Mission Diary of Art Juhlin
Navigator on the Lead Crew of Donald A. Jones
Mission #1 9 Sept. 1944, Dusseldorf, Germany (Happy Valley). Target was munitions plant and flak gun factory. Went over target at 25, 000 but group didn’t drop bombs due to malfunctions of bomb racks in lead ship. Flak was moderate but very accurate. We received twelve hits in our ship and saw several ships go down in flames. Time of Flight was 6 ½ hours. Flew ship #175 and was number three man in the low squadron of the low group.
Mission #2 10 Sept. 1944, Nurnburg, Germany. Target was a tank factory. Was over target at 24, 000 and bombed through clouds by PFF. Flak was heavy and accurate. Lost #1 engine over target and couldn’t keep up with formation. Encountered un-briefed flak on course home and sweated out some very accurate tracking. Time of flight was 7:50 hours. Flew ship #175 and was #2 man in the low Squadron of the lead group.
Mission #3 11 Sept. 1944, Ruhland, Germany. Target was synthetic oil factory. Was attacked by FW-190’s and ME-109’s five minutes before reaching I. P. (initial point). Entire 350th group wiped out. Our tail gunner and bombardier each got one FW-190. Our group was only one that hit target. Bombed from 26, 000’ and found flak over target light. Trip home was long, but uneventful. On way out we had a 50 cal shell come flying through the plexiglass nose. Lost 45 B-17’s and B-24’s but Luftwaffe lost over a hundred fighters. Time of flight was 8 hours. Flew ship #649 (Lady Geraldine) and was #3 man in the low squadron of the low group.
Mission #4 12 Sept. 1944, Leipzig, Germany. Target was synthetic oil factory. Went over target at 25, 000’ but failed to drop bombs. Flak was intense. On way home we bombed Fulda, which was a target of opportunity. Several Groups were hit by fighters and we lost 43 bombers. Time of Flight was 7:30 hours. Flew #6 position in the lead squadron of the low group.
Mission #5 15 Sept. 1944, Warsaw, Poland. Purpose of mission was to drop supplies and arms to Polish partisans in Warsaw. Took off in very adverse weather, Shortly after leaving the English coast we hit the soup and couldn’t even see our wingman. Were recalled just before crossing the Danish coast. Really sweated out the trip back, as you couldn’t see a thing ands it was every man for himself. Had a little excitement on our landing. Brakes didn’t hold and so we ground looped at the end of the runway narrowly missing another plane and scattering ground personnel all over the place. No serious damage. If mission had come off as planned we would have continued on to Russia after dropping our chutes.
Mission #6 18 Sept. 1944 Shuttle Raid from England to Mirgorod, Russia. Purpose of mission was to drop food and arms to the beleaguered Poles in Warsaw. Flew the Northern sea enroute to target. Weather over target was very poor and we spent an hour circling in the target area looking for openings in the undercast and overcast. At this time, some of our groups were attacked by ME-109’s and several planes were lost. Finally went over target at 13, 500″ and Jerry threw up everything he had at us. Between dodging flak, parachutes and other planes we had a rough time of it. Picked up a Russian Fighter escort at target and one of them put on quite an aerobatic show for us enroute to base. Crossed the Dnyfer River at Kiev and landed at Mirgorod, Russia. Time of flight was 10 ½ hours. Flew ship # 071 (Andy’s Dandy’s) and was #6 man in the lead squadron of the low group
Mission #6 19 Sept. 1944 Shuttle Raid from Mirgorod, Russia to Foggia, Italy. Target was a railway marshalling yard at Szolnok, Hungary which s about 45 miles southeast of Budapest. Passed over target at 18, 000’ and really plastered it. Flak over target was light but encountered moderate and extremely accurate flak while crossing Drina River at Brod, Yugoslavia on way to Italy. Time of flight was 6 ½ hours. Flew ship #071 (Andy’s Dandy’s) and was #6 man of the lead squadron of the low group.
22 Sept 1944 Foggia, Italy to Diss, England. Flew back home without a bomb load and supposedly was to receive credit for a missions had previous groups however for some unknown reason they decided not to count it this time. This made our average time for each mission on the shuttle raid 12 ¾ hours. Trip back was regular sight seeing tour. Passed by Rome, Corsica, Nice, Alps, and Paris. Ran into quite a bit of bad weather after getting over the channel, but didn’t have too much difficulty getting back to base. Time of Flight was 8 ½ hours. Flew ship #071 (Andy’s Dandy’s) and was #6 man of the lead squadron of the low group.
Mission #7 3 Oct. 1944, Nurnburg, Germany. Primary target was an airfield at Illsheim, but due to 10/10-cloud coverage we bombed the secondary, which was a tank factory at Nurnburg. Was over target at 26, 000’ and bombed through clouds by PFF. Flak was moderate and fairly accurate. On way to target we encountered considerable flak while crossing the front lines and the Rhine River at Koblenz. Also got quite a bit of flak on way home, especially while crossing the front lines around Nancy. Had very good fighter protection and saw no enemy fighters. Time of Flight was 8:15. Flew ship #636 (Malfunction Junction) and was leader of the second element of the high group.
Mission #8 5 Oct. 1944, Munster, Germany. Target was an air depot a few miles off Munster. Metro winds were way off and we hit the enemy coast twenty minutes early. Somehow the lead navigator got lost and we never did get over the target but toured Germany and all of Holland up to the North Sea. Never did get any flak over enemy territory, but received a few burst at English coast on way to base. Time of flight was 6 ½ hours. Flew ship #636 (Malfunction Junction) and led the low squadron of the lead group.
Mission #9 7 Oct 1944, Bohlin, Germany. Target was a synthetic oil factory at Bohlin, which is located just South of Leipzig. Went over target at 25, 000’ and encountered extremely heavy and accurate flak. Our #2 engine was hit and began throwing a considerable amount of oil over the wing and tail surfaces. Reaching the enemy coast we had to feather the engine due to low oil pressure and vibration. We left the formation and started out for home alone. Five mile from the base we lost #1 engine due to a brainstorm by our copilot and were fortunate to have a B-24 field under us at the time as we were dropping like a rock. Somehow we managed to make a miraculous landing after almost taking off the top of the control tower. Our field then sent a plane over to pick us up and we made what is probably the shortest plane trip in history (5 miles). Flew ship #636 (Malfunction Junction) and led the low squadron of the lead group. Time of flight was 8:15 hours.
Mission #10 15 Oct. 1944, Cologne, Germany (Happy Valley). Target was a railway marshalling yard at Cologne. Purpose of bombing was to cut supply line over which munitions and reinforcements were being brought up to the front lines around Aachen. Went over target at 24, 000: and encountered moderate accurate flak. Bombing was done through clouds by PFF. Went over quite a bit of flak on way home and did a bit of evasive action. Time of flight was 6 ½ hours. Flew ship #459 (Cargo For Margo) and led the high element of the low Squadron.
Mission #11 17 Oct. 1944 Cologne, Germany. Due to a malfunction of the bomb racks in our ship only 16 of our 100# bombs were released. This left eighteen 100# and two 500# incendiary clusters jammed in the bomb bay. The bombardier and radio operator went back into the bomb bay to try and get rid of the mess, but it was a ticklish job as all the bombs were armed. They finally got most of the pins put back in the l00# and removed them to the radio room, but were unable to get the incendiaries out; so we decided to wait and try to salvo them upon reaching the channel. We left the formation and circled over the channel while the bombardier, radio operator and tailgunner tried to get the rest of the bombs, which were wedged up against the bomb bay doors away. It was at this time that one of the incendiary fuses went off with a terrible blast. Our bombardier got hit by several fragments and lost his left eye. The radio operator got several fragments in his leg severing an artery and a nerve. The tail gunner was blown back into the radio room and received minor facial injuries. The bottom of the ship looked like a sieve and there was one hole big enough for a man to crawl through. It was a miracle that the whole ship wasn’t blown to bits. Unable to open the bomb bay doors which had been sprung by the explosion, and not being able to bail out with the injured men on board, we started for the base with the live bombs swinging in the bomb bay. Our waist gunner then volunteered to go back in the bomb bay and try to wire some of the incendiaries together so they wouldn’t be so apt to be jarred loose upon landing. This sure took a lot of guts after what had already happened. As we turned on the approach our pilot remarked that maybe we’d all get a big bang out of the landing, but I am afraid the humor wasn’t appreciated at that time. A safe landing was made and the injured removed to the hospital. Time of flight was 7 hours. We flew ship #459 (Cargo For Margo) and led the high squadron of the lead group. “
Mission #12 6 Nov. 1944, Neumunster, Germany. Target was a large hanger and repair depots at an airfield just outside of Nuemunster. Went over target at 23, 000’ and had a little trouble picking up target due to 8/10 cloud coverage. Leading the low group we were the only ones to succeed in hitting the target. Encountered meager flak at the target. Enemy fighters wee in the area but didn’t attack our groups. Time of flight was 7 hours. Flew ship #696 (PFF-Pathfinder) and led the low group.
Mission #13 9 Nov. 1944, Saarbrucken, Germany. The primary target was a gun emplacement in a forest at the front lines, which we were to bomb in conjunction with a new drive by General Patton’s forces. Due to 8/10 to 10/10 cloud coverage, we ere unable to bomb for fear of hitting our own troops and so we bombed the marshalling yards at Saarbrucken instead. Went over target at 22, 400’ and bombed by PFF. Flak at target was moderate but accurate. On way to base we ran into a terrific snowstorm and several times narrowly avoided colliding with other groups coming from out of nowhere. Sweated out getting back to base worse than going over the target. Time of flight was 7 ½ hours. Flew ship #095 (A. M. Weathership/ McGuire’s Squires) and led the low group.
Mission #14 16 Nov. 1944, German Lines 10 miles N. E. of Aachen. Target was the German lines just 10 miles Northeast of Aachen. Immediately after our bombing, General Hoolges men were to begin their big ground offensive. Bombing was done through a 10/10 undercast using the new micro H beam. Our biggest worry was the fear of dropping on our own troops who were in the immediate area waiting to move in. Went over target at 21, 400’, flack was moderate and the first two groups over the target silenced most of the guns. Arrived back at base and found the ceiling to be 300’ and visibility 900 yards. Circled field for 2 hours before making an instrument letdown and landing. Time of flight was 8:40 hours. Flew ship 379 (PFF-Pathfinder) and led the low group.
Mission #15 29 Nov. 1944 Hamm, Germany. Target was a railway marshalling yard at Hamm, Germany. Bombed in group formation by PFF. Went over target at 26, 000’ and encountered light flak in target area. Made good narrow flak corridors to and from target. Flew ship #220 (PFF-Pathfinder) and led the high group. Time of flight was 7 hours.
Mission #16 11 Dec. 1944, Giessen, Germany. Target was a roundhouse at Giessen, Germany. Started to bomb in group formation by micro H, but one of the beams went out and we were unable to hit the target. Bombed the secondary instead, which was the railway marshalling yard at Koblenz. Target was 10/10 cloud covered and so we bombed in group formation by PFF. Went over target at 27, 000’ and encountered moderate but extremely accurate flak. Course home was to take us over Paris as a sort of morale builder for the Parisians, but due to adverse weather we went directly home instead. Time of flight was 7 ½ hours. Flew ship #220 (PFF-Pathfinder) and led the high group.
Mission #17 12 Dec. 1944, Darmstadt, Germany. Target was a railway marshalling yard and locomotive repair shops at Darmstadt, Germany. Target was visual, so we bombed in squadron formation. Bombed from 26, 000’ but was unable to observe results due to smoke covering target. Encountered no flak at target, but saw quite a few rockets. Bandits were reported in the area, but didn’t attack our group. Time of flight was 8:15 hours. Flew ship #220 (PFF-Pathfinder) and led the low group. General Harwold (General Norris B. Harbold, Third Air Division C. O. ) rode up in the nose on this mission. (Pretty distinctive honor for the crew, Generals only flew with the VERY BEST lead crews. . mpf)
Mission #18 24 Dec. 1944, Biblis, Germany. First day were ere able to fly since the Germans began their big counter-offensive and everything flyable in the 8th Air Force was airborne. Target was an airfield near the front from which enemy fighters were operating against our troops. Encountered bandits shortly after passing Brussels, but our fighters got them before they could make a pass at us. Saw four bandits spinning down in flames and crash. Also saw a jet propelled job, who stayed out of range and kept shadowing us. At the lines near Malmedy, we went thru a heavy and extremely accurate flak barrage. Saw three B-17’s get direct hits and go down flaming. We received hits in our right wing gas tank. Leading the task force we had a little trouble picking up the target due to ground haze and being headed into the sun. Went over target in squadron formation at 25, 000’ and really plastered it. Time of flight was 8:00 hours. Flew ship #226 (JIMBO-Pathfinder ship) and led the 13C Combat Wing.
Mission #19 28 Dec. 1944, Lunebach, Germany. Purpose of mission was to aid the ground forces by bombing communication centers at Lunebach, Germany. Target had 10/10-cloud coverage, so we decided to bomb the secondary, which was Koblenz. Our PFF equipment went out, so we turned the lead over to the high squadron just before reaching the I. P. Went over the target at 26, 000’. Flak was light and inaccurate. Time of flight was 7:00 hours. Flew ship #220 (PFF-Pathfinder) and let the 13B Combat Wing.
Mission #20 29 Dec. 1944, Frankfurt, Germany. Primary target was the railway marshalling yard at Frankfurt. Target was visual, se we bombed in squadron formation. Bombed from an altitude of 26, 000’ and had 26 degree left drift on the bomb run. All three squadrons really plastered the target. Flak at target was fairly heavy and very accurate. Coming into land we hit prop wash over the runway and our left wing stalled out. We almost spun in, but by giving her the gun were able to mush in. Time of flight was 8:00 hours. Flew ship #226 (JIMBO-Pathfinder ship) and led the 100 B group of the 13th A Combat Wing which led the Third Air Division.
Mission #21 31 Dec, 1944, Hamburg, Germany. Target was the synthetic oil refinery at Hamburg, which is one of the largest in Germany and also one of the heaviest defended targets in the Reich. The target was bombed visually from 25, 000’ and the flak was extremely accurate. The first three bursts came through the nose of our ship, knocking out the bombardiers interphone and showered us with glass and metal fragments. A few seconds later, we received several more hits in the nose giving us plenty of fresh air ventilation. We received hits all over the ship, knocking out #2 engine oil line, waist oxygen system and copilots interphone etc. Our ship was really riddled with holes and it was a miracle that no one got hurt. Just after turning off the target, we were jumped by enemy fighters including ME-109’s, FW-190’s and jet jobs. The attack lasted thirty minutes and were had a rough time of it , losing 1/3rd of our group due to the fighters and flak. During the encounter our tip turret gunner shot down an FW-190. It was an awesome sight to see both friendly and enemy ships go tumbling down in flames. Finally made it back to base after bucking a 140 MPH headwind and England never looked more beautiful. Time of flight was 8:00 hours. Flew ship #220 (JIMBO-Pathfinder ship) and led the 13B Combat Wing.
Mission #22 5 Jan. 1945, Frankfurt, Germany. Target was the railway marshalling yards at Frankfurt. Target was visual, so we bombed in squadron formation. Bombed from 25, 000’ and creamed the target. Flak was moderate and fairly accurate. Time of Flight was 10 ½ hours. Flew ship #696 (PFF-Pathfinder) and was supposed to lead the 13B Combat Wing but due to getting mixed up in weather, we ended up flying 13C.
Mission # 23 7 Jan. 1945, Cologne, Germany. Primary target was an autobahn bridge across the Rhine River at Cologne, which is the third largest city in Germany. There was a 10/10-cloud coverage over the target, so we started to bomb by instrument, but due to set failure on the bomb run, we were unable to release our bombs. Went over target at 24,000’ and encountered moderate flak. On way home we dropped our bombs on a target of opportunity, the town of Limburg. Time of flight was 8:00 hours. Flew ship #226 (JIMBO-Pathfinder a/c) and flew as 100 “C” squadron of the 13th “A” combat wing.
Mission #24 14 Jan. 1945, Derben Germany. The primary target was an underground oil storage depot at Derben, which is located just outside Berlin. Shortly before reaching the target area, we were jumped by about fifty FW-190’s. Our P-51 escort took out after them and we witnessed quite a dogfight. Every now and then a few bandits would break thru and make a pass at us. Most of their attacks were from the rear and the 390th group, which was trailing us bore the brunt of them, losing six ships. Our bomb load for this job was six (1000 lb) per ship. Went over target at 26, 800’ in group formation and bombed visually. Results observed were excellent. Time of flight was 8 ½ hours. Flew ship #009 (This Will Kill You-Pathfinder a/c) and flew as 100 “B” of the 13th “B” combat wing.
Mission #25 20 Jan. 1945, Heilbronn, Germany. Primary target was a railroad bridge over the Rhine River at Breisack, over which supplies were reaching the 1st German Army who were engaging the French 7th Army. Due to weather, we were unable to hit it and bombed the secondary instead, which was the railway marshalling yard at Heilbronn. Went over the target at 28,000’ and bombing was by PFF with a visual assist. Had a little engine trouble on the way home but otherwise trip was uneventful except for the weather which forced us to remain at 28,000’ until we reached the channel. As a result we were just about out of oxygen when we started our decent. Time of flight was 8:00 hours. Flew whip #226 (JIMBO-Pathfinder ship) and started out flying as 100 “A” of the 13 “B” combat wing, but somehow in the clouds we got ahead of the leader and the continental coast and ended up leading the Wing.
Mission #26 6 Feb. 1945, Chemnitz, Germany. Primary target was the synthetic oil refinery at Bohlin, which was one of the most important targets in Germany at the time. Due to adverse weather we were unable to bomb it and continued on to our last resort target, which was the railway marshalling yard at Chemnitz. Went over the target at 26,000’ and picked up quite a bit of flak on the bomb run, but it wasn’t very accurate. Target was completely cloud covered and our PFF equipment was out, se were unable to bomb. On way out we bombed Zwickau, a target of opportunity. Bucked a 190 knot head wind on way out and was forever getting home. Picked up some flak at Limburg and our ship received a few hits. Due to weather and lack of gas only half our ships made it back to base. Time of flight was 10:00 hours. Flew ship (?) and flew as 100 “A” of the 13th “C” combat wing.
Mission #27 15 Feb. 1945, Cottbus, Germany. Our primary target was the synthetic plant at Bohlin, which was one of the largest and most important in Germany. Due to weather, were unable to bomb it and continued onto the town of Cottbus, making this one of our deepest penetrations. The purpose of out bombing was to aid the Russians who were only twelve miles away by disrupting communications leading to Berlin. We bombed by instrument and thru a patch in the clouds saw a terrific flash of flame where our bombs hit, followed by great big brown pillars of smoke reaching to 10,000’. The bombs must have hit some explosive dump as the explosion rocked our entire formation which was flying at 24,000’ Had a long ride home, passing over the Russian lines and Czechoslovakia on the way out. Time of flight was 0900 hours. Flew ship #220 (PFF-Pathfinder a/c) and led the 13th “A” combat Wing.
Mission #28 19 Feb. 1945, Munster, Germany. Primary target was the railway marshalling yards at Osnabruck, but due to the Captain Mouse beacons fading out on the bomb run we bombed Munster instead. Went over target at 24,000’ and encountered severe flak. Just before bombs away our mickey operator was hit by flak, but we got our bombs away on the target with excellent results Pieces of flak were popping all thru the ship and we were expecting it to blow up any minute. A hit in the waist sprayed flak splinters in the eyes of our waist gunner. Due to our interphone being knocked out those of us in the front of the ship were in the dark as to what was happening back there. During our route out, mickey crawled up to the nose with a fix and our bombardier observing that something was wrong with him, followed him back and administered first aid. Time of flight was 0600 hours. Flew ship #220 (PFF-Pathfinder a/c) and led 100 “A” of the 13th “B” combat Wing.
Mission #29 25 Feb. 1945, Munich, Germany. Target was the railway marshalling yard at Munich where Hitler’s famous beer hall incident took place. The city was visual, but due to the smoke screen obliterating the rail yards we were afraid to bomb lest we hit a prisoner of war camp in the adjacent area, so we hit the center of town instead. Bombed from an altitude of 25, 500’. Flak was very heavy and accurate but we luckily got thru it without any damage. On way home we skirted the Swiss boarder and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the snow capped Alps. Time of flight was 0900 hours. Flew ship #220 (PFF-Pathfinder a/c) and led the 13th combat wing.
Mission #30 4 Mar. 1945 Ulm, Germany. Our primary target was a jet propelled factory about 35 miles Northeast of Ulm, but due to adverse weather we hit the railway marshalling yard at Ulm instead. The weather was too bad for forming over England se we assembled the group over a buncher in France. We got quite a scare while crossing the channel. Some crazy fools began test firing and tracer bullets were flashing all around us in the darkness. Went over target at 22, 900’ and bombed use H2X. Target was flak free, but we had to fly thru some very bad weather. Time of the Flight was 0820 hours. Flew ship #009 (This Will Kill You-Pathfinder a/c with Lt Col David “Handlebar Hank” Lyster as command Pilot) and led the 13th combat wing.