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Diary of S/Sgt Calvin Dollar

Diary of S/Sgt Calvin Dollar – “My 35”

Diary of S/Sgt Calvin Dollar (Top Turret Engineer) of the Lt Walter Bailey Crew
Submitted by Pat Gallagher on behalf of Lt Linkas (Nav.)

1. Ludwigshafen, Germany-8/14/44
Flak-run out of oxygen over Germany, + had to let down to 10,000 Ft. Low on gas,standing by to ditch. 4 small flak holes, all 4 eng. Throwing oil-No planes lost.

Venlo, Holland-8/15/44
Aborted, lost No. 4 engine turned back 10 min from target. No2 &3 engine also bad expected more trouble but got back OK. Had to land with 38 100lb bombs aboard.

2. Ruhland, Germany-8/24/44
Flak & Rockets, no flak hits but tow close misses by rockets. Bombed synthetic oil refinery.

3. Politz, Germany-8/25/44
Flak & Rockets. Bombed synthetic Oil refinery. Saw 2 ships blow up over target. One caught on fire on way home. I saw 4 chutes come out. We landed with 10 gal. Gas per engine remaining. Lost ? plane our of our group. (mpf…100th BG lost no aircraft on his mission)

4. Brest, France-8/26/44
Object of Mission: to help ground troops. Couldn’t drop our bombs because of overcast, danger of hitting our own troops. No flak or Fighters. Saw on plane catch on fire & blow up, no chutes were seen.

5. Berlin, Germany-8/27/44
Instrument take off. Bad weather, had to turn back over Denmark. The whole 8th Air Force was recalled. After landing, we found leaves + sticks in No 1 engine which came from hitting trees at end of runway on takeoff. Brought bombs back.

6. Bremen, Germany-8/30/44
Bombed a FW-190 assembly plant, a rush job. Took off at about 12:30 PM, flak galore but we didn’t get a scratch.

7. Brest, France-9/3/44
Bombed troops. Were suppose to bomb at 11,000 feet but had to make 3 runs on the target before we could see enough to drop our bombs. We did finally drop our bombs at 8,000 Ft. No flak or fighters.

8. Stuttgart, Germany-9/5/44
Bombed a Vehicle Mfg. Co., Bomb load-6 1,000lb G.P. (General Purpose), Hit target right on the nose, started big fire. Flak moderate but very accurate. Got 4 flak hits, one right under Co-pilots seat. Could hear the flak burst, it was so close.

9. Mainz, Germany-9/8/44
In outskirts of Frankfurt, bombed a supply dump, over1,000 Heavies participated. Medium flak got one flak hit in No. 3 engine Narcelle. Temp 43 degrees below zero.

Dusseldorf, Germany-9/9/44
Aborted, lost boost on No 1 engine while we were climbing. While I was changing the amplifier we lost the oil pressure on No 3. Lt Bailey tried to feather No 3 and it wouldn’t feather so we kept about ¼ power on it to try to prevent it from catching on fire. We pulled out of formation and headed for home. We salvoed our bombs over the Channel.

10. Nurnburg, Germany-9/10/44
Up at 1:00AM, briefed on one of the toughest targets in Europe. Saw flak all the way in and most of the way out. Bombed a tank & small arms factory. Results not known. Intense flak over target + some rockets. Saw 4 Forts go down, 2 burning, 1 in a spin and 1 exploded. Didn’t see any chutes. We got one flak hit, we were in the air 9:40 hrs all together.

11. Ruhland, Germany-9/11/44
Went back to bomb the same target that we bombed on our 2nd mission. But things were changed considerably. We saw flak at several points on the way in. We were hit by about 40 or 50 FW-190’s. We were in the high group and only had one fighter attack. They really hit the boys below us. I saw 4 Forts and 2 FW’s go down so fast I was dazed. Next thing I saw was a FW coming in at 7:00 O’Clock on a pucuit curve on our tail. I put my sights on him and squeezed the trigger. I knew he was out of range but I fired any way. I was scared stiff to tell the truth. The attack lasted about 3-5 min. The P-51’s came in and the FW’s wouldn’t stay and fight. We didn’t get hit but——–. Flak
was extremely heavy but I didn’t notice it because of the fighters. Our Group Lost 12 Forts. 4 from our Sqdn. Baker & Raine went down. What a day!

12. Magdeburg, Germany-9/12/44
Bombed a synthetic oil Co.. Bomb load 10-500lb G.P. Saw 1 Fort blow up in the group ahead of us. Flak was very intense, we had a malfunction in our bomb racks and we had 5 bombs hung up in the bomb bays. We went through about a minute and a half of flak with those bombs in there. After we got through the flak we pulled out of formation & dropped the bombs. We tried to hit a town but we didn’t have a bombsight and we missed. We got back with one small hole. Sweating out tomorrow, our 13th & on the 13th too.

13. Ludwigshafen, Germany-9/25/44
Bombed a marshalling yard, flak was moderate to heavy but not too accurate. Not nearly as bas as it was on our 1st mission, no enemy fighters, no planes lost. Lt Merchen’s (Copilot) birthday, he got all nine shots when we got back. I damn near froze, temp.was –43 degrees below at 25,700 ft. Turret. was leaking air around dome.

14. Bremen, Germany-9/26/44
Bombed a Tank assembly plant. Had a toggalier for the first time. Flak was heavy but we didn’t get hit. Hit target right on the head, temp. -40 degrees C at 27,000 ft. All the planes came back.

15. Mainz, Germany-9/27/44
Lost No 4 engine 3 minutes from I.P. (Initial Point). Couldn’t keep in formation and were losing altitude. Called Lead ship & he said we should turn back. We didn’t want to take the bombs back, we took a vote and everyone wanted to go to Germany & drop the eggs. So on we went alone saw some flak but it was all way off. There was 10/10-cloud coverage so we couldn’t see where we were dropping our bombs. Lt Bailey’s birthday (27). We got down & Capt Gorski told Lt Bailey to come over to Opps after interrogation. He went over and was presented with his Silver bar (1st Lieutenant). What a birthday present. Damn good P-51 & P-47 escort.

16. Bielfeld, Germany-9/30/44
Bombed an ordinance Co. which was furnishing troops on the front with many and various supplies. No flak was encountered over the target but we had light flak on route in. No fighters came up & we didn’t loose any planes. Had P-51 escort.

17. Munster, Germany-10/5/44
Our target was an air base from which FW190 and Me109’s have been operating. We didn’t drop our bombs because of bad weather. We were carrying English type incendiaries. When we came over the English coast the Limes shot 3 bursts of Flak at us. Thank God they can’t shoot! We were on the bomb run and our bomb b ay doors wouldn’t open. I had to climb down and jump on them to break them loose but we made a dry run and came back, no planes were lost.

18. Spanpau (BERLIN), Germany 10/6/44
8 miles from Berlin. In reality we got flak from Berlin, flak was very intense. We bombed an aircraft engine works, We burned our bomb bay motor up and couldn’t open them when the motor went out it froze the gears and we couldn’t crank them up until the motor cooled off. The motor went out when we were testing the doors. I cranked the door down at the I.P. & up at the end of the bomb run. Boy what a Job!. Saw one B-17 blow up over the target also saw 2 fighters go down but I’m not sure if they were ours or the Jerry’s. We had 8 groups of P-51’s for fighter cover. We had several flak hits; one piece hit the Navigators helmet but didn’t hurt him. This group lost 1 plane.

19. Bohlen, Germany-10/7/44
Bombed a synthetic oil refinery, heaviest flak we have ever encountered but I didn’t see a single plane (B-17) go down. We made a slow right turn after the target and the flak guns followed us all the way around. We got several flak holes but no major battle damage. We left the continental coast on the way back with approximately 20 gal of gas per engine remaining. Had to leave the formation at the English coast because we didn’t have enough gas to make the usual formation landing. We landed safely with 1-2-3 gas gauges on “0” & No. 4 on “5” gal. We were thinking of making a forced landing but we decided to try to make it.

20. Mainz, Germany-10/9/44
We were briefed on a marshalling yard but the bombing results are not yet known. There was a very heavy undercast + bombing was by instrument. Flak was very light and off to out right. We didn’t even get hit. WE were flying No 2 position off the lead ship of the Lead element. The lead ship had to abort before the I.P. so the deputy Lead took over, then we went up and Lead the High element. When we came back, our field was socked in and we had to make an instrument decent. One ship crash landed somewhere in France, It wasn’t from our group though.

21. Bremen, Germany-10/12/44
Bombed an aircraft engines accessory plant. Bombing was by instrument through 10/03 cloud coverage, flak was very light and off too our extreme right. No enemy fighters were encountered, we Lead the High squadron, no flak hits in our ship.

22. Cologne, Germany-10/15/44
Target a marshalling yard, intense accurate tracking flak. We got over 100 flak holes in our ship right after we started our bomb run. Lt Merchen got hit by flak, I heard him say, I’m Hit and leaking like a sieve. I spun my turret around and came out to see what I could do. I helped him out of his seat and lowered him down into the catwalk between the flight deck and the Navigators compartment. Then I crawled up in the blood-covered seat and flew as co-pilot. I flew alone for about 15 minutes while Lt Bailey was down checking on the Co-pilot. We lost No. 2 engine over the target and had to feather it. Then I heard Lt Bailey say, “Get ready boys, 2 and 4 are out”. I looked out at the engines and the props were windmilling to a stop, Lt Bailey shoved the throttles full open and they cut back in. Boy my heart stopped for a second. I flew most of the way back from the target, we were undecided whether or not to land in Brussels and get medical aid for Lt Merchen but we decided to fly on home. We got to the field and broke right into the traffic pattern and fired our Red Red flare (meaning wounded on board…mpf) and landed. A plane had run off the runway so we couldn’t taxi around by the ambulances and we just stopped at the end of the runway and they got Lt Merchen out. No enemy fighters were seen thank God!!

23, Merseburg, Germany-10/30/44
Target a synthetic oil refinery. Ran into very bad weather and severe cloud formation, we were already in enemy territory when we were recalled. We brought our bombs back. We had a new 1st pilot as a Co-pilot in the absence of Bill.

24. Kobelnz, Germany-12/2/44
Target was a marshalling yard, we got to the I.P. and the weather was so bad we had to turn back. Brought our bombs back. Our plane “Yehudi” (42-107230 XR-B…mpf) went into a spin while we were forming and spun down about 7,500 feet before the pilot pulled her out. After he pulled out he thought everything was all-right so they went on to the I.P. and when they landed they found that the plane was all sprung out of shape. It is grounded now and they are going to salvage it. We sure hated to loose it. We ere flying ship 015 (42-98015 XR-N “Hundred Proof”…mpf) leading the high element of the Lead Squadron.

25. Giessen, Germany-12/4/44
Target was a marshalling yard. Had a very bad day, everything seemed to go wrong. We couldn’t hold our plane in position without stalling out. No. 3 engine was running pretty rough at time and I thought we were going to loose it, but she came through ok. We took a lot of evasive action on the way into the target and kept out of the worst flak. We saw lots of flak going in and coming out but it wasn’t too close. We didn’t get any flak holes in our ship. We flew ship 470 (44-8470 XR-T…mpf), Leading high element of the High squadron. Good fighter support.

26. Germany-12/12/44
Target was a marshalling yard in the Frankfurt area. Flak was unusually light; saw several rockets and one Jet job. There was about ? cloud coverage over the continent but the target was visual. Made an instrument assent and also an instrument let down. Visibility completely wiped out. We encountered intense flak over the front lines; saw 2 17’s go down and 2 more collided in mid air. Also saw some red flak, which is usually a signal for fighters but our escort kept them away from us. We saw a lot of dog fights, most of them below us. We had several holes in our ship. Germany was pretty well covered with snow.

27. Mainz, Germany-12/18/44
Target was a marshalling yard, which has been hit several times before. We had a Colonel from the 13th Division flying co-pilot with us. We ran into very adverse weather but went on in and made a run on the target but didn’t bomb. We brought our bombs back. We expected fighter opposition due to the poor formation. Visibility was almost “0” back at the base and we had all kinds of planes land here. Lt Bailey made a beautiful landing upon almost over shooting. No battle damage.

28. Biblis, Germany-12/24/44
Target was an airfield used by the Luftwaffe. It was a Maximum effort day. 5,000 allied bombers + fighters were suppose to participate. Results were perfect, the field, hangars and barracks area were ? Formation loosened up because of the turbulent weather caused by the clouds. We Lead the High element of “A” Group. We had a very close call, nearly collided with a plane below us. The temp. was 44 degrees below zero.

29. Kaiserlautern, Germany-12/25/44
Target was marshalling yard. Saw flak and rockets at the front lines but most of it was off to our left. Saw one plane go down behind us, one chute possibly came out. Flak over the target was very accurate and they were tracking us. We expected to have to land at some other base possibly in France se we each took two blankets along. Also took 3 days supply of “K-Rations” along. We completely demolished the rail yards. After the target, we headed back for our home base and a big Turkey feed. We got to our base and it was almost covered with ground fog. The tower told us to fly around a while and maybe the fog would lift. They put B-17’s along the runway and ran the engines up to 1800 RPM to try to blow the fog off. It helped some and we finally came in for a landing. Two crews of our Squadron finished up, Lucky stiffs, 6 more to go.

30. Koblenz, Germany-12/28/44
Target a marshalling yard. Aour original or primary target was a communications center consisting of a railroad track, a river + a highway. This target was in direct support of the ground troops. The weather wsa too bad for visual bombing, so we went on to Koblenz, about 50 miles further into Germany and bombed PFF. Flak was very light and inaccurate. There was also a few rockets. One engineer from out Squadron was crushed to death in his turret. No planes were lost.

31. Frankfurt, Germany-12/29/44
Target a marshalling yard through which supplies to the troops at the front. Flak was intense and very accurate. We got hit pretty hard; one piece cut the main oil line on No. 3 engine. It was leaking oil fast and the oil hitting the hot supercharger was smoking and Frost (BTG) thought the engine was on fire. We feathered No. 3 and she was OK. Lt Bailey got hit in the leg just below the knee; the piece that hit him came right through the left rudder pedal. The pilots and navigator’s oxygen was shot out and also the top turret. I helped Lt Bailey out of his seat and down into the navigators compartment so they could give him first aid. Then I got up in the pilots seat and flew there helping the Co-Pilot all the way back. I had a close miss in the top turret. Flak just missing my right shoulder. The navigator also got a hit on his flak helmet but it didn’t hurt him. We got back over England and visibility was very poor so we landed at the 95th Bomb Group by mistake. We ate there and then a truck from the 100th came and got us and brought us back to our field. We saw one plane on fire but it went out and the pilot brought the ship back. Before the fire went out, the navigator, bombardier, copilot and engineer bailed out. All our planes returned.

For some unknown reason, the diary for S/Sgt Dollar ends after 31 missions. The crewmembers only had 4 more missions to fly and they did not fly the Dec 31, 1944 mission to Hamburg where the 100th BG lost 12 planes. Hopefully, one of the other members of this crew can help fill in the 4 remaining missions….mpf – December 2004