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MAJ  Joseph P. ARMANINI

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BOM

Joseph P. Armanini, Original 100th  -- NAV from the Barr Crew.  Known throughout the 100th as “Big Joe.” --One of a very few of the “Original 100th” crewmen to complete a tour.   (All members who went overseas with the Group are referred to as “Original 100th” – not a great number survived the war.)   (100th Photo Archives)

SERIAL #: STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: 24 FEB 44 POSEN "BIG JOE"

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
                 1ST LT VICTOR REED
                 ORGINAL 100TH PILOT

349TH CREW #8   A/C #42-30090  "El P'sstofo"

1ST LT   VICTOR REED                        P:  TRANSFERRED FROM 100TH AFTER AUG 12, 1943 MISSION TO BONN, GERMANY
F/O       CHARLES A. BROOKS               CP:  CPT,  16/12/43  BREMEN
2ND LT  HOWARD D. BASSETT          NAV:  CPT,  14 JAN 44 FORET D' HESDIN
2ND LT  JOSEPH P. ARMANINI           BOM:  CPT,  24 FEB 44 POSEN (went to 92nd CBW and 13th CBW)
T/SGT   GLENN N. ALBRIGHT             TTE:  CPT,  14 JAN 44 FORET D' HESDIN
S/SGT    RICHARD O. DETWEILER        WG: CPT, 13 FEB 44 LIVOSSART
T/SGT   JAMES S. DOUGHERTY         ROG:  CPT,  DATE & MISSION UNKNOWN
S/SGT   RICHARD M. PRICE                BTG:  NOC
S/SGT   THOMAS D. "TEDDY" BAER    WG:  KIA,  6 MAR 44 BERLIN (with  LT ALBERT AMIERO CREW)
S/SGT   CLIFFORD T. MINER               TG:  NOC

349th Sqdn.  This is an "Original" crew that flew over with the group. 
Charlie Brooks became pilot of the crew and completed the tour.  Howard 
Bassett replaced me (J.R. Brown) as navigator of the Sam Barr crew after 
I was wounded 15 Sept. 1943.  

Lt Joe Armanini had replaced Joe Kelly as bombardier of the Barr crew somewhere around August 15,1943.  Capt. "Big Joe" Armanini, after completion of 25 missions went with Howard Bassett to the HQ,  92nd CBW (B-24 Groups) at Sudbury with Gen Huglin and Capt Robert Kaiser (Kaiser had been at 13th CBW with Gen Hughlin since Oct. 1943 along with Maj. William Veal) Later Joe was trasnsferred to 13th CBW HQ at Horham with Gen Huglin,  Butch Rovegno, Mark Cope, Lt Col. Keisling, Lt Wilcox, Dick Johnson.  

Although no records have been found to substantiate the completion of their tours (25 missions) it is certainly a safe assumption that both 
Price and Miiner did become "Lucky Bastards" .

Thomas "Teddy" Baer was with tne crew of A. Amiero when killed over 
Berlin.

MISSIONS OF LT VICTOR REED (mpf 2001) with Big Joe Armanini

 DATE  MISSION  A/C # & NAME

1. 04/07/43 LaPALLICE             230042 OH NAUSEA
2. 10/07/43 LeBOURGET           230090 EL P'SSTOFO
3. 25/07/43  KIEL                      230090   EL P'SSTOFO
4. 26/07/43 HANOVER              230090   EL P'SSTOFO
    29/07/43 WARNEMUNDE         230090   EL P'SSTOFO  abort
5. 12/08/43 WESSELING, BONN   230090   EL P'SSTOFO

"ON THE BONN MISSION 12 AUGUST 1943, LT VICTOR REED'S LIFE WAS SAVED BY A NEAR MIRACLE.  JUST AS THE SHIP LOOSED HER CARGO OF BOMBS ON THE TARGET, A BURST OF FLAK LITTERED THE COCKPIT WITH SLIVERS OF HOT STEEL.  ONE SIZEABLE FRAGMENT PENETRATED REED'S OUTER CLOTHING BUT STRUCK THE SILVER WINGS HE WAS WEARING OVER HIS LEFT SHIRT POCKET.  THE VELOCITY OF THE SHARD WAS SO GREAT AS TO DRIVE THE INSIGNIA THROUGH THE SKIN AND CAUSE SEVER BRUISING OF THE CHEST MUSCLES.  WITHOUT THE WINGS TO DEFLECT IT, THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE PIECE OF FLAK WOULD HAVE KILLED OR SEVERLY WOUNDED LT REED.  THIS EPISODE SO UN-NERVED REED, THAT HE WAS UNABLE TO FLY FOR A TIME AND WAS EVENTUALLY TRANSFERRED FROM THE 100TH.

Big Joe Armanini: "Lt Reed had a tendency to abort missions due to perceived mechanical failures.One time when I was walking away from our plane after one such an abort.  I heard the ground crew say " There is nothing wrong with that engine that a little guts on the part of the pilot won't cure!"  

AT ABOUT THIS TIME, "BIG JOE" ARMANINI REPLACED "CRYING JOE" KELLY ON THE SAMMY BARR CREW AND SOME WEEKS LATER HOWARD BASSETT REPLACED JIM BROWN AS NAVIGATOR ON SAMMY BARRS CREW.  T/SGT DOUGHERTY WAS ALSO MOVED TO THE BARR CREW REPLACING MIKE TANOWIGCH AS ROG. (HE WAS KIA WITH LT KOPER ON MARCH 6, 1944 MISSION TO BERLIN).  CHARLES BROOKS CONTINUED AS CO-PILOT AND THEN AS A FIRST PILOT.  A FEW DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS 1943, 1ST LT BROOKS FLEW HIS 25TH MISSION AS PILOT OF "SQUAWKIN HAWK".

MISSIONS OF MAJ. JOSEPH PETER "BIG JOE" ARMANINI

MISSIONS WITH LT VICTOR REED CREW (mpf 2001)

 DATE  MISSION  A/C # & NAME

1. 04/07/43 LaPALLICE             230042 OH NAUSEA
2. 10/07/43 LeBOURGET           230090 EL P'SSTOFO
3. 25/07/43  KIEL                      230090   EL P'SSTOFO
4. 26/07/43 HANOVER              230090   EL P'SSTOFO
    29/07/43 WARNEMUNDE         230090   EL P'SSTOFO  abort
5. 12/08/43 WESSELING, BONN   230090   EL P'SSTOFO

MISSIONS WITH CAPT SAMMY BARR CREW:

6.   17/08/43 REGENSBURG  A/C 230170 TORCHY II MAJ  WILLIAM VEAL COMMAND PILOT
        23/08/43   MARAKECK  9HRS
7.     31/08/43   MEULAN LES MERUEAUX  
        02/09/43  KERLIN-BASTARD, AF (SCRUBBED)
8.   03/09/43 PARIS   A/C 230259 DAMIFINO II MAJ  WILLIAM VEAL COMMAND PILOT  (LT BARR PROMOTED TO CAPTAIN)  Plane was shot up, 
9.     09/09/43   BEAUVAIS-TILLE
10. 15/09/43 PARIS/CAUDRON   A/C 230487 TORCHY III JIM BROWN SWA, REPLACED BY LT HOWARD  BASSETT
11. 16/09/43 BORDEAUX/LAPALLICE  A/C 25861 LADEN MAIDEN
12. 23/09/43 VANNES  A/C 230154 WAR EAGLE
13. 26/09/43 PARIS   A/C 230487 TORCHY III MAJ WILLIAM VEAL COMMAND PILOT
14.   26/11/43  BREMEN
15.   29/11/43  BREMEN
16.   30/11/43  SOLINGEN Lead (with  Maj John Bennett)
17.   22/12/43  MUNSTER (Lead Group in Torchy III)
18.   24/12/43  ST.JOSEPH au BOIS (NOBALL)   4HRS
19.   05/01/44  NUESS (Lead with Maj John Bennett) 5:25HRS  Joe Armaninin got DFC for this mission  
20.   14/01/44  FORET D' HESDIN  (NOBALL)
21.   21/01/44  BOIS D'ESQUERDES (NOBALL)  
22.   05/02/44  VILLACOUBLAY
23.   06/02/44  ROMILLY sur SEINE
24.   13/02/44  LIVOSSART & BOIS REMPRE (NOBALL)
25.   24/02/44  ROSTOCK

Medals:
DFC  w/2 OLC
Air Medal w/3 OLC
Bronze Star
ETO Ribbon with 5 battle stars
French Croix de Guerre
Distinguished Unit Citation 
 

CREW
                     
ORGINAL 100TH PILOT OF 349TH CREW #4, A/C #42-30035 (TORCHY…named after Jim Browns wife's)

1ST LT  SAM L. BARR                           P:  CPT, 14 JAN 44  FORET D' HESDIN (flew 50 missions)  349th Commanding Officer
F/O        DAN BARNA                         CP:  POW, 10 OCT 43 MUNSTER (CREW# 7 LT MacCARTER CREW)
2ND LT  JAMES R. BROWN               NAV:  SWA, 15 SEP 43 PARIS  TAPS SEPTEMBER 1993
2ND LT  HOWARD J. KELLY             BOM:  CPT, 30 JAN 44 BRUNSWICK
T/SGT   ROBERT E. CLIFF                 TTE:  CPT, 21 JAN 44 BOIS D' ESQUERDES
S/SGT   WILLIAM OHL                      WG:  CPT, 24 FEB 44 POSEN
T/SGT   MICHAEL J. TANOWIGCH     ROG:  KIA, 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
S/SGT   MAX RUSS                          BTG:  CPT, 21 JAN 44 BOIS D'ESQUERDES
S/SGT   HOBART SPIRES                  WG:  KIA, 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
S/SGT   JAMES T. HITEN                   TG:  KIA, 21 JAN 44 BOIS D' ESQUERDES                                

NOTES: SWA DENOTES SEVERELY WOUNDED IN ACTION
THE NAVIGATOR, JAMES R. BROWN, WAS THE 100TH'S REVERED HISTORIAN UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 1993
This Crew flew with a few different Co Pilots  Lt Barna, Lt Brooks (Victor Reed Crew),  Lt Jack Boyd (spare CP, ended up CP on Lt Floyd Jr.Crew) and Lt Albert Amiero (info courtesy of Big Joe Armanini)

COL BARR FLEW 50 MISSIONS WITH THE 100TH, SECOND ONLY TO COL "ROSIE" ROSENTHAL'S 52.  HE WAS THE LAST OF THE ORIGINAL 100TH AIRMEN TO FLY COMBAT MISSIONS, LEAVING THE 349TH FOR THE HQ DET OF THE 100TH ON 18 JAN 1945.
STARTING FROM THE FIRST MISSION OF 25 JUN 43 UNTIL JAN 45 THE INTREPID MISSISSIPIAN WAS ON COMBAT STATUS.
TO THE DISMAY OF ALL 100TH VETERANS "SAMMY" APPEARED ON THE 1988 TAPS LIST. COL BARR DIED 17 APR 1988 AS THE RESULT OF A MAJOR STROKE.  HE IS MOURNED AND MISSED,   BUT WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN BY THE 100TH. 

CAPT BARR CREW AFTER SEPTEMBER 15, 1943

1ST LT  SAM L. BARR                           P:    CPT, 14 JAN 44  FORET D' HESDIN (flew 50 missions)  349th Commanding Officer
F/O     DAN BARNA                             CP:  POW, 10 OCT 43 MUNSTER (CREW #7)
2ND LT  HOWARD D. BASSETT          NAV:  CPT,  14 JAN 44 FORET D' HESDIN (from Victor Reed Crew
2ND LT  JOSEPH P. ARMANINI           BOM:    CPT,  24 FEB 44 POSEN (from Victor Reed Crew)
T/SGT   ROBERT E. CLIFF                 TTE:   CPT, 21 JAN 44 BOIS D' ESQUERDES
S/SGT   WILLIAM OHL                       WG:   CPT, 24 FEB 44 POSEN
T/SGT   JAMES S. DOUGHERTY         ROG:  CPT,  DATE & MISSION UNKNOWN (from Victor Reed Crew)
S/SGT   MAX RUSS                           BTG:  CPT, 21 JAN 44 BOIS D'ESQUERDES
S/SGT   HOBART SPIRES                   WG:  KIA, 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
S/SGT   JAMES T. HITEN                    TG:  KIA, 21 JAN 44 BOIS D' ESQUERDES



Subj: 100thBG Form Submission 
Date: 9/27/2001 4:12:29 AM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: ohlito@inet.att.co.kr (Joshua Ohl)
To: mpfaley@aol.comCC: janr@cei.net   212email = ohlito@inet.att.co.kruname = Joshua Ohlcomments = 
Hi my name is josh ohl. I am the grandson of William Ohl who was on all 3 Torchy B-17's and part of sammy Barrs crew. This is an update on him. He passed away of a heart attack June 2000.Your site shows his tour completed date ukn. His 25th and final mission was flown Feb 24, 1944 over Posen Poland.I am active duty air force currently in Korea. After he died my grandmother gave me his medals and my dad got a journal that he kept of all 25 missions. I have typed it out and have it on a microsoft word format if you are interested in it send me an E-,mail address to attach it to. I would like to try to get his story to be put on the web. I am also looking for the citation for his Distinguished Flying Cross. Could you tell me how I could locate that info. I have copies of his discharge paperwork. Thanks Josh Ohl

      
Here is his Journal.  Let me know what you think Thanks
Josh Ohl


"Torchy"
The WWII battle log of a B-17 waist gunner named

Bill Ohl


June 25, 1943

Mission Number 1

5 Hours

We were awakened at 2:00am the morning of the twenty-fifth to go on our
first mission over enemy territory.  We had to turn back twenty minutes from
the target, lost prop, and most of our No. 4 engine, which fell into the
North Atlantic.  Target was Bremen, Germany.  It was our first raid.  Lost
three crews from our squadron.



June 26, 1943
Mission Number 2

5 Hours

            Today we headed for LeMans, France.  Turned back about ten
minutes from the target due to cloudiness and shortage of gas.  No losses
today on crossing occupied territory that counts as mission No. 2.


June 28, 1943
Mission Number 3

9 Hours 40 Minutes


            Today we bombed the German submarine pens at St. Nazaire,
France.  The target was hit hard by our 2,000-pound bombs.  We flew through
flak over the target, which the Germans shot from anti-aircraft guns.
Torchy, our ship, got four flak holes today.  No injuries.  Enemy fighters
came up but left without even coming into range, estimate number about
thirty.  Lost no ships in our group today, but saw one ship from another
group go down in the channel.  Mission No. 3 completed.



June 29, 1943
Mission Number 4

6 Hours


            Today we went to LeMans and bombed German factories there.  We
did not make as good a bombing job as last time, but one of the other groups
with us demolished the target.  We flew over an overcast all the way to the
target.  A few fighters attacked the lead ships but did no damage.  We
picked up SpitFire escort before leaving the French coast.  Encountered
light flak at French coast.  Mission No. 4 and still no battle scars.



July 4, 1943
Mission Number 5

10 Hours 45 Minutes


            Today our target was LaPallice France.  We flew through heavy
overcast on our trip down there.  We completely demolished the target, which
was sub. pens again.  We have a new ship now, 230170, named Torchy 11.  It
is our first mission in Torchy 11.  She is a sweet ship, and is very fast.
I still have my old gun, which I moved over into this new ship.  We were in
the air ten hours and forty-five minutes on this mission and I looked and
felt very tired.  One ship is missing from our group.  We have been doing
most of our raids over France.  When we start raiding Germany we expect more
losses.  This is No. 5 mission and we are now entitled to get the Air Medal.
We now have twenty more missions to do and then we will return to the U.S.A.
the best land of all.  We encountered three ME 109's but had no losses on
their account.  At the end of five missions we have a new ship, and still
have the same old crew, except for a new co-pilot, named Jack Boyd.  We are
now Crew No. 1, we lost the first three crews on our first raid, so old Crew
No. 4 is now Crew No. 1 and leads the Red 9's, or 349th Squadron, over the
target.  Our spirits are high, but this type of job is hard on your nerves,
especially about five to ten minutes before you release your bombs on the
target.



July 10, 1943
Mission Number 6

4 Hours 15 Minutes



            This morning we got up at 1:30am, just after midnight to make an
early morning raid on an airfield the Germans have just out of Paris,
France.  We had 16, 300-pound bombs on.  We went in over the target, but
there was a solid layer of clouds over both main and secondary targets.
They threw flak from ground guns at us through the clouds without any
effect.  We were attacked by German Fighters, FW 190's.  I tried my best to
bring them down as they came in on these attacks, but they came right on in
through a wall of bullets from my gun and firing as they came.  Their wings
light up like a billboard as the come in on you.  I saw one burst out in a
quick flare of fire, and then it went out.  The ship did not go down,
although it was hit badly.  We lost two ships in our group.  I saw one go
down in flames and four of the crew bailed out and chutes opened OK.  Our
ship was not hit by the enemy but we had a fifty-cal. glance off the wing on
my side.  There was no other damage.  Crew are all OK at the end of six
missions over enemy territory and enemy occupied countries.  We did not drop
our bombs, as we didn't want to drop them on the French populous.  It did
count as a mission and all are OK after six missions.



July 25, 1943
Mission Number 7

8 Hours 30 Minutes



            Today we took off to bomb a German aircraft production center in
Denmark.  We met a few fighters on the way up there but they didn't come in
very close or give us much trouble.  Our target was not visible due to an
over cast and a smoke screen.  So being only a few miles from the Keil dry
docks and Sub pens we continued on to Keil, Germany through the heaviest
flak I have yet been in and dropped our 10-500 pound bombs on the target
along with every one else.  One ship in the group in front of us got hit
amidship with a burst of flak and in a very few seconds was seen and no
doubt everyone was killed.  The flak in Germany is getting more intense
every day.  We had very good luck on this the 7th raid, although our ship
had four good-sized flak holes there was no damage to the crew.  The closest
to me was a piece that entered the fuselage just back of the entrance door
and went out the other side back of the tail wheel.  We have two pieces of
flak that stuck to the ship as souvenirs.  I can say that this theatre of
war is the toughest of any of them at present and that concludes mission No.7.



July 28, 1943

Mission Number 8

5 Hours 30 Minutes



            Today we got up to go on a raid at 3:30 A.M.  We were to bomb a
factory in Germany that makes F.W. 190 fighter planes.  We took off at 5:30
A.M.  We were the lead ship of the 100th group.  We flew through heavy
overcast all the way over the North Atlantic.  We were attacked by about
sixty to seventy German F.W. 190's and J.U. 88's.  The fighters took good
advantage of the clouds while we had to stay in formation.  The 96th group
lost three ships in the first sweep of the fighters.  I was firing away and
holding my own when the Sear in my gun broke and my gun would not fire.  I
got the Sear from the radio gun and was soon ready for action again.  We
could not drop our bombs even if we had reached the target due to over cast.
That is the fault of the weatherman and S-2 and it isn't the first time they
have done that on us.  Although the fighters tried hard we in the 100th
group had no casualties and all is well after the 8th mission.



August 12, 1943

Mission Number 9

5 hours



We took off this morning after a long siege of bad weather.  I
counted our ships as they run down the runway on the take off and soon found
to my surprise we were going to be the "13" ship to take off.  On the
morning of Aug. 12 we were awakened at 2:10 A.M. for briefing.  We took off,
rendezvous and headed out over the Channel for Germany.  We had P47 fighter
escort in almost to the target.  The 47's had just turned and left to go
home and the German fighters hit us.  We gave them a bad time and as we
neared the target and the flak started coming up the enemy fighters left us.
The flak that we flew through today was the heaviest yet, and each raid
seems to have more then the last.  As I said before being the "13" ship in
the air this morning seemed to be a charm.  Out of our entire group ours is
the only one that didn't get a single hole in it.  We did not bomb our
primary target due to clouds, but instead we went to the secondary and blew
hell out of the center of an industrial town called Bohn or Bonn.  We bombed
from 26,500 ft. and made direct hits right in the middle of town.  I have
never been so cold in my life before as I was today.  It was 35 degrees
below zero.  We must keep our waist windows open from the time we take off
until we land.  I keep stomping my feet and marking time to keep my feet
warm and slapping my hands but not once leaving my position.  Ice was
building up all over my eyes and my eyelashes were stiff like icicles.  My
oxygen mask was full of ice and water would run part was down my neck and
freeze there.  I saw one enemy fighter go down for good.  The American 8th
air force lost twenty five planes today.  Reed, the pilot of crew six, very
good friends of crew one, got hit in the chest with a piece of flak but will
be ok soon.  We were over Germany for at least an hour and a half.  At the
end of the 9th mission we are still all ok and ready to go again.



August 15, 1943

Mission Number 10

4 Hours 10 Minutes



Today we took off to bomb German airfields at Medville and
Lille, France.  The flak was light and only about five fighters.  We
completely demolished the both fields and lost no planes.  The five German
fighters really gave us a fight but did not hit any of our ships badly
enough to bring them down.  We lost no aircraft and that brings the number
to ten missions.



August 17, 1943

Mission Number 11

11 Hours 15 Minutes to Africa

307 enemy fighters downed



            Today we mad the first shuttle trip ever made by Forts.  We took
off and fought our way from the time we went into Germany over the Channel
until we reached our target at Regansburg, Germany.  We completely destroyed
a ME 109 assembly plant.  Our group lost 10 Forts, and our Sqd. Lost 2 crews
and we lost our ship, which we left in Africa.  We were attacked by about
200 German fighters and had a 2 hour fight all the way to the target.  I saw
lots of our ships go down in flame and fellows bailing out one after
another.  We flew by our selves 800 miles through southern Germany and Italy
out over the Mediterranean and into Africa on 3 engines.  We could not keep
up with the formation so we continued on course to Africa by ourselves.  We
landed at Trobruk and slept under our ship for 2 nights and then continued
in another ship, leaving ours behind.  We landed at Oran and stayed 2 days
and then continued to Maracotch and stayed 2 days.  We took off at 9:20 P.M.
the 21st of Aug. and flew all night up around Spain and Port. And landed in
England the morning of the twenty second about noon.  That completed our
11th mission and I should get 2 enemy fighters to my score.  I shot the wing
off of a F.W. 190 and a M.E. 109 exploded as I was firing at it.  I am
waiting to see if they give me credit for them or not.  Our ship and crew
downed 6 enemy fighters on this the toughest mission yet.  So at the end of
the 11th mission all is well and the half way mark is close at hand.



August 31, 1943

Mission Number 12

5 Hours 15 Minutes



            Today we took off to bomb a German aircraft factory in Paris,
France.  We got over the target but there was to much of a cloud layer to
see the target so we dumped our bombs in the Channel to save the French
people and cities.  We had P47 escort in and out and there were no enemy
fighters and very little flak.  This flight over enemy occupied territory
completed the 12th mission.



September 3, 1943

Mission Number 13

5 Hours 45 Minutes



             We took off in the lead ship of our group today and went to
Paris, France to bomb a ME 109 repair station.  We led the group over the
target through very accurate flak that was bursting with loud explosions out
side my waist window.  The first four fighters that attacked us came in from
the nose and as they went by I started one of them smoking.  We did not drop
our bombs as the bomb sight went out and we were going to go to the
secondary target.  We started to turn with the fighters still on us.  One
got in a lucky hit on our No. 4 engine and set it on fire.  We were at
23,000 ft. and lead ship and our engine burning.  We pealed off to the right
to get away from the formation in case our ship would explode.  The pilot
said we would drop down few thousand feet and then bail out.  As we cleared
away from the group the pilot then threw the ship over on the left wing and
we dove to the side away from the fire and went sown to 16,000 ft. and we
still had our bombs in the bombay.  We straightened up enough to get rid of
the 6,00 lbs. Of bombs we were carrying, they were 12-500 pound bombs.  As
were coming down we were all getting ready to get out, but as we
straightened up we saw that the terrific speed that we dove at blew out the
fire, se seeing that we all got back on our guns and just in time to meet
the attack of 4 German fighters that followed us down to make sure we were
knocked out.  Our guns started spitting lead again and two of the four were
knocked sown and the other two went back to the other bombers.  With three
engines and all by ourselves and still very close at 16,000 ft. over Paris
we started a fast long glide to the coast to make as much speed as possible.
We were at about 5,000 ft. for most of the trip out to the Channel and
ground gunners would fire 20 MM's and other small guns at us as tracers
could be seen going by.  We made the cast and dropped sown just over the
water and came on in to our home base by ourselves, just arriving a few
minutes before our group.  We lost 1 crew and 2 ships out of the 6 that went
in our sqd.  As this the 13th raid was completed, we are still all ok and in
a dammed good fighting mood from what happened to us.  Torchy No. 1 was
blown to pieces by a accident while in flight on the mission.  I have two
enemy fighters now and I hope to raise that score very soon and very high if
I possibly can.



September 9, 1943

Mission Number 14

5 Hours

Beauvais-Tille



            Today we took off to bomb a German fighter field in France.  We
did not have any attacks by fighters on our group, but the low group was hit
by 7 of them.  I saw the attack but they were out of range for me to fire at
them.  The flak was light and we didn't lose any ships.  I saw large convoys
out in the Channel and it looks like an invasion of France is close at hand.
After the 14th raid all crew members are all ok.



September 15, 1943

Mission Number 15

5 Hours



            We took off to bomb the ME 109 reconditioning plant at Paris,
France.  There were a few fighters and the flak was the heaviest I've seen
yet.  I saw three Forts blow up as they went over the target in the group
ahead of us.  We then turned into the I.P. and on over the target and our
navigator was wounded by a piece of flak that went through his left hand,
but no one else was hit.  We then continued on home and landed again after
dark, completing out the 15th mission, still 10 to go.



September 16, 1943

Mission Number 16

11 Hours



            Today we took off on a 1600 mile trip to bomb a target at
Bordeau, France.  We flew right down on the water all the way to within
about 100 miles of the target and then went to altitude of 23,000 ft. and on
in over France.  Our target was under an overcast so we went over and bombed
the Sub. Pens and docks at LaPallice.  I saw 2 Forts leave the formation
today, one on fire.  Four chutes came out.  The other left under control and
headed for the clouds followed by two German fighters.  As we were coming
home down low over the water 4 JU 88's attacked us and one was shot down,
the other 3 left soon after.  We came on home and flew through fog from the
time we got about 150 miles north and on top of that it was dark.  We flew
by ourselves to avoid a collision.  At the completion of the 16th mission
and 9 more to go I as still fine, but have been plenty scared at times but
crew No. 1 and Bill Ohl are still giving the Germans hell at every chance.





September 26, 1943

Mission Number 17

5 Hours 30 Minutes

Today we took off in the lead ship of our group to bomb the Renneault
factory at Paris, France, or I should say at flak city, as Paris has the most
and most accurate flak I have ever flown through.  The Continent was a
complete over cast of clouds and we could not bomb our target after flying
around for nearly two hours over enemy occupied territory.  We had a very
good escort of P47's all the way in and out.  I saw 5 enemy fighters but
they did not attack us due to our large escort.  We returned home with out
any losses to our group.  On the way home I saw 2 B17's or Forts collide and
explode and go down over England in flames.  No one got out of either ship.



November 29, 1943

Mission Number 18

6 Hours 15 Minutes



            Today we took off to bomb the shipping center at Bremen,
Germany.  We flew at 27,000 ft. with a temperature of 56 degrees below zero.
We dropped our bombs through an under cast on the flares of the pathfinder.
Several FW 190' made one head on attack and left us.  We had P47 escort in
and out.  We didn't get hit by either flak or fighters.



November 30, 1943

Mission Number 19

7 Hours 15 Minutes

Solingen



            We took off to bomb a town in the center of Germany with a
population of 150,000.  We bombed through an under cast at 29,000 ft. at 48
degrees below zero and started home.  We had to feather one engine and the
other 3 were freezing up and our superchargers were frozen.  Our engines
were running but not fast enough to pull the ship.  We dropped out of
formation over Germany and started losing altitude while heading for the
coast.  As we came over Holland Major Benett and Capt. Barr saw we could not
make it across the North Sea.  He gave orders to prepare to abandon ship
after deciding that it would be better to bail out than to crash land and
then destroy the ship.  We all put on our chutes and were waiting to get out
away from the towns so we would have a chance to hide when a flak gun began
firing at us at four of five thousand feet over Holland.  When the pilot
took evasive action and began working the throttles the superchargers had
thawed out at our lower altitude and the pilot called us and said to hold on
a minute that he thought we could make it ok now.  I looked out my window
and saw No. 1 engine was being started.   We then followed a river or inlet
out to sea and continued on to our home base.





December 22, 1943

Mission Number 20

4 Hours

Munster

            Today we went to Munster, Germany.  On our groups last mission
there we lost all except 1 ship.  We lead the group to Munster in Torchy
3rd.  We had excellent fighter escort and light flak.  We dropped our bombs
through an undercast on the flares from the pathfinder ship.



December 24, 1943

Mission Number 21

4 Hours

No ball 19-Pasde Calais



            We took off at 11:45 A.M. to bomb French installations.  The sky
was as clear as a bell and we had about 600 fighter escort and 1300 heavy
bombers in the air that day.  That was the greatest number the 8th air force
had yet sent against the enemy.  We did not run into any flak or fighters.
That is the easiest mission yet.



January 5, 1944

Mission Number 22

6 Hours



            Today we took off leading the 100 group and with plenty of
fighter escort.  We went over into Germany and on into the Reuhr Valley to
destroy a bolt and nut factory and in doing so we leveled the town of Nuess,
a medium sized town situated between Dusseldorff and Cologne.  We picked up
flak from Dusseldorff.  We do feel proud as we were leading our group on
this raid and for the accuracy at which our bombs hit.  I saw on FW190
exploded with a beautiful red flash and disappeared.  Th explosion came on a
couple of seconds after the ship began to smoke.  I believe our bombardier
may get an award for this mission.  As our briefed target was under an over
cast we bombed this target of opportunity, as we called it, with such
perfect results.  It happened to be a vital war industrial factory.  That
brings my 22nd mission to an end and only 3 mare to go.



January 14, 1944

Mission Number 23

4 Hours



            Today we took off and bombed another German installation on the
French coast.  The code name of the target is No Ball 20.  We did not get
much flak and no fighters.  We had excellent fighter escort and our pilot,
Capt. S.L. Barr finished his missions and also our navigator, Capt. H.
Basset finished his.  Our crew is now broken up after six months of training
in the States and of 8 months of combat together.  Now we are sweating out
our last few to finish up.



February 21, 1944

Mission Number 24

7 Hours



We took off this morning to bomb the Ball bearing factory at Brunswick,
Germany.  This target is 60 miles west of Berlin.  We had excellent fighter
escort all the way.  We crossed over into the continent above a 10-10st over
cast and continued on in.  We got about 150 miles into Germany and ran out
into a clear sky and right over and area of about 6 or 7 German airfield.
The Gray leaders immediately each picked out a field and made a bomb run.
We completely demolish our target.  We then abandoned the operation on
Brunswick and started home.  We started picking up flak just after bombs
away and it lasted about five minutes but was not very close, I would guess
it was about 100 yds. Or so to the right and behind or at 5 o'clock.  We
then continued on home and landed to complete my 24th mission.



February 24, 1944

Mission Number 25

11 Hours 45 Minutes



            We got up at 2:30 A.M., breakfast at 3:30 A.M. and briefing at
4:30 A.M.  We were to bomb a fuselage and wing factory for German fighters
at Posen, Poland.  We were alone not having any escort.  We took off and
started in over the North Sea.  We crossed the Island of Silt at 12,000 and
went through a flak barrage, which exploded several thousand feet above us.
I could look out and see the flak shells burning and leaving a light smoke
trail as it shot up through our formation and exploded way above us.  We
went on in over Denmark and out over the Baltic Sea and as we crossed the
coast again into Germany to get into Poland and our target we were attacked
by 4 JU88 German fighters.  They lined up at about 1500 yds. To the right of
our formation and made pass after pass at our group from head on and guns
a-blazing.  I could see the 20MM's exploding all around.  Our pilot kept up
evasive action all the while we were being attacked.  I wasn't getting any
action on the left side so I called out the fighter's position to the crew
so they could fire at them.  I did get some shots at one that passed over
the group but he was quite a distance up and I did not hit it.  We finally
got to the target after an hours fight with the fighters and we had got two
of them. We found out that our target was under a cloud layer, so still
being constantly followed and attacked by FW190's and ME109's.  We came back
to Germany and bombed a target at Rostock, Germany, that is every one except
us.  We opened our bomb-bay doors and our bombs began dropping out one by
one so in order to keep a top bomb from falling on one of the lower ones we
dropped them on the bomb run before we reached the target.  The evasive
action to keep out or the sights of the fighter's sights was so violent that
the bombs pulled loose.  We stayed in the formation after our bombs were
away and went on over the target with our group.  They dropped the bombs on
the flares of the pathfinder through the clouds and we could not see if it
was good job of bombing or not.  We were in the flak with the group for
about 10 minutes, and the only close flak we got was a follow up group of
four bursts that came closer and closer until finally four burst exploded
directly under our ship, each of the bursts could be heard, that is how you
know it is close.  We continued on over Denmark with the fighters still
around.  I saw on 17 get it's tail shot off and leave the formation and was
shot down about five minutes later.  A ME 109 came through the formation and
passed about 150 or 200 yards off our left wing.  He came out of the sun and
was behind the wing until he got so close that I didn't have time to get a
shot at him, when I did see him.  He passed through without doing any
damage.  We passed out over the coast of the North Sea again and started
loosing altitude about 2 hours and 30 min. later and came in over England at
about 2,000 ft. and as it was getting dark and we had to wait for the B.
group to land first we put on our clearance lights and finally landed to
complete the 25th, and final mission over enemy occupied territory, where
they can make it plenty rough as I have seen plenty of times in my 9 months
of combat missions.  I was really happy to get back from that 25th and last
one and was plenty tired as we had gotten up for 4 morning straight.  The
missions were scrubbed the preceding mornings.  At times, I thought I never
would complete 25 missions as I had seen to many of my friends go down.  Our
group had two original crews finish and I happened to be one of them.  Now
that I'm finished I hope to be home for a furlough soon, by my birthday I
hope.

*************************************************************************************************************

Bill Griffith and Big Joe were shooting Pheasants and killed a few.  The local constable caught them and said they had killed the landowners foul and needed to go and appologize to them personally in Class A's.  So they dress up in Class A's and go knock on Sir Rupert Manns manor and they were invited in. Instead of getting the 3rd Degree, they were invited in for Tea and cookies and talked for over and hour.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

From Big Joe Armanini

From Big Joe Armanini Collection

Lost Forts Hit secret Factory part II  (from Big Joe Armanini Collection)

Stateside (from Big Joe Armanini collection)

Stateside with Big Joe Armanini (far right) Lt Victor Reed, (Fourth from Left) and Sam R. Turner (2nd from Left) (from Big Joe Armanini collection) 

Big Joe getting the Criox de Guerre (Big Joe Armanini Collection)

Big Joe being congratulated by Col Chick Harding (from Big Joe Armanini Collection) 

Maj J.T. Griffin and Maj Joseph Armanini at 13th Combat Wing. (from Big Joe Armanini Collection)

Capt Big Joe Armanini, 

Maj Joseph Armanini  at 13th Combat Wing HQ, Wing Bombardier

"TORCHY 2" and part of the Sammy Barr Crew in North Africa after Regensburg Shuttle Mission. From left: Howard D. Bassett, William Ohl, James R. Brown, Max Russ, Joseph P. Armanini, William Veal (Commanding Officer of the 349th), Sammy L. Barr and James T. Hiten.    Detailed Information    (100th Photo Archives)

Sammy Barr Crew: From left standing; Howard Bassett, Joe Armanini and Sam L. Barr. Kneeling from left: J. "Doc" Dougherty, Max Russ, Bill Ohl, James Hiten, Hobart Spires and Bob Cliff. (100th Photo Archives)

Sam L. Barr Crew: Standing from left: James T. Hiten, William Ohl, Bennett (Air Exec), James S. Doughterty, Max Russ, and Robert E. Cliff 
Kneeling from left: Howard D. Bassett, Joseph P. Armanini, and Sam L. Barr    Detailed Information    (100th Photo Archives)

100th Officers photographed at Thorpe Abbotts in 1944. Standing third from left is Harry H. Crosby, Joseph "Big Joe" Armanini, Everett Blakeley. Seated from left: Sammy Barr, John Bennett and Rosie. (Robert Rosenthal) (100th Photo Archives)

Sammy Barr Crew: From left standing; Howard Bassett, Joe Armanini and Sam L. Barr. Kneeling from left: J. "Doc" Dougherty, Max Russ, Bill Ohl, James Hiten, Hobart Spires and Bob Cliff.(100th Photo Archives)

 Double exposed photo of the Capt. Sam Barr crew after landing in North Africa on 17 Aug 43. (Photo courtesy of Big Joe Armanini) Barr crew information | Regensburg mission information 

13th Combat Wing Roster for March 1945

Capt Sam L. Barr Crew 
L-R , Hobart Spires-WG, Joseph (James) S. Dougherty-ROG, Big Joe Armanini-BOM, Capt. Sammy Barr-P, Robert E. Cliff-TTE, William Ohl-WG, James T. Hiten-TG, Max Russ-BTG, Howard Bassett-NAV
Kneeling: Dan Barna-CP

 Sam L. Barr crew. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

Lt Leonard Wickens, Nav on Lt Robert Hughes Crew with "BIG JOE" Armanini. (100th BG Photo Archives)

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 118