st) aborted soon after take-off due to mechanical failure.  Ship #7234, aborted, due to an error in navigation.  It was unable to get in the formation after climbing above the overcast. All ships returned safely.  There was no injury to any personnel.

19 June 1944:  The 19th found our ships on a mission with Cazaux, France, as the target.  There was an enemy airfield located there.   It was successfully bombed.  All ships returned safely and there were no abortives.  Ships on this mission as listed on the loading list are as follows:  Lt. Col Berry, Squadron Commander, and Capt. Sheriff, in #2490, leading the wing.  #2116, Lt. Burwick and crew; #7563, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #7504, Lt. Ransberger and crew; #7040, Lt. Pullen and crew; #7234, Lt. Braund and crew; #76725, Lt. Maziaarz and crew.  Enemy opposition was stronger than usual.  Our ships were considerably shot up.  Ship #7625 was so badly disabled that it hardly got back to England.  It was successfully brought to Exeter by the Pilot, Lt. Maziarz.  This was the second time this pilot has come back when all odds seemed against him. 

20 June 1944:  On the 20th, an oil refinery at Hamburg, Germany, was successfully bombed.  Twelve ships from this squadron took part:  #2116, Lt. Riser and crew; #7173, Lt. Miller and crew; #7304, Lt. Supchak and crew; #7504, Lt. Ransberger and crew; Lt. Stunf and crew in 7563; #7234, Lt. Peck and crew; #7540, Lt. Pickard and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7075, Lt. Rizer and crew; #7594, Lt. Braund and crew; #1542, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7956, Lt. Thomas and crew.  Enemy opposition from flak was heavy, however, all our ships returned and there were no abortives. 

21 June 1944:  On the 21st, a target in Berlin, Germany was bombed, results of which were considered successful.  Fifteen ships from this squadron took part as follows:  #7304, Lt. Burwick and crew; #7040, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #7069 (401st), Lt. Ransberger and crew; #7594, Lt. Pullen and crew; #7276, Lt. Supchak and crew; #7540, Lt. Pickard and crew; #1579, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7563, Lt. Rizer and crew; #7075, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #7879, (324th) Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7552, (401st) Lt. Stunf and crew; #8128, (324th) Lt. Braund and crew; #2116, Lt. Sprinkle and crew; #2509 (401st) Lt. Miller and crew; and #7061, (401st) Capt. Raid and the “A” crew leading the group.  On this mission, it was necessary for the squadron to borrow aircraft from other squadrons of the 91st group in order for so many crews to go on this mission.  All ships returned safely, and there were no abortives. 

22 June 1944:  On the 22nd our bombers attacked a target at Pont A Vendon, France.  This was what is known as a tactical target.  Results show that this mission was successful.  Our ships flew in the low group.  The six ships sent by this squadron were:  #2116, Lt. Braund and crew; #7563, Lt. Stunf and crew; #1909, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7594, Lt. Smith and crew; #7040, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #1636, Lt. Riser and crew.  All returned safely without loss.  There were no abortives. 

23 June 1944:  This date a target at Fleury, in Normandy, was the objective.  However, bombs were not dropped due to poor visibility.  All ships returned safely and there were no abortives.  Crews received credit for a mission which is classified as an abortive sortie.  Only three ships from this squadron took part, namely:  #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew, #7594, Lt. Pullen and crew; #7540, Lt. Smith and crew.

Effective at 2400 hours, the 20th of June, the policy regarding the completion of tours of operational flying by personnel was changed from thirty to thirty-five missions.  Full credit will be given for the tactical missions.  Credit for completion of tour for missions prior to 2400 hours, 20 June, 1944, will be given as a fraction of (30) I.E. for twenty four missions the credit toward completion will be 24/30 or 4/5, thus requiring 1/5 of 35, or 7 missions to complete tour.

Awards and decorations remain on same basis as previously.  Therefore, there was a considerable number of combat men who could be dropped from the roster immediately as having completed their tour.  This occasioned quite a bit of readjustment of crews to cope with the situation created by the new policy.  The men thus affected are remaining on the post temporarily until orders are received disposing of them.  Many have high hopes of getting to go back to the United States.  However, higher headquarters will determine this.

Upon completion of his tour of duty, Captain Kenneth T. McFarland, Jr. was relieved from duty as Squadron Operations Officer, and Captain William E. Reid was designated to do the job.  So was Capt. Weise, Squadron Navigator, and 1/Lt. McMahill was designated to take his place.  1/Lt. Sloat was detailed Squadron Bombardier, relieving Capt. Williams.  Captains, McFarland, Weiss and Williams completed their tours on the 5th of June, 1944.  All three were very efficient in the performance of their duties.  They will be reassigned to duty elsewhere.  Captain Weise went to the 12th replacement depot in preparation to going back to the United States.  Captain McFarland and Captain Williams wee assigned to duty with group operations.  The three officers who assumed their duties in the squadron are well trained men, so there was very little time lost in getting the missions organized as usual. 

June 20 1944:  On the mission of the 20th, S/Sgt. Sylvain S. Parisy, Tail Gunner on ship #2116 was quite severely wounded by a piece of flak which struck his hip and ranged upward toward his spine.  He is in the hospital recuperating.  His is the only wound received by personnel from this squadron during the month’s operational flying.  All personnel seem to have their fingers crossed in hope of keeping up with the good luck for the remaining seven days of the month.  So far, there have been no ships shot down during the month.  However, ship #7625 was so badly disabled by the enemy that it is doubtful if it ever takes part in another mission.

Two new crews reported for a tour of operational duty.  Individual names as follows:  Pilot, 2/Lt. Edward M. Corman; Copilot 2/Lt. Armand W. Pothier; Navigator, 2/Lt. Harry E. Law; Bombardier, 2/Lt. Frederick B. Wyatt, Jr.; Engineer, S/Sgt. Earl L. Jensen; Radio Operator, S/Sgt. Charles R. Macarthur; Gunners, Sgt. Nathan B. Hale; Sgt. Clifford E. Morton; Corp. William A. Newsom; PFC Charles C. Inhausen.  Pilot, 2/Lt. William H. Dietrich; Copilot, 2/Lt. William Koff; Navigator, 2/Lt. John B. Westberg; Bombardier, None; Engineer, S/Sgt. Gaiens C. Luther, Jr.; Radio Operator, S/Sgt. Arthur W. Rowe; Gunners, Sgt. Sam J. Cipolla; Sgt. Lloyd D. Gruber; Sgt. Richard D. Hallberg; Pvt. Carl W. Kaese. 

24 June 1944:  On the 24th, a railroad bridge at Distre NR. Samuar, France, was successfully bombed.  Thirteen ships from this organization participated:  Ship #7040, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #7563, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #1542, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #7276, Lt. Supchak and crew; #1636, Lt. Rizer and crew; #7075, Lt. Braund and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #2116, Lt. Miller and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7594, Lt. Berwick and crew; #7304, Lt. Sprinkle and crew; #7540, Lt. Pullen and crew; #2490, Lt. Riser and crew.  There were no abortives, and no member of the crews were insured.

25 June 1944:  On the 25th, Toulouse, France, where an enemy airfield is located, was bombed.  Twelve ships from the squadron participated.  They hit the target and returned to base without loss and there were no abortives.  Ships and their crews on this mission were: #7040, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew: #1542, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #7276, Lt. Supchak and crew; #1636, Lt. Rizer and crew, #7075, Lt. Braund and crew; #1909, Lt. Klinger and crew; #2116, Lt. Miller and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7594, Lt. Burwick and crew; #7563, Lt. Pullen and crew; #7956, Lt. Col. Berry, Capt. Raid, and the “A” crew in the lead ship leading the combat wing. 

26 June 1944:  On the 26th, there was a mission scheduled for Munich, Germany, as the target.  It did not materialize due to adverse weather conditions.  Considerable ground school work and training activities were carried out by crews who were not scheduled to fly on this mission.

27 June 1944:  Due to weather conditions, no operational flying was done on the 27th.  Ground school mostly consisted of lectures and “critique” meetings of flying officers.

28 June 1944:  A bridge at Anizy, France was partially destroyed by our bombers.  Again, twelve ships took part in the mission – two of them aborted.  Those completing the trip were:  Ship #7540, Lt. Pickard and crew; #7075, Lt. Braund and crew; #1542, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #7173, Lt. Miller and crew; #7040, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7594, Lt. Smith and crew; #7234, Lt. Peck and crew; #7504, Lt. Pullen and crew; #2490, Lt. Riser and crew.

Ship #7276 aborted.  It, too, was unable to stay in formation.  No. 4 engine was rough and throwing oil causing the pilot, Lt. Rizer to feather the prop.  It was considered an engineering abortive.

Ship #7563 aborted.  It was unable to stay in formation.  No. 2 engine three oil from top to bottom of nacelles thru cowl flaps.  This was considered an engineering abortive.

29 June 1944:  Nine ships of this squadron took part in a mission to Leipzig, Germany.  Due to adverse weather prevailing, the mission was recalled.  Ships were in the air for a period of four hours.  They did not get far enough into enemy territory for mission credit to be given to the personnel involved.

Two crews reported for a tour of operations duty as follows:  Pilot, 2/Lt. William L. Eblen; Copilot, 2/Lt. William R. Marler, Jr.; Navigator, 2/Lt. John C. Weisgarber; Bombardier, 2/Lt. Eugene F. Cunningham, Jr.; Engineer, S/Sgt. James B. Anderson; Radio Operator, Sgt. Donald C. Chamberlin; Gunners, Sgt. Horace W. Boone; Sgt. William J. Zauner, Jr.; Cpl. Morton Klein, Cpl. Charles D.  Forcum.  Pilot, 2/Lt. Oscar J. Snow,; Copilot, 2/Lt. Neils C. Jensen; No Navigator; Bombardier, 2/Lt. Robert C. Fitzpatrick; Engineer, S/Sgt. Floyd E. Johnson, Jr., Radio Operator; Sgt. Francis J. Dietzler; Gunners, Sgt. Stanley E. Morris; Cpl. Robert J. Paces; Sgt. Thomas D. Walsh; and Cpl. Walter E. Poulson.

A total of thirteen new crews reported for a tour of duty during the month.  Some of them have already participated in operational missions.

30 June 1944:  There was no mission scheduled for the 30th.  Ground school and training activities were carried out.  Also, it was pay day for both officers and enlisted men.

June 25, 1944:  Three crews reported for a tour of operational duty, namely:  Pilot, 2/Lt. Arvin O. Basnight; Copilot, 2/Lt. William T. Smith; Navigator, 2/Lt. Nelson J. Fineman; Sgt. Charles W. Collins, Engineer, Sgt. Robert N. Truax, Radio Operator; Gunners – Sgt. Bruno Preteroti, Sgt. Odell A. Davis, Sgt. Henry H. Ray, and PFC Jean P. Gendron.

Pilot, 2/Lt. Rexford T. Boggs; Copilot, 2/Lt. Edward W. Splawinski; Navigator, 2/Lt. Frank S. Quincy; Engineer, S/Sgt. William H. Olsen; Radio Operator, George C. Dacey; Gunners; Sgt. Bernard F. Scharf; Sgt. Clemith B. Lamen; and Sgt. Clifford C. White.

Pilot, F/O, Donald F. Bridwell; Copilot, 2/Lt. Forrest B. Drewry; Navigator, 2/Lt. Robert W. Ward; Engineer, S/Sgt. Robert L. Phelps; Bombardier, 2/Lt. Milton Bastwirth; Radio Operator, Sgt. Shasten L. Bowen; Gunners - S/Sgt. Clarence A. Gluck; Sgt. Raymond W. Paul, Sgt. James F. Zeiser, Sgt. George Sherman.

Due to a record number of missions flown during the month, many individuals completed their tours of duty.  They are still on the field, awaiting assignment to duty elsewhere.  With replacement crews coming in all the time and none being transferred out, there has been a difficult housing problem for solution.  It has not caused a hardship on anyone except the inconvenience of reshuffling personnel from one place to another in attempts to make more room for incoming personnel. 

Two hundred fourteen sorties were flown during the month without loss of ships or any casualties except that of S/Sgt. Parisy on the 20th.  The record of abortives was remarkably low for the number of sorties flown.  There were only six for the entire month.  In regard to battle damage to the ships, #7625 was so severely damaged on the mission of the 19th that it was taken off ops.

The squadron participated in twenty-three operational missions during the period of June 2 to 28th, inclusive although, the majority of them were tactical targets and considered easy in comparison to harder ones at Schweinfurt, Berlin, Bremen and others, it is still true that a record amount of work was done by the squadron.  The devoted and persistent effort of the ground crews of the ships and that of all ground personnel made it possible for our combat men to stay in the air and achieve a record of which any organization may well be proud.

This was the month of months in this war.  The 6th being “D-Day” when our troops broke into western Europe for the final showdown.  The sense of getting this done successfully, tended to affect the morale of the men as a whole.  Members of the squadron feel their part in a tremendous event, and though it may be a small part in comparison to the total effort of the entire USAAF, this squadron has had a chance to show what can be done and has done it well.

323rd. JULY 1944 as prepared by Capt. Lawrence E. Baird

 

1 thru 3, July 1944:  There were no operational missions.  Combat Personnel engaged in ground school and training activities.  On the 2nd, five ships flew locally, three hours each, and seven ships flew local formation, locally, for three hours each.

 

4 July 1944:  On the 4th, there was a mission with a railroad bridge over the Loire River as the objective.  Weather conditions were poor for bombing, 10/10 clouds.  Ships returned without dropping their load.  This was considered an abortive sortie.  No ships were lost from the number taking part as follows:  Ship #7040, Lt. Peck and crew; #7173, F/O Fore and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7540, Lt. Smith and crew; #7304, Lt. Bruce and crew; #2490, Lt. Riser and crew.

Crews not flying on this date attended ground school and participated in training activities.

 

5 July 1944:  Weather conditions continued poor on the 5th.  No mission was flown and crews engaged in training activities.

 

6 July 1944:  There was a mission on this date.  Squadron ships flew in the lead group and bombed a ”Target of Opportunity” near Aire, France.  Results considered unsuccessful.  Weather conditions continued poor.  Ships on this mission were:  #7173, Lt. Miller and crew; #7304, F/O Fore and crew; #7540, Lt. Bruce and crew; #7075, Lt. Braund and crew; #1909, Lt Dietrich and crew; #7563, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #7040, Lt. Peck and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7504, Lt. Riser and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew.

All returned safely, without loss of personnel and there were no abortives.

 

  7 July 1944:  On the 7th, there was a mission against targets in Germany, Leipzig and Kollenda.  Due to poor visibility, bombing was not considered successful.  There were seven ships from this squadron listed as follows:  #7173, Lt. Peck and crew; #7276, Lt. Bruce and crew; #7504, Lt. Pullen and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7304, Lt. Burwick and crew; #7956, Lt. Riser and crew.  All returned safely.  There were no abortives.

 

8 July 1944:  On the 8th, targets in France were attacked at Crepieul and Etaples.  The “A” Group bombing Crepieul, did not drop bombs.  Theirs was an abortive sortie.  The “B” group successfully bombed Etaples, a target of opportunity. Six ships from this organization took part as follows:  #7304, Lt. Supchak and crew; #7234, Lt. Burwick and crew;  #7276, Lt. Bruce and crew; #7173, F/O Fore and crew; #2116, Lt. Bascom P. Smith and crew; and #1579, Lt. O’Toole and crew.  There were no abortives.  All returned safely except one ship, #7173; it disappeared.  As yet, it is not known how it became lost, unless it was the ship that was seen to “Blow Up” in mid-air.  Some individual members of crews reported this occurrence on other ships.  Crew members “Missing in Action” are:  F/O James W. Fore, Pilot; 2/Lt. Donald F. Bridwell, Copilot; 2/Lt. Robert W. Ward, Navigator; 2/Lt. Milton Castwirth, Bombardier; S/Sgt. Robert N. Phelps, Engineer; Sgt. Bernhard F. Schapf, Flexible Gunner; Sgt. Chasten L. Bowen, Radio Operator; Sgt. George Sherman, Ball Turret Gunner; and Sgt. James F. Zeiser, Tail Gunner.  With exception of F/O Fore, this crew was on its first mission.  All appeared to be well qualified and trained.  It is another instance of the fact that losses will occur.  This was the twenty-fifth mission for F/O Fore.

 

9 July 1944:    Target at Crepieul, France was again the objective for attack on the 9th.  Due to adverse weather, 10/10 clouds, bombs were not dropped.  Six ships took part as follows: (#____),  Lt. Supchak and crew; #7504, Lt. Pullen and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #2116, Lt. Snow and crew; #7304, Lt. Eblen and crew; Capt. Reid and Lt. Pickard in Lead Ship with the “A” Crew.  All ships returned safely.  However, T/Sgt. Michael J. Hettler was severely wounded in the arm by flak.  He is now in the hospital.  Although enemy fighters do not offer as much opposition as formerly, their anti-aircraft, flak remains intense and accurate.  Ships still return quite badly damaged by it.

 

10 July 1944:   There was no mission on the 10th.  The one scheduled was scrubbed due to adverse weather conditions.  Ground school and training activities were carried out on a limited scale by crewmembers not scheduled for the mission.  So far in the month, weather conditions have not been at all favorable to operational flying. 

 

11 July 1944:  On July the 11th, Munich, Germany, was attacked.  Bombing was done with PFF equipment thru 10/10 overcast, so results were unobserved.  Six ships from this squadron participated. All returned safely and no personnel was injured.  There were no abortives.  Ships taking part are listed:  #7562, (324th) Lt. Col. Milton; Capt. Reid and crew, in the lead ship with the “A” crew, #7632, (324th) Lt. Supchak and crew; #7594, Lt. Burwick and crew; #1900, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #7540, Lt. Basnight and crew; #1542, Lt. O’Toole and crew.  The first two ships were borrowed from the 324th squadron, as they were equipped for PFF Bombing.  Also bombardiers from that squadron went along to work the equipment.  Bombs were aimed at the center of the enemy’s industrial area in and around Munich.

Crews not participating in the mission carried out Ground School and training activities.

 

12 July 1944:  The same target was attacked on the 12th; except the objectives were more specific.  It was in the area measured in yards, 3000 x 5000.  Bombs were dropped by PFF as on the day before due to overcast.  Nine of our ships took part:  #7563, Lt. Stunf and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #1542, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #7234, Major Taylor and crew; #7594, Lt. Basnight and crew; #2116, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7040, Lt. Snow and crew; #7304, Lt. Riser and crew; #7075, Lt. Braund and crew.  All returned safely, without injuries to ships or personnel.  Ship #7234 aborted as formation was beginning to climb.   No. 2 engine began showing signs of excessive roughness.  In a short time the engine began to throw oil from underneath the cowl flaps.  Pilot continued operation of the engine for about one and a half minutes at which time the condition became apparently worse.  The engine was feathered.  Power setting at time of failure, 37 inches 2300 RPM.  In view of the gross weight at time of difficulty and the expected depth of penetration, the pilot’s opinion was that the ship would not be able to maintain formation for the extended length of time a, and returned to base.  Bombs were brought back.  It was found that No. 2 engine failed internally.  There were metal chips on cuno and the oil was coming out of the breathers in excessive quantity.

 

13 July 1944:  Again, the same target was attacked on the 13th.  This squadron sent eleven ships as follows:  #7040, Lt. Peck and crew; #7504, Lt. Dietrich and crew;  #7563, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7594, Lt. Pullen and crew; #7540, Major Taylor and crew; #1636, Lt. Boggs and crew; #7304, Lt. Supchak and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #1542, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #2116, Lt. Basnight and crew; #1515, (324th) Lt. Eblen and crew. Bombing was done by PFF and results were unobserved due to 10/10 overcast.  All crews returned safely and there were no abortives.

Enemy fighter opposition was not strong.  American Fighters escorted bombers on this and the previous two missions against Munich.  However, Flak from anti-aircraft guns still remains quite effective so some of our ships returned with holes torn thru them.  By use of flak suits, personnel escape serious injury.  All personnel on the ship except the top turret and the ball turret gunners wear these.  It is not practical to wear them in these positions due to the lack of space in the turrets.  The top turret gunner does wear a flak helmet.

Flak suits are now being kept in the operations department where the men can come in and get them when starting on a mission and they bring them back to assigned places upon return.

Due to adverse weather conditions no operational flying was accomplished on the 14th and 15th.  Ground school and training activities were carried out by all crewmembers remaining on the base.  Individuals who have been flying for the past several missions were permitted to go on pass if they chose.

The following is an addition to the 13th that  was added on at the end of the month: On the mission of the 13th, Sgt. Henry H. Ray suffered a broken ankle.  He was serving as waist gunner on ship #2116, which aborted due to malfunction of #1 engine.

 

15 July 1944:  On the 15th, a new crew reported for duty with the squadron.  However, before they are available, they have to take approximately three weeks additional training as they came directly from the United States.  Crewmembers reporting were:  Pilot, 2/Lt. James E. Faris; Copilot, 2/Lt. Richard L. White; Navigator, 2/Lt. Norman L. Passeger; Bombardier, 2/Lt. Arcangelo Carlini; Gunners; S/Sgt. Robert L. Taylor, Sgt. Claude E. Harper;, Sgt. Paul E. Vinecourt, Sgt. William Weigle; Cpl. Theodore Knapp; and Cpl. Melvin F. Wagner

 

16 July 1944:  On the 16th, the center of the factory area in Munich, Germany, was bombed.  This was done by means of PFF so results were unobserved.  Ten ships participated:  Ship #7562 (324th) Lt. Col. Berry, Squadron Commander, and Capt. William W. Riser, Jr., Operations Officer and the “A” crew in the lead ship; #7632 (324th) Lt. Peck and crew; #7540, Major Taylor and crew; #1542, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #1636, Lt. Boggs and crew; #7504, Lt. Pullen and crew; #7276, Lt. Supchak and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7040, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7594, Lt. Burwich and crew.  All ships and crews returned safely.  There was one abortive. Ship #1579 aborted.  Ball Turret gunner complained of extreme pain and paralysis on right side of the face immediately upon reach 16,000 ft. altitude.  Pilot examined him and found right side of face swelling.  He stayed with formation for another hour.  Condition of ball turret gunner became worse, so the ship returned to base.

Ground school and training activities were carried out by crewmembers not flying on this mission.

 

17 July 1944:  There was no mission this date.  Weather was unfavorable for Operational Flying

 

18 July 1944: On the 18th, Aircraft works at Peenemunde, Germany was attacked.  This is considered an important aviation center for the enemy.  Bombing results were good and the target is listed as partially destroyed.  Ten ships from this squadron participated as follows: #7563, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7594, Lt. Burwick and crew; #7276, Lt. Riser and crew; #7040, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #1579, Lt. Boggs and crew; #7540, Lt. Eblen and crew; #1542 Lt. Supchak and crew, #7234, Lt. O’Toole and crew, #2116, Lt. Basinger and crew, #1636, Lt. Corman and crew, #1636.   All ships returned safely to base.  There was one abortive.  Ship #7563 aborted.  No. 2 engine was exceedingly rough, threw oil and oil pressure dropped to 40.  Smoke poured out of engine.  Engine was feathered while at 6,000 ft.  Climb had not been started.  Ground inspection showed one of the cylinders was badly damaged by failure of piston rod.  No. 2 engine blew a cylinder. On this mission, enemy flak was found intense and accurate.

Three new crews reported for a tour of duty with this organization.  The following personnel reported as listed:  2/Lt. Cecil G. McConnell, Pilot; 2/Lt. Warren T. Smith, Copilot; 2/Lt. Charles C. Funk, Jr., Navigator; 2/Lt. Alfred J. Dobrowitz, Bombardier; Gunners; S/Sgt. George F. Merritt; Sgt. Whienhot Strecker; Sgt. Alfas E. Nichols; S/Sgt. Frank L. Panek; Sgt. James J. Matthews, Jr.; Sgt. Marion C. Hoffman.

2/Lt. Robert J. Flint, Pilot; 2/Lt. Howard C. Donahue, Copilot; 2/Lt. Roy C. Wentz, Navigator; 2/Lt. Anthony A. Japak, Bombardier; Gunners:  S/Sgt. Raymond E. Bisson; S/Sgt. Doyle E. Humphrey; Sgt. Bertel E. Larson; Sgt. Emanuele Contartino; Sgt Gladyes V. Wallace, Jr.; Sgt. Michael Fenchak.

2/Lt. David R. Hettema, Pilot; 2/Lt. Milton H. Russum, Copilot; 2/Lt. Glade N. Stephenson, Navigator; 2/Lt. Stuart C. Fitzgerald, Bombardier; Gunners:  Robert A. Marquis; Reid B. Otte; Sgt. Robert M. Pope; S/Sgt. William L. Lothian; Sgt. Richard L. Hutton; Sgt. John C. Portner.

 

19 July 1944:  On the 19th, an Airfield at Lechfeld, Germany, was bombed.  Results as observed show that this mission was successful.  Twelve ships from this squadron took part:  Ship #7040, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7625, Lt. Snow and crew; #1579, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7504, Lt. Pullen and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew;   #7276, Lt. Riser and crew; #7075, Lt. Braund and crew; #1542, Lt. Burwick and crew; #1636, Lt. Boggs and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #2490, Lt. Pickard and the “A” crew in lead ship.  There were no abortives.

Ship #7075 and #1542 were involved in an accident in which they ran together in Mid-air.  Both ships and their crews are missing.  It is believed that ship #7075 crash-landed in Switzerland.  Ship #1542 was seen going down hopelessly out of control.  Crew of ship #7075 was as follows:  Pilot, 2/Lt. Cyril J. Braund; Copilot, 2/Lt. John Sykes, Jr.; Navigator, 2/Lt. Kenneth M. Boltz; Bombardier; 2/Lt. John Grubka; Engineer, T/Sgt. Donald J. McBey; Waist Gunner, Sgt. Carl C. McCarrell; Radio Operator, T/Sgt. William W. Bridges; Ball Turret Gunner, Sgt. Robert W. Lockard; Tail Gunner, Sgt. Clifford G. Johnson.

Crew of ship #1542:  Pilot 2/Lt. Normand N. Burwick; Copilot, 2/Lt. Frank J. Way; Navigator, 1/Lt. Carl Sanders; Bombardier, 1/Lt. Albert R. Steelhammer; Engineer, T/Sgt. David M. Cotton; Waist Gunner, S/Sgt. Henry S. Carlson; Radio Operator, T/Sgt. George R. Beltz; Ball Turret Gunner; S/Sgt., Melvina A. Gemmell; Tail Gunner, Sgt. Gordon D. Smith.  This was an experienced crew.  Lt. Steelhammer was on his last mission to complete his tour of thirty-one.  Other members had a high number toward completion of their tours.

 

20 July 1944:  Leipzig, Germany, where their ME-109 Assembly Plant is located, was successfully bombed on the 20th.  According to figures on the subject, this was the 200th Mission in which this squadron has participated.  Twelve ships from this squadron participated as follows:  #7304, Lt. Supchak and crew; #1579, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7540, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7504, Lt. Pullen and crew; #1636, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7276, Lt. Riser and crew ; #7594, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7956, Capt. Reid and crew in lead ship.  All ships of this squadron returned safely to base and there were no abortives.

 

Enemy fighters made a furious attack on our formation.  Approximately eight ships of the group were lost, but our squadron was lucky in not losing any.  It was by far the roughest mission experienced by this group for several months.  Enemy flak was also heavy and accurate.

 

Shortly after the ships landed, there was a serious accident that marred our good luck for the day.  M/Sgt. Lewis Katona was riding a bicycle and somehow rode into the path of a B-17 airplane as it was being taxied by M/Sgt. Olen K. Leathers.  He was instantly killed.  This was a shock to the entire squadron.  M/Sgt. Katona was assistant line chief and had been with the squadron since it was at McDill Field, Florida.  Many members of the 91st Bomb Group attended his funeral.  He was buried in the cemetery near Cambridge.  This was the first fatality by accident among the ground personnel of the squadron.

 

21 to 23 1944:  There was no operational flying done due to adverse weather conditions.  Ground school and training activities were carried out.  There were several local flights and practice bombing.

 

24 July 1944:  On the 24th, a tactical target at St. Lo., France, was bombed.  This was successfully done.  Sixteen ships from this squadron participated as follows:  #7040, Major Taylor and crew; #7234, Lt. Stunf and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7913, Lt. Snow and crew; #7276, Lt. Riser and crew; #7304, Lt. Supchak and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #7594, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #1673, (322nd) Lt. Eblen and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #8128 (324th) Lt. Basinger and crew; #7956, Lt. Peck and crew; #7504, Lt. Pullen and crew.  All ships returned safely to base.

Ship #7234, aborted soon after takeoff.

 

Two new crews reported for a tour of duty, namely, Pilot, 1/Lt. Hubert F. Donohue; Copilot, 2/Lt. Jerome E. Sweet; Navigator, 2/Lt. Donald J. Wellings; Bombardier, 2/Lt. Alan C. Hillman; Gunners:  S/Sgt. John N. Cardiff; S/Sgt. George G. Turner; Sgt. Louis A. Ward; Sgt. Jimmy L. McClintock; Sgt. James E. Wilson; Sgt. Adam M. Foti.

 

1/Lt. John W. O’Neil, Pilot; 2/Lt. William J. Duffy, Copilot; Navigator, 2/Lt. Wayne B. Frye; Bombardier, 2/Lt. James J. Hoffman; Gunners;  Cpl. Vernon T. Beaman; Sgt. William N. Hollenbaugh; Cpl. Edward J. Dobrinski; Cpl. Bruce J. Johnson; Cpl. Claude A. McCarter; Cpl. Marvin B. Robinson.

 

25 July, 1944:  On the 25th, the tactical target a St. Lo., France was again bombed.  This time it was successful.  Also, sixteen ships from this squadron participated as follows:  #7913, Lt. Stunf and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #6083, (322nd) Lt. Eblen and crew; #7594, Major Taylor and crew; #1515 (324th) Lt. Snow and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #6126 (322nd) Lt. Basinger and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #7304, Lt. Supchak and crew; #8012 (324th) Lt. Riser and crew; #7504, Lt. Huffman and crew; #7596, Lt. Pickard and crew; #2490, Brig. Gen. Gross, with Lt. O’Toole and crew.  All ships returned safely and there were no abortives.

Several ships were borrowed from other squadrons so as to enable as many of our crews as possible to participate in this mission.

 

26 & 27 July 1944:  During the period of the 26th and 27th, inclusive, there were no operational missions, so all personnel engaged in ground school activities.  Local flying and practice bombing was done when weather conditions were favorable and bombing ranges were open.

 

28 July 1944::   The primary target was Taucha, Germany, but the formation bombed a target of opportunity.  This was successfully done.  Twelve ships of this squadron participated:  Ship #7562 (324th) Lt. Col. Berry, Squadron Commander, and Capt. Thompson, Ass’t Group Operations Officer, with the “A” crew in lead ship; #7632 (324th) Lt. Stunf and crew; #7276, Lt. Riser and crew; #7504, Lt. Pullen and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7040, Major Taylor and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7304, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7594, Lt. Kennedy and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew.  All ships and their crews returned safely to base. 

Ship #2116 aborted.  Primer line from #3 booster pump was leaking excessively with booster pumps on.  There was still a small leak with #3 booster off.  The ship came back and the crew took off in a spare airplane in an attempt to catch the formation and complete the mission, but they were unable to do so.

Ground school and training activities were carried out by crewmembers remaining on the ground.

 

29 July 1944:  A synthetic oil plant at Merseburg, Germany, was attacked.  Specific target was the center of the compressor house located in the very center of the target area.  This target was hit.  The mission considered very successful.  Ten of our ships took part:  Ships, #7304, Lt. Supchak and crew. #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #2504, Lt. Huffman and crew; #1909, Lt Pullen and Crew; #7625, Lt. Erlen and crew; #7234, Lt. Snow and crew:  #7276, Lt. Riser and crew; #7956, Lt. Pickard and crew in lead ship.  All returned safely to base without loss, and there were no abortives.

 

30 July 1944:  No operational mission was flown.  Ground school as scheduled.  Day passes were given those men who have been flying on the last several missions.

 

31 July 1944: Ships from this field bombed Munich, Germany.  Our squadron sent twelve:  # 7304, Lt. Supchak and crew; #7540, Lt. Corman and crew; #7504, Lt. Hettema and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #1579, Lt. McConnell and crew; #6293 (401st) Lt. Basinger and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #1336, Lt. Boggs and crew; #8144 (401st) Lt. Riser and crew; #7984 (401st) Lt. Mullins and crew; #2490, Lt. Peck and crew.  There were no abortives.  One ship and crew failed to return.

 

Ship #7304 was badly damaged by flak.  When last seen, it was apparently under control and headed toward Switzerland.  It is believed it reached that country and that all members of the crew had a reasonable chance of being saved.  Members of the crew were:  Pilot, 1/Lt. Henry W. Supchak; Copilot, 1/Lt. John S. Karlac; Navigator; 2/Lt. Nelson J. Fineman; Bombardier, 1/Lt. Wilson Leahy; Engineer, T/Sgt. Anthony J. Skorpic; Waist Gunner S/Sgt. Lewis F. Wetzel; Radio Operator T/Sgt. Luigi L. Lentini; Ball Turret Gunner, S/Sgt. Guy W. LaRocco; Tail Gunner, S/Sgt. William C. Shepherd.  This was a well-trained Crew.

 

Planes Destroyed:  On the 20th, the enemy sent up fighters in a determined effort to break up our formation.  Our gunners have the following claims confirmed for destroyed;  probably destroyed or damaged enemy aircraft:  S/Sgt. Howard D. Van Cleave, TG – destroyed one FW-190.  The following have probably destroyed one each – FW-190’s; S/Sgt. Robert L. Newman, S/Sgt. Gaines C. Luther; T/Sgt. Robert S. Quilty, 2/Lt. Eugene F. Cunningham; and Sgt. Sam J. Cipolla, Also S/Sgt. Mabry D. Barker; S/Sgt. Guy W. LaRocco; S/Sgt. Irwin Feldman; and Sgt. Charles D. Forcum, are credited with having damaged either a FW-120 or and ME-109.

 

Approximately one hundred seventy five sorties were flown during the month, and four airplanes were lost with their crews missing in action.

 

Once each week all enlisted men of the squadron participated in discussion groups for a period of one hour.  The subject or rather object of these meetings is to enable all personnel to become better informed about current questions of the day both military and civilian.

 

So ends another month of activity for the squadron in the E.T.O.

323rd Daily Reports, August 1944: By Capt. Laurence E. Baird:

1 August 1944: Bombers from this base attacked an Airfield at Chartes, France.  Squadron sent four:  Ship #7913, Lt. Stunf and crew, 7040, Lt. Kennedy and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; and #7504, Lt. Hettema and crew.  The latter aborted thirty minutes after takeoff.  No. 2 engine cut out in climb. 
Bombing results prove that the mission was successful.

2 August 1944:  There was no mission on the 2nd.  Ground school and training activities were engaged in on a limited scale.

3 August 1944:  Nord Marshalling Yards at Mulhouse, France, was successfully bombed on the 3rd.  Twelve ships from this squadron participated: #7625, Lt. Stunf and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #1909, Lt. Huffman and crew; #7887, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow and crew; #2116, Lt. Faris and crew; #1636, Lt. Kennedy and crew; #7540, Lt. Hettema and crew; #7276, Lt. Rizer and crew; #7504, Lt. McConnell and crew; #7040, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7956, Col. Terry, Group Commander, & Lt. Pickard and crew in lead ship.
Ships #1909, #7276. and #7040 returned to base after having been subjected to enemy flak.  It is thought that all crews were credited with a mission.  All other ships returned safely.

4 August 1944:  On the fourth, an Electrolytic Hydrogen-Peroxide Plant at Peenemunde, Germany, was successfully bombed. Ten ships from this organization took part:  Ships #2490, Lt. Pickard and crew (A), in the lead ship; #7913, Lt. Pullen & crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #7234, Lt. Huffman & crew; #7594, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7887, Lt. Donohue and crew; #7563, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #1579, Lt. Kennedy and crew; #1636, Lt. McConnell and crew. All ships and personnel returned safely.  There were no aborts.  Enemy opposition was not severe.  Ships, as usual, were escorted by American Fighters.

5 August 1944:  On the 5th, an underground oil storage plant at Nienburg Germany, was attacked. Results show that the mission was successful.  Eleven ships from this squadron took part as follows:  #7913, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7625, Lt. Hettema and crew, #7234, Lt. Eblen and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7553, Lt. Snow and crew; #7030, Lt. Donohue and crew; #7887, Lt. Rizer and
crew; #205 (401st), Lt.   Kennedy and crew; #7594, Lt. Faris and crew; #1673 (322nd), Lt. Huffman and crew; #7956, Lt. Peck and crew.  There were no abortives.  All ships and personnel returned safely.

6 August 1944:  On the 6th, Brandenburg, Germany (a double building in target area) was attacked by bombers from this field.  However, for that day, this squadron was stood down, this being the policy of the group to “stand down” one squadron each mission.  The one stood down is identified as a “spare” and does not send any ships unless there is a need to complete a formation.  On this mission, one of our ships took part:  Ship #7913, Lt. Donohue and crew. They returned safely.  When a particular crew- member has been on three missions on the same number of days in succession, he is given a forty-eight hour  pass, if conditions warrant it. The crew flying on this mission was eligible and had their pass.

7 August 1944:  On the 7th, an Airdrome in France  (Bourron-Marlotte) was successfully bombed by ships from this field.  Twelve ships from this organization took part; #7956, Capt. Pickard and the ”A” crew in lead ship. Capt. Thompson,   from group operations, also went in this ship; #7504, Lt. Hettema and crew; #2116, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #6308 (322nd), Lt. McConnell and crew; #7594, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #7887, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #2490, Lt. Huffman and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow and crew; #7040, Lt. Eblen and crew; and #7625, Lt. Stunf and crew.  All ships returned safely.

8 August 1944:  On the 8th, enemy troop concentrations or gun emplacements S.E. of Bretteville Sur-Laize, France were bombed successfully.  Thirteen ships from this squadron took part:  #7956, Capt. Pickard and the “A” crew leading; #7504, Lt. Pullen and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7563, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #7594, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7040, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #8035 (401st), Lt. Rizer and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7234, Lt. Faris and crew; #7913, Lt. Huffman and crew; #7887, Lt. Hettema and crew.  There were no abortives.

9 August 1944:  On the 9th, Camp Elsenborn, Belgium, was successfully bombed.  Again thirteen of our ships participated:  #7956, Capt. Peck and crew leading; #7887, Lt. McConnell and  crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7563, Lt. Faris and crew; #7540, Lt. Rizer and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #7276, Lt. Donohue and crew; #7040, Lt. Flint and crew; #7913, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7205 (324th) Lt. O’Neil and crew; #2490, Lt. Kennedy and crew.  All ships and personnel returned safely.
Ship #7276 aborted. At an altitude of 14,000 Ft., No. 2 prop ran away.  The pilot tried to change it by use of pitch control, but it only made it more and R.P.M. stuck at 2500 R.P.M. with  throttle completely back.  In losing altitude, prop ran up to 3,000 R.P.M.; engine ran extremely rough and vibrated, so he feathered engine and returned to base.

10 August 1944:  There was no mission scheduled.  Ground school and training activities were carried out by all personnel.  This consisted largely of critiques and lectures based on information gained from the previous several missions flown.

11 August 1944: The squadron was “stood down” in its turn. Other squadrons in the group raided troop concentrations and or gun emplacements at Brest, France.  Our crews engaged in training activities.

12 August 1944:  The center of an enemy airfield at Buc, France, was successfully bombed on the 12th.  13 of our ships took part:  All returned safely to base without loss.  Enemy fighter opposition gave our crews little trouble. Their difficulty is the flak. It continues heavy and accurate at times.  Our ships were:  #7040, Lt. Stunf and crew; #1579, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #7276, Lt. Rizer and crew; #7563, Lt.   Snow and crew; #7887, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7504, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #2116, Lt. Faris and crew; #7625, Lt. Donohue and crew; #1636, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7234, Lt. Basnight and crew; #6308 (322nd), Lt. Hettema and crew; #7956, Capt. Thompson, Group Operations, and Lt. Boggs and the “A” crew in the lead ship.  There were no abortives.

13 August 1944:  A railroad bridge at Le Manior, France, was bombed.  Results show this was very successfully accomplished.  Our ships participating were: #7594, Lt. O’Toole and crew; #8083, Lt. Huffman and crew; #7887, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7504, Lt. Faris  and crew; #7276, Lt. Rizer and crew; #7040, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7993 (401st), Lt. Dietrich and crew; #2490, Lt. Donohue and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow and crew; #7956, Capt. Pickard and the “A” crew leading.  All thirteen ships and their crews returned to base without loss and there were no abortives. Ground school and training activities were carried out by members remaining on the ground. This consists of mostly radio training for the Radio Operators and use of the skeet range and synthetic trainers for the gunners. Pilots and copilots take link trainer.  Bombardiers study navigation and they also study “G”.

14 August 1944:  Airdrome at Metz/Frescaty, France was bombed on the 14th with good results.  Twelve ships from this squadron took part: #7276, Lt. Stunf and crew; #7887, Lt. Hettema and crew; #1636, Lt. Kennedy and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7040, Lt. Flint and crew; #2116, Lt. McConnell and crew; #7625, Lt. Helfrich & crew; #2490, Lt. Huffman and crew; #8083, Lt. Stevens and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #7913, Capt. Pickard and the “A” crew, leading. All returned safely to base without loss, and there were no abortives.

15 August 1944:  On the 15th, squadron was “stood down” in its turn.  A limited ground school was scheduled and was carried out.  Time was spent in various meetings and study of information  gained on the past missions flown during the preceding four days. Off duty passes were issued to the men who could be spared so as to enable them to look after their personal interests.

16 August 1944:  On the 16th, an aircraft factory at Halle, Germany, was bombed. Results, as ascertained, show the bombing as being fair.  Twelve ships from this organization took part as follows:  #7632 (324th) Lt. Col. Berry, Squadron Commander, and the “A” crew in the lead ship; #7754 (324th), Lt. O’Toole and crew; #1579, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7887, Lt. Hettema and crew; #7234, Lt. Basinger and crew; #7276, Lt. McConnell and crew; #2116, Lt. Eblen and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #2490, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #8083, Lt. Donohue and crew; #6298 (322nd) Lt. Basnight and crew; and #1636, Lt. Faris and crew. 
Enemy opposition was very strong in comparison with his previous efforts to stop us in the past few months.  T/Sgt. Carl A. Dickson, Engineer and S/Sgt. Mabry D. Barkerm, Tail Gunner, both flying on ship #1579, were wounded by flak. 

There was an attack by enemy fighters, which caused considerable losses to other squadrons in the group.  All our ships got back safely, though quite badly battered up.  Our crews felt lucky in getting back as well as they did. Battle honors were awarded the 1st Bombardment Division, by Section XI, War Department General Orders No. 50, 17 June, 1944, for extraordinary heroism, determination and esprit de corps, in bombing the heavily  defended German aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany, on  11 January, 1944.  This is a very high honor and ranks with the DSC for individual heroism.  It will be recalled that this squadron sent seven ships on that mission, one of which was lost and the crew carried as “missing in action,” and that our gunners accounted for six enemy fighters destroyed and two damaged by our gunners. All personnel, both ground and air, are entitled to wear the citation ribbon as a permanent part of their uniform, if they were with the organization on that date. 

Personnel, who joined it after then, are authorized to wear it during their period of duty with the squadron.

17 to 23 August 1944:  During the period, August 17th to 23rd, inclusive, there was no operational flying done due to adverse weather conditions in the area that would have been under attack.  Ground school and training activities were carried out by all personnel.  Several local flights and practice bombing were carried out.

24 August 1944:  On the 24th, an enemy airdrome at Kollenda, Germany, was successfully bombed.  On that date, this squadron sent fourteen ships and crews. All of them returned safely  without injury to personnel and with only minor battle damage to the ships.  They are listed as follows:  #7913, Lt. Boggs and the “A” crew leading the group; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow and crew; #8083, Lt. Donohue and crew; #7594, Lt. Helfrich and crew; #2116, Lt. Hoffman and crew; #7040, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #1636, Lt. Kennedy and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7234, Lt. Stevens
and crew; #7707 (322nd), Lt. Rizer and crew; #2490, Lt. O’Neil  and crew; and #7887, Lt. Hettema and crew; Ship #2116 aborted before reaching the enemy territory due to difficulty with oil pressure in No. 3 engine.

25 August 1944:  On the 25th, an enemy airfield at Neubrandenburg, Germany, was successfully bombed.  This squadron sent thirteen ships and their crews are listed as follows:  #7913, Lt. Pullen, Major Taylor, and the ”A” crew in the lead ship; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #2490, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #7887, Lt. Hettema and crew; #1636, Lt. Kennedy and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #7594, Lt. Stevens and crew; #7040, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7563, Lt. Corman and crew; #7504, Lt. Faris and crew; #7276, Lt. Huffman and crew; #8083, Lt. Donohue and crew.  All returned safely and there were no abortives.

26 August 1944:  This squadron was “stood down” on the 26th, so did not participate in the mission against the aircraft factory  at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Our crews engaged in ground school and training operations which consisted of critiques on the previous missions flown.

27 August 1944:  On the 27th, Berlin, Germany was the target, but due to weather conditions there, bombs were dropped on  Heligoland, Germany.  Twelve of our ships took part. All returned safely.  Our squadron led the combat wing on this mission. Ships and crews taking part were:  #7562 (324th), Lt. Col. Berry, Squadron Commander, and the “A” crew, Leading; #7594, Lt. McConnell and crew; #1909, Lt. Eblen and crew; #2490, Lt. Corman and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow and crew; #7887, Lt. Hettema and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7504, Lt. Faris and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #8083,
Lt. Harris and crew; and #7754 (324th) Lt. Rizer and crew.  The two ships borrowed from the 324th squadron were equipped for PFF bombing.  Mickey operators from that squadron also went along.  They carry no Ball Turret Gunners. Results of bombing was considered fair.

28 & 29 August 1944:  There were no operational missions flown on these days. Usual ground school activities were carried out.

30 August 1944:  Kiel, Germany, was bombed.  Attack was made on the port area of that city.  Bombing was done PFF and the results were unobserved.  All ships returned to base.  There were no injuries to personnel, but the ships were quite severely damaged by enemy flak.  Especially was this true in the case of ship #7563. Its right wing was damaged to such an extent that only the skill and resourcefulness of the pilot and his crew, coupled with a lot of what is called good luck, enabled them and the ship to return to base.  Ships and crews taking part in this mission were:  #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #7594, Lt. McConnell and crew; #7276, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #1579, Lt. Yavis and crew; #7234, Lt. Stevens and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew, #2116, Lt. Luthen and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow  and crew; #7504, Lt. Faris and crew; #2490, Lt. Koff and crew; #6308 (322nd), Lt. O’Neil and crew; #7913, Lt. Boggs and crew;  and Major Taylor, and the “A” crew, leading.  There were no abortives.

*(Added Comments: On  August 30, 1944, mission to Kiel we were flying Strictly GI, Model G, #43-37594.  The ME-262 aircraft set out there and fired 20 Mm's at us. I distinctly remember from the Tail Gunners position seeing it come in. I remember knowing the distance it was away, I would have to arch my guns to get the  distance to that plane. That attack was given on debriefing from that mission. Marion Hoffman.)

31 August 1944:  The 31st there was no mission.  Pay call was at 1400 hours. A number of the men in the squadron have bought war bonds and succeeded in putting the squadron “Over the Top” with its quota.

Reports indicate the following record for our gunners in their fight with the enemy on mission of the 16th.  That being the one during which enemy aircraft made their attack.  T/Sgt. James B. Anderson, Top Turret Gunner, destroyed one enemy fighter. So did S/Sgt. Richard D. Hallberg, Flexible Gunner. T/Sgt. Anderson and S/Sgt. Hallberg flew on ships #2116 and #1909, respectively.  S.
Sgt. Odell A. Davis, Ball Turret Gunner on ship #6298 (322nd); S/Sgt. Charles D. Forcum, Tail Gunner on ship #2116; and S/Sgt. Carl W. Kaese, Tail Gunner on ship #1909, each is credited with having damaged an enemy fighter.

One hundred seventy four (174) sorties were flown during the month without loss.  Two enlisted men were wounded, and one ship was severely damaged by enemy flak.

323rd Daily Reports, September 1944:  By Capt. Laurence E. Baird:

1 & 2 Sept. 1944:  Weather conditions were unfavorable on the 1st and 2nd.  There was no operational mission.  Squadron engaged in ground school and training activities.

3 & 4 Sept. 1944:  On the 3rd, there was a mission.  Our squadron was “stood down” but sent one ship #7630, as lead with Lt. Pullen and crew.  Lt. Maxwell was copilot.  Bombing seemed to be on the target of opportunity.  Ship #7630 bombed Mainz, Germany.  There was no operational activity on the 4th.

5 Sept. 1944:  On the 5th, a mission to Ludwigshaven, Germany.  This was carried out by PFF so bombing results were unobserved.  Specific target was the center of a synthetic oil plant located there.  Twelve ships took part in this mission from this squadron as follows:  Ship #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #7594, Lt. McConnell and crew; #7504, Lt. Faris and crew; #7625, F/O Yavis and crew; #1636, Lt. Harris and crew; #1515 (324th, Lt. Corman and crew; #2490, Lt. Maghee and crew; #1579, Lt. Stevens and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew;  #7234, Lt. Hettema and crew; #7276, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7630, Lt. Boggs and crew leading.  All ships returned safely and there were no abortives.

6 & 7 Sept. 1944:  During this period, there were no missions scheduled.  Usual routine of training was carried out.

8 Sept. 1944:  On the 8th, Ludwigshaven, Germany, with the same target as that of the 5th was bombed.  Results were unobserved. Only one ship took part, Lt. Luthen and crew in ship #2116.

9 Sept. 1944:  On the 9th, Ludwigshaven, Germany was again bombed.  Our squadron sent twelve ships and crews as follows:  #7562 (322nd), Lt. Col. Berry and the “A” crew, leading; #7234, Lt. Hettema and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #7540, Lt. Stevens and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #2490, Lt. Stone and crew; #7276, Lt. Koff and crew; #8083, Lt. Donohue and crew; #7594, Lt. Jensen and crew; #2116, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #7754, Lt. Mullins and crew.  All returned safely except Ship #7594, Lt. Jensen and his crew.  This ship was so severely damaged by flak that it failed to get back.  Crewmembers missing are:  Pilot, 2/Lt. Neils C. Jensen; Copilot, 2/Lt. Dale W. Burkhead; Navigator, 2/Lt. Robert K. Hankey; Bombardier, 2/Lt. Richard F. Klein; Engineer, Sgt. Herman J. Valentine; Waist Gunner, S/Sgt. Stanley E. Morris; Radio Operator, Sgt. Joseph A. Kaspero; Ball Turret Gunner, Sgt. Conal H. Laird; Tail Gunner, Sgt. Rollin E. Knight.  It is hoped that the above named are safe and well.  With the exception of Lt. Jensen and S/Sgt. Morris, this crew was on its first mission.

10 Sept. 1944: On the 10th, a target at Baden-Baden, Germany, was bombed.  There is a Daimler-Benz Factory located there.  Result of bombing was not successful.  Six ships took part from this squadron:  #7540, Lt. Snow and crew; #7504, Lt. Hettema and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #1909, Lt. Donohue and crew; #7911 (401st), Lt. Koff and crew; #6293 (401st), Lt. Maghee and crew.  All ships and crews returned safely and there were no abortives.

11 Sept. 1944:  On the 11th, there was a mission against Lutzkendorf, Germany, a Synthetic Oil Plant.  Bombing results were successful.  Thirteen ships from this organization participated:  #7956, Capt. Pullen and crew, leading the group; #1636, Lt. Harris and crew; #7504, Lt. Faris and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #1909, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #1579, F/O Yavis and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7993 (324th) Lt. Eblen and crew; #7625, Lt. Maghee and crew; #7911 (401st), Lt. Hettema and crew; #6093 (401st), Lt. Kirkham and crew; #1678 (401st), Lt. Liekhus and crew; #8144 (401st), Lt. Luthen and crew.  All ships and crews returned safely except for Lt. Norman L. Passeger, Navigator was slightly wounded; also, S/Sgt. William A. Newsome.  Ship #1579 aborted due to a leak in the oxygen system.  Ships were quite severely damaged by flak.

12 Sept. 1944:  On the 12th, a mission was cancelled, so the squadron engaged in training activities.

13 Sept. 1944:  On the 13th, Lutzkendorf, Germany was again the target.  Bombing was successfully accomplished.  This squadron sent thirteen ships, all of which completed the mission and returned safely.  Ships and crews are listed as:  #7913, Capt. Boggs and the “A” crew, leading; #7988 (324th) Lt. Stevens and crew; #1636, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #7956, Lt. Snow and crew; #7504, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #1909, Lt. Koff and crew; #8379, Lt. McConnell and crew; #8083, Lt. Donohue and crew; #2116, F/O Yavis and crew; #7234, Lt. Maghee and crew.  There were no abortives.

14 – 18 Sept. 1944:  During this period, inclusive, there were no missions.  Squadron engaged in the usual ground school and training activities on all days except the 17th.  This was the day set aside for celebration of the second anniversary of the 91st Bomb Group (H) in the E.T.O.  Each individual officer and enlisted man had the privilege of inviting a guest to the field and arrangements were made to accommodate those who wished to stay overnight.  At least a thousand guests were here for the day.  There was a carnival located on the athletic field for amusement of those who like that sort of thing.  There was an exhibition of horsemanship by five Russian Cossacks, who put on a splendid show.  Two free shows were held in the Red Cross snack bar in the evening, one English and one American.  There was free beer for all, and a picnic lunch was served on the Athletic field that, due to the quality of the food and the excellent cookery, easily constituted a highlight of the day.  At night there were dances in the Officer’s Clubs, and one in hanger “C” for the enlisted men.  All activities contributed toward the success of the party.  Everyone was put on what may be termed “his good behavior” and there were no grounds for disappointments in that at the close of the day.  All men enjoyed themselves as perfect gentlemen, even if slightly inebriated, and the guests had a splendid visit with us.

19 Sept. 1944:  On the 19th, this squadron was “stood down” and did not participate in the mission against Hamm, Germany.  However, this is a familiar name to the older members of the squadron, for on or about March 4th, 1943, we participated in the first operational mission against that target and suffered the loss of one splendid crew.

20 Sept. 1944:  There was no mission on the 20th.  The squadron continued their ground school activities.

21 Sept. 1944:  On the 21st, there was a mission against Mainz. Germany.  Chief target being the marshalling yards located there.  Thirteen ships of this squadron participated:  #7630, Lt. Col. Berry and the “A” crew leading the combat wing; #7276, Lt. Harris and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #8145, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #1909, Lt. Koff and crew; #7956, Lt. Maghee and crew; #8083, Lt. Snow and crew; #7504, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #7540, Lt. Yavis and crew; #1636, Lt. Stevens and crew; #7234, Lt. Hettema and crew.  The latter ship aborted due to difficulty experienced with oil pressure of No. 4 engine.  All ships and personnel returned safely.  Result of bombing was successful.

22 – 24 Sept. 1944:  During the period of the 22nd to the 24th inclusive, there were no missions.  Personnel engaged in the usual ground school training activities.

25 Sept. 1944:  On the 25th Frankfurt, Germany was bombed.  A specific target was the center of Railway Marshalling Yards there.  Results were unobserved as bombing was done by PFF.  All the following ships and their crews returned safely to base.  Ships #8145, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #7276, Lt. Eblen and crew; #8083, Lt. Snow and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #7625, Lt. Harris and crew; #7956, Lt. Hettema and crew; #7504, Lt. Faris and crew; #2116, Lt. Splawinski and crew; #8379, Lt. McConnell and crew; #1909, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #8128 (324th), Lt. Yavis and crew; #2095 (322nd), Lt. Stevens and crew.

26 Sept. 1944:  On the 26th, Railway facilities of the enemy at Osnabruck, Germany, were attacked.  A bridge there was partially destroyed.  Squadron sent twelve crews listed as follows:  #7113, Capt. Boggs and the “A” crew leading the group; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #7276, Lt. Stevens and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #1909, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #7504, Lt. Faris and crew; #7956, Lt. Maghee and crew; #1636, Lt. Harris and crew; #8379, Lt. Yavis and crew; #7984 (401st), Lt. Hettema and crew; #8083, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #7610, Lt. Snow and crew.  All ships returned safely and there were no abortives.

27 Sept. 1944:  The squadron was “stood down” in its turn on the 27th, so did not participate in the mission against Cologne, Germany.  However, ground school was active as per usual.

28 Sept. 1944:  On the 28th, Magdeburg, Germany was attacked.  Some sort of synthetic plant is located there.  Bombing results considered unsuccessful.  Twelve ships from this organization took part:  #8145, Lt. Col. Berry, Capt. Pullen and crew, leading; #7630, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7956, Lt. Stone and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #1636, Lt. Bull and crew; #8083, Lt. Splawinski, and crew; #8379, Lt. McConnell and crew; #2116, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #7504, Lt. Faris and crew; #1909, Lt. Hettema and crew; #7276, Lt. Snow and crew; #8360, Lt. Harris and crew.  Ship was from 322nd.  All returned safely to base and there were no abortives.

29 Sept. 1944: No operation mission for the day.

30 Sept. 1944:  Munster, Germany was our target for today.  Target was the Marshalling Yards in the vicinity of Erus Canal.  Bombing was done by PFF, results of which were unobserved.  Following is the list of the thirteen crews participating from this squadron:  #7630, Lt. Maxwell and crew leading; #2990, Lt. Snow and crew; #7276, Lt. Stevens and crew; #7625, Lt. Mullins and crew; #8083, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #2379, Lt. Stone and crew; #7956, Lt. Maghee and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #7504, Lt. Bull and crew; #1909, Lt. Hettema and crew; #7984 (401st), Lt. Splawinski and crew; #6093 (401st), Lt. Kirkham and crew; #7069 (401st), Lt. Faris and crew.  All returned safely and there were no abortives.

Considerable night flying was done during the month.  On the night of the 11th, there was an accident in which Ship #1579 was wrecked beyond repair. 

One hundred twelve sorties were flown during this month.  Weather conditions were quite unfavorable during the entire month.

A new crew reported in on the 9th as follows; Pilot, Lt. Hanford J. Rustand; Copilot, Lt. Wyndham M. W. Peck; Gunners, S/Sgt. John A. Griffith; S/Sgt. Gilbert Crotte; Sgt. Roger T. Keys; Sgt. John P. Murphy; Sgt. George E. Roach; and Cpl. John S. Gercovich.  This crew reported in without a Navigator and Bombardier.

OCTOBER 1944 as prepared by Capt. Laurence E. Baird:

1 Oct. 1944:  There was no mission on the 1st.  Ground School and Training Activities were carried out by combat personnel.  Ground Personel,  as usual, engaged in routine maintenance work.

2 Oct. 1944:  On the 2nd, Kassel and Fritzlar , Germany , were targets of attack. Bombing was by PFF on Kassel .  Good results were reported on Fritzlar Airdrome.  The following crews participated: Ship #7913, Capt. Boggs and crew, in the lead ship; #2490, Lt. O'Neil and crew; #8083, Lt. Stone and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crw; #7956, Lt. Bull and crew; #7276, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow and crew; #8379, Lt. Liekhus and crw; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew;#7234, Lt. Hettema and crew; #2116, Lt. Splawinski and crew, and #7540, Lt. Stevens and crew.  All ships and their crews returned safely. There were no abortives.

3 Oct. 1944:  On the 3rd, this squadron was stood down in keeping with the policy of a squadron being stood down on every fourth consecutive mission. Training activities were carried out by combat personnel. Lt.Col. James F. Berry, Squadron Commander, having completed his tour of operational duty was relieved from his present assignment.  During the period of his command, both in the air and on the ground.  Major Willis J. Taylor assumed command on this date.

4 – 5 Oct. 1944:  During the period of the 4th to 5th, there was no operational mission due to adverse weather conditions.  Usual routine was followed by all personnel.

6 Oct. 1944:  On the 6th, Neubrandenburg , Germany , was bombed, visually with excellent results.  The squadron sent twelve ships as follows:  #7630, Major Taylor, Capt. Pullen and the "A" crew leading; #2490, Lt. O'Neil and crew; #7504, Lt. Stone and crew; #7956, Lt. McConnell and crew; #8083, Lt. Stevens and crew; #7625, Lt. Luthen and crew; #8379, Lt. Snow and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #1909, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #7234, Lt. Hettema and crew; #7540, Lt. Rustand and crew; #7276, Lt. Bull and crew.  All returned safely and there were no abortives.

7 Oct. 1944:  On the 7th, Frieburg, Northeast of Chemnitz , Germany , was bombed with very good results.  Thirteen ships of the 323rd participated: #8145, Capt. Boggs and the "A" crew, leading; #8083, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #7563, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #7276, Lt. Harris and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7956, Lt. Yavis and crew; #7956, Lt. Maghee and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #7540, Lt. Splawinski and crew; #8397, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #1909, Lt. McConnell and crew.  All returned safely and there were no abortives.
Enemy fighters opposition to our ships has been slight, thanks to the fighter squadrons, which escort us to and from the target, areas, but flak still remains intense and accurate.

8 Oct. 1944:  There was no mission on the eighth.  Usual routine on such days was followed by all personnel.

9 Oct. 1944:  The 9th, Schweinfurt , Germany , was bombed by PFF, results of which were unobserved.  Thirteen ships took part:  #8145, Capt. Maxwell, Lt. Donohue and the "A" crew, leading; #7276, Lt. Stevens and crew; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #7952, Lt. Basnight and crew; #8379, Lt. Harris and crew; #1909, Lt. Rustand and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #8083, Lt. Splawinski and crew; #2490, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #7234, Lt. Hettema and crew; #1636, Lt. Yavis and crew; #7563, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #7887 (324th) Lt. O'Neil and crew.  All returned safely and there were no abortives.

10–13 Oct. 1944:  During the period 10th to 13th inclusive, there was no missions due to the unfavorable weather conditions.  It is the policy to do as much practice bombing as possible so when there is an opportunity, two or three ships are sent to one of the bombing ranges.  They carry ten practice bombs, as a rule.

14 Oct. 1944:  On the 14th, there was a mission against Cologne (Koln) Germany .  Bombing was done by PFF and results were unobserved.  Squadron sent twelve ships, all of which returned safely and there were no abortives.  Ships taking part were:  #7630, Capt. Boggs and the "A" crew leading; #2116, Lt. Corman and crew; #2490, Lt. O'Neil and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #8083, Lt. Splawinski and crew; #7540, Lt. Stevens and crew; A#7276, Lt. Eblen and crew; #7956, Lt. Faris and crew; #7234, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow and crew; #1636, Lt. Rustand and crew; #8379, Lt. Bull and crew.

15 Oct. 1944:  On the 15th, Cologne (Koln) Germany , was again bombed by PFF.  Strike photos reveal hits on east side of river in S/E part of the city. Squadron was "stood down" on this mission and so did not send any personnel.

16 Oct. 1944:  (no entry was made on this date)

17 Oct. 1944:  On the 17th, Cologne , Germany was again bombed by PFF; results of which were unobserved.  Squadron sent twelve ships as follows:  #8145, Major Taylor, Squadron. C.O. and the "A" crew leading; #2590, Lt. O'Neil and crew; #8379, Lt. Stone and crew; #7625, Lt. Basnight and crew; #8083, Lt. Yavis and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #7956, Lt. Faris and crew; #2116, Lt. Rustand and crew; #7234, Lt. Stevens and crew; #7563d, Lt. Snow and crew; #1909, Lt. Kirkham and crew.  All returned safely.  There was one abortive.  Ship #7625 aborted due to malfunction of No. 4.

18 Oct. 1944:  No mission was scheduled for the 18th.  Ground school and training activities were carried out by all personnel.

19 Oct. 1944:  The 19th, Ludwigshaven (Krevuach) Germany was bombed by PFF.  Results were unobserved.  The squadron participated by sending 13 ships, none of which aborted and flew the high squadron.  The following were:  Capt. Boggs and crew in ship #8145; #8083, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #2490, Lt. Stone and crew; #7956, Lt. Basnight and crew; #1636, Lt. Luthen and crew; #1909, Lt. Bull and crew; #7913, Lt. Eblen and crew; #8379, Lt. Harris and crew; #7540, Lt. Yavis and crew; #2116, Lt. Snow and crew; #6093 (401st) Lt. Kirkham and crew; #8324 (401st) Lt. Rustand and crew; #2404 (401st) Lt. Faris and crew.  All returned safely.

20-21 Oct. 1944:   The 21st and 20th, no mission was flown but squadron combat personnel participated in ground school schedules.

22 Oct. 1944:  The 22nd, our squadron flew the low squadron on the mission to Brunswick , Germany .  PFF bombing was done, so the results were unobserved.  Twelve crews participated as follows:  #8145, Lt. Maxwell and crew; #2490, Lt. O'Neil and crew; #8083, Lt. Bull and crew; #1909, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #8379, Lt Stevens and crew; #7625, Lt. Corman and crew; #7956, Lt. Maghee and crew; #1636, Lt. Yavis and crew; #7988 (324th) Lt. Rustand and crew; #7913, Lt. Mullins and crew; #7540, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #2085 (324th), Lt. Kirkham and crew.  All returned safely and there were no abortives.

23-24-25 Oct. 1944:  The 23rd and 24th were stand down days for our group; and stand down for our squadron on the 25th, although there was a mission on this date to Hamburg, Germany, bombing on PFF with results unobserved.  Combat personnel engaged in ground training activities.

26 Oct. 1944:  On the 26, Munster , Germany was our target. Our squadron lead the group, so flew the lead squadron.  Bombing was on PFF making hits unobserved.  Twelve of our crews completed the mission and returned to base safely with no aborts:  Major Taylor and Cepts. Reid and the "A" crew leading; #7625, Lt. Corman and crew; #8083, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #7840, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #1836, Lt. Faris and crew; #2490, Lt. O'Neil and crew; #7563, Lt. Snow and crew; #7234, Lt. Hettema and crew; #7956, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #7913, Lt. Donohue and crew; #8379, Lt. Rustand and crew; #8202 (322nd), Lt. Yavis and crew.

27-28-29 Oct. 1944:  These three days, weather conditions were such that no missions were scheduled for our group.  Ground school schedules were carried out by all combat personnel.

30 Oct. 1944:  Hamm , Germany was the target for the 30th. Our Squadron flew the high squadron.  Bombing was done on PFF the results were unobserved.  Thirteen of our ships participated in the mission with no abortions and all returned safely to base.
The 13 taking part are as follows:  #8145, Capt. Maxwell and crew; #7913, Lt. Stevens and crew; #1909, Lt. Corman and crew; #7540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #2490, Lt. O'Neil and crew; #7625, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #7563, Lt. Maghee and crew; #8083, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #7276, Lt. Faris and crew; #7234, Lt. Hettema and crew; #8379, Lt. Splawinski and crew; #1636, Lt. Yavis and crew; #7851 (401st), Lt. Rustand and crew.  

*(Added comments: August 16, 1944 we were attack by the ME-163 and  on October
30, 1944 we were attack by an ME-262. We were briefed and it was  stated by
intelligence an attack from an the ME-163 was a probability and  behold it
happened. How they would know, I'll never know. It was the same briefing about the attack from the ME-262.  Another probability by our 91st BG intelligence it would attack and it did. Marion Hoffman.)

31 Oct. 1944:   (No entry was made on this date)

As a summary of the month, our squadron flew 124 sorties with only one abort on the 17th.  The squadron took part in a Halloween Party and Dance on the 28th.  Plenty of beer and women as the main attraction. A good orchestra for the dancing, completed a very lovely evening and a good time was had by all.

Thus ends another month in the ETO.  Morale is still at a very high peak.  Each man looks forward to his passes, as most have become acquainted with some family, or have found something interesting to do on off duty hours. 

1 November 1944:  Due to adverse weather, there was no mission.  Training activities were carried out by all personnel.

2 November 1944:  On the 2nd, Merseburg , Germany was bombed by PFF methods.  Results were unobserved.  Our group experienced Heavy Fighter attacks from one ME-163, many FW-190’s and ME-109’s.  This group suffered its heaviest loss to date, of 13, 6 of which were from the 323rd Squadron.  Crews taking part in this mission were: Squadron Lead Capt. Boggs in Ship #630; #116, Lt. Corman and crew; Lt. Stevens and crew; #540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #625, Lt. Harris and crew; #061 (401st), Lt. O’Neil and crew; #083, Lt. Donohue and crew; #909, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #234, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #563, Lt. Snow and crew; #956, Lt. Rustand and crew; and #984, Lt. Faris and crew. 

Crews lost in the 323rd Squadron on this mission were:  Lt. Faris and crew; Lt. Rustand and crew; Lt. Snow and crew, Lt. Liekhus and crew; Lt. Harris and crew; Lt. Stevens and crew.

4 November 1944:  Training activities were carried out by combat personnel, and local flights were made for training purposes.

5 November 1944:  Offenbach, Germany, another PFF bombing mission was carried out on the 5th.  This squadron had one abortive Ship #913, Yavis and crew, due to oxygen equipment failing after reaching altitude.  Ships and crews taking part in this mission were:  #083, Lt. Donohue and crew; Lt. Kirkham and crew in #436; #276, Lt. Bull and crew; #490, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #913, Lt. Yavis and crew, which aborted.  Those not flying continued with their daily ground training.

6 November 1944:  On the 6th, Hamburg , Germany was our target, the lead and high squadrons bombed by PFF methods and the low squadron bombed on partial visual; not observing their hits.  The following took part by representing the 323rd in the lead squadron:  Major Taylor and Capt. Reid with the “A” crew in #135 (324th) leading the group; Lt. Stevens and crew; Lt. Corman and crew in #116; #431, Lt. Basnight and crew; #909, Lt. Mullins and crew; #841, Lt. Machee and crew; #083, Lt. Dietrich and crew; #618, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #911, Lt. Donohue and crew; Lt. Hettema in #642; #806, Lt. Yavis and crew; #490, Lt. O’Neil and crew and #636, Lt. Bull and crew.

7 & 8th of November 1944:  On these two days, adverse weather had set in, so crews participated in ground school with good attendance.

9 November 1944:  On the 9th, a change in bombing tactics took place by bombing a tactical target in the Metz area in support of the ground troops. Results were unobserved.  This was also our first bombing by “GH” methods.   Ships and crews taking part in this mission were:  Capt. Maxwell and the “A” crew; in #357 (401st); #490, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #618, Lt. Kirkham and crew; Lt. Donohue and crew in #083; #707 (322nd), Lt. Dietrich and crew; #806, Lt. Yavis and crew; #642, Lt. Hettema and crew; #913, Lt. Stevens and crew; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; #276, Lt. Maghee and crew; #116, Lt. Corman and crew.  All returned safely and there were no aborts.

10–16 November 1944:  Adverse weather prevented us from participating in combat activities during this period.  Ground School and training activities were carried out with fair attendance.  Passes were given to a number of personnel so as to have them back on base when weather changes come.

16 November 1944:  Another bombing mission in support of the ground troops in the Aachen area was made on the 16th.  Bombing was made by PFF methods with fair observations.  Crews taking part in this mission from the 323rd were:  Capt. Boggs and the “A” crew in Ship #224 (324th) leading our squadron; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; #806, Lt. Yavis and crew; #540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #116, Lt. Corman and crew; #083, Lt. Smith, Warren T. and crew; #276, Lt. Eblen and crew; #618, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #642, Lt. Stevens and crew; #841, Lt. Maghee and crew; #909, Lt. Koff and crew; #490, Lt. Smith, Wm T. and crew.

17–21 November 1944: Ground School and training activities were carried out by all combat personnel.  Due to adverse weather conditions, there were no missions.

21 November 1944:  Merseburg , Germany   was again bombed on this date.  Bombing was on PFF with results unobserved.  This squadron took its turn as the stand down squadron but one ship and crew was used as a fill in.  This was Lt. Bull and crew in Ship #911.  It returned safely.

22–24 November 1944:  Again weather was against us for continuing combat participation.  Ground School and training activities was carried out by the combat personnel.

25 November 1944:  Merseburg , Germany was our target.  Bombing was by PFF with results unobserved.  Major Taylor, Squadron Commander led the group.  Crews and ships participating in this mission were:  Major Taylor, Capt. Reid and the “A” crew in Ship #174 (324th) #913, Lt. Stevens and crew; #116, Lt. Corman and crew; #540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #490, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #086, Lt. Smith, Wm. T., and crew. #841, Lt. Maghee and crew; #431, Lt. Smith Wm. T. and crew; #618, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #642, Lt. Hettema and crew; #911, Lt. Sulli and crew; #270 Lt. Partridge and crew.  All returned safely and there were no abortives.

26 November 1944:   Altenbecken , Germany was bombed by GH methods with results unobserved.  13 ships of this squadron participated in this mission.  They were:  Capt. Maxwell and crew leading the squadron in Ship #842; ship belonging to the (324th); #605 (401st) Lt. Bull and crew; #083, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #145, Lt. Mullins and crew; #116, Lt. Corman and crew; #913, Lt. Stevens and crew; #841, Lt. Maghee and crew; #490, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #069, Lt. Smith, Wm T. and crew; #642, Lt. Hettema and crew; #431, Lt. Smith, Wm. T. and crew; #909, Lt. Koff and crew; #540, Lt. Yavis and crew.

27 November 1944:  Offenburg , Germany was the target for today.  Lead and low squadrons bombed by “GH” methods the high squadron bombed visually but hits unobserved. Our squadron compiled the low squadron Capt. Dietrich leading the formation.  Those participating were:  #905 (379th) Capt. Dietrich and the “A” crew leading the squadron; #490, Lt. O'Neil and crew; #276, Lt. Bull and crew; #630, Lt. Mullins and crew; #911, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #431, Lt. Yavis and crew; #642, Hettema and crew; #623 (324th), Lt. Shambaugh and crew; #040 (324th), Lt. Scofield and crew; #116, Lt. Maghee and crew; #909, Lt. Smith, WM. T. and crew; #959, Lt. Flynn and crew.  All returned safely to base and there were no abortives.

28 November 1944:  There was no flying on the 28th.  Ground School and training activities were carried out by all personnel.

29 November 1944:  Our squadron took its turn at being “stood down” although there was a mission to Misburg, Germany .  Bombing was PFF with results unobserved. Our combat personnel participated in ground school activities.

30 November 1944:  Zeitz Germany was our target for the 30th.  Bombing was visual although pictures showed cloud cover and much smoke in the target area.  Crews completing this mission and returning safely to base, with no abortives, were:  Capt. Reid and the “A” crew in ship #145; Capt. Dietrich flew as Copilot and led the group; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; and Lt. O’Neil and crew; #431, Lt. Mullins and crew; #683, Lt. Adams and crew; #896, Lt. Yavis and crew; #276, Lt. Eblen and crew; #909, Lt. Flynn and crew; #116, Lt. Partridge and crew; #642, Lt. Hettema and crew; #360 (322nd), Lt. Shambaugh and crew; #613, Lt. Scofield and crew.

MONTHLY REVIEW:  Five pilots and crews were assigned to this squadron during the month.  They were as follows:  Lt. Scofield and crew; Lt. Shambaugh and crew; Lt. Flynn and crew; Lt. Partridge and crew; Lt. Adams and crew.

Eleven gunners and officers completed their tour on the dates indicated:  Nov. 6, T/Sgt. Kilgallen; Nov. 9, S/Sgt. McGuire; Nov. 16, Lt. Badman; Dov. 16, T/Sgt. Bombardier; Nov. 16, T/Sgt. Davies; Nov. 25, Lt. O’Connor; Nov. 25, Lt. Chaney; Nov. 25, T/Sgt. MacArthur; Nov. 26, Lt. Law; Nov. 26, Lt. Friedman; Nov. 26, T/Sgt Barker.

103 sorties for the squadron for the month of November with only one abortive for the entire month.

DECEMBER 1944: 

1-4 December 1944:  There were no missions on these days because of adverse weather conditions.  Ground echelon crews were engaged in servicing the planes and their daily routine of work.  Combat crews were attending classes fairly good.  Two crews were allowed to go on pass.

4 December 1944:  Kassel , Germany was the target for today, bombing the marshalling yards on PFF.  However, the low squadron bombed visually with good results after making a 360 over the target.  Twelve ships and crews from this organization took part as follows:  Capt. Boggs and the “A” crew in ship #145 and flew as squadron lead; #618, Lt. Kirkman and crew; #116, Lt. Corman and crew; #574, Lt. Eblen and crew; (GH) ship from 303rd BG; Lt. Cornahan and crew; #909, Lt. Scofield and crew; #083, Lt. Partridge and crew; #490, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #276, Lt. Yavis and crew; #431, Lt. Smith, WM. T. and crew; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; #642, Lt. Flynn and crew (401st); #939, F/O Adams and crew.  All returned safely except for Capt. Boggs and crew, which, due to mechanical failures of nos. 1 and 3 engines shortly after leaving the target, and due to losing altitude and ground speed, they were forced to land in or near Brussels.  They took off and flew back to base the following afternoon.

5 December 1944:  Berlin , Germany   was the target.  Bombing was on the Borgis Steel Works in N/W Berlin with fair accuracy even though on PFF and GH.  Twelve ships and crews from this squadron took part as follows:  #478, Lt. Dietrich and crew, leading the squadron; #618, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #116, Lt. Corman and crew; #276, Lt. Eblen and crew; #909, Lt. Scofield and crew; #431, Lt. Smith, Wm. T. and crew; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; #806, Lt. Yavis and crew; #083, Lt. Partridge and crew; #540, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #378, F/O Adams and crew; #939, Lt. Flynn and crew.  Two ships and crews aborted due to mechanical failure.  Ships were #116, Lt. Corman and crew and #939, Lt. Flynn and crew.  All returned safely.

6-9 December 1944:    Class schedules were carried out as per usual with fair attendance.  Officers and combat crews have critiques after missions on stand down days for the purpose of reviewing their work and correcting their mistakes when possible to do so.

9 December 1944:  On the 9th, Stuttgart , Germany was our target, bombing the marshalling yards PFF, with unobserved results; however, the mickey operators believe results were good.  This squadron did not participate as it was our stand-down day.

10 December 1944:  Ground School and training activities were carried out as usual.

11 December 1944:  Frankfurt , Germany was the target for the 11th.  Bombing of the Marshalling Yards was on PFF with unobserved results.  This squadron sent twelve ships as follows:  Major Taylor, Squadron Commander led the group with the “A” crew in Ship #630; #490, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #116, Lt. Corman and crew; #618, Lt. Eblen and crew; #806, Lt. Yavis and crew; #379, Lt. Scofield and crew; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; #939, Lt. Partridge and crew; #083, Lt. Shambaugh and crew; #642 Lt. Hettema and crew; #540, Lt. Adams and crew; #431, Lt. Flynn and crew.  All returned safely and Lt. Corman aborted due to mechanical failures.

12 December 1944:  Merseburg , Germany was the target for this group on the 12th.  It drew a lot of oh’s at briefing that morning.  Bombing was on PFF on the Leuna Works there with unobserved results.  This squadron sent 11 ships and crews for which one crew, Lt. Basnight in #478, was badly damaged.  The crews were as follows:  Lt. Basnight and the “A” crew leading the squadron in Ship #478; #618, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #116, Lt. Corman and crew; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; #841, Lt. Scofield and crew; #431, Lt. Smith, Wm. T. and crew; #490, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #540, F/O Adams and crew; #939, Lt. Shambaugh and crew; #642, Lt. Hettema and crew; #806, Lt. Flynn and crew.  All crews returned safely and there were no aborts.

13-14 December 1944:  Classes and training activities were carried out with good attendance.

15 December 1944:  Kassel , Germany   for the 2nd time this month was our target.  The attack was on the Marshaling Yards, bombing PFF.  However, the mickey operators think results were good.  This squadron participated by sending thirteen ships and crews as follows:  Ship (324th) #224, Capt. Bogg and crew; as Squadron Lead; #116, Lt. Corman and crew; #618, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #379, Lt. McConnell and crew; #806, Lt. Yavis and crew; #642, Lt. Russum and crew; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; #431, Lt. Smith, Wm. T. and crew; #540, F/O Adams and crew; #841, Lt. O’Neil and crew; #636, Lt. Williams and crew; #939, Lt. Partridge and crew; #844 (324th), Lt. Shambaugh and crew.  All returned safely and there were no abortives.

15-23 December 1944:  There was a mission for this group on the 18th, but it was the 323rd’s stand-down day.  The target for the group was the Luxembourg area.  The group flew 12 A/C for the screening force.  Ground school and training activities were carried out with good attendance on these days.

24 December 1944: Two airfields,  Merzhausen-Kirch-Gons , Germany were attacked visually on this date with good results.  Weather and visibility was very poor on this date at takeoff time and became worse later on in the day, forcing our group to land in Bury St. Edmund. X-mas Eve was a messed up affair for all the men in our group, as they had to travel thru heavy fog to the aforementioned camp to service the planes for the following day.  However, spirits of all the men were wonderful, even though all were cold and had been up most of the night, both X-mas Eve and X-mas night.  The attack for this day was made on a goods concentration on a landing ground near our bomb lines.  Ships and crews taking part were as follows:  Major Taylor, Squadron Commander, and Capt. Maxwell led the group in Ship #478 (with the “A” crew); #116, Lt. Scofield and crew; #276, Lt. Flynn and crew; #379, Lt. McConnell and crew; (Dep. Group. Lead); #841, Lt. Smith and crew; #642, Lt. Shambaugh and crew; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; #636, Lt. Williams and crew; #490, Lt. McKnight and crew; #806, Lt. Yavis and crew; #540, F/O Adams and crew; #939, Lt. Partridge and crew; and #431, Lt. Sweet and crew. Lt. McConnell and crew was diverted to Bury St. Edmund airbase because of the weather.  Little could be gotten out of the remaining crews at interrogation, concerning this crew, as they didn’t seem to have been able to observe too much due to poor visibility.  There were no aborts.

25-28 December 1944:  Ground school and training activities were carried out by all personnel.  Attendance was fair.

28 December 1944:  Mission for the 28th was to attack Ludendorf , Germany .  The target being tactical and bombing was done by (GH) with unobserved results.  This was near Remagen , Germany .  Thirteen crews took part as follows:  #630, Capt. Boggs and crew as Squadron Lead; #379, Lt. Scofield and crew; #642, Lt. Shambaugh and crew; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; #276, Lt. Flynn and crew; #431, Lt. Smith Wm. T. and crew; #083, Lt. Kirkham and crew; A#806, Lt. Yavis and crew; #540, F/O Adams and crew; #939, Lt. Partridge and crew; #636, Lt. Williams and crew; #490, Lt. McKnight and crew; #841, Lt. Sweet and crew.  There were no aborts and all returned.

29 December 1944:  Hazy visibility caused Wittlich , Germany to be a poor target for us even though bombing was made visually.  Twelve ships and crews participated in this mission from this squadron as follows:  #630, Capt. Dietrich and crew; leading the squadron; #636, Lt. Williams and crew; #642, Lt. Shambaugh and crew; #911, Lt. Bull and crew; #806, Lt. Yavis and crew; #116, Lt. McKnight and crew; #618, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #540, F/O Adams and crew; #909, Lt. Scofield and crew; #939, Lt. Partridge and crew; #083, Lt. Sweet and crew; and #490, Lt. Duffy and crew.  All returned safely and there were no abortives.  

Additional Information:

Max Shambaugh Presented Distinguished Flying Cross
Mr. Max Shambaugh was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross by U.S. Representative Mark Souder at a luncheon meeting today of the Downtown Rotary Club.
One Rotary Club member told Fort Wayne Observed "The presentation was so moving, I cried."
Mr. Shambaugh is a gentlemanly person and a straight shooter. He is the former head of Shambaugh & Sons. He also served as a Republican County Council member.
Fort Wayne Observed found this online reference to Mr. Shambaugh's wartime service on the website of the 323rd Bomber Squadron:
Max Shambaugh took over the plane in late December but on his third trip in Super Mouse, to Wittlich on 29th December, flak ripped through two engines. As the plane started to lose speed and altitude the bomb load was jettisoned but, soon after, Shambaugh ordered his crew to abandon the plane. He himself remained at the controls and succeeded in belly landing near Nazons in France causing only minor damage to the aircraft. At Bassingbourn, it was initially thought that Shambaugh and his crew were missing in action but this was soon rectified when it was realized that all were safe, although seven of the crew had minor injuries. However, Super Mouse was considered uneconomical to repair and was salvaged where it had landed.
Excerpted from the book: Plane Names & Fancy Noses by Ray Bowden
Daily reports from the 323rd Bomber Squadron can be found here.
Photograph of Mr. Shambaugh's plane. He is not pictured in this crew, however. Photograph was donated by Glenn Lothian for use on the 323rd website.
The testimony of Lt. Col. James Hammond (Ret.) in support of Mr. Shambaugh follows.
Testimony of Lt. Col. James Hammond (USAF, Ret.) regarding Mr. Shambaugh's heroic actions on December 29, 1944.
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked. The next day, Max Shambaugh went down, like millions of other Americans, and joined the Air Force to be a fighter pilot. The uncompromised, frenzied patriotism in the country was contagious.
On December 29, 1944, the 8th Air Force, 91st Bombardment Group, 323rd Bombardment Squadron, stationed at Bassingbourn RAF Base in England, dispatched its fleet of B-17 bombers to attack a target in Wittlich, Germany.
Group take-off, assembly, and climb to altitude were uneventful. Upon entering the German controlled area, a heavy and accurate concentration of flak was encountered. We could not use evasive action since we were on the bomb run and at that time Max called out to the crew to stand by for a hit. We suffered a direct hit coming through in the wing about a foot off the cockpit which cut off both engines on the left side of the airplane. These shells were normally set to go off at altitude or proximity, but in this case it was a dud or it would have blown out the whole side of the aircraft, including the cockpit. The direct hit disabled #1 and #2 engines, and caused Lt. Shambaugh to lose the ability to stay in formation or maintain speed and altitude. He immediately ordered the bombs to be jettisoned and dropped quickly downward leaving the formation and realized we could not keep up with the squadron. Flack followed us all the way to approximately 12,000 feet. He brought the aircraft under control and turned to a heading which would bring him back to friendly territory in France. Within approximately 15 minutes we flew over a German airfield and two ME109’s came up to meet us. By that time we had jettisoned all our guns, ammunition, radios, and anything with any weight so we could extend our flight as far as possible. These two fighters came at us head on and we waited for the lights to flash in their wings which were 20mm cannons. This did not occur and they came within 30 feet of the cockpit and had their arms in a salute to us. At that time we were continuing at approximately 120mph with the left wing in a high position and it was obvious we were in deep trouble. A few minutes later a 80mm flack gun took off again on us putting one in front and one behind us. Max made a sharp turn to the right. We were lucky to avoid any more direct hits since we already had many flack holes in our wings. We continued on to approximately 2,500 feet where it was quite obvious we were not going to go on much further. Our radio was shot out and we had no contact with anyone. The #1 and #2 engines continued running, but could not be controlled nor feathered.
Lt. Shambaugh determined it would be questionable to control the aircraft at slower landing speeds and ordered all flight crew members to “Bail out”. All the crew bailed out. At approximately 1,000 feet Max told me, the co-pilot, that it was time for me to go and I asked if he was coming. He replied, “right behind you, J. D." I bailed out and my chute opened and almost immediately I was on the ground. Max would later tell me that he then jumped back to the bomb bay to see how far the ground was and it was approximately 500 feet below, which meant he couldn’t open a chute before hitting the ground. Therefore, he jumped back into the cockpit seat without any time to fasten his seat belt, cut all of the generator battery and pump switches, etc. and pulled it out of a dive and attempted to stabilize the aircraft. Super Mouse hit the ground, went through a woods, taking trees with him and crashed into a 15-acre field, wheels up, bomb bay doors open, and bounced 80 feet in the air with the open bomb bay dug into the ground and stopped about 3 feet from the end of that field in northeastern France.
Max needed to get out of the airplane as soon as possible before there was a fire or explosion. At that same time some French farmers came to the field. It turned out the French farmers were part of the French underground and they hid him and his crew and helped them return to England through the underground so they were able to fly again.
Max was interviewed by an intelligence officer who said this was a Silver Star if he ever saw one and wanted him to come back the next day for another interview. At that time, an interview was the least of his concerns. His crew had come back safely from a combat mission to fight another day and that was his primary concern rather than seeking a medal as a reward. It is my understanding that Lt. Shambaugh declined, at the time of his return to Bassingbourn debriefing, the opportunity to provide the narrative for a medal.
Lt. Shambaugh’s piloting skill and command of the situation secured the safe return of a flight crew to duty and at risk to his own life, steered the aircraft to a successful touchdown. His devotion to duty and expertise should be recognized in the form of an appropriate medal, even at this late date.
The above events are as I remember them. I was Lt. Shambaugh’s co-pilot on the described mission.
James D. Hammond
Lt. Col USAF (Ret.)
Co-Pilot B-17 Super Mouse

30-31 December 1944:  Ground school and training activities were carried out by our squadron even though there was a mission for rest of the group on the 31st to Bitburg , Germany , a tactical target.  Bombardiers and Navigators do not like to bomb targets so close to our lines on GH instruments.

Total for the month of December, 1944.  There were three aborts in this squadron for the month, all due to mechanical failures; and there were 95 completed sorties for this squadron for the month.  Thus ends the year 1944.

 

 

 

 

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