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Group History

Bowman Diary Page 07

Bowman Diary - Page 07
 Page 1   Page 2   Page 3   Page 4   Page 5   Page 6  Page  7   Page 8   Page 9   Page 10

This is the diary of Major Marvin Bowman as compiled by Paul West.
Jan Riddling, 100th Bomb Group Historian, reformatted this version in July 2003.

 Jul 29, 1944

Merseburg again. A tough day indeed, with eight lost - among them the crews of Lts. Schomp, Steussy, Coccia and Grenier. Attacked by jet propelled fighters who may have accounted for some of the losses. Entire low squadron of A Group failed to return. B Group hit the target with the 4th Wing and we are hopeful this ends the Merseburg visits for the time being. Strike photos show a good pattern across the refinery.

Jul 30, 1944

Stand down last night and this morning. Lt. Colonel John M. Bennett left today for assignment in the training section at Third Division. Had been Air Exec. or a squadron commander in the 100th since last fall. His successor is Lt. Colonel Eugene Price, coming down from division.

Jul 31, 1944

Lt. Colonel Kidd led 20 planes to Munich, where they bombed PFF with fair to good results. Composite squadron of seven planes flew with the 390th. Weather was far from good.

Aug 1 & 2, 1944

Stand down on the 1st. Tactical mission on the 2nd - bridge at Beautor, France. The 100th put up three groups of which two hit the briefed bridge - the third 100th group hit another bridge by mistake.

Aug 3, 1944

Briefed for gas and oil dump at Pacy sur Armacon. Colonel Jeffrey led - Group was unable to synchronize on A target after two bomb runs - secondary, the Airdrome at Troyes was hit. MPI plastered with no flak or fighter opposition present.

Aug 4, 1944

Forty planes attacked Hamburg oil refinery. Overcast made precision bombing difficult, although the city and target area were hit, it is doubtful if the MPI was destroyed.

Aug 5, 1944

Daimler Benz factory at Magdeburg was nicely plastered, but it cost us two ships - both to flak.

Aug 6, 1944

Flash!! the 100th went to Berlin, hit the target and returned without being attacked. This is the neatest trick of the week. While most of the 8th AF was hitting Berlin, the 390th and the 95th sent groups to Russia, via Gdynia. They bombed okay and arrived safely. Went on to Italy, and later returned to England, bombing in southern France. Entire trip took only six days as compared to two weeks of the first shuttle raid in which the 100th participated. General Kissener led the mission.

Aug 7, 1944

Group went back to Beautor where bridge, it seems, was damaged but quickly repaired after the Aug 2nd raid. There was a 10/10 overcast and the planes returned without bombing. The mission was completely uneventful.

Aug 8, 1944

Ground support mission in Normandy. Two groups from the 100th smoked the target (St. Sylvian) - third group dropped far short (14 miles) after Major Zellor and deputy leader had both been shot down by flak near the IP. Bomb run was 34 miles long, just behind enemy lines and at 14,000 feet. The formation got terrific flak along entire run, and hardly a ship escaped damage. Flak was mostly 88mm anti-tank guns pointed upward. Lt. Keye's plane lost it's tail and exploded a few seconds later. Major Zellor landed behind our lines and was back at the base two days later, his crew unhurt. Flak was reported as the worst the group has ever encountered.

Aug 9, 1944

Mission scheduled for Nurnburg was scrubbed - this is one place the 100th has never been. All S-2 classes for this afternoon were scrubbed also and a practice mission for new crews was flown.

Aug 10, 1944

Released for training last night and today - welcome break for all hands as the missions have been frequent of late. Crews are getting very tired. Cloudy and cold for a change after many day of pleasant summer weather.

Aug 11, 1944

Villacoublay, Pris A/D took a pounding today, the entire field being pot-holed. Not without cost thought, we lost one plane, Lt. Aske's to flak. Stand down tonight.

Aug 12 & 13, 1944

Stand down on the 12th. Ground support mission on the 13th - road south of the Seine was hit with good results.

Aug 14, 1944

Ludwigshafen oil refinery bombed. Results were good but we lost to flak our most famous plane, old Hard Luck (413), pilot Cielowics and crew. Hard Luck landed in the ETO on Friday Aug 13, 1943 and operated one year and one day. Several crews completed most of their tours aboard her; she flew more than 500 operational hours on her original engines and two of her superchargers and had proved a great inspiration to the Studebaker Corporation which made her engines. She made more than 70 missions and really paid her freight. Later in the day Lt. Colonel John B. Kidd, an original squadron commander of the 100th and for more than one year Group Operations Officer, left for home. He was accompanied by Major Summer Reeder, squadron commander and holder of the DSC. This place will not be the same without them.

Aug 15, 1944

Venlo, Holland, was the 100th's share of an all-out effort on the part of the RAF and 8th AF to destroy German Airdromes north of the Loire river to the North Sea. Photos indicate fairly good results - no fighters and only one burst of flak and that at landfall. The air was full of Allied planes - the 8th put up 1200 heavies and 500 mediums and the RAF went over in daylight with 1000 Halifaxes and Lancasters. The boys watched the RAF bomb airfields from medium altitudes with fine results. The fighter bombers and straffers enjoyed a field day. To top of the trip the 100th learned on the way home via radio that the invasion of Southern France had began. Happy crews at interrogation.

Aug 16, 1944

God moved the powers to be in the 3rd Division - there was stand down today that was proclaimed last night. Practice mission set for noon - good weather holding.

Aug 17, 1944

Stand down again today.

Aug 18, 1944

Early morning - 20 minutes preparation briefing for the oil dump at Pacy-sur-Armancon, which the group was scheduled for recently but were prohibited from bombing by weather at the target. This time the weather was good and photos indicate the MPI was hit. There were some oil tanks showing through the smoke and may have escaped destruction unless the trailing groups succeeded in hitting them.

Aug 19, 20, 1994

Stand down on the 19th and released from all training. 20th, standing down today. In the evening the officers tea dance at the club. Heavy rain today for the first time in a long while.

Aug 21, 1944

Bremen oil refinery came in at 0853 hours as a strategic target. Scrubbed before 0930 hours. Wing explained that the recent standdowns were ordered because fighters were so busy attacking the retreating Germans in France the none could be spared for escort. News from France today puts US forces on the Seine both north and south of Paris city limits. German radio saying the Americans are in Paris. Anything can happen.

Aug 22, 1944

Stand down last night and all day today. Medics have seized this opportunity to give booster shots for Typhus and Cholera to the unenthusiastic personnel of the 100th. Most seem to react more unpleasant than in the past - perhaps they are more venomous now.

Aug 23, 1944

A target came in last night but was immediately scrubbed. Great news today - Paris has been liberated, with Maquis troops first to enter the city. Rumania chose today to get out of the war. . Quite a day.

Aug 24, 1944

Thirty-six (36) planes and 3 PFF's dispatched early for Ruhland refinery - bombing was good and there were no losses.

Aug 25, 1944

Oils is the big priority. Target was Politz - bombing with PFF through a solid undercast - results prayerfully thought to have been good - no losses.

Aug 26, 1944

Brest (still holding out) was the target today. 100th's MPI being gun emplacements. One squadron went below the overcast and bombed, the rest did not drop - having been ordered not to drop without good visibility. Flak meager and inaccurate - no fighters.

Aug 27, 1944

The Group was well over Germany enroute to Berlin when a weather recall was ordered - brought bombs back.

Aug 28, 1944

Stand down last night and today - good weather here but apparently bad over the continent.

Aug 29, 1944

Alerted last evening but released to training about 2230 hours. Two nights sleep in succession has made everyone feel better.

Aug 30, 1944

Stand down, not even alerted last night. The infantry is really carrying the ball now days and the Air Corps are the forgotten men for a change. Rainy, misty, low ceiling - at 0930 hours alerted and the group took off at noon for Bremen. Mission was flown at 27,000 feet, unusually high now days but no trouble was encountered. Bombed with PFF - results not observed. No fighter but flak intense - no crewman was hit although several ships were damaged. The target was a FW plant southeast of the city and much of the cities defense was out of range.

Aug 31, 1944

Payday. We stood down last night. Two buzz bombs meandered overhead at 0500 hours - explosion of one shook the windows severely. The aimless uncertainty of the damned things is what bothers most people.

Sep 1, 1944

Group departed at 0800 hours for Mainz - recalled prior to the target account weather. Failed to get on top of the overcast at 28,000 feet and gave it up as a bad job. All ships returned safely.

Sep 2, 1944

"April Shower" today. Stood down last night. This morning a target came in and we worked on it all of 15 minutes before it was scrubbed.

Sep 3, 1944

Three fifteen (15) ship groups bombed Brest gun emplacements - no flak and no enemy aircraft. Lt. Davids plane caught fire over the channel on the way to the target - exploded. Three (3) crew members were rescued. It was Lt. Davis's thirty-fourth (34) mission. He and the Command Pilot rode the ship into the water.

Sep 4, 1944

Stand down last night and today. Heavy rains are result of a meeting of two fronts in this area, we are told by the weather officer. No flying bombs over England for three days now - rocket coast pretty well in hand. Allied troops are through the Maginot Line. The whole German Army in France may have folded. Tough!!

Sep 5, 1944

Stuttgart today. The 100th put up three Groups and everybody came back, although there was a large amount of battle damage from the heavy flak. Strike photos show excellent bombing results. Three Krauts circled the field this morning apparently seeing what they could find out.

Sep 6, 1944

Three Groups briefed for Berlin (Spandau). The mission was scrubbed just before take-off and the crews were given a quick brief for Bremen - recalled about one hour after take off. Stand down for the evening. The combat crews had not eaten since early in the A. M. No good!!!

Sep 7, 1944

Nothing -- except heavy rain. .

Sep 8, 1944

Colonel Jeffrey leading to the ordnance depot at Mainz. Flak was meager but accurate. Crews reported bombing good to excellent.

Sep 9, 1944

Dusseldorf - PFF - results not good.

Sep 10, 1944

The 100th narrowly missed losing one of it's finest. Major Rosenthal - his plane shot up over the target - managed to reach Belgium and crash land. Unfortunately the field contained a dyke - plane hit it and Rosie suffered a broken arm, facial cuts and some other injuries when the top turret crashed down on him. McGill, the bombardier, suffered a broken leg. Some of the other crewmen were injured to some degree. All were taken to a British hospital.

Sep 11, 1944

One of the 100th's worse days. On the mission to Ruhland, the synthetic oil plant, German fighters swarmed the formation and shot down the entire C Squadron. Lt. Cecil Daniels was forced to abort just before the target finally made it back to France and crash landed there. Eleven of our B-17's were lost - the greatest part from the 350th.

Sep 12, 1944

Magdeburg and Bohlen were the targets for the 100th. Magdeburg was hit but the B Group went after the last resort target at Fulda and missed. Lt. Fabian crashed landed at Brussels with severe flak damage and Lt. Armstrong - separated from the Group - went alone to Berlin - bombed it and came home with another Wing.

Sep 13, 1944

Daimler Benz plant at Sindelfingen, near Liepzig was hit by two Groups - no flak or fighters. Colonel Witten, the Wing Commander, was killed in a crash while observing the Wing assembly from a P-47. Staff busy preparing second shuttle raid to Russia.

Sep 14, 1944

Our second "Frantic" mission briefed at 0345 hours today - takeoff set for 0700 hours. Remainder of the 8th goes to the "Big B. " Our crews briefed to drop containers of arms and supplies to the Polish underground in Warsaw. Whole effort scrubbed shortly after takeoff.

Sep 15, 1944

Frantic boys got off this morning. The task force was increased to four Wings and the rest of the 8th stood down. Weather over the North Sea was not good and the force ran into a front and flew on instruments for some time. The 95th, as usual, turned around and went home, followed soon afterwards by the 390th. The 100th, led by Colonel Jeffrey was nearly to the Eastern coast of Denmark before Division managed to recall them. Our crews were sore as hell because the weather was constantly improving as the flight progressed. Standby until afternoon then standing down for the rest of the day. Ships remain loaded - no one knows if "Frantic" is on or off.

Sep 16, 1944

Group alerted all night but nothing came down.

Sep 17, 1944

"Frantic" came through again, but was scrubbed at 2300 hours. Alerted for another mission that did not materialize - other Wings were active.

Sep 18, 1944

Sunday and the usual dance. Standby all evening - today airborne troops invaded the Netherlands.

Sep 19, 1944

Thirty-six (36) planes off for Russian bases at 0600 hours - taking the Baltic route. Warsaw the target - arms for the patriots as a bomb load. Strike messages at 1300 hours said maneuver was successful and there were no losses for the 100th despite accurate and intense flak over the Polish capital. Hear the 95th had some losses. Capt. Terry went along as S-2 officer. Colonel Jeffrey led. On to Mirgorod!!

Sep 20, 1944

Lowering mist all day. Little to do - Frantic crews did not linger in Russia - went to Italy today bombing a target in Hungary along the way. The Italian base was again Foggia. Alerted last night.

Sep 21, 1944

Briefed seven (7) crews - all we have on the base - for Kassel but the mission was scrubbed before take-off. Buzz bombs and two inquisitive Jerries over the field last night.

Sep 22, 1944

Alerted tonight but proposed mission scrubbed. The shuttle crews returned at 1800 hours having left one plane in Russia and one in Italy. There was one causality, a gunner left in Italy with a minor flak wound. Reports of terrific flak at Warsaw, but somehow they missed the 100th. Hungarian target was bombed then the Group flew over a non-briefed fifty (50) gun flak area. The 15th AF S-2's were the subject of some unflattering remarks. Group came home light from Italy - over friendly territory all the way. This may be the last "Frantic" mission.

Sep 23, 24, 1944

Released for training on the 23rd and it rained all day on the 24th - there were no operations.

Sep 25, 1944

Three Groups dispatched by the 100th for the marshaling yards at Ludwigshafen. Weather bad - bombed PFF - results not observed. All planes returned - reports of intense but inaccurate flak through the overcast.

Sep 26, 1944

FW factory at Bremen was the visual target for today - bombing good - both 100th Groups hit the MPI.

Sep 27, 1944

Mainz bombed today - PFF - results thought to have been poor. Most of the bombs fell in a woods two and three quarter miles from the MPI. There were no losses.

Sep 28, 1944

Today it was Merseburg - the oil plant. As usual, the 100th lost at least one plane over this target - the most heavily defended in Germany. Lt. Harney went down with two engines out. Lt. Delaney, who had engine trouble and was feared lost, showed up safely a half hour late. Some enemy aircraft were encountered, including one jet which attacked but was driven off. No causalities among the returning crews. Bombing was by PFF with results not observed. Temperature at the bombing altitude was minus 40F.

Oct 1, 1944

200th mission party last night - considerable time was had by all.

Oct 2, 1944

Kassel - PFF - no losses - results unobserved.

The diary resumes on the 17th of October. . . pw

Oct 17, 1944

Cologne - PFF - little success - strike photos show bombs nine miles off the target. 1300 plane raid. All 100th planes returned safely.

Oct 18, 1944

PFF to Kassel - results unobserved - crossed Belgium at 200 feet - no losses.

Oct 19, 1944

PFF bombing of Ludwigshafen - no losses - results unobserved.

Oct 20 & 21, 1944

Stand down for weather both days.

Oct 22, 1944

24 planes bombed Munster via PFF - unobserved results - no enemy aircraft and very little flak - no losses.

Oct 23 & 24, 1944

Released for training on the 23rd and a scheduled mission to Cologne on the 24th scrubbed. Sun shone briefly in the A. M. - first time in several days.

Oct 25, 1944

Took off on a robot plane mission to Heliogoland. Recall came before the formation left England. Colonel John Bennet (our old Air Exec) was flying one of the "parent ships" which was to control the TNT laden B-17's by radio.

Oct 26, 1944

Three Groups found the primary target, Misburg (oil) covered by clouds and went on to bomb the secondary target, Hannover. PFF results unobserved - no losses.

Oct 27, 1944

Briefed for Zeitz, Merseburg and Kassel this morning. Bad front caused the mission to be scrubbed before take off. Poured all night but cleared some in the afternoon. Tonight the original officers of the 100th celebrated the Group's second anniversary at the O. C.

Oct 28, 29, 30, 31 & Nov 1, 1944

28th and 29th stood down. On the 30th briefed for Merseburg - recalled. 31st, briefed for Politz - scrubbed before take off - apparently oil is again the favorite target. Nov 1st, started the month with a stand down.

Nov 2, 1944

Merseburg today - flak very heavy - one tail gunner killed. Bombing by PFF with not observed results.

Nov 3, 1944

Briefed for Politz but scrubbed before take off.

Nov 4, 1944

Stand down - odd in that weather here is perfect.

Nov 5, 1944

Ludwigshafen - flak still intense there. Three crewmen wounded and nearly every plane damaged. Lt. Clark forced to land at Brussels and Lt. Hopkins went down - believed and hoped to be in friendly territory. Most of our other planes landed at the 390th base due to the strong crosswinds here. The bombing was pretty good although it was by PFF.

Nov 6, 1944

Air Depot at Newmunster. Some planes dropped visually and hit the MPI - others used PFF and hit the town. All returned safely.

Nov 7, 1944

Cloudless morning here but storm over continent and no operations scheduled. Practice mission in the afternoon, cost us Capt. Clark, well into his second tour and one of the Groups best Command Pilots. Lt. Dyatt and the engineer were also killed. The plane caught fire in the air and crashed in Lowestoft, destroying two houses. Clark and the engineer rode it in. Dyatt jumped without a chute and the other crew members bailed out safely. The cockpit flares are thought to have ignited and caused the accident.

Nov 8, 1944

Whole 13th Combat Wing on practice mission today - other Wings operational. Crews are working on "Micro - H," hinting at big things to come on the Siegfried Line. Early US election returns indicate Roosevelt leading, to the delight of most base personnel. Defeat of Fish Hamilton and Luce was especially gratifying to most service men here. Most were pulling for Gerald Dye to lose and it appears he did.

Nov 9, 1944

Briefed for a ground support mission near Metz - forced by weather to attack the secondary at Saarbrucken M/Y. Bombing was PFF and unobserved. Lt. Williams failed to return. One plane landed at Brussels - three (3) at British bases. Snow flurries and heavy rain made landings difficult.

Nov 10, 1944

Three 100th Groups took off in bad weather to bomb an airfield in near Weisbaden. Weather snafued whole mission. C Group lost the formation and returned early - no sortie credit. A Group failed to bomb - Gee Box and Mickey both having gone out on the bomb run. B Group bombed but results were unobserved and dubious. Two (2) planes missing - Smith and Dorbrogowski. Received word that Lt. Williams, missing in action on Nov 9th had been killed in action and that the remainder of the crew were at the 101st Evac. Hospital. No further details.

Nov 11, 1944

Mission scrubbed shortly after midnight. Today is Armistice Day. British papers broke down and admitted there were such things as the V-2. It was not news to the 100th as one landed two miles away some time back and jarred our teeth loose.

Nov 12, 1944

Briefing at 0715 hours for Bielfield - scrubbed at 0900 hours account of weather.

Nov 13, 1944

No operations today - weather. New crews came in last night - indoctrination today.

Nov 14, 1944

0716 hours briefing for Mainz bridge despite zero visibility here and everywhere else. Scrubbed - three (3) new crews in today - lectures etc, in Combat Crew Library.

Nov 15 & 16, 1944

Stood down on the 15th. On the 16th flew ground support Micro-H mission. Appeared fairly successful. Weather closed in and crews had a terrible time landing. 95th was diverted. Took the 100th nearly two hours to land. Lt. Kranph's crew missing.

Nov 17, 1944

Base alerted to the possibility of enemy strafing - dawn and dusk regarded as the most dangerous time - jets aircraft possible. New crews given briefings and interrogations today. Group standing down.

Nov 18 & 19, 1944

Standing down due to weather.

Nov 20, 1944

Dispatched three (3) Groups to Eudenbach A/D near Bonn - mission recalled account of weather. This morning the weather ships piloted by two veteran combat pilots, Mylius and Dobrogowski, crashed near Scole just after take off. The aircraft was destroyed by fire and all six aboard perished. Cause is unknown. There was a terrific explosion with 50 cals popping off after the crash - most thought the field was being strafed. Occurred at 0600 hours.

Nov 21, 1944

Group set out for our "bete noir" - Merseburg with 12x500 GPs aboard. Ended up bombing Oanabruck by PFF as clouds built up to 30,000 feet over Merseburg. All back safely - several aborts. Lt. Sharrard landed in France with out incident - there were no injuries.

Nov 22, 23, 24, 25, 1944

22nd stand down for weather; 23rd tremendous Thanksgiving Dinner - Group standing down; 24th standing down for weather; 25th Standing down for weather.

Nov 26, 1944

Fair weather. Group took off at 0800 hours for Hamm with Bielfeld as the secondary. Bombed with H2X - Results generally poor.

Nov 27 & 28, 1944

27th briefed for Misburg - scrubbed awaiting take off; 28th standing down account of rain and more rain. Three (3) new crews indoctrinated this morning.

Nov 29, 1944

Attacked Hamm M/Y by PFF - results were none too good - all returned safely.

Nov 30, 1944

"Big Bad M" - Merseburg - today's target. Now the most dreaded target in Germany - more than 300 heavy guns and several hundred fighters in the area. Capt. N. P. "Scottie" Scott led today. Forced to bomb by PFF with poor results. The Lead Pilot for this mission was the 100th legendary Neal P. Scott, third on the group's list of total missions for a pilot - 42 - and revered by the 100th for his remarks to a Wing Commander via radio on the 30th November 1944 mission to Leuna where the Wing Commander's actions were construed by Scott to be unduly endangering the 100th. Scott's radio transmission was as follows; "Fireball Red ( the Wing Commander's call sign) What's the matter? Are you all a bunch of yellow bellied son-of-a-bitches?" Just about every crew in the Wing heard Scotts words and knew they were directed at the General leading the Wing. The Wing Commander retorted, "Who made that remark?" The 100th's beloved "Scottie" contemptuously told him.

Dec 1, 1944

Stood down

Dec 2, 1944

Koblenz - PFF - results unobserved.

Dec 3, 1944

Giessen M/Y - results are not good.

Dec 4, 1944

Giessen again - forced to bomb Freidburg as target of opportunity due to weather.

Dec 5, 1944

Berlin (Tegel) - good results - flak not the usual Berlin flak and there were no fighters attacking the 100th for a change. All returned safely.

Dec 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1944

Stand down for weather - either over the continent or England or both.

Dec 11, 1944

First mission in several days - Giessen - PFF.

Dec 12, 1944

Week off for Oanabruck and 40 of our planes landed in Cornwall after solid fog shut in most of England. Colonel Jeffrey led this mission. Major Rosenthal made his first flight since the near fatal crash landing in Belgium. We are standing down here as we only have seven ships on the ships here.

Dec 13, 1944

Planes returned home this afternoon - weather still bad but landings possible.

Dec 14, 15, 16, 17, 1944

Standing down account of weather - some Wings operated on the 15th.

Dec 18, 1944

Mainz M/Y today - PFF - results unobserved.

Dec 19, 1944

Briefed for Koblenz but scrubbed just before take off.

Dec 20, 1944

Target - marshaling yards at Frankfurt - a effort to hamper the German supply system to break through in Luxemburg. Scrubbed again - weather.

Dec 21, 1944

The boys got in some good licks a the Luftwaffe today. Three (3) groups went to Bilbis and Babenhausen - advanced airfields. Bilbis was plastered - Babenhausen was missed. One Group dropped on the marshaling yard at Kiaserlauten as a target of opportunity.

There are no entries for Dec 22, 23, & 24th. . . pw

Dec 25, 1944

Our second Christmas in England. While the air echelon hit Kiaserlauten again - the paddlefeet enjoyed a magnificent turkey dinner.

Dec 26, 1944

Stand down today.

Dec 27, 1944

Kiaserlauten again. The 8th AF is doing its best to throttle supplies to the German salient at every point. Crew reporting Allied fighters doing a magnificent job of ground strafing.

Dec 28, 1944

Briefed to attack Luneback (tactical point) but the weather forced a PFF run on poor old Koblenz.

Dec 29, 1944

Frankfurt M/Y bombed PFF

Dec 30, 1944

Kassel M/Y today's target.

Dec 31, 1944

Today was another of the 100th's terrible days. Hamburg, the oil refinery was the target. We sent out thirty-six (36) planes. Twelve (12) were lost - mostly to enemy fighters who bounced the Group near the R. P. (rally point) Two planes were lost in a collision near the Dutch Coast. A sad sad New Year's Eve for the 100th.

Jan 1, 1945

Briefed for Bielfeld - scrubbed account of weather.

Jan 2, 1945

Bad Kreuznach bombed successfully.

Jan 3, 1945

Fulda plastered again. Lt Dodrill missing - last seen over French Territory headed home. May have crashed in the channel.

Jan 4, 1945

Stand down today. Seven to ten buzz bombs roared over the base last night - two hit relatively close.

Jan 5, 1945

Lt. Dodrill showed up today - was down in France short of fuel and could not raise the field. Target today was the marshaling yards at Frankfurt. Excellent bombing results. 12 planes aborted - six landed in France - six other unaccounted for - hopefully in France somewhere. Most other planes came home almost out of fuel.

Jan 6, 1945

Germersheim target today but Group bombed a target of opportunity visually. Lt. McLaughlin landed in France for gas.

Jan 7, 1945 This is Bowman's final entry

Automobile bridge at Cologne the target. Bombed PFF with Limburg as target of opportunity.

The Bowman Diary ends with this Jan. 7th, 1945 entry

. .

The remainder is constructed by Paul West from 100th records at the National Archives , the Air Force Reference Library at Maxwell AFB, and Century Bombers by Richard Le Strange and Jim Brown.

Jan 9, 1945

Briefed for Cologne - scrubbed

Jan 10, 1945

Took off at 0800 hrs for Cologne - part of the formation bombed Duisburg, Hackfeld, Kapellem and Oberkassel. Weather problems with the landings - many planes had to hold at the English Coast for improvement. The Group lost John Dodril, at nineteen, the youngest 1st Lt. in the Third Air Division.

The following were all KIA and are memorialized on Cambridge's Wall of the Missing

42-37936 "THE ALL AMERICAN GIRL"
351st Squadron. Crew joined 100th on 28 Oct 44
MACR # 11744, Microfiche # 4313
2ND LT JOHN J. DODRILL SGT HARRY E. MITCHELL
2ND LT DAVID S. WILLIAMS SGT MYRON E. WARNER
2ND LT RANDOLPH W. BAYER SGT GARLAND L. JOSEPH
SGT GEORGE R. BENNETT SGT ROY E. TOLL
SGT GEORGE R. BENNETT SGT DAVID W. PITMAN

EYEWITNESS: "A/C #42-37936 was last seen at 1228 headed toward Belgium with bomb bay doors open. The doors had been open since the target. All engines were operating and the aircraft did not appear to be having difficulties. "

Story of the Century Page 95 states: ". . . . . All American Girl (named by Seymour Eichen, who flew it's first 35 missions) was flown on it's 99th , Jan 10, 1945, by John Dodrill of Puente, Cal. One engine out, he was in control when he left the formation and flew down through the clouds, but no one knows the mysterious fate that overcame the "All American Girl. " Afterwards a rumor spread she was on the a German Airfield. " (This was unfounded. . . . pw)

Jan 10, 1945

A mid-air collision over the base by two aircraft who were not from the Group resulted in one crashing into the post bomb dump. The bombs on the doomed plane exploded along with others in the dump.

Jan 12, 1945

Aircraft number 42-31049, Superstitious Aloysius was returned to the USA.

Jan 13, 1945

Take off in late morning for Mainz - target the bridge crossing the Rhine - results said to have been good.

Jan 14, 1945

Target was Derben, more exactly an underground storage depot just outside of Berlin at Derben. Heavy fighter resistance, most of which was driven off by escorts. There were no losses in the 100th although some groups were hard hit. Big dance at Officer's Club in the evening.

Jan 15, 16, 1945

On the 15th the Group was briefed for Kempton - scrubbed at take-off -- Jan 16th mission to jet factory at Leipzig was scrubbed account of weather.

Jan 17, 1945

Thirty-eight (38) aircraft including three (3) PFF aircraft departed T. A. 0810 to 0838 hours for Hamburg (Rhenania-Ossag oil refinery). Bombs were released at 1156 hrs on the primary with results believed to have been good. The bombing run was visual all the way, reports the Lead Bombardier. Micky helped with course to the lead in point - made one slight correction action to obtain better position behind the group ahead. Bombing altitude was 26,000 feet. (The Lead Bombardier is not identified in the 100th Jan 1945 History Report. . pw) There were no loses and all 100th planes except two (2) bombed the primary. There was some flak damage, most notably "Heaven Can Wait", flown by the William S. Appleton crew. They were forced to land at Lowstoft on the return with major damage to the aircraft and no reported serious injuries to the crew.

Jan 18, 1945

Stood down. .

Jan 20, 1945

The primary was a railroad bridge across the Rhine at Breisack, weather prevented the Group from hitting the primary and the secondary, marshaling yards at Heilbronn was bombed. Thirty-six (36) aircraft including six PFF aircraft departed T. A. 0740 - 0810 hrs. The Group flew as the 13th Wing's "B" group which was the fifth group in the Division column. All but three (3) of the 100th's aircraft bombed the secondary and there were no losses. The unidentified Lead Bombardier reported, "The bombing run was PFF with visual assistance. The IP was made good and we proceeded to bomb in squadron formation. Due to the clouds over the target area the Mickey operator took over. The MO clutched me in at 11 miles and checks were made at 9, 7, and 6 miles. These were good. After the six mile check a break in the clouds enabled me to see the target area. I corrected for course somewhat and clouds again prevented me from finishing the sighting operation. Bombs were away in squadron formation at 1139 hrs. from an altitude of 25,800 feet. "

The first shipment of ground personnel being transferred to the infantry, which included mostly volunteers left for the Continent.

Jan 21, 1945

Briefed Target: Mannheim. . . Thirty-eight aircraft including three PPF and two spare departed T. A. at 0755-0830 hrs. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing "A" group which was the eighth group in the Division column. The secondary target of Mannheim was bombed with unobserved results. Very poor reception was received from Micro H beacon. Eight aircraft did not bomb the target and there were no losses. The Lead Bombardier reported, "The weather was completely overcast and it was entirely and H2X run by the Mickey Operator. Bombing was in squadron formation and bombs were away at 1212 hours from 27, 000 feet. " The intelligence narrative further states that flak was moderate but inaccurate on the 100th's formation and that fighter escort was very good not withstanding the unfavorable weather conditions.

Jan 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 1945

Group stood down account of the severe winter weather

Jan 28, 1945

Briefed Target: Duisburg. . . Thirty-seven aircraft including three PFF departed T. A. 0810-0854 hours to fly as the low group in the 13th Wing's "A" group, which was the ninth group in the Division's column. All but four attacked the target of Duisburg and there were no losses. The Lead Bombardier reports, "The IP was made good and the bomb run was started in squadron formation. Visibility was CAVU all the way to the target, except in the immediate target area which was covered with ground haze. The only enemy opposition encountered was heavy, accurate flak. The target was picked up visually and the AP was located about 2 minutes before bombs away. The run was completely visual with no assistance from the Mickey Operator. There was no interference on the run. "

Jan 29, 1945

Briefed Target: Kassel. . . Forty-four aircraft including four PFF departed T. A. lead by Major Harry Cruver at 0735-0819 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th "A" Group which was the second group in the Division's forces. All but three attacked the target and there were no losses. The lead Bombardier reports, "The turn at the IP was made on a DR. , ETO. The weather reported in the target area was 7/10th and breaking up. We expected Mickey to bring us in on the target but he was unable to get the range. The 390th "A", "B", and "C" were leading, followed by the 100th "A". The Navigator and Bombardier were able to determine their position by pilotage through breaks in the clouds. From this point they picked up the town of Kassel through breaks in the clouds and found they were left of course on a parallel heading. Bombardier saw target and swung on it with the secondary clutch. The new heading gave him considerable drift and the rest of the run (60 sec. ) was used in killing the course and rate. The target area was clear and sighting took about 60 seconds before bombs away. True altitude was 23, 600 feet.

100th "A" bombed visually on Kassel and photos show bombing results to be good. Most of the bombs landed on the MPI or immediately north of the MPU with the remainder falling slightly east of the PI.

100th B" bombed visually on Kassel and photos show the bombing results to be fair. Most of the bombs must have fallen just NE of the target according to photos of the smoke bombs. The 100th "B" split up on the bomb run with four A/C bombing Kassel and the remainder dropping PFF on Bielefeld with unknown results. 100th "B" Mickey set was out and the 100th "A" led them over Bielefeld and the Mickey operator believes the bombs fell slightly north of the city.

Flak was light to moderate and mostly low and inaccurate.

Jan 30, 1945

Stood down

Jan 31, 1945

Target was Bremen but the mission was recalled after take-off -

Feb 1, 2, 1945

Stood Down

Feb 3, 1944

Target: Berlin. . . Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF departed this station at 0716-0749. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing's "A" group, which was the lead wing of the 3rd Division.

All but three 100th aircraft attacked the target and there were four losses as follows: A/C No #:

44-8379      
MAJ ROBERT ROSENTHAL Com P 1ST LT EUGENE E. LOCKHART BOM
CAPT JOHN ERNST
Ernst's leg amputated in German Hospital night of 3/2/45 & he was soon exchanged.
P T/SGT CHARLES E. WEBBER
(Middle initial could be "H")
(Landed in Russian Lines)
ROG
1ST LT ARTHUR I. JACOBSON
(From G. Brown crew)
CP T/SGT DUGGER C. WEST TTE
1ST LT STEWART J. GILLISON Com N   BTG
1ST LT LOUIS C. CHAPPEL
(KIA)
NAV S/SGTWarren Winters WG
1ST LT ROBERT H. STROPP
(Landed in Russian Lines)
Radar N S/SGT G. A. Windisch
(Landed in Russian Lines)
TG

 

44-6500      
2ND LT ORVILLE H. COTNER
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
P SGT HUGH P. BOYD
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
TTE
2ND LT ROBERT A. COOVER
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
CP SGT JOHN C. MOSS
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
BTG
2ND LT ELMER H. RUNDY
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
NAV SGT HAROLD W. SNYDER
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
WG
2ND LT STEPHEN H. MONICK
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
BOM SGT DONALD R. ANDRIS
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
TG
SGT REINHARDT J. KOMLOSKI
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
ROG    

 

42-102958      
2ND LT RICHARD A. BECK
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
P SGT PEDRO A. MARTINEZ
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
TTE
2ND LT WALTER A. ROSENBERGER, JR
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
CP SGT DUDLEY S. INGRAHAM, JR.
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
BTG
F/0 DALE B. SNOW
(POW 3 Feb 45)
NAV SGT HERALD R. BOYD
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
NG
2ND LT ROBERT D. CARPENTER
(POW 3 Feb 45)
BOM SGT DANIEL E. MC TAGGART
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
TG
SGT LAVELLE E. GILES
(KIA 3 Feb 45)
ROG    
44-6092      
2ND LT WALDO J. OLDHAM
(POW 3 Feb 45)
P SGT PATRICK J. TOOLEY
(POW 3 Feb 45)
TTE
2ND LT CARL D. DUNN
(POW 3 Feb 45)
CP SGT RICHARD G. CHAPPLE
(POW 3 Feb 45)
BTG
2ND LT ROSS F. PURDY
(POW 3 Feb 45)
NAV SGT TOM E. RAMSEY
(POW 3 Feb 45)
NG
F/O HOWARD R. LEACH
(POW 3 Feb 45)
BOM SGT RALPH J. KALBERLOH
(POW 3 Feb 45)
TG
SGT WILLIAM E. CHARLTON
(POW 3 Feb 45)
ROG    
Bowman Diary - Page 07