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Crew Diaries

Bowman Diary

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.

 Nov 11, 1942

Gave lecture on Plane Identification, also and examination after lecture. Lecture was given by Lt. Arick.

Nov 12, 1942

Gave lecture on Plane Identification, also and examination on same following lecture. Lecture was given by Lt. Arick.

Nov 13, 1942

Gave lecture on Plane Identification, also and examination on same following lecture. Lecture was given by Lt. Arick.

Nov 14, 1942

Classes were held on Jan Grid and Communications. Jan Grid was taught by Capt. Shaw and communications was taught by Lt. Crowder, classes were for all combat crews. Attendance was 100%. 2nd Lt. Malcomb Clouter -- group communications.

The group was officially activated as of this date although it had been operating since Nov. 1 with four B-17s and four combat crews and a skeleton organization for each squadron.

Capt. Karl Standish (NMI), the adjutant, had whipped an organization together and started it going through the motions before Colonel Darr H. Alkire arrived to take command a few days before the 15th.

The second day after the Colonel came in he gathered the entire personnel; into the base theater and introduced himself and explained his program.

He said he had been a B-17 man since he Army first accepted them, and that he had been flying them since at least 1936.

He paid particular tribute to the enlisted men who kept the planes in service. At the risk of injuring the feeling of the men in combat crews he declared that these "prima donnas" weren't worth a damn if they didn't have a solid crew behind them to keep them in the air.

This is rather old stuff, but he gave it in a new twist by giving the slightest shift of emphasis. It wasn't that the ground crew was important, or that the ground crew was equally as important as the combat crew; the way he put it gave a slight edge to the ground crews -- a bit of psychological juggling that way he put it gave a slight edge to the ground crews-- a bit of psychological juggling that hasn't been tried before, so far as I know.

He appealed also to enlisted men - called then the backbone of the group. There seems to be a tendency in the air corps to keep the barrier low between enlisted and officer personnel. They fight together in the same team.

Also a few words on personal conduct. There would be no rules, he said. Soldiers in his command were men and hoped they would act like men. He said if they got in trouble and were right he would back them to the limit - go their bail and fight to the last ditch. However, if they were wrong better for them to stay in jail because he'd make more trouble for them than and jail. He asked for a spirit of friendship among the men in the group. "If you're walking down the street and see a buddy who is drunk, don't walk away and leave him to the mercy of some silly civilian. Get him off the street. Bring him back to camp and put him to bed. He's a buddy and he's on your team. " The "Old Man" is realist and no prude. His last remarks were about the Pro Kits that would be distributed free by the squadrons. "We've got enough for about one apiece," he said. "Don't let me hear of any of you Don Juan's grabbing two. "

The theater was full---maybe 400-- and the officers and men, a flattering audience. I think the thought the CO was a tough cookie and they were glad.

Nov 16, 1942

Classes were held on the following subjects:1. Jan Grid. 2. Communications. Jan Grid was taught by Capt. Shaw and Communications was taught by Lt. Crowder. Attendance was 100%.

Nov 17, 1942

Classes were held on the following subjects: 1. Jan Grid. 2. Communications. Jan Grid was taught by Capt. Shaw and Communications was taught by Lt. Crowder. Attendance was 100%.

Nov 20, 1942

Four crews were briefed before going on the Army Navy Joint Canadian Mission #2. The Officers that did the briefing were as follows: Colonel Darr H. Alkire & Capt. Shaw.

Nov 22, 1942

Crews returned from mission and was interrogated separately. Highlights: One crew lost and authenticator -- secret. It blew out the radio compartment window about 95 miles out over the Pacific. Reports and affidavits had to be submitted in duplicate and triplicate. Presumable it fell in the sea and was destroyed.

Nov 23, 1942

An examination was held and conducted by Lt. Arick for all member of the combat crews of the 100th Bomb Group. The examination was on Plane Identification.

Nov 23, 1942

The time for the first move had come. For two days every division has been gathering up equipment and preparing it for shipment. We have been informed that the next phase of training will be accomplished at Wendover Field, Utah. It cannot be said that the announcement of our next training base was received with mixed feeling. They were unmixed and all were unhappy. The word had come up by the grapevine. Living conditions were bad, tar paper shacks. little water, no town within a hundred miles, cold weather, coal stoves, nothing about it seemed to be good.

Two trainloads of men and equipment left at 4 this afternoon, 349th, 350th, 351st, and part of the 418th. Headquarters and the remainder of the 418th will go tomorrow. The trains are combination passenger -- tourist sleeper -- and freight cars. Jeeps and light trucks and staff cars on flat cars, baggage and equipment in box cars. Mess from a kitchen car. Service on paper plates.

Of course, this isn't the first move really since we have already moved once from the temporary headquarters at the base down to the big base operations office where S-2 had an office of it's own. That luxury was good only a week and couple of days. Our comfort there made moving to Wendover doubly disagreeable.

Nov 30, 1942

The last contingent of the 100th arrived this morning. Several score of men who had been shipped direct from parent groups and routing pools were already on the field awaiting the arrival of the group. Other began to come in almost before the Walla Walla Contingent was upacked. Non-com personnel was drawn chiefly from the 29th Group at Gowen Field.

The S-2 section was set up in a low one-story tar paper barracks building apart from the other headquarters groups. There is an office in he center of the long building. On one end there is a combination lecture room devoted chiefly to identification instruction. It is fitted with ship and plane models. Each room has it's own stove.

By nine almost everything was piled in the middle of the floor of the office. There was a typewriter missing and couple of table and a field desk. Not a bad record for the first move.

Dec 1, 1942

Everything is upacked. the field desk, the typewriter, and a few other odds and ends straggled in, but the tables are still missing. However this office is well equipped with two desks, some filing cases and a coupe of GI mess tables, so the won't be missed until we move.

This is second phase now and things are beginning to move with some speed. The big problem for S-2 is to conduct at ground school in cooperation with Operations. This means reports for everybody from squadron CO's on up. The instruction will include identification, aircraft and naval, map reading, combat intelligence, etc.

Some new flying officers came in today to round out our complement of 36 combat crews. Colonel Alkire called them together and gave the Keynote without mincing words. He told them that some of them would be killed -- that was part of the plenty of actions and do plenty of damage.

He explained that he did not intend to set any rules for their personal conduct. They were free, white and of age, he said, and should be capable of excising independent judgment should any turn out to be bad, they not only would suffer and that he would see to that they did.

The pilots seemed to have adequate training and appeared to be competent for their jobs. The co-pilots were green kids just out of school. Most had not time in multi-engined craft. They had just passed the single engine trainer stage.

Dec 2, 1942

Classes started today. Capt. Shaw gave the first S-2 lecture on Safe Guarding Military Information. There were more than 100 men attending and the lecture room was filled to capacity. These combat crews are very young - most between 20 and 24 - but they listened attentively. Capt. Shaw gave them an outline of the proper way to handle classified matter as explained in AR-380-5, and at the end of the period gave them a little examination. He announced before the lecture that he would do this and gained a real advantage in holding their attention. These tests will be given each day and attendance will be checked from the papers turned in.

The classes begin at 0815 and the session lasts until 1015. The first half is devoted to S-2 lectures and the second half is taken by operations. Two squadrons attend in the morning and two come in the afternoon from 1300 to 1500 to hear the same lecture.

Dec 3, 1942

Classes in Aircraft Identification were taught by Lt. Burr.

Dec 4, 1942

Lt. Arick taught classes in map reading today.

Dec 5, 1942

Capt. Dolan taught a class in naval identification today. Also today he was notified that he was being transferred to a new group on the field (379th). His assignment is Group S-2.

Dec 6, 1942

A class in naval identification was taught today by Capt. Dolan. Another order had came through revoking his transfer and he will remain with the 351at for a while yet.

Dec 7, 1942

No classes today. Major Graham of the Wing was in to look the situation over and advise Capt. Shaw concerning further training plans.

Dec 8, 1942

Capt. Shaw and Capt. Dolan collaborated today in the instruction of a class. They read a report prepared from an interview with Colonel Armstrong of the 97th which has been in action on England for considerable time. This is the last day of the S-2 school sessions. Group operations is taking over from now on.

Dec 9, 1942

Got rid of the school routine today -- passing out papers, checking attendance, making

reports, etc. It took a man a quarter a day to take care of this. Tomorrow we'll begin preparing missions.

Dec 10, 1942

The business of preparing missions outlines and reports together with the proper overlays began today. Jacklitz and Turner made the overlay, a triangular mission to Shoshone, Idaho, Preston and Corrinne, Utah, and back to Wendover. Dry bombing runs, gunnery practice, navigators, bombardiers, engineers alternation at the co-pilot's controls. Capt. Shaw briefed the crews and they were interrogated by Capt. Dolan after the mission. T/Sgt. Donald V. Cook reported for duty today. Personnel and investigations.

Dec 11, 1942

All hands busy today on overlays. Have one for Lt. Burr, one for Lt. Arick, two for Capt. Dolan, and one for Capt. Shaw to go to the 418th. Lt. Arick was temporarily assigned to the 350th on the 9th to get the squadron started. So far there are only four S-2 officers. Capt. Shaw is helping the enlisted men in the 418th.

Usually we make the overlays and the squadron men copy them. Five copies are required for each mission since we keep one in the group files. We have also started on practice problem - a raid on Lille for Capt. Shaw.

Dec 12, 1942

Fixed up a situation map today with some Plexiglas over a Communication Chart of the World.

Dec 13, 1942

All squadrons well launched on preparations and execution of missions now. Briefing, interrogation, all combat functions included.

Dec 14, 1942

Started overlays on Minneapolis - St. Paul area for objective folders.

Dec 15, 1942

Having a lot of trouble with these coal stoves. This morning we came in and found that during the night the one in the office had exploded and soot was all over everything. It's the third or fourth time this has happened. Further more when it's too warm the stove seems to run away with it's self. When it's too cold the fire doesn't burn worth a damn. Maybe the trouble is with the firemen.

So far the weather here has been unusually good. It has rained once and the flying has been interrupted only one day when a low overcast caused operations to be suspended. The temperature has been above freezing every day although the nights are cold. No snow yet although it has snowed some in Salt Lake. Back in the Midwest the early days of December have been exceptionally cold with temperatures reaching 17 below. Some of the fellows who went to Sioux City with the 97th Group have written of persistent below zero weather there that compensates for some of the inconveniences her.

Dec 16, 1942

S-3 said today that S-2 would take the school over again for a few days.

Dec 17, 1942

Capt. Dolan gave a lecture today on relations with our allies.

Dec 18, 1942

Lt. Arick gave a lecture today on map reading. Colonel Joesph A. Cella called to tell Capt. Shaw that he was sending 17 enlisted men and three officers to add to the S-2 complement. The officers are particularly needed since the 418th squadron has no S-2 and Lt. Arick has been sent to the 350th reducing Group officer personnel to Capt. Shaw.

Everybody who wasn't busy with essential duties was mustered out today to do a little drilling. There must have been more than 500 men out including all the headquarters detachment -- enlisted and officer personnel. The drilling went on for about two hours - 1330 to 1530 - quite a stint for the pencil pushers and typewriter pounders. At the end of the period the entire group assembled and Colonel Alkire said he hoped it wouldn't be necessary to hold such drills often, but he wanted to see a decided improvement in military discipline and courtesy. The concrete of the ramp is very rough - took about two months our of a pair of shoes according to the more extravagant estimates.

Dec 19, 1942

Lt. Burr lectured on Objective folders today.

Dec 20, 1942

No classes today.

Dec 21, 1942

A class in orientation was taught today by Capt. Dolan, who has been assigned to a new group which has not yet arrived at this field. Until it arrives he will fill in with the Group S-2 section.

Five new officers reported for duty today. They are Capt. Lathrop W. Arnold, S-2 at the 418th; 1st Lt. Ronald K. Merritt, P. I. at the 418th; 2nd Lt. Paul F. Mackesey S-2 350th; Capt. Edward L. Johnson, S-2 at 351st; and 2nd Lt. John E. Schwartz, P. I. S-2 at 351st.

Dec 22, 1942

Lt. Arick conducted a class in map reading today.

Dec 23, 1942

Lt. Burr gave a lecture on Objective Folders today. Got our first real snow. About 2 inches on the ground early this morning but it rapidly melted away and the weather was bright and clear all day - like May day in Illinois. Two more officers reported for duty today. They are 2nd Lt. Robert Hogg (NMI) P. I. at 349th and 2nd Lt. John E Gregg, P. I. At 350th. Lt. Arick is to be shifted back to Gp HQ.

First casualties today : Two planes out on practice missions came down early this morning. They encountered thick weather, snow and became lost. One ship 4252-91, 418th, made a belly landing near Rock Springs, Wyoming. The ship was pretty well washed up, but none of the crew was hurt. The ship was sent to the depot at Ogden for reconditioning.

The other ship, 4253-49 ran out of gas and undershot an emergency landing field near Mt. Pleasant, Utah. It came down in a meadow, a successful landing; ship and crew undamaged. Filled with gas and oil the next day and flown back.

Both crews were briefed before take-off and the weather situation was outlined for them.

Dec 24, 1942

Capt. Dolan gave a lecture today on ship identification.

Dec 25, 1942

Capt. Arnold gave a lecture on airplane identification in ground school to certain members of the 351st and 349th squadrons.

Christmas greeting were exchanged frequently among the officers and men who had occasion to meet in the S-2 office. The enlisted personnel looked forward eagerly to a Christmas dinner at the noon hour, but found only hamburgers and two vegetables, including potatoes, upon arrival at the mess hall. They wondered if any Christmas dinner would be at all forthcoming, and learned later it was scheduled for 2030. It was really 2100 before they served themselves, filling their mess kit plates as on any other day.

In the office business was carried on as usual. Work continued on objective folders.

The day began with pleasant weather, and a white Christmas seemed an impossibility, but in the afternoon the wind came out of the northwest and drove clouds of snow before it, thus fulfilling the requirements of a white Christmas. The cold increased with the growing intensity of the wind as the night wore on. Windows rattled and unbarred doors slammed back and forth under the onslaught of a strong gust. At bedtime the sky was clear and bright with the light of the white moon which outshone many of the nearby stars.

Dec 26, 1943

Capt. Arnold gave a lecture today on plane identification.

Dec 27, 1942

Sunday and no classes today. Capt. Shaw received word he was to head the advance party in Sioux City. He will leave tomorrow morning with four second lieutenants - one from each squadron.

Dec 28, 1942

Capt. Shaw gone and Lt. Arick in charge. Lt. Arick gave a lecture on photo interpretation.

Dec 29, 1942

Capt. Johnson gave the boys some more on map reading today. We started to pack up. Turner off. Jack and I stuffed books and papers and airplane models into packing cases all day. The big job is now done, but there still remains a lot of loose ends to care for. Two new - three new crates - have been made for us. Soon we'll have all we need for this moving job.

Dec 31, 1942

Continued with the packing all day. Getting ready for departure at 1600 tomorrow. New Year's Eve on the desert. Some celebrating in the Officer's Club and the Stateline Hotel was fully occupied, both the bar and the restaurant with soldiers and civilians. A few radios in scattered barracks patrolled the air waves from east to west as the New Year rolled across the country, but there seemed to be less celebrating than on Christmas Eve. The weather was ideal -- fairly warm and clear - a fine night.

Jan 1, 1943

The first day of the New Year and we're on the move. All the other squadrons left wither early this morning or last night. The 418th with headquarters detachment pulled out at about 1715 Pacific time this afternoon. The packing and loading went a little smoother than it did from Walla Walla. The group is learning more a bout moving. We left our transportation behind for the 379th, so there wasn't so much to move as there was from Walla Walla. Wendover supplied another one of those nice clear days for out take-off. The planes left after we did and went for a tour of airfields before coming into Sioux City.

Jan 2, 1943

All day on the train. A troop train is liked less by soldiers than almost anything else they experience in a peaceful country. They are dirty, cramped, without much ventilation and sometimes without much heat. Two in a lower and one in the upper just about takes care of the sleeping situation so that nobody gets too much sleep. Still it could be worse. One of the boys had ridden from Florida to Seattle in one of those old fashioned coaches with a pot bellied stove in the center for heat and rattan seats. That capped the hard luck stories and nobody bitched for a while.

Jan 3, 1943

Still riding, out of the mountains now, running through the level country east of Denver. The Chaplain gave a sermon today. Told us that he was man with all of man's innate sinfulness and weakness, but that he couldn't surrender to evil because of his convictions, because he was saved. The food on this trip was much better that it was on the trip from Walla Walla. Meals on time and three times a day.

Jan 4, 1943

The journey ended today. Pulled into Sioux City at a about 0430 this morning and remained on the train awaiting transportation until about 1030. Everybody very impatient to get off and get going. The weather was cold, but clear and sunny. Streets were a glare of ice. Could hardly walk on them; some snow but only in secluded spots. Managed to get part of our stuff off the train and unpacked. Moved in with operations, and then moved out - not enough room. Set up now in large room - pleasant but rather cold. Heating system is not too good. Got through about 2100 and went to the barracks. Steel beds had been taken out and trucks were bringing in wooden beds in paper boxes. We set them up and got to bed around midnight.

Jan 5, 1943

Moving in and getting started. A big job to do. Several new men coming in. 2nd Lt. Lawrence E. Baird reported for duty as assistant S-2. Privates Richard P. Wyatt and Joseph L. Smith joined the enlisted staff.

Jan 6, 1943

Still unpacking, trying get material for our new situation map case, supplies etc. Lost our upright typewriter and had to take a substitute - not so good.

Jan 7, 1943

The 99th left eleven planes here, and we inherited most of them. The 99th had tough luck with it's training schedule. When we moved in here they moved out to the satellite fields. Consequently our squadrons are all here on this field and we really have not yet begun third phase training. If things go well we may get across before the 99th. It is said the 99th lost a large proportion of it's men because of transfers before it left here. Morale was very low.

Jan 8, 1943

The Colonel was in today to find some material on Jan Grid. Unhappily our filing system failed and we couldn't find the material. that provided the stimulus for the job of overhauling our files. The job has been long over due. Worked most of the day on it with the help of one to two men most of the time.

Jan 9, 1943

Finished the files today -- overhauled the card index, the safe file and key and cabinet file. Things should be in place now where we can put our hands on them. Also got the situation map put together and set up. Our models are up now too and with cards attached to the wires to supply information abut wind span, length, speed, range, etc. Jacklitz was not notified today that he is to report for officer training school at Ft. Belvior (Engineers) on the 21st. He will be leaving soon and we will need another P. I.

Jan 10, 1943

Began working on missions today for the group. The first is a Rendezvous mission to be run by two squadrons. Each squadron sends three planes, each by a different route, to Kingman for the rendezvous and then to Emporia for a dry run and back to Sioux City.

Jan 11, 1943

Mission to Kingman and Emporia is all set and probably will run tomorrow -- 349th and 351st. Also started a reconnaissance mission -- Norfolk, Kearney and Great Bend. This will be strictly photos. So far those that have been taken are practically useless because they were improperly identified.

Jan 12, 1943

Bad weather held up mission to Emporia -- postponed until tomorrow. Have started working up a few missions to be kept on ice until we need them. One is an interception mission with he interception southeast over Sedalia, Mo. Two squadron missions.

Jan 13, 1943

Bad weather still holding up all but local flying, but there is plenty of that. The weather is now warm and the fields are muddy. Its the January thaw.

Jan 14, 1943

Mission to Emporia, Great Bend and Sedalia are all ready, but flying weather has been lacking. Squadron missions are going through pretty well, but conditions have been unfavorable for group missions. We also have a mission ready now to go over the southern part of Lake Michigan to Grand Rapids and back over Milwaukee.

Jan 15, 1943

Warm weather still continues making plenty of mud. No chances for a group mission yet. Lt. Arick and Lt. Baird are working objective folder for Dallas and St. Louis.

Jan 16, 1943

Cold weather has struck again. Started getting cold this morning and got colder and colder all day. In the afternoon it began to snow and the drifts started to pile up. Got some information from the Denver Chamber of Commerce and Turner is in town today trying to fill up the gaps. No flying at all today.

Jan 17, 1943

Cold continues today. Fifteen below zero - no flying - snow in the air with low over cast

Jan 18, 1943

Colder today, 22 below zero this morning. Attempts to start engines were unsuccessful. Hood engine heaters failed 'to produce enough heat to take the chill out of the engines.

Jan 19, 1943

The cold weather is breaking today and there seems to be a possibility that normal operations can be resumed tomorrow.

Jan 20, 1943

Thawing today, started mass production of missions this afternoon. Got orders for six as soon as possible. This means preparation of overlays, assembly of pictures and preparations of mission outlines.

Jan 21. 1943

Working on regular missions and an extended mission to Tampa. The Tampa mission is to be flown by planes from each of the squadrons. The first two missions were delivered tonight and are to be flown tomorrow. The others will be completed tomorrow - Grand Island mission is to be, Beatrice, Lincoln, Omaha, Des Moines and other towns within a 350 mile radius.

Learned today that the 100th is going to be held up for three months. Don't know the exact reason, but rumors say it has something to do with lack of shipping, need for replacement combat crews rather than groups, and the possibility of sending the 100th out with B-29s.

Jan 22, 1943

First group mission competed successfully. Flying weather OK; fairly warm, but getting colder toward evening. 349th and 351st flew the mission.

Jan 23, 1943

The blizzard is back, but not quite so cold. Operations not entirely suspended. Having some trouble with group missions. Field orders from S-3 don't coincide with S-2 mission outline - planes not available, etc. All are things that will have to smoothed out before a group can be ready for combat.

Lt. Burr brought his men up to the group office today and gave his weekly news summary. Colonel Alkire sat in and Lt. Gore from A-2 was there; it was a good show.

Jan 24, 1943

Sunday, and the place is rumbling with rumors about were we are to spend the three months and what we shall be doing. Kearns, Utah, Scott's Bluff, Neb. , Salina, Kansas are some of the candidates. Speculation on the function of the group is imaginative, but seems mostly centered on some kind of training assignment.

Jan 25, 1943

THINGS ARE COMING A LITTLE CLEARER NOW. WE'RE GOING TO KEARNEY, NEB. AND ACT AS A SORT OF PARENT GROUP FOR FOURTH PHASE TRAINING. COMBAT CREWS WILL BE SEPARATED AND SENT OUT WITH OTHER GROUPS. WHAT THE GROUND ECHELON IS GOING TO DO IS MORE THAN I KNOW. KEARNEY IS A BRAND NEW BASE AND FOR A WHILE THERE WILL BE PLENTY TO DO JUST TO GET AN ORGANIZATION OPERATING.

Jan 26, 1943

Major Davenport, A-2, 21st Wing, called Capt. Shaw yesterday a couple of times and today he and Lt. Arick, the group staff including Colonel Alkire and the squadron S-2s went down to Salina to look the situation over and learn the score.

Jan 27, 1943

Most of the Salina visitors came back today, but Colonel Alkire and Capt. Shaw remained for another day to look at facilities at Kearney. Lt. Arick brought back two boxes full of confidential material which we shall be using in the work at Kearney.

Jan 28, 1943

Marking time, Capt. Shaw away on 24 hour pass - have to start packing soon - not word has come through yet.

Jan 29, 1943

Started packing today. It looks now as though we would be going out about the middle of next week. Normal operations are practically suspended.

Jan 30, 1943

The 351st pulled out today. There seems to be a plan to send the group out a squadron at a time. The 351st is to pave the way for the others that follow; clean the place up, get a kitchen to operate etc. We are all set for departure anytime now.

Jan 31, 1943

Got the last weekly report in to the 15th Wing. Now we are officially finished with our three phases of training. The next report will be for the 21st Wing. 349th pulled out tonight.

Feb. 1, 1943

Loaded all our equipment on a freight car today. We're going down with the 350th so that we can be ready to begin operations as soon as possible. Capt. Shaw and Lt. Arick are driving down in the morning tomorrow; we'll leave later the same day.

Capt. Arnold, Lt. Baird, Lt. Galliman, Lt. Justice and Lt. Tatala received orders today to leave the group for about three months of detached service. Lt. s Baird and Tatala along with Capt. Arnold went to the 29th Group at Gowen and Callinan and Justice to some group at Casper, Wyoming.

Feb. 2, 1943

Killed time all day waiting for night to come so that we could get on the train and be off. At last we got the word to fall out. This was about 1830. After waiting an hour and half the train pulled in and we piled aboard. There was plenty of room in the coaches. It had been fairly warm all day and soon after we boarded the train it began to rain. Rain continued as long as we were awake. Spent about four hours switching around and waiting. Finally left Sioux City about 2230. The 350th takes good care of their men on a trip; we had sandwiches and fruit, besides a lot of stuff we brought along with us.

Feb. 3, 1943

Slept on the couches - laid the backs down and we could sleep quite comfortably. Laid over most of the night in Concil Bluffs. Left Omaha early in the morning and pulled into Kearney about 1000 today. Backed our train into the base and began unloading almost immediately. Had all our equipment in an office by 1500 and had the stuff fairly well unpacked. Have a pretty nice layout; large lecture hall, an office room, and a storage room with a brick vault.

Feb. 4, 1943

Getting settled today. Got a scare this morning when Capt. Shaw announced that he had been informed that we would be doing a briefing tonight. Everybody rallied around to get maps ready; eventually it was called off; the maps were pieced together and the routes marked in red tape. They will be hung in the theater when the briefing comes off.

Feb. 5, 1943

Word finally came through concerning our new location. We are to vacate t his building and move into an identical one which is now being used by the base. It is near the control tower and will be much more convenient for us. We have the same relative position in the building - an office, briefing room, vault and storage space. We'll probably use the briefing room for a library.

Feb. 6, 1943

Accomplished our first briefing today - S/A and S/P. Capt. Shaw opened because Colonel Alkire was called away. Did a good job and the boys ate it up. These fellows are a cocky bunch, but they listened respectfully. The session was a long one. Major Egan followed Capt. Shaw and he was followed by Lt. Iannaccone with Lt. Gonzales, the Group Navigator, next and that finished S/A. S/P was given by Capt. Bowman and a navigator sent up from the 21st Wing. He gave a swell talk drawing on a personal experiences. Capt. Hardy, 350th medical officer, wound up the show with a little medical briefing. The session lasted from 0830 until 1200.

Feb. 7, 1943

The moving into new quarters at Building 266 was the principal order of the day.

Although the buildings are identical, the stoves in 266 are in much better working condition. We are much nearer to Group Headquarters and other important offices of the base.

Feb. 8, 1943

Capt. Shaw, Lt. Arick, each of the Squadron S-2's Lts. Burr, Harritt, and Captains Johnson and Bowman left for Salina for the purpose of attending a briefing.

Feb. 9, 1943

Bad weather set in and grounded the visitors at Salina. In the evening lights and power failed without warning at 2100 hours, producing varied effects on the personnel on duty in the offices of our building. High winds with increasing velocity sent the temperature downwards, and raised a great deal of dust, giving noisy testimony to the fact we are in the great Dust Bowl.

Feb. 10, 1943

The temperature in the early AM hours reached the low level of 40 F. The lights were still out of commission. The bad weather abated somewhat in the he afternoon enabling Capt. Shaw and his visiting party to return late in the afternoon from Salina.

Feb. 11, 1943

Lt. Arick left in the afternoon to go to Sioux City for the purpose of securing maps for the new war room now under construction.

Feb. 12, 1943

Lt. Arick returned from Sioux City and distributed lecture assignments to the squadron

Rumors concerning the granting of furloughs becoming strong among personnel, both commissioned and enlisted.

Feb. 13, 1944

M/Sgt Kirkpatrick was off on a very important mission today. He was married to Thelma Marie DeMott of Chicago, IL. This is the first event of it's kind in the history of the Group S-2. Developments concerning furloughs took a more definite shape late in the afternoon when Capt. Shaw talked of traveling distances from Kearney, NB to the home communities of the office personnel.

Feb. 14. ,1943

M/Sgt Kirkpatrick requested of each enlisted man a memorandum specifying dates of first and second preferences for furloughs. It is planned to arrange them so that one enlisted man at a time will be away, and so that each will have from sent to ten days commensurate with he length of traveling time required to reach home.

Feb. 15, 1943

It becomes more and more evident we may have to move to new quarter, but there is no definite indication as to the exact location to be taken over.

Feb. 16, 1943

Today the first of the Group S-2 personnel got under way on his furlough, which in this case will be doubly important inasmuch as the trip is a honeymoon as well.

Feb. 17, 1943

In the middle of the afternoon we moved all our belongings to new quarters. With our personnel somewhat reduced due to the absence of M/Sgt Kirkpatrick it took a little longer to get things packed, and it was past supper time before everything was deposited safely in the new office. From now on we occupy the end of the west wing of building 102, along with the S-2 offices of the Squadrons. The windows in this new location are much larger and the amount of sunlight that comes in during the day augments the meager heating facilities (three old stoves) to the extent of obliging us to open the windows at noon.

Feb. 18, 1943

Today we were busy accomplishing the arrangement of the desks, chairs, packing cases, table, etc. to suit our greatest possible comfort and efficiency. The packing cases were placed to one side, ant the desks were so arranged that a definite line of demarcation is discernible. As we proceed we found documents and bulletins that could be of use to the 23rd processing group. This we dispatched to them as soon as possible. T/Sgt Cook was transferred to Group Headquarters, and at the present time we have available only three enlisted men.

Feb. 19, 1943

A slight mix up in the furniture situation gave us a little work today. The inventory begun in our former quarters was forgotten by most of us, and only one of us gave it an occasional thought. There were some visits made here by members of the S-2 section of the 23rd Processing Group, with the motive of getting information and organization. This may have given some of us an enhanced sense of our importance.

Feb. 20, 1943

Today Capt. Shaw suggested we take inventory of all things belonging to our office. This is a big undertaking and it is expected that it will take several days to complete. There will be of necessity a great deal of detail, and there will be by-products benefit of having the men doing the inventory get more fully acquainted with the organization and function of our offices. Most of them have been with us only part of the time that Group S-2 has been in existence. Consequently daily duties have prevented them from taking time to learn what this office has acquired before they were brought into the organization.

Feb. 21, 1943

Today we continued our work on the inventory. Capt. Shaw devised a training schedule of lectures of vital importance for the next two months. The subjects covered include the customs, history, political background and geography peculiar to the countries to be visited by combat crews. In a sense they are formalized department of a large scale briefing.

Feb. 22, 1943

The first examinations in aircraft and naval identifications were given on Sunday night and last night. They were conducted by our Squadron S-2 organizations because the 23rd Processing Group is not yet ready to function. The results showed that although the boys were pretty well instructed on aircraft identification, they were pretty weak on naval identification.

Feb. 23, 1943

Moved again today for the fourth time since we hit this base. This time we completed the circle and moved back into the rooms in which we first settled. There is no telling how long we shall be here since we have lost any priority we might have had for space to the 3rd Processing Group and are functioning merely as the adjunct to it temporarily.

Feb. 24, 1943

Hard at work on the inventory again. Sgt Turner left today to go back to New York on his furlough and Kirkpatrick returned. The weather has been extraordinary mild the last few days, and it seems as though spring must be just around the corner.

Feb. 25, 1943

The inventory was completed today, and we have begun a check on the receipt's we signed to determine whether we have all the material we are charged with. That is a big job, since it is not easy to locate all the stuff now. Of course quite a bit if it is missing temporarily or permanently. No shortage in confidential and secret classifications.

Feb. 26, 1943

Worked the files a little today, trying to make more room in the office safe.

Feb. 27, 1943

Colonel Alkire back on the and he requested today that the period of waiting should be utilized for instruction of personnel remaining with the group. S-2 was officially assigned a weekly news summary.

Feb. 28, 1943

Getting a program of instruction organized by Squadron S-2's. This will include weekly news summaries as well as lectures on specific topics for ground personnel.

Mar 1, 1943

Received a request from 2nd AF today to return all metal airplane models. Sent letter to the Squadrons requesting that models issued to them be returned.

Mar 2, 1943

All airplanes models packed in a big wooden box; weighs about 200 lbs. Enlisted

personnel taking turns taking off early in the afternoon - there isn't much to do.

Mar 3, 1943

Going through our restricted material to sort out items that we can spare to send back to the 2 AF with the models. The near zero weather of the last couple of days has moderated and the temperature is almost back to normal.

Mar 4, 1943

Drew up schedule for the use of the lecture room here by Squadron S-2 lecturers. Thirty-eight new co-pilots came in this afternoon to join the Group. Our first pilots are being sent out as flight commanders; our co-pilots are being moved up to first pilots; and these boys are taking over the co-pilot's jobs. We'll give them most of their ground school training and they will then join our first pilots on detached service to complete their training.

 Mar 5, 1943

All our Squadron PI's have been relieved from duty here and assigned to 2nd AF Headquarters where they will become members of a PI Detachment probably attached to a reconnaissance squadron. Lt. Hogg, Lt. Gregg, Lt. Schwarz, and Lt. Merritt are being transferred on the order. Hereafter only the groups will have a PI. Capt. Arnold has been relieved here. (He was on detached service with he 29th at Boise) and has been assigned permanently to the 29th. Lt. Mackesey is being shifted from the 350th to the 418th where he will take over the duties of S-2.

Mar 6, 1943

Gave the first of our news summaries today, Capt. Shaw led off with a general review of the situation. Capt. Bowman covered the home front, Lt. Burr summarized events in Russia; Lt. Hogg sketched the news from North Africa; Lt. Merritt described recent developments in the South Pacific; and Lt. Mackesey completed the session with news of China. Each speaker illustrated his talk with a blackboard sketch which he prepared before the meeting. (The blackboards were mineral wall board fire shields painted with blackboard paint).

Colonel Alkire, Lt. Colonel Dauncey, Major Trevellyan and others attended. Colonel Alkire and Major Trevellyan were enthusiastic over the show and said they wanted to see it grow bigger and available to more men. Major Trevellyan said he would try to arrange for the summaries to be given in the theater hereafter.

Mar 7, 1943

A ground schedule for the 38 new co-pilots has been drawn up by Major Egan, S-3. The staff will be expected to give ten hour of instruction beginning March 12.

Mar 8, 1943

Colonel Alkire liked the news summary session so much that he requested Capt. Shaw to be prepared to give them three times per week, if he called for them. Letters went to Squadron S-2's on it today as well as assignments for the teaching sessions for the new co-pilots.

Mar 9, 1943

Received word today that a trailer equipped to develop and print pictures has been received on the base and will be assigned to this group. This comes after most of the PI's are gone. It would have been useful during the second and third phases of training.

Mar 10, 1943

Accepted delivery of the photographic trailer today. Lt. Stover and four enlisted photographers were detailed to set it up. The trailer will be assigned to us as long as we are on this base.

Mar 11, 1943

General Johnson inspected the base today. He and his party flew in and were on the field about two hours. The inspectors did not come in here although we were ready for them. the report is that the Group put on a pretty good show for him with plenty of saluting, good formations, and exhibits of work accomplished.

Mar 12, 1943

S-2 assembled the new co-pilots today for ground school instruction. Capt. Guy, base signal officer, give them a talk on cryptography; Major Shaw talked to them about the purpose and functions of S-2; and Lt. Arick and Capt. Johnson gave them quizzes on Navel and Aircraft identification. They did well, most of them scoring in the 80's and 90's.

Mar 13, 1943

Gave another news summary today. Capt. Bowman covered the home front and North Africa; Lt Burr described the campaigns in Russia; and Lt. Mackesey covered China and the South Pacific. The Colonel (Alkire) attended with most if his staff; it went off well.

Lt. Burr and Capt. Bowman gave the co-pilots some instruction on objective folders and mapping today.

Mar 14, 1943

Capt. Reid asked today that we give the 95th Group the required examinations on aircraft and naval identification. Examination blanks were stenciled and a schedule was drawn up for tomorrow.

Mar 15, 1943

Squadron S-2's spent most of the day giving examinations on aircraft and naval identification for the 7th Group. Giving the examination was difficult because the lights flickered on an off with the extreme cold, high winds and icing conditions which struck

This place late last night. Winter really came back with a vengeance after we had enjoyed a few spring days.

Mar 16, 1943

Turned in the results of the aircraft and naval identification examinations to Capt. Reid. The boys in the 95th made a pretty bad record, particularly in naval identification where under liberal grading many of them fell below 50.

Mar 17, 1945

St. Patrick's day and nothing green showed on the field except the officer's uniforms. In town there was a dance to celebrate the occasion.

Mar 18, 1943

Rumors are boiling up pretty strong again. This time it seems that the combat crews are going to called back sometime next month and that we'll be on our way sooner than expected.

Mar 19, 1943

The last day of the ground school for co-pilots today, and it was something of flop. The instructor in aircraft identification slipped up on his schedule and they waited a while then walked out. Tomorrow they leave to join the pilots and complete their training. They'll be back with the remainder of the combat crews in a little less than a month.

Mar 20, 1943

Completed a blow up of a map of Tunisian front. Drew it with a photograph from the The Chicago Tribune situation map and lettered it with the Leroy lettering set, making a pretty good job.

Mar 21, 1943

Our return bout with winter is just about over. The snow that has covered the ground the last three or four days has melted almost entirely today leaving the field a sea of mud. Except for the mud, today was almost spring like.

Mar 22, 1943

Processing of 95th practically complete. Rumor has it this group will assist with the processing of about two more groups before the ground echelon gets away.

Mar 23, 1943

Sending the boys over to 418th supply to gather up the equipment that they are lacking. It includes half a shelter tent, anti-verioat ointment, and other items usually issued to personnel about to depart these shores. Kearney has not been a bad place. Living conditions on the field have been quite comfortable. Since the headquarters detachment has left the base mess for the 349th has been much better.

Mar 24, 1943

Major Shaw’s leave begins today and he left last night to return to Sioux Falls.

Major Shaw's Lt. Arick returned from leave shortly after noon today.

Mar 25, 1943

Spring has really set in. All the summer birds are back, Robins everywhere. The sun was hot today and the buds of the trees are beginning to swell.

Mar 26, 1943

Major Standish is back from leave, but Major Egan and Colonel Alkire as well as Major Shaw are still away and the place doesn't seem the same.

Mar 27, 1943

Gave a news cast today, mostly for the benefit of the 29th Airdrome Squadron. Lt Arick gave the introduction and the latest developments on submarine warfare and the Aleutian situation. Capt. Bowman spoke on the home front and Tunis; Lt. Burr followed with the Russian campaign and Capt. Johnson concluded with the China and South Pacific. Major Standish was in attendance.

Learned today that our PI's are gone for good and that there will be twelve officers in the Group. That seems to provide two each for the squadrons and four for the Group. Info from Colonel Cella, 2nd AF A-2 via Major Standish.

Mar 28, 1943

Lt. Arick announced today that the Table of Organization for the Group enlisted men had been reduced from eight to five.

Mar 29, 1943

Got some good info from 2nd AF today. The special intelligence reports are getting better and better as time goes on. There is a big improvement since this Group was activated. The Digests are about the same as always -- late and inadequate. The AAF reports have also improved in quality and number. Observing this improvement during this short time makes you realize the war is still pretty young and that the organization is just beginning to take shape.

Mar 30, 1943

Another big dust storm today. Wind began blowing shortly after noon and kept up until late at night. The base and everybody on it was inundated with dust. It was worse than the previous ones because grading for new barracks, hangers, and administration building has been started and bulldozers are all over the place pushing up dust.

Mar 31, 1943

Got our first glimpse of service gliders in operation today. About 15 tow planes pulling one glider each circled the field several times abut noon; none landed.

Apr 1, 1943

A new group came in for processing today and Clark Gable was among the men. He is a fire control officer. The job is something new. Gable went through gunnery school to learn about it.

Lt. Arick went to Wendover today. Colonel Alkire is coming back from Salt Lake City and Lt. Arick went along with Major Egan to pick him up.

Apr 2, 1943

Major Shaw went on leave today.

Apr 3, 1943

Gave a news review today. Major Shaw gave a short summary for and introduction. Lt. Burr covered the Russian front; Lt. Mackesey covered China and the South Pacific and Capt. Johnson summarized events on the Tunisian front.

Apr 4, 1943

Colonel Carlson, acting A-2 called today and told Major Shaw that Lt. Schwartz would be returned to the group. What his assignment will be has not yet been determined.

Apr 5, 1943

Officers and men have been issued carbines and pistols. Classes in field stripping have begun and work on the range is progressing.

Apr 6, 1943

Show down inspection today for all enlisted men in the Group. The gym was full of men and equipment all day. Lt. Col. Dauncey ran the show. It was a dry run for this outfit as it is expected there will be another before departure.

Apr 7, 1943

Got a good dissertation on the value of combat intelligence to crews today. Written by Lt. Col. Carl Norcross, VIII AF, Asst. S-2. Made copies for all combat crew commanders.

Apr 8, 1943

A little excitement on the field last night. A 17 came in with wheels up. Pilot didn't know it. Instruments lied and there was no visual check. Nobody hurt although the plane was damaged. Plane and crew from Group in Process.

Apr 9, 1943

Got our first rain early this morning. Very welcome since it settled the dust and cleared the air. Not heavy but lasted for several hours.

Apr 10, 1943

News summaries today. Capt. Bowman - home front and Tunis: Lt. Burr Russia and Lt Mackesey China and the Southwest Pacific. Colonel Alkire was there.

Apr 11, 1943

Lt. Eugene V. Laughlin, a PI, O-563606 has reported for duty and was assigned to the 418th. Lt. James E. Bower, O-564854, a PI, reported and was assigned to the 350th -- both are 2nd Lts.

Apr 12, 1943

Capt. Richard G. Wiegers, O-446975, a CI, reported for duty and was assigned to the 418th Squadron S-2. Both he and Lt. Laughlin left immediately to take 6 days of leave.

Apr 13, 1943

Lt. Charles W. Terry, O-566890, reported and was assigned to the 349th S-2.

Apr 14, 1943

The first of the combat crews are drifting back and preparations for processing them are under way.

Apr 15, 1943

Lt. Baird returned after his tour of duty at Gowen Field with the 29th Group.

Apr 16, 1943

Received word today that the photo lab trailer will be turned over to us on shipping ticket. Cpl. Robert J. Hagenbach 32142067, PI, reported for duty.

Apr 17, 1943

News summary today, given by Capt. Bowman and Lts Burr and Mackesey.

Apr 18, 1943

2nd Bomber Command sprang a mission on us; four enemy war ships in the Pacific -- worked all day on the situation maps.

Apr 19, 1943

Completed situation map, briefed crews and prepared inserts for target folders. Colonel Alkire, Major Shaw, Major Egan, Capt. Turner, Lts. Arick, Iannacone, and Frye spoke at the briefing.

Apr 20, 1943

Waiting movement orders for special excerise; advance party alerted and ready. Reports indicate targets north of last reported sighting.

Apr 21, 1943

Movement order came early this morning. Advance party off at 0815 hours. Main group of 37 planes off 1116 to 1146 hours. Reports came in soon after that planes were dropping out due to engine trouble, weather, lack of oxygen, etc. Eleven (11) planes were delayed.

Apr 22, 1943

Colonel Alkire reported from Hamilton Field that all planes are in place at the advanced base.

Apr 23, 1943

No word from Pacific coast. Began a little program of soldiering here. Turned out early this morning for drill and inspection; in the afternoon there was tent pitching. The boys spent most of the night getting ready - rolling packs and polishing shoes. No one knew what was expected of us - everyone had a different idea about what a pack should contain. There are damn few old style Infantry soldiers in he Air Corps. The tents went up fairly well, although the lines were waving and it took quite a long time. Had calisthenics this morning - first time since I've been in the 100th.

Apr 24, 1943

Still soldiering; barracks inspection this morning at 0800 hours; showdown inspection on the ramp the remainder of the day, followed by formal retreat at 1645 hours. The retreat was pretty ragged, but better than might have been expected since this was the first time this outfit had held a formal formation. No word from the Pacific coast. Gave exam in aircraft, naval, armored vehicle identification to picked ten man teams from each squadron. General average less than 50% on easiest model we could find. News review today; Lt. Arick, Aleutians and submarines; Lt. Laughlin, home front; Lt. Callinan, South Seas & independent air action; Lt. Juster, Russia and Lt. Baird, Tunis.

Apr 25, 1943

One drill in the afternoon; everybody went through the gas chamber. Combat crew returned in the afternoon about 1600 hours. Everyone was disgusted with the performance of the Group. The entire exercise was sloppy and poorly executed. Staff member agreed that poor staff work was responsible for the failure of the mission. Three ships failed to return - one lost it's tail on landing - another was shot up by stray bullets.

Apr 26, 1943

It was announced today that Colonel Alkire had been relieved of his command as result of the mess the Group made of the mission. New commander arrived last night - he is Colonel Howard M. Turner, formerly on the staff of the Chief of Staff of the Air Corps in Washington D. C.

Apr 27, 1943

The Inspector General was in today as well as officials from the 15th Wing. Colonel Travis, Commander of the 15th Wing, was here and talked to everybody on the staff. Later it was disclosed that the Group's combat crews would be sent back to Wendover for a couple of weeks for intensive training. The ground echelon is to be sent to an undisclosed place to await orders for the port of embarkation. Colonel Alkire is to report to the 16th Wing at Briggs Field, Texas.

Apr 28, 1943

Colonel Alkire left today. Before leaving he called the entire Group together and told them bluntly of his failure. "I am being relieved of my command for inefficiency and lack of leadership," he said. At the end of his talk he reiterated his belief that the 100th group is the hardest fighting, hardest hitting, hardest flying outfit in the country. " "My reputation will stand or fall according to the way the Group performs in the future," he said.

Apr 29, 1943

Started packing today - also worked on a series of six missions we are to have ready and take to Wendover Field. The squadrons prepared one apiece and the Group S-2 prepared two. The S-2 staff at Wendover will consist of Major Shaw and M/ Sgt Kirkpatrick. The remainder of S-2 personnel will go the Port of Embarkation with the ground echelon. All packing must be completed by noon tomorrow - air echelon leaves at the same time.

Apr 30, 1943

Departure of the air echelon for Wendover canceled due to weather. Ground echelon received order to have all equipment packed and loaded on the freight trains today. The shipment is to the New York POE. (Port of Embarkation) This change in plans required most of the boys to spend a long tough night packing.

May 1, 1943

Air echelon began taking off at 0700 hours. It was a beautiful morning; forty planes took off and all but one reached Wendover. One was forced down in Cheyenne with engine trouble. The trip over the mountains was fairly smooth with visibility unlimited. Some bombs were dropped on the Wendover range before landing. Colonel Dauncey had pretty well perfected arrangements for the group here. There is half a school building reserved for Group Hq. - hanger for maintenance and engineering Hq. - an office for operations in the Base Operations building. There is a cafeteria that will seat two to three hundred men and the food is not bad. Many new building have been erected. The mess halls have either china or mess trays, there is a swimming pool, and the officer's club is said to be very luxurious.

May 2, 1943

Instrument calibration took up most of the flying time today. Held a pre-briefing conference to take care of the briefing of crews for Mission #2 which runs tomorrow if there is enough gasoline. Severe shortage of fuel at this base. The plan to run the mission at 0800 hours had to be altered to 1100 hours so that gasoline coming in the morning could be delivered to the planes.

May 3, 1943

Briefed 351st & 418th Squadrons on Mission #2 at 1100 hours - S-2, S-3, Command Pilots, Navigators, Bombardiers, and Radio Operators attended. Takeoff delayed until 1530 hours due to gasoline shortage. Interrogation at about 1900 hours. Report submitted to Commanding Officer. Major Shaw left with advance party at 2200 hours.

May 4, 1943

Capt. Turner briefed 349th & 350th Squadrons on Mission #2 this 1100 hours. Won't fly until tomorrow due to weather. Time on the tow target range this afternoon. Staff meeting tonight - no more Group Briefings and interrogating.

May 5, 1943

High altitude tow target practice today. Major Warren, 15th Wing DCO, was in to check on progress of training and get estimated date of completion.

May 6, 1943

Weather hampered training today, although a couple of squadrons flew their missions as scheduled.

May 7, 1943

Still waiting for weather to clear up. It is cold and windy with occasional showers. Heard from Colonel Dauncey - party still waiting to move out.

May 8, 1943

General Eubank and Colonel Travis were in to look things over. Learned there would have to be modification to our Tokyo tanks - work will require 10 to 18 days and we'll be stuck here in Wendover at least that much longer.

May 9, 1943

Wonderful Wendover weather again - warm, clear and breezy.

May 10, 1943

Sent first planes to Ogden AD (Air Depot) to be modified. About 14 planes from the 349th and 350th dispatched with skeleton crews. (Pilot & Co-pilot)

May 11, 1943

Colonel Tillery at Ogden called to say he was taking out flap check valves and installing hydraulically operated valves although Wright Field had recommended addition of the positive action valves without removal of the flap valves. He also was putting in new vents - a job requiring the removal of the wing tip and wing leading edge. Two planes were slightly damaged by a single . 50 cal. slug accidentally fired from a top turret. Another plane's tail was damaged when it swung into a spool of cable on the edge of the parking ramp.

May 12, 1943

Started issuing 36 hour passes - first time restriction has been lifted since we hit this base.

May 13, 1943

Flew interception mission to Tonopah, Nevada. A pursuit group there intercepted an eight ship formation of ours over a dry lake near Currant - continued on to bomb a dry lake near Tonopah.

May 14, 1943

Having unusual weather for Wendover in April - much cooler than normal - fires required at night for comfort.

May 15, 1943

Nothing doing. Everybody sitting around waiting for something to happen - morale not too high. From top to bottom there appears to be fear this delay is like the others and may continue indefinitely. This base is not too pleasant for the group. MP's are bothering our boys a lot because they wear summer flying jackets away from the line, civilian shoes and other articles of clothing that are not GI. Officers have the same trouble a the club - blouses required. Pass regulations are very strict - none of our gang is very happy.

May 16, 1943

Ships of the 349th are beginning to come back, and hopes of getting away are rising. There are some defects, leaky valves, etc. , but nothing serious enough to cause much further delay. It is planned to get in a little more training after the ships get back.

May 17, 1943

Still sweating out Ogden.

May 18, 1943

Most of the ships of the 349th & 305th are back now. Preparing to send them on a fighter interception mission to Tonopah.

May 19, 1943

349th & 350th flew interception mission to Tonopah. (same as May 13)

May 20, 1943

General Johnson here to check on Bomb Groups training. Our 349th & 350th Squadrons will leave today to go back to Kearney - the 351st & 418th will leave Friday and Saturday if all goes as planned. Didn't 350th left this afternoon.

May 21, 1943

349th left early this morning and the 418th this afternoon.

May 22, 1943

Arrived in Kearney about 1215 hours after a very smooth flight from Wendover. We were met at the ramp by a truck that hauled our luggage up into the processing

Headquarters. We were processed and inspected then and there. It took nearly five

hours to finish the processing.

May 23, 1943

Clothing issue today for the early arrivals and briefing at night for the entire Group. A pilot and a navigator from ATC and a Lt. from CW gave a fine show and told everyone just what they needed to know. It was the best job of briefing I have ever seen for an overwater hop. Even the chemical warfare was interesting - learned about some new equipment - protective clothing, etc.

May 24, 1943

Finished clothing issue. Gave everybody a complete issue - duplicating the items that were sent across with the ground echelon. I don't know how we are going to lug all this stuff around, but I suppose we shall be glad to have it sometime. There will be another briefing tonight because two of the squadrons will be taking off early - 0200 hours. Kearney is much the same as always. Boys here are now in khaki although the weather has been cold, wet, and gray. Fires in the barracks are comfortable. I guess we are getting acclimated for our final destination.

May 25, 1943

Colonel Turner and the 349th left Kearney this afternoon shortly before 1500 hours to go probably to Selfridge Field in Michigan. Major Veal is waiting until the last plane has left Kearney before he goes. Lt. Gosgriff is staying behind with him.

May 26, 1943

Major Kidd and the 351st left Kearney this afternoon at 1500 hours for Baer Field near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Smooth trip although it was over a low overcast most of the way. Got to Baer about 1900 hours and prepared to wait for clearing weather before going on to Bangor, Maine.

May 27, 1943

Weather has broken over New England and we departed Baer shortly before 1300 hours to fly to Bangor Maine. Trip was a little rough, ran into some ice and rain shortly after passing Syracuse, New York. Last half hour opened up and we came into Bangor in clearing weather with at least 5,000 feet ceiling. Landed shortly after 1700 hours - took another nominal physical - filled out another emergence address card. Ship needed some maintenance. Got quite comfortable barracks set in a pine forest. A beautiful country with lots of lakes, rivers and forests.

May 28, 1943

Weather is closed in over Gander and there is some maintenance to be done on our ship so we are staying until tomorrow. Colonel Turner has been here and has departed - left on the 26th. Practically all the remaining planes are here now since the 418th arrived.

May 29, 1943

Departed for Gander about 1430 hours. Flew on top a overcast practically the entire way. It was radio navigation. Dark when we reached Gander and the ceiling was about 1200 feet. Everyone sweated out the let down since we didn't get much cooperation from the tower. The last half hour we ducked down through some clouds and saw nothing but low brush, swamps and small lakes - a desolate country. The lights of Gander Lake field were sure a welcome sight. The lost feeling flying in an overcast builds up and I suppose eventually to panic. We're going the southern route because the northern route is reserved for two engine aircraft - four engine aircraft carry enough gas for the longer hop. Our quarters are in a huge hanger. Chow is first class - better than we got many places in the States. The only thing we lack so far is fresh milk. There is plenty of butter and eggs.

May 30, 1943

Low ceiling and rain today - no take off. Also we must wait for a tail wind. The delays from here are often long since the favorable tail wind must be with you all the way if the long hop is to be made. Two crewmen guard ship at night and one during the day. It's cold and gray here - fleece lined flying clothing is necessary all the time for comfort. Hanger is only fairly warm.

May 31, 1943

Still at Gander - cold rainy day with a nasty chilling wind. Almost everybody from the 100th is here now. This base has the one of the biggest theaters I've every seen on an army base - usually full for three hours a day. The Canadians have a large establishment here and they share the pictures. The pictures are new - same as those showing at post theaters in the States. The PX is pretty well stocked, but beer is not very plentiful. They sell alarm clocks here.

Jun 1, 1943

Sweating out the weather at Gander - a damn cold sweat too. Keeping two men on the ship at night and one during the day. The sleeping at night is pretty frigid, however it is usually better than the hanger because it is quiet at least and the lights go off at sunset. The infantry guards have nervous trigger fingers, never a night without some shooting. There are lots of stories about saboteurs coming out of the brush at night and climbing over the airplanes. I have not seen any or talked to anyone with first hand knowledge of them.

Jun 2, 1943

Weather is clearing up a little and the visibility has increased to the point where we can see something of the country side. It is covered with scrub pine and spruce, none of more than a couple of inches in diameter. No chance of leaving as yet.

Jun 3, 1943

This is one of the days that seems more like spring. The sun is shining quite warmly and there is blue sky visible. In spite of the good weather here we are held by the weather officer - probably conditions are still bad over the Atlantic. However we have been told we shall soon be pushing on - perhaps tomorrow.

Jun 4, 1943

Thought this would be the day - gave ship a good inspection. Got ready so we could leave by 1630 hours but it didn't come off. Everybody is anxious to be off, but the Atlantic weather must still be bad. Went on daylight saving time here the 30th of May. Now at 2200 hours it is still light enough for comfortable reading. I don't know how early the sun rises here, I have never caught it in the act. The nights are pretty short here.

Jun 5, 1943

Left this evening at 1939 GMT right in the middle of mat full of planes taking off for the islands. A fairly clear day in Gander, but soon climbed on top of an overcast and remained on top all the way over. Hit Scottish Coast about 0604 hours and Prestwick a short time later - very smooth trip. The airplane functioned perfectly.

Jun 6, 1943

Into Prestwick a few minutes after 0700 hours and then to Adamton House, beautiful Scottish estate for chow and quarters - tents on the fresh grass of the park. Azaleas and Hyacinths were in full bloom. Everything was wet, seemed to rain there about 12 hours a day. Warm during the day but cold as hell at night.

Jun 7, 1943

Taxied out this morning for take-off but had to return due to weather. Went back to Adamton House for chow and was called out immediately afterward to get under way again. Finally took off about 1300 hours and flew to Podington, a small place near North Hampton. Learned we would leave early the next morning for our permanent station.

Jun 8, 1943

Flew to the new station near Thorpe Abbotts arriving about 1400 hours. Couldn't find headquarters so spent the afternoon getting settled. The others in the section had come over with Lt. Schwarz, leaving Podington before we arrived there. This is a new base, there are some RAF people here and a handful of Americans who are setting up an S-2 office for us. Three men are here from the 3rd Wing and the detachment commander is Capt. Freydenburg.

Jun 9, 1943

Spent the day with Capt. Freydenburg and his staff learning the system he was setting up for us. Major Shaw will arrive tomorrow and Capt. Freydenburg will probably return to 3rd Wing.

Jun 10, 1943

Major Shaw arrived. Lt. Arick, Capt. Johnson, Lt. Tatala, Capt. Winters and Capt. Bowman are in school. Lts. Baird and Laughlin have been transferred to other outfits. The others (Capt. Burr, Lt. Mackesey, Lt. Bowers, Lt. Juster, Lt. Terry, Lt. Callinan and Lt. Schwarz) conferred with Major Shaw and set up duty assignments for the enlisted men. Departmental duties were divided among us. Part of the staff visited the 95th Group to observe S-2.

June 11, 1943

Colonel Harold Q. Huglin assumed command of the Group today. Colonel Turner is assigned to the 1st Wing in some capacity. Completed the may inventory and started moving them into the new S-2 building. Briefing room maps are almost complete. Very warm weather here now - ideal summer weather as we used to have in the States. Capt. Burr and a couple of others officers visited the 4th Combat Wing to observe their system.

Jun 12, 1943

Moving completed. Setting up maps and furniture in three front rooms of the S-2 building - hope it will be our permanent quarters. Most enlisted men have been assigned to sections.

Jun 13, 1943

Working on situation maps and filing systems. Moving in more furniture. Group Headquarters has moved again and there may be changes in out space as well. Cleaning up inside and outside the building.

Jun 14, 1943

Getting up more maps and trying to iron out administrative procedures. Major Shaw has appointed Capt. Burr Executive Officer; Capt. Winters is Administrative Officer; Capt. Johnson is Security Officer; Capt. Bowman is Public Relations Officer; Lt. Terry is POW Officer; Lt Bowers is Identification Officer; Lt. Arick is Photo and PI Officer; Lts. Mackesey and Schwarz are in charge of maps and files; Lt. Schwarz is also Chief of the Photo Lab. Lts. Callinan and Juster are assistant administrators.

Big shake up on Colonel Huglin's staff. Major Egan has been relieved as Air Exc. and appointed Commanding Officer of the 351st. Capt. Turner, acting Group S-3 has been relieved and appointed Commanding Officer of the 351st. Major Kidd relieved of command of the 418th and appointed Group S-3. Major Flesher has been relieved of command of the 418th and appointed Air Exc. Lt. Colonel Dauncey has been relieved as Ground Exc. and made Administration Inspector. Lt. Colonel Harold E. Dugan, a new man in the Group, has transferred from Tech. Inspector to Ground Exc. The shake up came as a surprise and some of the appointments were totally unexpected.

Jun 15, 1943

Some squadron equipment is in now and the pressing need for such small junk as paper clips is not so great. material for the situation maps is still not available and will probably be difficult to obtain. Ground crews are attending school daily - instructors are men from Groups that have operational experience or from Wing. There are also some RAF instructors.

Jun 16, 1943

Getting more equipment from quartermaster - offices pretty well furnished. Finding it hard to give everybody enough work because there is so little equipment - only two typewriters - need four. Much of the material coming down from Wing is written in longhand. Two motion picture projectors are in.

Jun 17, 1943

Received map cases today and there are three more file drawers in the office now. Most of the 349th office equipment is in now, although none of the other S-2 material has came from the squadrons. Finally received some larger light bulbs to replace the feeble lights that look like hall lamps in a cheap hotel. Still need a tube for our florescent light on the situation map.

Jun 18, 1943

Combat crews going to classes daily, instructions from British and American operational aircrews on Identification, escape, bombing, gunnery etc. Most of them come in on time and listen attentively, although many feel it the just more of the same old stuff they heard for months in the States.

Jun 19, 1943

Target material came in from 4th Wing today - a truck load - much more than we can handle at this time. Capt. Burr left to attend Bomber Command School.

Jun 20, 1943

Filing as much of the target material as possible. Moved files room and maps cases into a larger office which will be devoted exclusively to map supplies. All office supplies moved to latrine room. Won't have any latrines here for a while. Scole Division of the Norfolk Home Guard visited the post. The 40 guardsmen went through a B-17.

Jun 21, 1943

Peaceful day, but things began to happen during the early evening. Received a field order at 2240 hours. Sent Lts. Callinan and Mackesey to observe operations at the 94th. Major Shaw, Capts. Winters, Johnson, Bowman and Lts. Arick & Juster working on the project here. Three enlisted men on duty all night, Kirkpatrick, Christensen and Turner. A beautiful clear moonlit night - fairly warm.

Jun 22, 1943

Breakfast for the night shift at 0245 hours and briefing at 0400 hours - passed out escape kits, watched crews leave. They didn't seem very nervous, but those left behind paced around waiting for take-off. About 0600 hours the first ship, #23050, in the dispersal bay just across the street began to taxi out. The sun had been up for some time and the day was bright and promising as the big ship turned and started down the taxiway to the East-West runway. Other ships were warming up their engines all over the field. Only 21 were to go and the others were silent and dead. At last at 0801 the first ship roared down the runway, one minute late. . Five others followed and the rest began to cut engines and taxi back to dispersal - The mission had been scrubbed. A few minutes later crew members began to trickle back to turn in escape kits. They were bitterly disappointed. Some few minutes later word came that the 100th would be flying a diversion mission over the North Sea and crews must remain by their ships - a hour later they were all airborne.

Shortly before noon they began to return and within a few minutes all had landed. An interrogation room was set up and coffee and sandwiches brought in. They had a negative report - flew mission just short of briefed route and saw nothing except a couple of conveys. Colonel Huglin flew in the lead ship. Interrogation lasted 80 minutes. The supply of 500 sandwiches proved inadequate. All crew were pretty tired since they had flown last night until 1900 hours. Most of our reports were completed by 1500 hours.

Jun 23, 1943

The papers were full of the AAF raids on Huls and Krefeld -- the targets of the ships for which we ran the diversion. The raid must have been successful although it was reported that 44 planes were lost for a percentage of 6%. Received some temporary cupboards for the storage of target material.

Jun 24, 1943

Room is stacked full of target material and every available man is working trying to get it in the cabinets. Got another Field Order tonight and most of the staff is hanging around trying to swim through the whirlpools of confusion - none to successful in most cases.

Jun 25, 1943

Took off early this morning - 0617 hours to bomb the submarine plants and pens at Bremen. Weather was bad after leaving the English Coast and the formation turned back before reaching the target. Extremely heavy flak was encountered and there was strong opposition from enemy fighters - FW 190's and ME 109's. Three of our ships failed to return from the raid. All were in flight led by Capt. Petrich of the 349th. Lts. Adams and Schmallenback were his wingmen. The weather was too bad to get any reliable story of their loss. Apparently they simply disappeared, although there were some who thought Capt. Petrich's plane had been hit and his wingmen followed him down to protect him and all became victims of enemy fighters. The men who came back were disappointed they had not been able to deliver their bombs and some of them bombed a small convey which they took for German.

Jun 26, 1943

Turned over the personal possessions of the missing men after the briefing the Squadron Adjutant. The loss of these men was accepted with seeming unconcern. There wasn't much talk about it. There wasn't a hellava lot of time to morn anyway since another mission came along today. This one is to Le Mans, France, to bomb the Gnone & Rhone aircraft engine factory. Took off at 1600 hours and returned at 2003 hours. Once more the formation turned back before reaching the target. Some of the crew reported bad weather - others maintained the weather was good - visibility unlimited. These crews said they had no idea why the leader turned back and many of them were bitterly disappointed. The repeated failure to carry through and land a punch is getting to be an old and disagreeable story. All crew returned.

Jun 27, 1943

Struggling through the reports for three missions now. There's more paperwork to making one raid than there was to run the entire Group for a week back in the States. Every section reads and writes reports, a few WAACs would be a big help on the report details.

Jun 28, 1943

Ran the first really successful mission today on the sub pens at St. Nazaire. Conditions were very favorable although the Germans tossed up a lot of flak and trotted out considerable fighter opposition. One man came back with a slight wound from flak, S/Sgt Bernard I. Hanover, our first candidate for a Purple Heart with a small flesh wound on is arm. The ships were loaded with 500 lb bombs and they were dropped squarely on the assigned targets. Crews were happy and elated - ate more and talked more freely - waited patiently for interrogation.

Jun 29, 1943

The good weather has put Bomber Command on it's high horse. Got another mission tossed down to us today. The assignment is to go back to Le Mans and finish the job on the Gnome & Rhone engine works - once again our boys fielded a tomato. The Leader - some other Group - missed the Initial Point and the bombardiers following him scattered bombs all over the country side. I guess it was a pitiful exhibition. Lt. Peal, the Group Bombardier, saw what was happening and brought his bombs back. Another Group went back and took a second run since there was no opposition from either E/A or flak.

Jun 30, 1943

Library has been opened for the Combat Crews. Lt. Arick has stocked it with what ever magazines and newspapers available together with the statistics on raids, pictures and printed publications from higher headquarters. There is a lot of good material there and the boys are spending a lot of time there. The only comfortable chairs on the base are in the library.

Jul 1, 1943

Second day without a mission -- rough weather.

Jul 2, 1943

Got a new Commander today. Colonel Huglin has been ill for several days with serious stomach ulcers and had to be relieved due to illness, it may be assumed. He was not very popular -- cold and reserved. The new Commander is Colonel Neil P. Harding, an older man who seems quite a bit like Colonel Alkire.

Had mission today - raid on the sub installation at La Pallice - weather bad and it was scrubbed at 1155 hours.

Jul 3, 1943

Things are getting smoothed out so the boys can go to London on 48 hours passes. With a little system setup one man can now do the work of three of four during the first days of operation.

Jul 4, 1943

The 4th of July and we celebrated with a raid on La Pallice, France. It was one of the most successful to date and the men who came back from the raid all agreed they had never had more fun on the 4th or set off bigger firecrackers. One crew failed to come back, Lt. Pearson's. When last seen he was heading south from the target with all props turning but losing altitude. There is hope he reached Spain. Enemy A/C and fighter opposition was light.

Jul 5, 1943

All departments are pretty well caught up. Maps has all their shelves in and a fairly complete stock. Files has nearly competed the task of putting target information on the shelves. The room is clear of boxes and the floor can be swept- seems a shame it will have to be redone when we move.

Jul 5, 1943

Three of our enlisted men are gone now and we are down to the basic Table of Organization. (TO) There are three men from each squadron and five from headquarters at total of 17. We still have two men from the RAF who are helping us in the filing department and we are getting along quite well. The seems to be a severe shortage of manpower temporarily and every squadron is screaming for men. A service group and two or three ordnance units, an MP company and a chemical warfare company are attached to the Group - still there is too much to do for the number of personnel available.

Jul 7, 1943

The long period of fine weather has been interrupted and not this is the third day without a mission. It comes at convenient time, since there are still reports from the first five missions that are not submitted - take a couple of more days to clear up.

Jul 8, 1943

Got alerted today - called off account of weather.

Jul 9, 1943

Weather is really bad now, cold, wet and gray. Have to have a fire to achieve any kind of comfort - coal is hard to find. When the weather is good here, it's very good - but when bad it's terrible.

Jul 10, 1943

Flew mission #8 today, tried a run on Le Bourget Air Field near Paris - once again the weather is bad and the formation turned back ten minutes from the target. Our Group ran into the heaviest fighter opposition it has seen so far. One ship and crew was lost, Lt. Ducan's. Members of other crew saw them going down with two engines on fire - 7 to 10 chutes reported. Our crews are claiming six enemy fighters destroyed and several damaged. Failure to deliver a load of bombs on the target left everybody pretty sour again.

Jul 11, 1943

Back to the old grind - individual encounter forms are stacked up two inches thick. Getting through them as the weather is bad and missions are not piling up as they did the first week.

July 12, 1943

A couple of Wing Lts. inspected the files today and seemed pretty well satisfied. The rain ceased late this afternoon and the sun came out - should be a prelude to another mission.

Jul 13, 1943

Mission to Le Bourget scrubbed account of weather.

Jul 14, 1943

Mission to Le Bourget with favorable weather for a change. It was a short and unhappy mission. Only four A/C dropped bombs and they were not very close the target. Ten out of 22 returned early - some mechanical and other never caught the formation. Colonel Harding led and returned in a very dark mood. Things are going to get tougher for the Combat Crew from now on it seems. The reason the other ships did not bomb is that the Lead Bombardier failed to see the target and those following were scheduled to drop on him.

Jul 18, 1943

Lts. Mackesey, Juster and Terry worked all night preparing mission to Kassel, Germany, one of the toughest assignments the Group has faced - far inside Germany and well guarded by flak and fighters. Just before take-off the mission was scrubbed - probable due to weather over the continent. Crewmen disappointed at missing another of their precious sorties. Most of them want to get their complement in as fast as possible on the principle of jumping into a cold shower all at once. Capt. Tex McCeary reported on way here to interview and photograph Major Egan, S/Sgt Donald Wise and others of the Group who are in line for decorations. Many of the 100th crews have completed their first five missions and are now eligible for the Air Medal - nine recommendations for Purple Hearts are in the works. Sgt Hanover of the 350th was awarded the Group's first Purple Heart, but will not receive the award until after the war is over. He is a member of Lt. Duncan's crew which went down at Le Bourget July 10th. (1943) As several chutes (seven to ten) were seen we are hoping they were saved for better things.

Jul 19, 1943

No mission today - several crews went out on practice flights. Major Shaw read a communication from Wing stating that Lt. Terry's narrative report on the abortive mission to Hamburg was the best every received at the 4th Wing from point of view of detail and clarity. Lt. Ayres of the 2nd Wing arrived on post today to remain several days and observe methods of the 100th's S-2 office - seems the 100th S-2 section is acquiring a favorable reputation throughout the 8th AF. Lt, Ayres complimented our set-up as being one of the best he has seen in the many stations in the 8th AF he had visited. Cold disagreeable day marked by the shifting of S-2 commissioned personnel from the Combat Crew mess to the regular officer's mess. The boys were thankful, since in all candon the officer’s mess is far superior. Major Shaw visited Wing today.

July 20, 1943

This was quite a day for military pomp and ceremony; at noon the RAF handed the base over Thorpe Abbotts Air Station to Uncle Sam. A flagpole had been erected opposite headquarters and at noon a detachment of RAF lined up with a company of GI's. Squadron Leader D. Lawson, RAF liaison officer with the 4th Wing and Squadron Leader L. G. Bloomfield, Commanding Officer of RAF station, Thorpe Abbotts, represented the RAF. Colonel Neil B. Harding, Commanding Officer of the 100th, accepted the transfer to the USAAF. The troops presented arms and the British standard was lowered to bugle accompaniment. An American Color Guard raised the Stars and Stripes, while the RAF bugler accompanied with a RAF bugle call. All personnel were elated to see the Star and Stripes raised, signifying the change over, but felt an American bugler could have been found to sound "To the Colors" making it even more impressive.

At 1600 hours Colonel Albert A. Kesseler, Commanding Officer of the 402 Bomb Wing, presented the first Purple Heart Awards to our Group. The first man from the 100th to win the award went down with the Duncan crew 10 Jul at Le Bourget. Those honored today were crewmen of the ship "Wild Cargo" which had the hell shot out of it Jul 14th. (1943) Major T. M. Stouffer, Wing Adjutant, read the citations as Colonel Kesseler pinned medals on 2nd Lt. Hiram E. Harris, S/Sgt Donald E. Wise, S/Sgt Phil W. Ong and S/Sgt Sebastian F. Niedermeyer at the base Officers Club before a large gathering. The official party then visited Evacuation Hospital #12 and decorated other members of the crew; S/Sgt Roy L. Schellin, S/Sgt Alfred J. Vickers and S/Sgt John O. Stireman, who's wounds were nearly fatal. Colonel Kesseler in a short announcement stated that the 390th Group had joined the Wing and should be in action with us soon. Note : Lt. Harris was not a member of "Wild Cargo's" crew, rather he was wounded on mission a few days before.

Jul 21, 1943

Lt. G. R. Young of VIII Bomber Command here to photograph combat crew members from various parts of the country, then make sketches from photos for display in home town newspapers. First selection; boys from Boston, Milwaukee and San Francisco.

Jul 24, 1943

Group engaged in longest combat mission, up to now, every undertaken by B-17s. Take-off was at 0800 hours for Trondjhiem, Norway, and the formation returned at 1954 hours, just under twelve hours later. Bombing results were good and all planes returned safely, although Lt. Biddick was forced to make a crash landing in the vegetable garden of the Commanding Officer of a RAF training field in northern Scotland. The natives had never seen Americans or American planes and their hospitality was terrific according to the crew which was flown out the next day. On the mission, fighter opposition was light and flak only meager. Tonight Larry Winship of the Boston Globe, was brought down from Wing by Lt. Huber to interview several New England boys just back from the Scandinavian trip. Winship, in his first actual contact with the war , got a tremendous kick out of the whole affair, promised good publicity for the 100th when he got home. NOTE: The Boston Globe ran several related stories and notified families of those interviewed.

Jul 25, 1943

Weather beautiful for two days now - hardly a cloud. Today the Group paid a call on Warnemunde, Germany - or rather intended to - thwarted by solid overcast and bombed the dock yards at Kiel instead. At the last moment before take-off, Capt. Richard Carey, 350th Operations Officer, replaced the ill Lt. William DeSanders. Capt. Carey failed to return, last seen after the target going down in the direction of Sweden with one engine smoking. There were no other loses.

Jul 26, 1943

A most unsuccessful day - Group took off early for Hannover, designated 4th Wing lead. Owing to confusion over the Friesian Islands, the rendezvous was not effected and the whole Group was forced to abort - or go into Germany alone - not a wise procedure. Some ships took out their disappointment on a enemy convey encountered on the way home - reported a direct hit on a merchant vessel. Colonel Harding led and was not happy. At night an excellent USO stage show in the old Officers Mess building. Later two red alerts and the sky was full of searchlights until 0100 hours. Most of the Group has taken a somewhat cynical approach to the alerts, as nothing has every happened -- to date. Perhaps we may yet change out minds.

Jul 27, 1943

A day of comparative leisure for our Combat Crews - they were not alerted -- novelty these days.

July 28, 1943

Ochersleben was the target today - weather closed in and Group was hampered. Fighter opposition was terrific (150 to 200 reported) and the enemy made clever use of cloud cover to make hit an run attacks. This same cloud cover severed a useful purpose for some 100th crew, noticeably Lt. Helstromm who with an engine out dived into the clouds two jumps ahead of a JU-88 who plainly meant him no good. Crews reported the enemy's use of 37mm cannons in this encounter, JU-88' remaining out of range and lobbing 37mm shells at the Toyko tanks on our planes. They reported three Fortresses in an accompanying group downed in one fighter pass, all going down in flames. Today 44 combat crewmen received the Air Medal for completing five combat missions over enemy occupied Europe - 90 more have earned the award but as yet have not received it. Colonel Harding presented the ribbons at the Officer's Club. A great many crewmen already rate the Oak Leaf Cluster, awarded for ten missions.

Jul 29, 1943

One of those days which compensate the Combat Crews for the many disappointments of strategic bombing. The Group paid a courtesy call on Warnemunde. Most of the flight was over a solid overcast, but at the target, Lt. Frye's forecast was vindicated for once - clear at the target. Photo's show the target was plastered. Jerry was fooled - under a half dozen fighter seen and only meager flak.

Jul 30, 1943

This one the crews had not been looking ahead to. Kassel, Germany - a long way - the crews had been briefed before only to have the mission scrubbed. Took off early today, 0600 hours and did the job. Oddly enough fighter opposition was light - not that anyone minded but flak was severe. One plane was hit over Antwerp, and came home on three engines. Bombing results were reported as good, and several enemy fighter were claimed. They say they won't have to go back - hope they are correct.

Jul 31, 1943

Some one finally lifted the pass restrictions on the combat crews - high time as they were going stale - too many missions in quick succession and not enough relaxation. Half are away now and the remainder awaiting their turn.

Tonight the Officer's Club entertained about 150 visiting ladies from Norwich and Bury St. Edmunds at the outfit's first dance in Merry Ole England. It was a distinctive evening. Just at midnight a cloud burst struck, with lightning and thunder - a great help to Lt. Paul, whose duty it was to round up the ladies for transportation home.

 Aug 1, 1943

A quiet Sunday, with most of the combat personnel on leave - taken to Norwich and London by truck to avoid further complicating the British rail congestion of the August Bank Holiday. No flying except a couple of slow timers. A wonderful day with a breeze.

Aug 2, 1943

A dozen trucks departed this morning to bring back the Combat Crews, who must be on the base by nightfall. (Whether this presages coming operations or is the result of outraged protests from London and Norwich, we don't know yet. )

This afternoon, Lt. Roane escaped disaster by an eyelash when his left main gear folded near the end of the runway, as he was landing from a practice flight. No one was hurt except the good ship Laden Maiden, which will be in the hospital for some time.

Aug 3, 1943

A quite day - in the afternoon Major Shaw visited Wing to confer with Colonel Norcross about PRO reports.

Aug 4, 1943

Colonel Harding presented Air Medals to 37. The Colonel spoke of the planning of our missions, the object and effect, and gave some interesting observations concerning the probable course of the war in the immediate future. Major Standish read a letter of commendation to the Combat Crews of the 8th AF from Lt. General Jacob J. Denvers, General Ira Baker and Air Marshall Sir Harry Portal.

Aug 5, 6, 7, 1943

Capt. Bowman and Lt. Mackesey on leave. No missions

Aug 8, 1943

Everything still grounded by weather over the continent. Today Major Cleven with a number of men who aspired to be combat crewmen was attacked over the field by half a dozen roaming P-47's. The Major dog fought with them all over the sky - a beautiful piece of flying. Some of his passengers decided to stay on the ground from here out. Real Texas cloudburst tonight.

Aug 9, 1943

Lt. Huber brought over Doris Flesson of the "Womans Home Companion" on a good will jaunt. They stayed for dinner and left praising the 100th's mess as all visitor do. The Group was alerted toward midnight.

Aug 10, 1943

Group took off at 0730 hours on what was to have been the "Big Mission" which was scrubbed for weather about one hour out. Combat Crews were given a special talk by Colonel Harding on their return. His subject: special security procedures regarding this abort, which will be flown when the weather permits. Meanwhile everyone is restricted to the post.

Aug 11, 1943

Presentation of awards - some 70 Air Medals given, four for destruction of enemy aircraft, one to Major John C. Egan for heroism in action, saving the life of Sgt. Shay, who lost his oxygen system, and the remaining 65 for completing five missions. Major Egan received a Oak Leaf Cluster to his medal for completing five missions as well. Combat Crews are starting to look like "Ole Campaigners," many who have Good Conduct, Pearl Harbor and other medals are hard pressed to find space for the additional decorations. The "Paddlefoot Brigade" is stressing the ETO ribbon this season.

Aug 12, 1943

The first mission in some time. Group briefed for Wesseling (Primary) and Bonn. They were forced by weather to take the secondary target (Bonn) and photos indicated considerable damage. Fighter opposition nil and only meager flak. This mission was the 15th straight for Lt. Glen Dye, who holds the Group record - has flown every mission and diversion to date. What a record!!

Aug 13, 1943

Purple Heart awarded to Lt. Robert E. Dibble, bombardier who was wounded over Hannover. Exploding shell drove glass into his face, fortunately his eyes were not injured. Colonel Kesseler presented the award and remarked, "Young man, this is the last one of these I want to give you. " Thanking the Colonel, Lt. Dibble replied, "I sure don't want another one, Colonel. "

Aug 14, 1943

Group ran a beautiful milk run today. Purely a trick mission designed to draw the Luftwaffe up so that our P-47's could attack them. Group flew 20 to 30 miles off Belgian Coast, then returned. No bombs carred, no flak and no fighters, the boys really enjoyed this one - would that all their trips could be so care free.

Aug 15, 1943

A late in the day raid on Merrville and Lille, France. Notable both in the number of B-17s taking part and the fact the 100th suffered its first visible death in action. Today's causality was Lt. Robert E. Dibble (See Aug 13th, 43 entry) of Bangor, Michigan, killed when a piece of flak came the nose of The Poontang of which he was the bombardier. Lt. Cassimatis, Navigator tried to give aid, but was unable to save Dibble's life - he was dead when the ship landed at Thorpe Abbotts. Many of the crews asking about Flak Vests of which they have read - some thought it would have perhaps saved Dibble. He had only two day prior received the Purple Heart - all pleased that he received the decoration before Jerry got him.

Aug 16, 1943

Most of the day filled with alarms and excursions regarding the mission projected for tomorrow - general impression is both Zebra and Sunflower will be attacked tomorrow. Base on full alert, late in the day. Crew warned to prepare canteens, extra rations, arms, shelter halves, iron rations and other ominous articles. Afraid it is real.

Aug 17, 1943 (Regensburg)

Hunch was correct. The Group took off, maximum strength at 0730 hours on the long awaited shuttle trip to North Africa. Twenty-one (21) aircraft took off - Major Kidd leading, Major Egan second in command, Major Cleven and Major Veal led their Squadrons. A good many eggs in one basket. The Bombardier and Navigator had been studying the target for week, but did not know it's name or location until the briefing. Objective was characterized in the annex to the Field Order as "The most important ever bombed anywhere. " Entire station is sweating this one out - Doris Flesson back on the field with Walter Logan of UP to interview the crews when they return - expected in three days.

Aug 18, 1943

No new directly from our Combat Crews. Bomber Command has word from Colonel Curtis LeMay, who led mission, that the target was destroyed - we know that the boys got to the target and LeMay's plane at least reached North Africa. Rumor that about 115 Fortresses were safely on the ground, seven in the Mediterranean Sea and two on Switzerland. Today our seven remaining crews took off to raid Dutch airports. Interrogation was interrupted to show crews photos, just received, of what the boys did at Regensburg - it was blasted to Hell and Gone. ME assembly plant in shambles - about a square mile of ruins. Photos show the Red Cross Hospital on the edge of the target area untouched - testifying to the accuracy of our bombing. The 100th MPI (Mean Point of Impact) obliterated. If our crews return safely it will have been a great mission for us any case will go down as one of the great air exploits of the war.

Aug 20, 1943

Still sweating out our Combat Crews - no hint as to when they will return. Operations hasn't heard a word, although higher headquarters may have. Not a hint as to individual Group losses.

Aug 21, 1943

Terrific rainstorm during the night - a regular Texas dew. Still overcast and raining this morning, so boys will probably won't get home today. Note: Officers mess profited indirectly by this mission. Combat Crew mess was unable to refrigerate their consignment of eggs - lowly Paddlefeet at eggs like gentlemen.

Aug 22, 1943

Today is black, though memorable day for the 100th. Colonel Harding flew to Prestwick, where Major Egan and crew of Scott's and Wolff's planes were flown by ATC from North Africa. The 100th Bomb Group lost nine (9) planes in what may turn out to be the greatest aerial battle of the war. We lost Hollenbeck, Claytor, Hummel, Braley all of the 350th: Van Noy and Shotland of the 349th, Oakes of the 351st and Knox and Biddick of the 418th. Fighting lasted from Antwerp to the target - 2 hours and 10 minutes - with every type of fighter the Jerries could get up. Our two crews, Scott's and Wolff's, were Bomber Commands first contact with the crews on the mission - Wing went nuts over their story. PRO report on the mission, with signed stories, etc, ran to 5 or 6 thousand words in one night. The press included, Gladwyn Hill, Sammy Goldstein, Life and AP photographers plus many others. Crew interrogated for over two hours - incredible stories of the battle to the target and flight over the Alps to Africa. Many of them loaded with souvenirs. Scott's Radio Operator, Norman M. Smith, had leg torn off by 20mm and died in the plane despite the efforts of the crew to save him.

Aug 23, 1943

Major Bill Veal arrived from Africa, flying Scott's ship - heavily damaged and with a mixed crew. All interrogated again by assembled press - signed stories etc. Stars and Stripes even had a correspondent here. Lt. Ben Morgan of Wing sent down to help on PRO. Early morning mission for today scrubbed.

Aug 24, 1943

Seven ships took off for Evreax and Conches, France. Just before they were due to return, the 100th's remaining ships from Africa arrived, having bombed a Bordeaux airfield on the way back from North Africa. They encountered only a few fighters and meager flak. S-2 office were a shambles - Our African crews being interrogated on the mission down and the Bordeaux mission, and before we finished this the days mission to Evreax and Conches returned. Evreax trip was a success as to the bombing. S/Sgt Fulton of Lt. Floyd's crew wounded in the chest by flak - should be OK.

Reports of African crews confirm awful beating 100th took on the Regensburg trip. We were the low and rear Group and took the brunt of the fighters. Correspondents all departed, leaving Lt. Morgan here on detached service. 100th got big play in Stars and Stripes today - two photos included.

Aug 25, 1943

No activity today - most of the Combat Crews on three day passes. God knows they deserve them. Morale among Combat Crews is high despite what they went through on the Regensburg shuttle mission.

Aug 26, 1943

Missions to Gilksenkirchen and Woendstrecht scrubbed at 0520 hours - weather. Photos of Colonel Harding sent to Doris Fresson, Woman's Home Companion writer in London to illustrate the article she doing on our "typical group. " Rainy and cold today - in the afternoon Lt. Huber brought in Capt. Gordon of VIIIth Bomber Command, who is writing a book on the first year of the 8th AF in Europe - will end with the 100th's battle over Europe on 17 Aug 1943.

Aug 27. 1943

Today's Stars and Stripes carried the news that Colonel Neil B. Harding has been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action leading bombing missions. No decision as when or where the decoration will be awarded - probably at Wing.

Aug 28, 1943

Only news of importance today concerns the second dance at the Officer's Club. Ladies imported from near and far - delegation of nurses from Evac. Hospital #12. A large time and for once it did not rain.

Aug 29, 1943

Promotion of several Lieutenants announced today, among them Lt. Arick's - should console him in the hospital - he fractured or badly sprained an ankle and wrist when the tail board of truck he was riding on gave way. Combat Crews briefed for Merrville - Lille again - took off and were recalled by radio.

(There was a major mission to Paris on 3 Sep 1943 in which the 100th lost four aircraft- sadly it not mentioned herein). . . pw

Sep 5, 1943 (this date should be Sept 6th, 1943). . . . pw

Mission to Stuttgart proved costly. Lt. Woodward believed down in Switzerland; Lt. Vetter's crew did not return - seven or eight chutes seen. Lt. Reeder landed in Southern England with co-pilot Lt. Edeburn dead and terrific story of a return alone under fighter attack. Lt. Hennington's crew, which ditched in the Channel on 3 Sep 1943 was returned to the base.

Sep 7 1943

Early mission to Watten - little flak and no fighters. Bombing poor due to heavy cloud concentrations in the target area.

Sep 8, 1943

Alert last night, but scrubbed - Red Alert also, during the evening. Big news today - Lt. Reeder and Sgt. Pope's epic story of returning from Stuttgart with a dead Co-pilot and wounded Navigator and Bombardier.

Sep 9,1943

Surrender of Italy last night gave us a lift but spoiled play on Reeder story, which Stars and Stripes murdered; headline; Fort Returns with Dead Pilot. Typical. Invasion rumors in the air as the Group gets it's first two mission day. Early morning attack on Beauvails airport successful. No fighters, little flak. In the afternoon Group briefed for an airfield near Arth - Take-off at 1615 hours. Those who went on the A. M. mission, 23rd for Lt. Glen Dye, reported air filled with allied planes - much activity in the Channel. Lt. Dye leading second mission with Colonel Harding as Wing lead.

Sep 10, 1943

Rainy, cloudy - no activity except ground school - little prospect for anything else for a while.

Sep 11, 1943

Ditto - poured all night and has been drizzling all day. Nice coat of mud everywhere, damp and uncomfortable except in immediate vicinity of a stove. This is not San Antonio!!!

Sep 12, 1943

Weather the same. .

Sep 13, 14, & 15, 1943

Capt. Bowman in hospital. 15 Sep 43 mission data as follows:

HEADQUARTERS

ONE HUNDREDTH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H), AAF

Office of the Operations Officer

Station #139

September 17, 1943

SUBJECT: NAVIGATIONAL Narrative of the Mission of September 15, 1943.

TO: Commanding Officer, 100th Bombardment Group (H), AAF Station

1. There was some deliberation as to time of take-off. The lead plane taxied out into position at 1545 and took off at 1559. The group was in position to start climb at 1625.

2. It was observed that the group had difficulty staying in position when the airspeed was at 55 MPH so from that time on the airspeed was held at 150 MPH. It became necessary to cut all corners possible to keep up with the briefed times. The 100th Group passed over the rendezvous point, Splasher Beacon Six three minutes early anticipating a need for the early time. However the other two groups were observed and it is believed that this early time did not cause them any trouble. We did "ess" slightly to give them an opportunity to close up on the lead group.

3. Splasher Beacon Six was passed at 1741. Number Eight was cut short, but we passed in its vicinity at 1800. the formation, now fairly well in place crossed the English Coast at 1805. There were twenty-one ships in the group at this time.

4. The French Coast was crossed at 1826. the formation was about five miles right of the briefed course at this time so a correction was necessary to place the crossing at the briefed point. the high group was quite a bit to the right of the lead group so they were fired upon by flak from Dieppe.

5. The Initial Point was reached at 1846. The lead group passed slightly beyond the I. P. which made the heading to the target seventy-five degrees. This change cleared the formation of the flak burst over the town of Mantes.

6. The target was reached and bombs dropped at 1855. Flak was intense from the I. P. to the target and on to the Rally Point. It was especially bad near the loop of the Seine River just east of St. Germaine. It was much more accurate than usual.

7. The Rally Point was reached at 1902, the French Coast at 1932.

ONE HUNDREDTH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H), AAF

Office of the Operations Officer

Station #139

September 17, 1943

SUBJECT: Bombardier's Narrative of Mission of 15 September 1943, Renault Plant, Paris France. 

TO:Commanding Officer, 100th Bombardment Group (H), AFF.

1. We turned around I. P. at Nantes, France. We went a little South of the I. P. to avoid cloud layers that hung over planned route into target. Visibility was very poor at all times due to haze and twilight conditions. The actual target area identified in time to make a run of approximately 85 seconds. The actual target could not be seen until the formation was about 20 seconds from the target. Flak was quite a deterrent to the bomb run, but the bad visibility was the determining factor in the difficulties of the target.

2. My synchronization at the time of bombs away was good. The bomb results of the 100th Group was all over the target. The first bomb bursts were observed hitting the far side of the target area.

3. The only explanation for failure of our bombs to hit the target, is that the poor visibility conditions made accurate synchronization impossible.

4. After dropping our bombs we turned left to the rally point and continued on our course.

JAMES DOUGLASS

1stLt.Air Corps

Lead Bombardier

Sep 16, 1943

Primary target, Bordeaux, was closed in - La Pallice was bombed instead. Lt. Wolff's ship - The Wolf Pack is missing.

Sep 20, 1943

Mission to Paris recalled after being airborne for half hour - this coming at 1630 hours account of weather. Combat Crews no little disgruntled. Major Clevens remarks something to hear.

Sep 21, 1943

Weather gradually improving, but no alert. Jerry came over during the night - two alerts but no incidents here.

Sep 22, 1943

Group alerted late this evening for mission to Vannes. Kerlin-Bastard secondary, Morlaix L. R. Briefed by Lt. Mackesey at 0230 hours - take-off set for 0520, it will be dark. Major Flesher leading the Group and Wing. Tough targets to locate - two crews issued flak suits - first we have seen.

Sep 23, 1943

Yesterday's mission a great success. Vannes airfield barracks area heavily damaged, second Group bombed field just as German fighters were taking off - many reported crashing and exploding. Good job of locating targets - no causalities in our Group.

Sep 24, 1943

Group briefed early for Stuttgart - mission was scrubbed just prior to take-off at 0800 hours. Red Alert last night as usual - some think Jerry is pissed off at the 100th. Whole Wing was jumped by fighters while on a practice mission over the North Sea. They were practicing a new bombing technique, through clouds. Very few ships even had their guns aboard or full crew components. Our pants were down. Lt. John Gossage, making his first flight in England was shot down in the North Sea. Later rescued but two men are known to have drowned and two are missing.

Sep 25, 1943

Century Bombers paid a call on Vannes-Meucan airfield today - a beautifully camouflaged airfield near St. Nazaire. MPI was barracks area - results excellent. Lots of German familles should be receiving boxes of ashes in few days. No fighters and not flak.

Sep 26, 1943

Late afternoon mission to a Paris assembly plant was spoiled by weather, bombed secondary - Beauvails - Group saw no fighters and flak was light. Flak suits available for all crewmen today.

Sep 27, 1943

Group departed at 0630 hours for Emden. Back at noon - little flak and the fighters were kept off by P-47's. No combat, but on the other hand the bombing was not good, due to overcast. The new Pathfinder technique was employed for the first time. Crews happy about flak suits, which gives them a great sense of security, whatever the practical value may turn out to be.

Sep 28, 1943

S-2 stayed up late waiting for possible RAF visitors as weather closed after their mission departed. No one showed up however. Cold and pouring rain most of the night. Today combines all the worst features of Kearney and Sioux City weather wise. Group spent its time endeavoring unsuccessfully to ignite apparently fireproof coke. Battleship Lutsow's whereabouts not revealed - mission scrubbed. Ceiling here about 750 feet and no clear weather within 200 miles, according to Weather - scrub was probably the smart thing to do.

Oct 2,3, 1943

Lt. Mackesey and Capt. Bowman on leave in Cambridge, absorbing university atmosphere.

Oct 4, 1943

Mission to Hanau wound up all over Germany - Frankfurt was the secondary target. The 100th dropped their bombs "somewhere" and that is all that should be said. On return "Pinky" Helstrom was observed peeling off, presumable near the English Coast. No word of him or crew since. His 23rd or 24th mission - Curtice and Phillippe were aboard. This leave the 350th with only one "Original" crew left - DeMarco.

Oct 5 & 6, 1943

Rain and heavy clouds - alerted the evening of the 6th.

Oct 7, 1943

Heavy rain all night, coupled with Red Alert and bombs falling relativly close. Despite the weather, briefing for Bremen for 0800 hours. Mission scrubbed at 0801 hours - the sun came out. Practice mission set for 1300 hours.

Oct 8, 1943 (Bremen)

Group alerted early evening of the 7th - scrubbed soon afterwards - enemy bombed between Bungay and Nowich around 2200 hours. Lots of Ack Ack visible. There were a dozen or so planes reported shot down in the vicinity of our base, some in flames. Early radio reports stated 175 planes over England during the night.

At 0500 hours the group alerted for Bremen with take-off time set for 1145 hours. Two other big missions on with B-24's also with Bremen as their target. Radio reported that the 100th bombed the primary at 1520 hours. Group returned at 1700 hours - missing seven (7) planes and crews. Major Cleven with DeMarco missing; Nash, Meadow, McDonald, Gormley, Murphy in the famed Piccadily Lily; and Becktoft were also missing. Colonel Kidd and Blakely crashed landed near Norwich after a historic air battle all the way home from Bremen. Two crewmen were severely wounded - they claimed 12 fighters and were allowed nine.

8 OCT 43 BREMEN MISSION CHRONOLOGY

CHRONOLOGIES ARE PLAGUED WITH DISCREPANCIES; THE FOLLOWING ARE TWO OF THE MORE PERPLEXING.

IN ESTABLISHING DEPARTURE AND RETURN TIMES, THE "J" FORM" IS A VALUABLE DOCUMENT. IN GENERAL THE PRACTICE WAS FOR HEAVY BOMBERS, B-17S AND B-24S, TO BE DISPATCHED AT THIRTY SECOND INTERVALS. THE "J FORM" ON 08 OCT 43 FOR THE 100TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H) DOES NOT FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE. AT 1143 HRS TWO B-17S (423233 AND 4230840) ARE LISTED AS DEPARTING. IT WILL BE ASSUMED THAT THE FIRST AIRCRAFT DEPARTED ON THE MINUTE AND THE SUCCEEDING ONE THIRTY SECONDS LATER.

EVEN GREATER DISCREPANCIES, UNDERSTANDABLY, OCCURRED DURING THE COURSE OF THE MISSIONS. LT F. C. PETERSON OF 425864 REPORTED BOMB RELEASE AT 1521 HRS, BUT THE LEAD BOMBARDIER'S LOG INDICATES BOMB RELEASE AT 1525 HRS. WATCHES NOT SYNCHRONIZED, THE STRESS OF COMBAT ARE FACTORS IN THE MISSION DISCREPANCIES.

IN SUMMARY, THE TIMES NOTED BELOW MUST BE CONSIDERED APPROXIMATE. THE ORDER OF EVENTS, THAT IS, THE LOSS OF AIRCRAFT REFERENCE TO MISSION PHASE ARE CORRECT. THERE IS A 100TH STATUS REPORT FOR 7 OCT 43 @ 2000 HRS (THE EVE OF THE 8 OCT 43 BREMEN MISSION) AND AT THE END OF THE CHRONOLOGY THE STATUS REPORT FOR 8 OCT 43 @ 2000 HRS.

OCTOBER 7, 1943 2000 HRS GROUP STATUS REPORT

37 COMBAT CREWS ASSIGNED: 33 AIRCRAFT OPERATIONAL

30 COMBAT CREWS ASSIGNED: 8 AIRCRAFT OPERATIONAL WITHIN 24 HRS

43 AIRCRAFT ASSIGNED: 2 AIRCRAFT OPERATIONAL WITHIN 7

OCTOBER 8, 1943 1130 TAXI TIME OF THE FIRST AIRCRAFT

TAKE OFF TIMES:

1143

23233

LN-R

OUR BABY

MAJ GALE CLEVEN & CAPT. B. A. DeMARCO

1143:30

230840

LN-O

UNNAMED

LT HERBERT G. NASH

1144

23433

LN-W

UNNAMED

LT ROBERT P. KRAMER

1144:30

230818

LN-S

SALVO SAL

LT WILLIAM N. McDONALD

1145

230358

LN-X

PHARTZAC

LT FRANK H. MEADOWS

1145:30

230047

LN-Q

SWEATER GIRL

LT CHARLES D. WALTS

1146

230487

XR-F

TORCHY III

F/O OWEN D. ROANE

1146:30

230154

XR-H

WAR EAGLE

LT ARTHUR H. BECKTOFT

1147

23229

XR-A

PASEDENIA NINA

LT JOHN K. JUSTICE

1147:30

23393

LD-Y

JUST-A-SNAPPIN'

MAJ JOHN B. KIDD & CAPT E. E. BLAKLEY

1148

230758

LD-W

ROSIE'S RIVERTERS

LT ROBERT ROSENTHAL

1148:30

23237

LD- R

STYMIE

LT JOHN F. STEPHENS

1150

230062

LD-O

TERRYTEN

CAPT C. B. CRUIKSHANK

1150:30

230,152

LD-X

MESSIE BESSIE

LT WALTER U. MORENO

1151

230091

LD-S

BLIVIT

LT D. L. MINOR

1151:30

25997

EP-F

HEAVEN CAN WAIT

LT WILLIAM M. BEDDOW

1152

25864

EP-A

PICCADILLY LILY

CAPT THOMAS E. MURPHY

1152:30

230723

EP-D

UNAMED

LT HOWARD E. KEEL

1153

23474

EP-B

QUEEN BEE

LT MAURICE E. BEATTY

1153:30

23386

EP-H

MARIE HELENA

LT RAYMOND J. GORMLEY

1154

230796

EP-K

SUNNY II

LT JOHN T. GRIFFIN

1154:30

25957

XR-D

HORNY

CAPT H. M. HENNINGTON

 
THIS AIRCRAFT PARTICIPATED AS A SCHEDULED SPARE; POSITION IN THE FORMATION IS UNCERTAIN 1155 230170 XR-G HOT SPIT LT EDWARD G. STORK
 
THIS AIRCRAFT PARTICIPATED AS A SCHEDULED SPARE; POSITION IN THE FORMATION IS UNCERTAIN 1156 230088 XR-E SQUAWKIN HAWK LT ROBERT N. LOHOF
 
THIS AIRCRAFT PARTICIPATED AS A SCHEDULED SPARE; POSITION IN THE FORMATION IS UNCERTAIN 1156 23307 EP-N SKIPPER
 
SCHEDULED TO PARTICIPATE; REPLACED BY 230723, EP-D 1156 230830 EP-N UNNAMED
 
SCHEDULED TO PARTICIPATE; REPLACED BY 23237, LD-R 1259 23237 LD-R STYMIE ABORTED; OIL LEAK NO#1 ENGINE
 
100TH LEAVES THE ENGLISH COAST
 

1416 230062 LD-O TERRYNTEN ABORTS; NO#2, 3, AND 4 GENERATORS INOPERATIVE

 

1426 23433 LN-W UNNAMED ABORTS; LOSS OF OXYGEN TO TOP TURRET

 
1453 100TH CROSSED EUROPEAN COAST 10 MILES NNW OF GRONINGEN; AGGRESSIVE FIGHTER ATTACKS BEGIN
 

1508 23386 EP-H MARIE HELENA MID-AIR COLLISION WITH FW-190 OF 2/JG11 THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN FLOWN BY OBLT. ERICH HONDT. THE CREW (10) KIA

 

1510 230358 LN-X PHARTZAC FOR YET TO BE DETERMINED REASONS, AIRCRAFT EXPLODED, KILLING EIGHT(8) OF THE CREW, WHILE TWO (2) WERE TAKEN PRISONER.

 

1512 230154 XR-H WAR EAGLE WAS SEEN GOING DOWN IN FLAMES, RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF ONE (1) CREW MEMBER, THE OTHER NINE (9) WERE CAPTURED.

 
1515 100TH REACHES THE INITIAL POINT
 

1515 230330 BT-A BLOOD GUTS & RUST II THIS 390TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP B-17 WAS LAST SEEN LEAVING THE FORMATION WITH NO# 2 AND 3 ENGINES ON FIRE. RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF FOUR (4) CREW MEMBERS, WHILE SIX (6) WERE CAPTURED.

 

1516 230318 DI-C DEVIL'S DAUGHTER THIS 390TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP B-17 WAS LAST SEEN DROPPING OUT OF THE FORMATION WITH NO# 2 ENGINE ON FIRE. RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF ONE (1) CREW MEMBER, WHILE THE OTHER NINE. (9) WERE CAPTURED.

 

1521 25864 EP-A PICCADILLY LILY DROPPED BOMBS ON THE TARGET

 
1521GROUP BECOMES DISORGANIZED
 

25864 EP-A PICCADILLY LILY LEFT FORMATION WITH NO# 3 ENGINE ON FIRE AND EXPLODED, RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF SIX (6) OF THE ELEVEN (11) CREW MEMBERS, WHILE THE OTHER FIVE (5) WERE CAPTURED.

 
23393 LD-Y JUST-A-SNAPPIN' DROPPED OUT OF FORMATION.
 
230152 LD-X MESSIE BESSIE DROPPED OUT OF FORMATION.
 
25957 XR-D HORNY DROPPED OUT OF FORMATION.
 

230292 CC-Q UNNAMED THIS 390TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP B-17 WAS LAST SEEN LEAVING FORMATION WITH NO#4 ENGINE ON FIRE AND WAS ENCIRCLED BY ENEMY FIGHTERS, RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF SIX (6) CREW MEMBERS, WHILE FOUR (4) WERE CAPTURED.

 
1525100TH REACHES THE RALLY POINT; FIGHTER ATTACKS DECREASE.
 

1530 230840 LN-O UNNAMED UNCERTAIN AS TO CIRCUMSTANCES REGARDING THIS AIRCRAFT'S LOSS; RESULTED IN THE DEATH OF FIVE (5) CREW MEMBERS, WHILE FIVE (5) WERE CAPTURED.

 

1533 23233 LN-R OUR BABY UNCERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES REGARDING THIS AIRCRAFT'S LOSS, RESULTED IN THE CAPTURE OF ALL CREW MEMBERS.

 

1555 230818 LN-S SALVO SAL UNCERTAIN AS TO CIRCUMSTANCES REGARDING THIS AIRCRAFT'S LOS, EXCEPT THAT IT WAS DAMAGED BY FLAK. IT'S LOSS RESULTED IN THE DEATH OF ONE (1) CREW MEMBER WITH THE OTHER NINE (9) CAPTURED.

 
1628100TH LEFT THE EUROPEAN COAST
 

1700 100TH CROSSED THE ENGLISH CHANNEL

 
RETURN OF THE 100TH AIRCRAFT

1712 23474 EP-B QUEEN BEE RECEIVED "AC" BATTLE DAMAGE FROM FLAK.

1715 23229 XR-A PASEDENA NINA UNDAMAGED

1716 25997 EP-F HEAVEN CAN WAIT BATTLE DAMAGE; FLAK & SMALL CALIBER GUN FIRE

1717 230047 LN-Q SWEATER GIRL UNDAMAGED

1718 230723 EP-D UNNAMED UNDAMAGED

1719 230487 XR-F TORCHY III UNDAMAGED

1721 230152 LD-X MESSIE BESSIE BATTLE DAMAGE FORM FLAK.

1722 230088 XE-E SQUAWKIN HAWK BATTLE DAMAGE; FLAK & SMALL CALIBER GUN FIRE

1723 230758 LD-W ROSIE'S RIVETERS BATTLE DAMAGE FROM FLAK.

1725 230796 EP-K SUNNY II BATTLE DAMAGE FROM FLAK, 20mm CANNON & SMALL CALIBER GUN FIRE.

1733 230091 LD-S BLIVIT BATTLE DAMAGE FROM FLAK.

1745 25957 XR-D HORNY BATTLE DAMAGE FROM FLAK.

1813 230170 XR-G HOT SPIT BATTLE DAMAGE FROM FLAK AND SELF-INFLICTED GUN FIRE.

1845 23963 LD-Y JUST-A-SNAPPIN' CRASH LANDING AT LUDHAM; DECLARED BEYOND REPAIR 10 OCT 43.

2000 HRS GROUP STATUS REPORT

30 COMBAT CREWS ASSIGNED 19 AIRCRAFT OPERATIONAL

20 CMBAT CREWS ASSIGNED 0 AIRCRAFT OPERATIONAL WITHIN 24 HRS

36 AIRCRAFT ASSIGNED 12 AIRCRAFT OPERATIONAL WITHIN 7 DAYS

36 AIRCRFT ON HAND 5 AIRCRAFT OPERATIONA AFTER 7 DAYS

Oct 9, 1943

Alerted early and briefed for Marienburg - took off at 0700 hours with Colonel Harding leading. While our crews were being briefed - 0430 hours, five Halifaxes landed with Canadian crews, back from Hannover. We interrogated them for the RAF - all this made for quite a traffic jam. The Group returned from Marienburg at 2000 hours - no losses - target bombed. This was thought to be the second longest flight - next to Trondheim. Alerted later in the evening for tomorrow.

Oct 10, 1943 (Munster)

Briefed for Munster at 0730 hours. Heavy ground fog that is expected to clear by the 1130 hours take-off time. Group can put up only 15 to 18 ships maximum and we are awaiting replacement aircraft to cover our Bremen losses two days ago. Thirteen aircraft were dispatched to Munster today - one returned. Lt Robert Rosenthal thought to have been on his first mission. (actually it was his 3rd mission. . . pw) This mission practically disposes of the 100th Group in its original form. Major Egan was leading with Cruikshank. Not much is know of what happened - Rosenthal's crew too busy getting home against terrific opposition to do much observing. He came in on two engines, with two men severely wounded. We know that rockets fired by formations of ME-110's and JU-88's accounted for many of our losses.

Oct 11, 1943

Capt. Everett E. Blakely appointed Commanding Officer of the 418th, replacing Major Egan. Capt. Albert (Bucky) Elton appointed Commanding Officer of the 350th, replacing Major Cleven. 8th AF has lost two irreplaceable men in two days - both would have made outstanding Group or Wing Commanders. They were required to make only 10 raids but had completed more - Cleven was on his 20th. He never bothered to call for his DFC awarded for gallantry on the Regensburg mission of August 17, 943 - this was the first DFC awarded a 100th airman. Both had nearly 2000 hours in B-17s - the ordinary pilot in the theater has around 500 hours. They were Randolph Field graduates, two fine, courteous and beloved gentlemen.

Oct 12, 1943

Briefed for Emden - six planes and two spares available. To fly in a composite group with the 390th. A heavy ground fog at briefing that was expected to clear at noon - mission was scrubbed.

Oct 13, 1943

Briefed for Emden again - took off but mission had to be recalled.

Oct 14, 1943

Lt. Roane led eight planes to Schweinfurt in a composite group - all returned. New crews trickling in all day.

Oct 15, 16, 1943

No missions - ground school for new crews keeping S-2 busy.

Oct 17, 1943

Eight planes took off for Duren - recalled after one hour. Lt. Archie Robertson, co-pilot of the Duncan crew returned to the station to lecture crews on how he escaped from Occupied France.

Oct 18, 1943

Group briefed again for Duren - small city near Cologne. It boasts a junction of several rail lines, a marshaling yard and not much else. The mission was scrubbed at the French Coast - weather at Duren, 10/10 cloud cover.

Oct 19, 1943

Night passed with only two Purple Alerts to break the monotony. Rained hard all night, but sun was shining in a desultory way in the morning. Cold and damp.

Oct 20, 21, 1943

Bad weather on the continent - flew a practice mission each day.

Oct 22, 1943

Bad weather still hold forth. Lancaster landed here last night with tanks empty - had to be towed off the runway. Cutting it pretty fine.

Oct 23, 1943

Colonel Harding went to Evac. Hospital #12 today with Purple Hearts for Via, Nord, and Yevich.

Oct 24, 1943

Beautiful weather - no mission scheduled - reports circulating that all Combat Crews have been called back from leave.

Oct 25, 1943

Group now on operational status again. Two practice missions run today. Weather is good, but no alert - not even a Red Alert at night. Perhaps the Jerries aren't mad at us anymore.

Oct 26, 27, 1943

Bad weather both days, fog clearing some in the afternoon - flew a practice mission each day.

 Oct 28, 29, 1943

S-2 spent the last two days moving into the Old Operations building - no operations scheduled.

Oct 30, 1943

Group briefed for Rhur - mission scrubbed after planes in the air for 2 hours. Weather - Party tonight celebrating the 100th's first birthday.

Oct 31, 1943

The 100th was one year old yesterday. During the week each Squadron will hold and anniversary party and dance. Last night at the Officers Club the official celebration was held - quite ultra. Lavish food display; unlimited fried chicken and a black market roast pig, complete with apple was featured. Was a party to end all parties and many have taken the pledge. Today the bike race around the perimeter was won by the 418th's Sgt. Van Gemit and the tug of war won by a team from the 351st. In the evening the USO show was proceeded by a Lair's contest, won by S/Sgt Malouit from the 418th, Lt. C. W. Terry from S-2, and Capt. Elton, Commanding Officer of the 350th. Not much official business on the station today.

Nov 1, 1943

Not even a practice mission today. Weather - same old fog. Major John Bennet of San Antonio, Texas reported for duty - was given P/W talk by Capt. Burr. X-mas packages beginning to arrive.

Nov 2, 1943

Fog, but warmer. S-2 staff pretty well settled into new quarters - several of the buzzers actually work.

Nov 3, 1943

Briefed for Wilhemshaven at 0700 hours. Twenty-eight A/C dispatched. Group returned at 1530 hours - no losses - no fighters - little flak. Bombed with PFF and the results are unknown. It was the largest number of US planes every over Germany - nearly 1000. Colonels E. B. Garland and W. B. Burgess of the 8th AF Intelligence here to see mission results. Guest of Colonel Harding, their classmate at West Point.

Nov 4, 1943

Mission to Gelsenkirchen scrubbed account of weather.

Nov 5, 1943

Group went to Gelsenkirchen. 32 planes including 4 spares. Seventeen planes over the target. T/Sgt Boyle, radio operator on the Hughes crew killed by flak, hit near collar bone - just where flak suit protections stops. Martin's plane missing. Flesh and Gossage landed at Tangmere, England with damaged plane. Other eight crewmen bailed out on orders over Germany. This included Lt. OMar Gonzalas, Group Navigator and T/Sgts Pope and Brewster of the heroic Reeder crew.

Nov 6, 1943

Heavy rain - cold - mission scrubbed.

Nov 7, 1943

Despite hard rains this morning the Group took off for Duren. No fighters and little flak. PFF used even though target was fairly clear - bombing results reported as poor.

Nov 8, 1943

Paris mission scrubbed after Group airborne for one hour. Weather over target unsuitable.

Nov 9, 1943

Beautifully weather but no mission. PFF plane which was to have led the scrubbed mission took off about 1000 hours, and crashed from low altitude on the first turn out of traffic near Eye. Crew of thirteen killed and cremated along with three British civilians working in sugar beet field. Aircraft said to have been on fire on landing and pilot apparently tried to make Eye, where a new runway is under construction - about 300 yards short. Plane loaded with phosphorus bombs, which accounted for intense fire. Most of the crew huddled in radio room probably braced for a crash landing. Colonel Harding would have flown in this PFF aircraft had the mission not been scrubbed.

Nov 11, 1943

Group celebrated Armistice Day by starting a large scale raid on Munster, led by Colonel Harding. Weather closed down over Channel and mission recalled without crossing the enemy coast. Fred Barton of The American Legion Weekly, here to interview members of Blakely's Provisional Group.

Nov 12, 1943

No mission today. Two photographers from VIII Bomber Command here to photograph Bombardiers - selected Douglas and Big Joe Amranini.

Nov 13, 1943

Group took off shortly after 0700 hours for Bremen - briefed by Bowers and Major Shaw. Weather here fairly good. Returned at 1345 hours - mission unsuccessful - PFF plane went sour on all points and Colonel Harding almost died from anoxia. Bombed "enemy fish" in North Sea.

Nov 14, 15, 1943

Capt. Bowman and Lt Schwarz to photo school at Chaddinton - no missions either day.

Nov 16, 1943

Target: Rjukin, Norway with takeoff at 0600 hours. All planes returned shortly after 1700 hours. Target hit hard - everybody happy. Other groups were hit over Oslo and two bombers were reported lost. Strike photos not too clear due to overcast and critical points - reports on general and particularly eye witnesses indicates the German Heavy Water Plant was hit squarely - main building and penstocks destroyed. Pilot Jack Swartout made a second run on the target and reported the target area in flames. Explosions jarred planes 9000 feet high. (The lead pilot on this mission has been listed as Barr and on other reports as Swartout - in fact the mission was led by Lt. Owen D. "Cowboy" Roane. . . pw)

HEADQUARTERS

ONE HUNDREDTH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H), AAF

Office of the Operations Officer

APO # 634

17 November 1943

SUBJECT:Operational Narrative for Mission of 16 November 1943. 

TO:Commanding Officer, 100th Bombardment Group (H), Army Air Forces.

1. We took off at 0625 hours. We climbed individually to 12,000 feet and rendezvoused over Splasher # 6. There were only twelve ships, but four more joined us before we arrived at Splasher # 4.

2. We were twelve minutes early at that point so made a 360 degree turn and picked up six more ships, making a total of nineteen two of these were from other groups. One had an "A" on it's tail and the other and "O":

3. We climbed to 16,000 feet trying to clear the overcast. About midway we had to letdown to go under. The altitude at that point was 13, 500. From then on the weather was good and out altitude was 12,000. At this point we were joined by three B-24's.

4. We reached the enemy coast twenty-two minutes ahead of schedule. To take up this time we made a 360 degree turn and got to the target two minutes ahead of time, 1143 hours.

5. It was necessary to climb to 18,000 feet on the return just before we reached the English coast, Gomer, to escape the overcast.

6. There was no combat wing formation; groups went in individually.

7. Indicate airspeed was kept at 155 at all times and there were no excessive power settings at any time. Navigation was particularly good. The only deviation from the plan was that the top squadron peeled off over the target, made a 360 degree turn, and bombed the target alone.

OWEN D. ROANE

1st Lt. , Air Corps,

Lead Pilot

HEADQUARTERS

ONE HUNDREDTH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H), AAF

Office of the Operations Officer

APO # 634

17 November 1943

SUBJECT:Lead Navigator's Narrative for Mission of 16 November 1943. 

TO:Commanding Officer, 100th Bombardment Group (H), Army Air Forces.

1. The 100th Group flew as a separate Unit or Task Force.

2. The group left Louth one minute after the briefed time. The rendezvous, as such, continued until the middle of the North Sea as we left the English coast with eleven ships in the formation and bombed the target with twenty-four, including two B-24s. The briefed course to the Norwegian coast and to the I. P. was parallel about 20 miles to the north. The Norwegian coast was reached 18 minutes early and as the group was briefed to bomb at 1145 hours, this time was lost by a circle and the target was bombed at 1143 hours. The weather over the target was C. A. V. U. at the time of bombing. The group encountered dangerous weather on the return which was made to Gromer rather than Louth as briefed.

3. The bomb run was made on a heading of 80 degrees mag - and the target was destroyed (apparently) by the 100th Group at 1143. The altitude was the briefed 12,000 feet indicate (9700 feet true).

4. The equipment functioned without failure in all respects.

5. The location of the compasses in many ships and the lack of a free air temperature indicator for use by the navigator are minor difficulties the navigator should correct.

JOSEPH H. PAYNE

Capt. , Air Corps

Lead Navigator

HEADQUARTERS

ONE HUNDREDTH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H), AAF

Office of the Operations Officer

APO # 634

17 November 1943

SUBJECT:Bombardier's Narrative for Mission of 16 November 1943. 

TO:Commanding Officer, 100th Bombardment Group (H), Army Air Forces.

1. The C - 2 computer was used and the A. B. C. attachment.

2. Due to a change in flight plan caused by an early arrival, the turn at the I. P. was only approximately five degrees. The doors were opened at this point and the A. F. C. E. was turned over to the bombardier. Snow covered ground changed the aspect of the terrain but caused no serious affects on the bombing. Two groups preceded the 100th over the target but failed to bomb. These groups left prop-wash and persistent condensation trails which later interfered with the run considerably.

3. The weather was clear at the target; the surrounding area was covered with a 3 - 5/10 or more low status clouds.

4. Bomb impacts were seen, and confirmed, in the M. P. I. The Buildings were seen to blow up.

ROBERT K. PEEL

Capt. , Air Corps,

Lead Bombardier

HEADQUARTERS

3RD AIR DIVISION

APO # 634

16 November 1943.

SUBJECT:Tactical Report of Mission, RJUKAN, 

TO:Commanding General, VIII Bomber Command, APO # 634

1. SUMMARY OF MISSION

A. Date. 

(1) Date of Mission - 16 November 1943. 

(2) Primary Target - RJUKEN, NORWAY. 

(3) Secondary Target - OSLO, NORWAY. 

(4) Last Resort Target - None.

B. Narrative. 

(1) Planning. 

a. A force of three combat wings was required of 3rd Bomb Division for this mission. The force was to consist of the 4th Wing, with the 385th and 94th Groups flying in that order, the 45th Wing, with the 388th, 95th - B and 96th -A Groups in that order, and the 13th Wing with the 95th, 100th and 390th in that order.

b. The groups were to fly individually at one minute intervals, with the wings departing the English coast at three minute intervals.

c. VIII Bomber Command set the time and maximum altitude of groups over the target, while headquarters chose the route to and from the target. The usual considerations were taken into account in planning the route.

d. Because of the early hour of take-off, the unfavorable weather conditions forecast at take-off time, and the reasonable assumption that enemy fighter resistance would be weak, it was decided not to fly in combat wing formation but rather in individual group formations throughout the entire mission.

(2) Execution. 

a. The groups did not leave the English coast at the proper time interval because several of them experienced difficulty in assembling, due to darkness and weather conditions. However, the groups did space them selves fairly well over the North Sea.

b. The 95th - A Group failed to assemble. Aircraft from this group flew with other groups of the division.

c. The first three groups made landfall at the Norwegian coast nineteen minutes early and consequently made a large 360 degree turn which took twelve minutes. Arriving at the IP five minutes early, the 385th Group, leading the division, began another 360 turn in order to bomb the target at the proper time. The 100th Group, which was not in visual contact with the other groups up to that time, approached the IP as the lead group was making the 360 turn. This group proceeded to make a bombing run and were the first group to attack the target.

d. This section is unreadable on the record. . . pw)

e. Route out and back was as briefed for all groups.

C. Assembly. 

(1) The 96th - A Group had particular difficulty in assembling. The fourth aircraft scheduled to take-off blew a tire and blocked the perimeter. Since another part of the perimeter was unserviceable a large amount of maneuvering became necessary and the remaining aircraft in the 96th - A Group and the entire 96th - B Group took off nearly one hour late. The leader of the 96th - A Group, who was airborne at the proper time, joined another group formation with his two wing aircraft. The remainder of the 96th A Groups flew with other group formations.

(2) Several of the groups did not accomplish complete group assembly until departing the English coast.

(3) There are several instances of aircraft failing to assemble with their own group formation and flying with other groups.

D. Rendezvous with Fighters.

(1) Fighter support was not planned for this mission.

E. Bombing Tactics and Results. 

(1) All groups attacked RJUKAN.

(2) Disturbing factors encountered on the bomb run were low drifting clouds, smoke, and contrails of preceding groups. The lead group, the 385th, arrived at the IP early, and in order to avoid bombing target before zero hour made a 360 turn. Other groups instead of following the leader, went on into the target, thus changing bombing order of the groups.

(3) The 94th, 95th and 388th Groups each made two bomb runs because of smoke, clouds, and contrails, while the 390th Group made three bomb runs for the same reasons.

(4) The 390th Group changed leaders in the middle of the last bomb run because of sight malfunction of the lead ship. The Group dropped on the deputy leader.

(5) Bombing Data.

Order of Groups 100th 385th 96thA 96thB 388th 94th 95th 390th
True Altitude 9,750 9,570 10,575 9,561 10,175 9,561 9,561 9,560
Magnetic Heading

80

60

62 62 65 65 40 58
Time of Attack

1143

1144

1145 1151 1153 1155 1200 1204
Length of Run

60sec

6 ½ min

120 sec 120 sec 240 sec 360 sec 60 sec 420 sec
AFCE

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

ABC

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No. Sightings

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Dropped of Leader

19

19

19* 18* 16 19 17* 18

* Note. . Totals indicate number of aircraft of group which bombed, but do not mean the bombed on their respective lead ship. It is impossible to account for position of planes which flew with groups other than their own.

(6) A slight haze and the small scale of the photographs prevent positive determination of all bomb bursts on the hydro electric power station. Bomb concentration extend from the power station across the north wall and at least five direct hits were scored on the water electrolysis house. Work shops were also damaged and the lower of the panstocks received a direct hit. Heavy damage id visible over the entire area.

(7) The chemical works received a concentration of hits and considerable damage was done. Precise assessment is impossible because of snow blasts and some buildings being on fire. There were at least two direct hits on the absorption towers and one on the nitric acid concentration plant. These buildings were left in flames. A large number of strikes across the area destroyed the carpenter shop and seriously damaged the locomotive sheds and rolling stock repair shops. The shop for packing nitrate of lime was almost completely gutted.

F. AA Gun Fire

(1) There were no heavy AA fire in the target area but some automatic weapon fire was reported. This was not damaging. Confirming reports indicate that there were guns located on each end of the target building and on the penstock. Flashes, with no resultant bursts, were observed from three guns.

(2) Heavy AA fire was reported from many places in coastal area from Lister airdrome to Stavanger. Much of the AA fire was from ships and three planes were slightly damaged by this fire. Some Automatic weapon fire was also observed from ships. Meager inaccurate heavy gun fire was observed from Varhaug, Ana Sira, Kartevold, Hellvig, Ogne, Bjornstad, Stavenger, and Lister airdromes. In addition to the automatic weapon fire already mentioned, some of the 3rd Division aircraft that bombed Knaban reported automatic weapon fire from this target.

G. Enemy Aircraft Encountered

(1) Only five groups reported enemy aircraft, with only ten to fifteen enemy aircraft seen evenly divided between FW - 190s and ME - 109s. the attacks made were aimed as the high groups from twelve and six o'clock, both high and low. Only three enemy aircraft are reported as having pressed home their attacks, the remainder making passes at distant range. One enemy aircraft was reported by three groups as having fired small rockets or shells larger than 20 mm at the formation. There was no air to air bombing.

(2) This division lost one aircraft, cause unknown.

(3) Claims are two FW 190"s destroyed.

H. Abortives:

(1) Failed to take off.

a. 95th Group

1. A/C #42-30235 magneto failed to operate properly.

b. 96th Group

1. A/C #42-30180 IFF equipment shorted and began to burn while taxing for take-off. 

2. A/C #42-3546 tire blew out while taxing for take-off. 

3. A/C #42-31142 stuck in mud taxing around #42-3546.

c. 380th Group. 

1. A/C #42-3518 broken oil cooler.

d. 390th Group

1. A/C #42-37806 tail wheel tire blew out.

(2) Returned before crossing English Coast.

a. 94th Group. 

1. A/C #42-3185 pilot ill.

b. 95th Group

1. A/C #42-3545 gunner's hands frozen

2. A/C #42-37766 Lost formation when super charger failed. 

3. A/C #42-31123 Replacing another aircraft, could not catch formation.

c. 96th Group

1. A/C #42-3087 Received message mission scrubbed. 

2. A/C #42-30589 Unable to control prop and supercharger.

d. 385th Group

1. A/C #42-30836 Engine failure.

e. 388th Group

1. A/C #42-3295 Lost engine.

f. 390th Group

1. A/C #42-39813 abandoned by crew after fire started in nacelle. 

2. A/C #42-3427 Could not find formation. 

3. A/C #42-30713 External prop governor oil line on engine broken.

(3) Returned after crossing English Coast

a. 94th Group

1. A/C #42-39859 Bomb release failed

b. 95th Group

1. A/C #42-30218 Carburetor iced up.

c. 96th Group

1. A/C #42-30366 Took off without sufficient fuel to complete mission. 2. A/C 42-31121 Lost formation. 

3. A/C #42-6097 Bomb rack malfunction. 

4. A/C #42-30692 flew with group that failed to bomb. 

5. A/C #42-30359 Couldn't find formation.

d. 100th Group

1. A/C #42-30062 Bombardier ill, could not find formation.

e. 385th Group

1. A/C #42-31171 Lost formation and got in wrong division. 

2. A/C #42-3292 Engine rough at altitude.

f. 388th Group

1. A/C #42-3291 Could not locate formation. 

2. A/C #42-30793 Could not keep formation due to icing conditions on tail.

g. 390th Group

1. A/C #42-30266 Ball Turret Door torn off on flight. 

2. A/C #42-30233 Could not find lead formation.

(4) Other Equipment and Personnel Failures

a. The following engineering failures with the number indicated in parentheses. 1. Heating system inoperative (3); Prop overspeed (1); Tachometer out (1); Cylinder head temperature gauge inoperative (2); Tachometer fluctuates (2); Oil pressure low (1); Oxygen regulator inoperative (2); Supercharger regulator sluggish (4); Generator out (5); Throttle need synchronizing (1); Flight indicator out (2); Hydraulic pump defective (1); Broken handle on Ball Turret (1); Oil temperature fluctuates (1); Oxygen leak (3); Heated suit outlet (1); Prop failure (1); Fluxgate compass inoperative (1); Engine rough (1); Fuel quantity gauge erratic (1); Supercharger regulator out (4); Oxygen flow indicator erratic (1); Fuel pressure erratic (1); Frequency meter out (1); Carb air temperature inoperative (1); Heater out (3); Engine oscillates (2).

b. The following armament failures were reported, with the number indicated in parentheses.

1. Bombay doors would not close (3); Gun failed to fire (1); Could not depress trigger (1); Electric system failed (1); Charging lines broken (1); Headspace tight (1); Radio gun ran away (1); 2nd position stoppage (1); Bombsight stabilizer mount could not be tightened (1); Azimuth control sluggish (1); Bomb bay door rod twisted off (1); Rheostat burned out (1); Gun froze (1); Vickers unit leak (2); Heating pad jammed (1); Heater bent up to where cover would not close (1); Lost door off Ball Turret (1); Bomb Bay doors would not open properly (3); Sight out (1); Ball Turret inoperative in azimuth (1); Turret light our (1); Stations in Bomb Bay inoperative (1); Guns froze - solenoid trouble (1).

c. The following communication failures were reported, with the number of cases indicated in parentheses:

1. GEE (1); Interphone (5); Pilots microphone buttons (7); Liaison receiver (1); Liaison transmitter (1); Command receiver (1); Radio compasses (3); microphone switches (2); Jackbox (1).

I. Communication.

(1) Radio Procedure.

a. The command set was on 6440 kc/s for air to air R/T communications. VHF was on channel "A" for interplane and channel "B" for communicating between wings and the division.

(2) Radio Aids to Navigation.

a. Seven Splasher beacons, three buncher beacons, and multi-group beacons were turned on as an aid to assembling and homing.

b. Two GEE chains were turned on but the Northern Utah GEE chain was inoperative. Gee was carried by ninety-one aircraft, and the most distant fix achieved was at 5830N - 0550E. Four fixes and forty-eight QDM's were obtained in addition to the help received from the VHF D/F stations.

(3) REMARKS

a. Low clouds and icing conditions made the pre-dawn take-off and assembly on this mission very difficult. It was necessary for assembly to take place long before daylight, between layers of the overcast or on top of the overcast. Weather conditions averages 500 feet ceilings at bases. In spite of these handicaps, most of the groups completed partial assembly and departed the coast on time, although a good many aircraft failed to occupy their assigned positions in the proper group formations and some even flew with another division. Also some aircraft from both the 1st and 2nd Divisions assembled with the 3rd Division formations.

b. While pre-dawn take-offs in good weather are entirely feasible, it is believed that night take-offs in bad weather should be limited to missions of most extreme military urgency. An appreciable percentage of combat efficiency will be lost due to failure to complete assemblies and to assemble in proper order or even with the proper formation. In addition, where such take-offs requires immediate climb with heavy load, through thick overcast in heavy icing conditions, the risk of losing entire formations should be considered.

c. It is felt that the difficult requirements on this mission make the successful navigation particularly commendable.

RUSSEL A. WILSON

Colonel, Air Corps

Commanding

BOMBARDIERS LOG

RJUKAN

Rjukan_______________________1830 feet___________________0625_____

Target Elevation Take-off time

November 16, 1943_________________________________________________

Date Escort

_________________________________________________________________

Description and Remarks:

* Pressure Altitude of Target 1915 Ft ** Type & Size of Bombs AM - M44 1000#
* Altimeter Setting 29. 92 ** No. of Bombs Fusing, Nose 1/10 Loaded 8 Tail 1/10
* Indicated Altitude 12,000 ** Initial Point * Ordered Actual 5943 N - 0801E
* True Altitude above Target 9,750 X Length of Run X Time of Run 60 seconds 1142 hours
X Air Speed (MPH) CAS TAS 155 185 * Mag. Head. Ordered X Mag. Head Actual 80 60
* Ground Speed * Est ** Actual 185 185 X Time of Release ** No. of Bombs Released 1142 8
* Forecast X Actual Drift 6 (degrees) L 4 (degrees) L ** Type of Train Salvo Individual Release X
* Actual Range * Point of Impact (if seen) Target
* Tan. Drop Angle * Est X Actual--- . 67 ** Airplane Type No. B-17F 42-30487
X Disc Speed Trail 210. 7 29 ** Pilot Roane, O. D. 1st Lt
** Actual Time ** B. S. Type of Fall 25:00 M - 9 ** Navigator Payne, J. H. Capt.
-- ** Bombardier Peel, R. K. Capt.

Height

Wind Direction Wind Velocity Temp. Forecast Temp. Actual REMARKS:
 

* Est X Actual

* Est X Actual

*

X

 

1000

         

3000

         

6000

         

10000

         

15000

20 20

35 20

-22

-24

 

20000

         

22000

         

24000

         

26000

         

30000

         

 * Fill in before take-off ** Fill in after landing X Fill in during flight

COMBAT BOMBING FLIGHT RECORD

BOMBARDIER: Robert K. Peel, Capt. __________DATE: 11-16-43____________

PILOT: O. D. Roane, 1st Lt. _TAKE-OFF 0625 (British Summer Time)

NAVIGATOR: J. H. Payne, Capt. LANDED 1513 (British Summer Time)

ORGANIZATION: 349TH Sqdn. 100th BG AIRPLANE B-17F 42-30487__

Squadron Group Type Number

OBJECTIVE: ___Rjuken-Hydro - electric and Chemical Plant_________________

AIMING POINT: Target_______________________________________________

INITIAL POINT: _5945' N & 0801' E__________________________________________________________

METHOD OF ATTACK_______________________________________X________

Individual Flight Sqdn. Group Wing

NUMBER OF PLANES IN UNIT: 24_______________________________________

NUMBER OF PLANES IN UNIT PERFORMING SIGHTING OPERATIONS: One______

TIME OF ATTACK: 1142________________TIME OF RELEASE: 1143____________

APPROXIMATE LENGTH OF STRAIGHT APPROACH: __60 Seconds____________

SYNCHRONIZATION:_____X__________________________________________

OnFast Slow

INFORMATION AT RELEASE POINT_______________________________________________________

Altitude, True Above Target __9750 Feet ________Calibrated Indicated Air Speed ____155 MPH_________

True Air Speed _____185 MPH____________Wind Direction __020 True_____________________

Wind Velocity 30 MPHTrue Heading _ 074 Degrees________________

Drift 4 L True Track ___ 070 Degrees__________________

Disc _____________ 210. 7___________________ Trail ______________39_____________________

MFT _____________ 25:00___________________ Tan. D. A. _________. 67__________________________

3rd Air Division 
Field Order No # 99 
Primary Target (Rjukan)
US LIST SB - SC V OITHE 10 O - P
FROM OITHE 152115A
TO US LIST SB - SC
PNT
BMP
ALC

SECRET 3 B. D. N. - 116 - E15 NOV 43 3RD BOMB DIVISION FIELD ORDER NO. 99.

1. A. FIGHTER SUPPORT - NONE
B. DIVERSIONS - NONE
C. FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES:
1ST BOMB DIVISION DEPARTS LOUTH AND ATTACKS TARGET SN - 50 AT ZERO HOUR. 
2ND BOMB DIVISION DEPARTS CROMER AND ATTACKS TARGET SN-23 AT ZERO HOUR.

2. A. TARGETS: ALL COMBAT WINGS:

SN - 53B IS RJUKAN

SN - 23 IS OLSO

PRIMARY - SN-53B

SECONDARY - SN - 23

LAST RESORT - NONE

B. FORCE REQUIRED:

4 C. B. W. 2 GROUPS 21 A/C PER GROUP

13. . C. B. W. 3 GROUPS 21 A/C PER GROUP

45 C. B. W. 3 GROUPS 21 A/C PER GROUP

C. ROUTES:

SPLASHER NO 4 (12,000 FEET)

58 16'N & 06 24'E

59 43'N & 08 01'E (I. P. )

D. TARGETZERO HOUR.

E. TIMES TO FOLLOW

(A) AXIS IF ATTACKSW - NE

(B) ROUTE BACK:

5948'N & 0852'E

5816'N & 0624'E

SPLASHER NO 4

I. BOMBING ALTITUDE: 12,000FT

3. A. THE 4TH COMBAT WING WILL DISPATCH INDIVIDUAL GROUPS TO LEAD THE 3RD BOMB

DIVISION.

B. THE 45TH COMBAT WING WILL DISPATCH INDIVIDUAL GROUPS TO FOLLOW THE 4TH COMBAT WING AT A THREE MINUTE INTERVAL.

C. THE 13TH COMBAT WING WILL DISPATCH INDIVIDUAL GROUPS TO FOLLOW THE 45 COMBAT WING AT A THREE MINUTE INTERVAL.

(1) ZERO HOUR:1145 B. S. T. 16 NOVEMBER 1943

(2) BOMB LOAD: ALL GROUPS; 5 X 1000 LB G. P. 1/10 SEC NOSE 1/10 SEC TAIL

VISUAL CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST AT TARGET, HOWEVER IT IS NECESSARY TO CLIMB ABOVE 12,000 FEET OVER NORTH SEA DESCENDING TO BOMBING ALTITUDE PRIOR TO REACHING INITIAL POINT. THE PROCEDURE WILL ALSO

HOLD FOR ROUTE BACK.

SQUADRONS THAT FAIL TO RENDEZVOUS WITH THEIR GROUPS WILL PROCEED ON

THEIR OWN.

(5) FULL FUEL LOAD WILL BE CARRIED.

(6) GROUPS WILL DEPART LOUTH AT 12,000 FEET OR ON TOP OF OVERCAST.

LEAD GROUPS OF 45TH AND 13TH COMBAT WINGS WILL DEPART LOUTH THREE

MINUTES AFTER LEAD GROUPS OF PROCEEDING COMBAT WING.

(8) GROUPS WILL NOT LOSE 1,000 FEET AFTER BOMBING.

4. NORMAL: COMBAT WINGS WILL FORWARD COPIES OF RESPECTIVE FIELD ORDERS TO THIS HEADQUARTERS.

5. A. SPLASHER BEACONS ON DURING ENTIRE MISSION.

4D, 5E, 6F, 7G, 8H, 9I, AND 11J.

B. "GEE" INFORMATION:

NORMAL TRANSMISSIONS: EASTERN WYOMING AND NORTHERN UTAH CHAINS ON GRADE "A"OPERATION DURING ENTIRE MISSION.

XF TRANSMISSIONS: NONE
C. MF D/F SECTION "G"
D. CALL SIGNS: NORMAL
E. VHF: NORMAL
F. CALL SIGN BRANFF TOWER "SHORTLEG", MF D/F "SU 7" 5405 KC/S.

INTELLIGENCE ANNEX TO 3RD BOMB DIVISION FIELD ORDER NO #99

THE IMPORTANCE TO THE TARGET IS DUE TO THE HEAVY WATER WHICH IT MAKES. THIS WATER IS USED IN MAKING A TYPE OF EXPLOSIVE TO WHICH THE ENEMY ATTACHES GREAT IMPORTANCE. GROUND SOURCES INDICATE THERE IS A 10,000 GALLON CAPACITY HYDROGEN OR HEAVY WATER TANK IN THE BASEMENT OF BUILDING NUMBER 16 ON ILLUSTRATION /9, AND WHICH IF HIT WILL PROBABLY DESTROY THE ENTIRE PLANT.

 

FLAK

POINT OF LANDFALL ON ROUTE IN IS BELIEVED TO BE FREE OF HEAVY GUNS, HOWEVER THE ONLY DEFINITE INFORMATION ON THIS PART OF THE COAST IS THE HEAVILY DEFENDED AREA TO THE SOUTH OF POINT OF LANDFALL. THIS DEFENDED AREA HAS 16 TO 20 HEAVY GUNS AND IS COLORED IN SOLID RED ON THE 1:500,000 MERCATOR FLAK MAPS. POSITION OF PRIMARY TARGET ON 1:500,000 MERCATOR FLAK MAPS IS INCORRECT. THERE IS NO AVAILABLE INFORMATION ON THE DEFENSES ON THE PRIMARY TARGET BUT GROUND SOURCES INDICATE LITTLE OR NO HEAVY FLAK.

IF THE SECONDARY TARGET IS TO BE BOMBED LARGE CITY TO THE SOUTHWEST SHOULD BE AVOIDED AS IT IS DEFENDED BY HEAVY GUNS.

FIGHTER STRENGTH:

THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF FIGHTERS THAT PROBABLY COULD BE ENCOUNTERED IS 35 SINGLE ENGINE FIGHTERS.

ANNEX NO #1 TO 3RD B. D. FIELD ORDER NO #99

TIME SCHEDULE:
SPLASHER BO 4 (12,00FEET)ZERO HOUR MINUS 209 MINS
5816'N & 0624'EZERO HOUR MINUS 51 MINS
5943'N & 0801'EZERO HOUR MINUS 9 MINS
TARGET ZERO HOUR
5948'N & 0832EZERO HOUR PLUS 4 MINS
5816'N & 0624'EZERO HOUR PLUS 44 MINS
SPLASHER NO 4ZERO HOUR PLUS 160 MINS

BASES.

TIMES ARE BASED ON 2OO FEET PER MINUTE CLIMB FORM SPLASHER NO 4 ON ROUTE OUT TO 15,000 FEET AND 15,000 FEET CRUISING ALTITUDE OVER NORTH SEA.

AT NORWEGIAN COAST-IN; A DESCENT WAS FIGURED AS 200 FEET PER MINUTE 160 I. A. S. TO 12,000 FEET. 
AT 5948'N & 0852'E A CLIMB AT 200 FEET PER MINUTE TO 15,000 FEET WAS FIGURED.

FROM TAS 162246A
TO THE INFO OF COMBOMWIG THIRTEEN
CONFIDENTIAL 100THBG N-315-D ATTN: S - 2. 
NARRATIVE TELETYPE --RJUKAN, 16 NOVEMBER 1943

S - 1
THE ONLY FIGHTER OPPOSITION REPORTED WAS FROM TWO ME 109S ENCOUNTERED ON THE WAY OUT T 5820'N & 0610'E. ONE E/A GRAY COLOR MADE A PASS ABOUT 300 YARDS WITHOUT FIRING. THE OTHER PASSED ACROSS THE TAIL OR REPORTING A/C AT SIX O'CLOCK AT 600 YARDS.

S - 2
APPROACHING THE COAST AT 5823'N & 0603'E WHAT APPEARED TO BE 20MM AUTOMATIC TRACER FIRE CAME FROM ONE OF THREE SHIPS A FEW MILES OFF THE COAST, HEADING SE FOR THE MOUTH OF THE FJORD. AT THAT POINT MUZZLE FLASHES; BUT NO BURSTS WERE SEEN. MEAGER AND INACCURATE FLAK WAS ENCOUNTERED AT THE NORWEGIAN COAST INBOUND TO THE TARGET AND WAS THOUGHT TO COME FROM HELLVIG AND HEIGRESTAD OR FROM EGERSUND AND WAS TRAILING TO THE REAR OF THE FORMATION AT 12,000 FEET.

FLAK WITH SOME TRACERS SEEN AS THEY WERE LEAVING THE TARGET. THIS FIRE IS BELIEVED TO HAVE COME FROM 20MM OR 37MM GUNS; THREE FIRING FROM THE PIPE SIDE IF THE WATERFALL AND ONE EACH END OF THE TARGET BUILDING.

S - 3 
NUMBER OF AIRCRAFT MISSING.

OTHER A/C------ONE B-17 FROM THE GROUP AHEAD OBSERVED WITH NO #4 ENGINE AND RIGHT WING AFIRE AT 1057 HOURS AT 5812'N & 0626'E. A/C LEFT FORMATION AND DIVE TO SURFACE, LEVELING OFF JUST ABOVE SURFACE OF WATER, SKIMMING ALONG UNTIL IT CRASHED INTO THE SEA AND EXPLODED. NINE CHUTES WERE SEEN TO COME OUT DURING THE DESCENT AND ANOTHER IS THOUGHT TO HAVE COME OUT JUST BEFORE HITTING THE WATER, SMALL BOATS SEEN PUTTING OUT FROM SHORE. ONE B-17 OBSERVED AT 1415 HOURS BST 5400'N & 0230'E AT 6,000 FEET ON HEADING OF 210 DEGREES LOSING ALTITUDE FAST AND APPEARED TO BE IN DISTRESS; CHUTES SEE.

S - 4
NONE

S - 5
NOT AVAILABLE

S - 6
THREE LARGE AND TWO SMALL MERCHANT SHIPS WERE OBSERVED AT 1058 HOURS SW OF EIGEROEN HEADED SE, APPARENTLY TO ENTER THE FJORD NORTH OF STAPNES.

A PLANE FLYING VERY LOW OVER THE TARGET, WAS THOUGHT TO BE LAYING SMOKE SCREEN THAT APPEARED TO BE GRAY AND PINKISH VAPOR TRAIL, SMOKE POTS WERE OBSERVED NE OF THE TARGET BUT THE WIND WAS TOO STRONG AND THE SMOKE SCREENS WERE INEFFECTIVE. ONE BALLOON WAS OBSERVED IN THE VICINITY OF BORTGREND, NORWAY. THREE PLANTS, SIMILAR TO THE TARGET, WERE OBSERVED FURTHER UP THE GORGE. ON MAS LAKE AT 5948'N & 0819'E A LARGE DAM AND SEVEN BARRAGE BALLOONS WERE OBSERVED.

S - 7
FROM FIVE TO TEN DIRECT HITS REPORTED SEEN ON MAIN BUILDING, EXPLOSIONS WHICH ROCKED BOMBING A/C. OTHER HITS REPORTED ON NORTH AND 40 DEGREES WEST OF MAIN BUILDING, AND ON PIPES LEADING TO MAIN BUILDING, AND ON PIPES LEADING TO MAIN BUILDING.

S - 8
GUNNER WANT TRACERS BACK. CREW DESIRE THE DEVELOPMENT FO WINDOW DEFROSTERS. CREW REPORTS INJUDICIOUS USE OF VHF REVEALING THEIR POSITION, ALTITUDE, TIME ETC.

S --9A
(1) TAKE OFF 0625--0645 HOURS. landed 1475--1548 HOURS.

(2) COURSE FOLLOWED; LOUTH TO LANDFALL (10 TO 20 MILES) NORTH OF BRIEFED COURSE AT 58 23'N & 0603'E TO I. P TO PRIMARY TARGET AND BRIEFED COURSE OUT TO ENGLISH COAST.

(3) GROUP WAS HIGH WING FORMATION BUT BOMBED FIRST. THE OTHER GROUPS IN THE WING MADE A SECOND BOMB RUN ON THE TARGET. COMBAT WING WAS THIRD IN DIVISION FORMATION.

(4) HEADING ON BOMB RUN WAWS 80 DEGREES MAGNETIC. OUR HIGH SQUADRON MADE INDIVIDUAL RUN ON PRIMARY TARGET IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE REMAINDER OF THE GROUP BECAUSE OF CROWDING. THREE OF OUR AIRCRAFT FLEW WITH THE 94TH G ROUP. four B-17S JOINED OUR GROUP PRIOR TO OR AT SPLASHER FIVE. THESE INCLUDED TWO A/C WITH SYMBOL C, ONE WITH SYMBOL A AND ONE WITH SYMBOL B. THEY WERE WITH OUR GROUP ON THE ENTIRE MISSION. ONE B-24 WITH THE SYMBOL C, JOINED OUT GROUP AT 1111 HOURS AND ANOTHER WITH SYMBOL D JOINED AT 1113 HOURS. THE B-24S MADE THE REMAINDER OF THE MISSION WITH OUR GROUP. ONE OF THEM WAS SEEN TO DROP AT LEAST ONE BOMB ON THE PRIMARY TARGET.

S - 9B
(1)  21 A/C DISPATCHED
A. A/C NO 106
S - 9B(1) 21 A/C DISPATCHED
A. A/C NO 106
S - 9B(1) 21 A/C DISPATCHED
A. A/C NO 1062 FAILED TO BOMB BECAUSE BOMBARDIER GOT SICK. A/C TURNED BACK AT 0853 HOURS FROM 54 10'N & 0027'W. RETURNED BOMBS TO BASE
B. 20 S/C BOMBED RJUKAN TARGET AREA.

 Nov 17, 1943

 

Capt. Lawrence of 3rd Bomb Division historian, here to work out routine for group historical officer. Lt. Rosenfeld and Lt. Walton called in and will assist in making up reports for October. One officer, probably Lt. Walton, will be assigned to this duty on a full time basic. Post preparing for visit from General Eaker.

 

Nov 18, 1943

 

The 100th turned out in Class A's today only to learn General Eaker's visit had been canceled due to bad weather - rain, squalls and sunshine all at the same time.

 

Nov 19, 1943

 

Mission to Gelsenkirchen - PFF bombing with poor results. All planes returned.

 

Nov 20, 1943

 

Sgts Clarence Tomb and Robert Sturart of the 349th, both members of the Laden Maiden crew finished their 25 missions and ready to depart the post, their war over. Cowboy Roane, their pilot, who came to the 100th in the States as a co-pilot has one more to go.

 

Nov 21, 22, 1943

 

No missions planned - cold and foggy.

 

Nov 23, 1943

 

Crew briefed early for Division's first mission to Berlin. Mission scrubbed before dawn. No explanation given. Colonel Harding recalled the crews to the briefing room at 0745 hours and spoke to them of security violations. Ground personnel reported as knowing target identity of target before mission was scrubbed. All ground and combat personnel restricted to post until further notice.

 

Nov 24, 1943

 

Sunshine for a change - no mission. Lt. Colonel Flesher gone to London for interview with the Royal Family as the representative of the 100th.

 

Nov 25, 1943

 

The 100th's second Thanksgiving of the war. A perspective mission was scrubbed and a holiday spirit was rampant. Large turkey dinner set for noon. Margaret Avery of Detroit, a war correspondent, due in from London. Amateur show in Aero Club, by and for all enlisted personnel.

 

Nov 26, 1943

 

Group took off at 0800 for Paris with a composite delegation bound for Bremen. Paris delegation returned at 1230 hours short one plane, the Ford crew was shot down over the target. Lt. Owen D. "Cowboy" Roane completed his operational tour, coming home with a large shell hole in the left wing and other damage. He ran off the perimeter while taxing after the loss of all hydraulic fluid. Composite group in at 1400 hours with no casualties. Bombed Bremen through clouds, one plane forced to turn back from the target but bombed suburbs.

 

Later in the evening Pilots "Big Frank " Valesh and "Pinky" Flak, taking off with two Red Cross girls as passengers, left the runway, crossed length of the field, hitting trees and a barn before crashing and burning. No one was hurt - the plane was never fully airborne but was totally destroyed.

 

Nov 27, 1943

 

Rain and overcast prevented operations. Temperature at 00 C. Cold.

 

Nov 28, 1943

 

Still raining but warmer - no activity - 16 new crews arrived and are being given indoctrination lectures.

 

Nov 29, 1943

 

Group briefed for Bremen, took off at 1000 hours. Weather good here but overcast at the target and PFF used for bombing. Lt. Schmucker, of the Roane crew completed his tour. Lt. Frank Lauro returned with Radio Operator in bad shape from frostbite and a great operational story. Radio Operator, T/Sgt Nelson King suffered severe frostbite of his hands when he went to the aid of crew member stricken by anoxia. He may loss his hands.

 

Nov 30, 1943

 

Take-off at 0800 hours for the Ruhr - Solingen, near Bonn. Weather extremely bad - groups mixed up badly. Ten Aborts before noon. Eleven of out planes got over the target and bombed with PFF - results believed to be good. Ball Turret Gunner of the S/Sgt Turcotte, of the Putnam crew severely wounded by flak fragment through chest - given plasma on plane before moved to hospital. Major Bennett, Group lead, lost all four engines over Holland. One was restarted a 4000 feet, just before the bail out order was to be given and the others at a lower altitude after which the first one quit again. They managed to come home on the deck,

 

Dec 1, 1943

 

One year ago today the Group was leaving Wendover, Utah - look at us now!! Everyone was greatly cheered by news from Odessa, Texas, that Major Cleven is safe in a POW camp. Also Ferrogiarro, who gave his name as Beard to avoid being shot for his commendable part in the Spanish Civil War. All now sweating out Major Egan, who went down two days after them at Munster.

 

Dec 2, 1943

 

No operations today although weather good here. 24 new crews arrived today, from Kearney of all places. Even England looks good to them after that place. They make 40 new crews in three days - in addition to the regulars. The base is bursting at the seams. Stand by until midnight order received.

 

Dec 3, 4, 1943

 

Nothing developed of the standby order on the 3rd or the 4th.

 

Dec 5, 1943

 

Mission to Bordeaux. Target completely obscured by overcast. No flak or fighters.

 

Dec 6, 7, 1943

 

Heavy fog, day and night - no operations either day.

 

Dec 8, 1943

 

Quartermaster stores set up housekeeping on the Post - nothing to fit anybody. Weather still closed in - ceiling around 50 feet. Red Cross show tonight at the theater and the Officers Club afterwards. Standby until midnight again.

 

Dec 9, 1943

 

Weather the same - bad- seems to have settled in for the winter. The 40 new crews who joined the Group last week are busy with ground school and so are the S-2 instructors. Officers of the S-2 section are preparing to move from their tin hut to new quarters in the WAAF site. Strangely enough, there is a tub (hot water) and a can on the premises. It can't be true!

 

Dec 10, 1943

 

Fog and rain - no alert last night and none in the prospect.

 

Dec 11, 1943

 

Thirty-five planes set out to attack Kiel. Thirty-four returned safely - Haddox and crew went down over the target. The 100th's bombing believed to have been far from perfect, but all dropped somewhere within the city limits.

 

Dec 12, 1943

 

Emden today. Group is getting a tour of northwest Germany. It was a PFF mission and no trouble was experienced. Press is reporting heavy damage.

 

Dec 13, 14, 1943

 

Group briefed for Berlin on the 13th, ten minutes later called back and briefed for Bremen - then mission scrubbed - crew a bit puzzled. There were no operations on the 14th.

 

Dec 15, 1943

 

The Bremen tour again. Regular and composite groups flew - very few fighters but heavy flak that was ineffective as far as the 100th was concerned. Few ships hit, no one hurt.

 

Dec 16, 17, 18, 19, 1943

 

Weather bad - only operation on the 16th was Sgt Burns for sinus. !7th some clearing; no operations either 17, 18, or 19th on which we had heavy rains all night. Callases only activity.

 

Dec 20, 1943

 

Red Alert today - first in several weeks. Dawn broke clear and Group departed at 0830 hours for Bremen. Returned 1500 hours - two aborts - no injuries.

 

Dec 21, 1943

 

Weather very bad!!

 

Dec 22, 1943

 

Munster raided today. Coupill and crew missing, apparently in the North Sea. Bombed through 10/10 overcast - believed successful. Only one abort - composite group also flew.

 

Dec 23, 1943

 

No mission but big preparations.

 

Dec 24, 1943

 

Group bombed "Rocket Sites" in Pas de Calais area. Some 2000 planes over various targets. All ours returned safely. The 100th target pretty well hit. Pilots saw two or three MPI's hit squarely, and the 350th scored a smack on it, photos showed.

 

Dec 25, 1943

 

Christmas !! No mission - big dinner at 1600 hours. Christmas dinner over the Tannoy, also at dinner by the 100th male chorus. In the evening the same bunch went to Horam and sang for the 95th. Weather mild - no snow but foggy.

 

Dec 26, 1943

 

Entire field somewhat subdued in wake of Christmas - many hangovers being nursed. Very heavy ground fog.

 

Dec 27, 1943

 

Boxing Day in England. Wet, cold, gloomy and foggy. No mission today. Three planes piled up on the short runway - nobody hurt but three ships washed out.

 

Dec 28, 1943

 

No Operations flights today.

 

Dec 29, 1943

 

It's spreading!, Capt. Jack Swartout of all people, piled up on the runway while checking out new pilots. No one hurt, nose and propellers ruined. We are cracking them up faster than we can get them in.

 

Dec 30, 1943

 

Ludwigshafen; twenty one planes over the target. PFF bombing with good results. Two crew, Smith and Lenyin lost. Radtke landed with co-pilot's head blown off, a lad named Digby. Valesh crashed landed near Harleston and Brannon crashed landed not far away - one man wounded severely and two with minor wounds.

 

Dec 31, 1943

 

Precision bombing of Paris - no casualties. Moreno and entire crew of Messie Bessie finished, also Fitton, Hennington, Vrabec and Bullard. Good bombing according to strike photos.

 

Jan 1, 1944

 

Cloudy, rainy and cold. Alerted for Brunswick in the afternoon - stood down at 2300 hours much to everyone's delight.

 

Jan 2, 1944

 

Clear and some warmer, almost hope some of the mud would dry up - if this weather kept up for a week or so - it won't.

 

Jan 3, 4, 1943

 

Lt. Colonel Dugan relieved on the 3rd as Ground Executive Officer and replaced by Major Standish. On the 4th Capt. Varian made Group Adjutant - other changes rumored.

 

Jan 5, 1944

 

Group toured Rhur Valley - target overcast- Armanini got a look at the Bauer and Schuarte Plant at Nuess and obliterated same. No loses.

 

Jan 6, 7, 8, 9, 10th, 1944

 

No missions flown, Brunswick scrubbed on the 8th, No Ball scrubbed on the 9th and finally some sunshine on the 10th.

 

Jan 11, 1944

 

Took off for Brunswick - recalled by radio and ordered to bomb target of opportunity - Oanabruck with good results - no opposition for our division. First and Second Divisions ran into the whole damn Luftwaffe and lost 59 Fortresses and B-25's. They got three plane factories, however and claimed 152 enemy aircraft shot down.

 

Jan 12, 1944

 

Rainy and unpleasant. No Ball alert for afternoon - stood down soon after alert. Barely got target maps out and Navigators pre-briefed before scrubb order came.

 

Jan 13, 1944

 

Cloudless day - Crossbow 34 target selected on short notice. Briefing at 1115 hours with take-off scheduled for 1330 hours. 21 aircraft dispatched - Lt. Forsythe blew a tire on take off but managed to clear the runway. Many B-24's maneuvered over out field for an hour trying to get in formation. The 100th made two circles and picked up everybody and went away. Some difference in tactics - the 24's chased each other around and around a circle, getting no where. The 100th B-17's cut across the circle, assembled quickly and left for the target. Bombing results good and no losses. Group alerted in the late evening for Halberstadt - scrubbed due to heavy fog

 

Jan 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 ,20th, 1944

 

Dense fog curtailing operations - briefed on both the 19th and 20th for Crossbow targets and was scrubbed both days.

 

Jan 21, 1944

 

Briefed for Crossbow mission on short notice. Forty-two ships took off, a real air armada from the 100th now. Forty-one returned and Lt. Janssen landed at Detling with a wounded Ball Turret Gunner. Lt. Gossage's Navigator wounded in the leg by flak. Hiten and Russ completed their tours. Bombing was reported fairly successful - some hits. Two Red Alerts tonight - one at 0530 hours.

 

Jan 22, 23, 1944

 

No soap on post - weather terrible and no activity either day.

 

Jan 24, 1944

 

Mission to Frankfurt was recalled over France. Group ran into heavy flak on the way back to the French Coast. Lt. Valesh (Big Frank) got a direct hit in the tail and S/Sgt Urich, the Tail Gunner, was blown out of the aircraft, which almost lost it's entire tail. Valesh and Booth managed to crash land at West Church and no one else was injured. This was Valesh's third crash landing with a battle damaged Fortress.

 

On take-off this morning Lt. Drummond's plane crashed on take-off trying to avoid a collision with wandering B-24. Lt. Maurice Zetlan of Salem, Mass and formerly with the Valesh crew was killed. Not the best of days for the 100th.

 

Jan 25, 26, 27, 1944

 

Weather - a mission to Frankfurt on the 26 scrubbed - no other alerts.

 

Jan 28, 1944

 

Stand down today - some rain but fairly clear. General Curtis LeMay, Division Commander, expected - entire post scrubbing floors and preparing for his inspection.

 

Jan 29, 1944

 

Took off at 0700 for Frankfurt. Lt. Mark's plane crashed on takeoff, cause undetermined, probably stalled in the dark. The co-pilot, Lundholm and T/Sgt Anderson came out alive - other seven airmen killed instantly. All the dispatched ships returned safely from Frankfurt - bombed through overcast - results not observed, but bombs were dropped on the center of the flak area. Red Alert right at the time our planes were landing - caused some excitement. The E/A, if any did not appear below the 800 foot ceiling. Possible some one forgot to turn on IFF.

 

Jan 30, 1944

 

A 0800 hours take-off for Brunswick - PFF bombing with no battle damage or casualties. Capt. Joe Kelly and Sgt. Raff completed tours. Lt. James R. Stout had to feather a engine on take-off and when preparing to land found the landing gear would not deploy. Circled field until 1430 hours to consume fuel - jettisoned bombs and the ball turret in the English Channel and crash landed at Honington. There were no injuries.

 

Feb 1, 2, 3, 1944

 

Scrubbed Frankfurt on the first - no alerts for 2nd or 3rd.

 

Feb 4, 1944

 

PFF mission to Frankfurt. Lost three (3) planes; Lts. Green, Brown and McPhee. Bombing results undetermined at this time.

 

Feb 5, 1944

 

Mission to Romilly-sur- Seine - results good - no losses.

 

Feb 6, 1944

 

Mission to Conches, Eveau and others - Armanini, lead Bombardier, obtained excellent results.

 

Feb 7, 8, 1944

 

No missions either day; many B-24's up both days - apparently making low altitude sweeps.

 

Feb 9, 1944

 

Major Bennett led the 100th - target Halberstadt - recalled at 0830 hours. Major Bennett promoted to Lt. Colonel on orders received last night.

 

Feb 10, 1944

 

Early take-off for Brunswick. Weather bad and a number of planes landed at other bases during the morning. Fourteen crossed the Channel and proceeded to the target. Two planes missing - Lts. Croft and Scoggins - five others landed at other bases - rest returned in midst of a driving snow squall and had to use runway 35 for landing. Overcast at target reported as 8/10th - PFF bombing - no results as yet. Many enemy fighters - the 100th was relatively unscathed except for the loss of Croft and Scoggins.

 

Feb 11, 12, 1944

 

Standing down. All types of weather ranging from cloudless skies, snow, sleet, heavy rain and even some small cyclones in the area. No air activity. Today's press is referring to the 10 Feb 44 Brunswick mission as the "Fort's Greatest Airbattle" - reporting 27 Allied and 84 Nazi aircraft shot down. Nothing on Croft and Scoggins - assumed down in sea or enemy territory - last seen near the target. We are very worried.

 

Alerted during the evening of the 12th but scrubbed during the night.

 

Feb 13, 1944

 

Stand down in the A. M. No air activity last night, expected a Red Alert, but it did not materialize. Heard bombs falling in distance - not close. At 1100 hours a surprise briefing for a Crossbow target (Sottevast). Capts. Luckadoo, the 351st Operations Officer, DeSanders, Lt. Moffley, Sgt Detweiler among others completed their tours. All aircraft returned safely at 1600 hours - bombing results - excellent.

 

Addendum: John H. Luckadoo was the Operations Officer for the both the 351st and later the 350th. Luckadoo and DeSanders resided in Dallas, Texas after the war and were close friends until DeSander's death. . (pw)

 

Feb 14, 1944

 

No Ball mission scrubbed just before briefing - about 0430 hours, unfortunately the crews had already been awakened. Strike photos of yesterday's (Feb 13th) mission confirm the excellent results reported by Capt. Luckadoo. The 96th lost three planes today over a target the 100th had found undefended some time back.

 

Feb 15, 16, 1944

 

Stand down on the 15th. On the 16th Tom Henry of the Washington Star, was here for stories for hometown papers. No air activity - Major Shaw on pass.

 

Feb 17, 18 1944

 

Alerted on the 17th for a No Ball - scrubbed before briefing. Cold, rainy with low visibility. On the 18th the weather was the same but three (3) new crews arrived bringing us up to strength again.

 

Feb 19, 1944

 

Twenty-one (21) planes took off at 0730 hours for Posen, Poland. (FW factory damn near to Russia) One of the longest missions and with no fighter escort - much of the flight over water. Major Ollen Turner led - bombed via PFF near Stettin. Returned at 1700 hours. Lt. Smith down in Sweden, believed to have had wounded aboard - Lt. Harris missing as well.

 

(No entry for Feb 20, 1944)

 

Feb 21, 1944

 

0915 take-off for Brunswick - weather on assembly terrible, 100th tacked on to another Combat Wing and bombed a target of opportunity.

 

Feb 22, 23, 24, 1944

 

Schweinfurt scrubbed on the 22nd and 23rd. On the 24th tried again for Posen - heavy cloud cover - bombed Rostock by PFF with good results.

 

Feb 25, 1944

 

Regensburg (unhappy memories) Take-off at 0815 hours, Colonel Bennet leading. Entire 3rd Division hit the target one hour after it was plastered by the 14th AF from Italy. Lt. McClain missing, thought to have been shot down by flak over Abbeville on the return. Lt. Gossage crash landed at Horham and Lt. Stout ditched on the way home and the crew was picked up.

 

Feb 26th, 1944

 

Briefed Friedrichshafen - scrubbed.

 

Feb 27, 1944

 

No air activity. 8th AF announced today that more bombs were dropped on the enemy last week than in the first year of the Airwar over Europe.

 

Feb 28, 1944

 

Briefed for No Ball on short notice. Take-off at 1300 hours. All returned safely but there was some battle damage. (Flak) - targets obscured. The 350th made five runs over the target but the weather did not allow for a drop - Bombs brought home for the first time in a long time. Lt. Stout's crew back on the base with a good story of their rescue - Bombardier had some ribs broken on landing - no other injuries. We are greatly relieved.

 

Addendum by pw: The original William G. Lakin crew, with the exception of Keith A. Sprague who had been the original co-pilot before taking over the crew after Lakin became a Lead Pilot, finished their tour with this mission. Sprague had finished on Feb 25, 44 with the Regensburg mission. He had flown one mission with the Van Steenis crew and thus was one mission ahead of the crew.

 

Feb 29, 1944

 

Take-off at 0730 hours for Brunswick. Group returned at 1330 hours - no losses - Lt. Flack landed with two engines out - flak. Bombing by PFF - cloud cover 10/10th. Saw no enemy fighters but friendly planes thick as bees.

 

Mar 1, 2, 1944

 

No Ball scrubbed on the 1st - Chartres, nice results considering the bad visibility. Special warning to avoid the Cathedral and Capt. Dahlgren, the Group Bombardier, did his usual good job.

 

Mar 3, 1944

 

Group took off for Berlin - ran into weather over France and returned. Gossage landed in Sweden - Vollmer and Lohof missing.

 

(The diary somehow is one day off on some of the Berlin missions: The correct sequence should be:

 

a. Mar 3, Division Leader ordered a return at the Schleswig - Holstein coast and it is believed planes flown by Lt. Vollmer and Lt. Lohof collided and debris so damage Lt. Gossage's plane that he was forced to make a emergency landing in what he thought was Sweden.

 

b. Mar 4, instead of the stand down listed in the diary the 100th, led by Capt. Magee Fuller, flying with Lt. Herb Devore took off for Berlin. Increasing clouds forced the Commander of the First Division to cancel the mission. The Third Division, already well on it way to the target, was also recalled - part of the 13th Combat Wing failed to hear the recall and continued and bombed the target. The part that continued was two squadrons from the 95th and 13 planes from the 100th, mostly from the 350th (9).

 

c. Mar 5th the 100th was again briefed for Berlin but the mission was scrubbed.

 

d. Mar 6, The 100th dispatched 36 planes led by Major Bucky Elton flying with the superb lead crew of Herb Devore's, with one of the 100th's best Navigators, Burton Joseph as lead navigator. The 100th was to loose 15 aircraft, most of then on the huge airbattle over Haseluenne at almost exactly noon on the 6th of March 1944. Mission reports follow; ---------------------------------RG 18; National Archives

 

HEADQUARTERS

ONE HUNDREDTH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H)

Office of the Operations Officer

APO # 634

7 March 1944

 

SUBJECT: Report of the Operations Officer, Mission of March 6, 1944

TO : Commanding Officer, 100th Bomb Group (H), AAF

 

100th "A" Group

 

1. General Narrative: The 100th "A" Group formation took off from this base at 0745 - 0826 hours. The formation consisted of 15 aircraft which assembled in good formation by 0835 hour over the base. The 100th "A" Group led the 13th "B" Combat Wing; the 100th "B" filled in the low position, being supplemented by aircraft of the 95th Group. There were no group in the high position. 15 aircraft of this Group formation were dispatched.

 

The English Coast was crossed at 1016 hours at Aldeburgh, 3 miles north of the briefed course. the formation was good; it continued good throughout the mission. The enemy coast was recrossed on the return trip at 16,000 feet, 1510 hours at 52°40"N and 04°50"E. The English Coast was recrossed at 1537 hours at Great Yarmouth. The lead ship landed at this base at 1602 hours.

 

The Primary target was not located; bombs were away at 1323 hours on a target of opportunity - factory district near Berlin.

 

2. Aircraft Not Attacking : 15 aircraft departed this base in formation as shown on attached formation diagram marked "100th "A" Group - After Assembly. " 15 aircraft were dispatched. Aircraft #42-37807 turned back from the I. P. at 1205 hours, returning to the base at 1526 hours. Aircraft #42-32009 turned back from 52°38"N & 08°04"E at 1200 hours, altitude 21,000 feet, landing at this base at 1403 hours.

 

Four aircraft, namely: #42-39872, 42-31731, 42-38197 and 42-30799 are missing in action. No particulars of their fate are known at this time.

 

11 aircraft of this formation, including the aircraft returning early, returned to the this base.

 

100th "B" Group

 

1. General Narrative : The 100th "B" Group formation, consisting of 20 aircraft departed this base at 0757 hours. A good assembly was made by 0833 hours over the base. The 100th "B" Group assumed the low group position, supplemented by six aircraft of the 95th Group. The 100th "A" led the 13th Combat Wing; no group in the high position. The Wing assembled at Splasher #7 at 0956 hours. We were about eight minutes behind the rest of the Division at all times; herein mentioned. We crossed the English Coast at 1019 hours; the enemy coast at 1107 hours, altitude 20,000 feet. The climb to bombing altitude had commenced immediately after leaving the English Coast. After crossing the enemy coast we had 17 aircraft in our group. Flak commenced immediately after crossing the enemy coast, moderate to heavy. Enemy fighter attacks began at 1200 hours at 52°36"N & 07°46"E. Heavy attacks were made by ME 109 and FW 190 type aircraft - 75 to 100 enemy fighters were seen; 40 to 50 made attacks on our group. They came in head-on with apparent disregard for their safety. The lead aircraft of our formation had it's controls shot away. (Jack Swartout, the Command Pilot, flying with Frank Lauro in #231306 were involved in a mid-air collision with a FW 190 and barely managed to return to Thorpe Abbotts in the Nelson King. . pw) The vertical stabilizer was ripped off by a mid-air collision with an enemy fighter. The lead aircraft returned with the 390th Group after jettisoning it's bombs at 1210 hours at approximately 52°40"N & 08°10"E. (Germany)

 

After 1200 hours the group was under heavy fighter attack by large numbers of Me-109's and Fw-190's. The Group was broken up, most of the high squadron was shot down and the lead ship was knocked out of formation.

 

Fighter support was good for a time after leaving the enemy coast on the way in; it was poor thereafter. However, from the target back to the coast it was very good.

 

Over Berlin, showers of red balls were seen from flak bursts. Red flak smoke was also seen - apparently a signal for enemy fighters.

 

The decent was begun at 1300 hours. The enemy coast was recrossed at 1512 hours at 52°37"N & 04°37"E. The English Coast was recrossed at 1540 hours; base was reached by 1632 hours.

 

2. Aircraft Not Attacking : 20 Aircraft departed this base in formation as shown on the formation charts marked "100th "B" After Assembly. " 17 aircraft were dispatched and 16 attacked the target.

 

Aircraft#42-32018 turned back at 1032 hours from 14,88 feet - 52°04"N & 02°28"E, landing at 1117 hours. Aircraft #42-31895 turned back at 1132 hours after being dispatched, from 23,000 feet, 52°28"N & 06°19"E, landing at 1231 hours. #42-38175 turned back at 0924 hours from 9,000 feet, 51°57N & 00°42"E, landing at 1050 hours. #42-6087 turned back at 0910 hours from 9,000 feet over Splasher #6, landing at 1116 hours.

 

Eleven aircraft, namely: #42-38011, 42-31735, 42-38044, 42-30170, 42-38059, 42-31800, 42-97482, 42-97491, 42-31051 and 42-39994 are missing in action. Nothing further is known about their fate as of this time. 8 aircraft returned to this base, including the aircraft that returned early. This does not include #42-31306 (Swartout and Lauro) which landed at Honington with major battle damage.

 

John B. Kidd

Lt. Col. , Air Corps,

Operations Officer.

 

The following crews were lost on the 6 Mar 44 Berlin Mission

#42-38059

   

Crashed near Ququenbruck

   

CAPTDAVID L. MINER

P

KIA

SGT ALBERT ZIKORUS

TTE

POW

LT GEORGE KINSELLA

CP

KIA

SGT VARDEN I. BULTER

BTG

POW

LT EARL L. RICHARDSON

NAV

POW

SGT SAM PRY

RWG

POW

LT GEORGE R. JONES

BOM

KIA

SGT LEONARD D. MALCUIT

LWG

POW

SGT WILLIAM C. LIBBERT

ROG

POW

SGT JUNE E. ROBERSON

TG

POW

#42-30278

         

2nd LT ZEB KENDALL

P

KIA

S/SGTMELVIN A. HICKMAN

TTE

KIA

2nd LT EDWIN J. LOUGHRAN

CP

KIA

SGT REGINALDO AGUILA

BTG

KIA

2nd LT WILLIAM R. THORPE

NAV

KIA

SGT MATTHEW C. AVEN

RWG

KIA

2nd LT CLIFFORD L. GOWEN

BOM

KIA

SGT RAYMOND L. BRIDGE

LWG

KIA

S/SGTLEMAN E. TUTOR

ROG

KIA

SGT VICTON STOFFREGEN

TG

KIA

The loss of this aircraft has never been determined, there is speculation that the bombs exploded causing the total destruction of the aircraft and killing her entire crew. Such cases, fortunately, were extremely rare.

#42-31800

         

Lt SHERWIN L. BARTON

P

POW

S/Sgt HARVEY A. MOORE

TTE

POW

Lt GEORGE W. DAVIDSON

CP

POW

Pvt ROBERT J. TAYLOR

BTG

POW

Lt JOHN L. BURTCN

NAV

POW

Sgt FRANK J. FOLDY

RWG

POW

Lt BERNARD J. SMOLENS

BOM

POW

Sgt PAUL H. MORRIS

LWG

POW

S/Sgt JACK M. ROBINS

ROG

POW

Sgt JAMES W. POWELL

TG

POW

#42-97491

   

*see note below

   

LT DEAN M. RATKE

P

POW

T/SGT V. D. PINNER

TTE

POW

LT GORDON E. DEVAULT

CP

POW

S/SGT J. G. KRUSIENSKI

BTG

KIA

LT R. M. REILLY

NAV

POW

S/SGT R. L. KERWIN

RWG

POW

LT W. B. ARNETTI

BOM

POW

S/SGT C. F. ALLEN

LWG

POW

T/SGT R. RAY

ROG

POW

S/SGT T. E. MANGUM

TG

POW

* Dean M. Ratke crew : Reports on the indicate the Ball Turret gunner, S/Sgt Joseph Krusienski was killed by a fighter attack which badly damage the ball turret; despite heroic efforts of his crew he could not be removed from the damaged turret. #42-97491, presumably with S/Sgt Krusienski still aboard, is thought to have crashed in the vicinity of Twistrigen, Germany.

#42-97482

         

LT WILLIAM A. TERRY

P

KIA

T/SGT J. P. AITKEN

TTE

POW

LT W. L. PETERSON

CP

KIA

S/SGT J. A. BAIN

BTG

POW

LT R. P. SCHREMSER

NAV

POW

S/SGT J. R. HORN

RWG

KIA

LT R. G. COTTER

BOM

KIA

S/SGT C. C. ANTHONY

LWG

KIA

T/SGT R. P. HOWELL

ROG

KIA

S/SGT C. D. HAMPTON

TG

KIA

e. Mar 7, The 100th mercifully stood down due to weather.

f. Mar 8, The 100th, led by Lt. Colonel John Bennett again went to Berlin, this time they could put up only 15 planes and in spite of the previous loses there were no abortions from the 100th, a fact said to have moved Colonel Bennett close to tears. The Group returned with the loss of only one plane, that flown by Lt. Norman Chapman. (The entire crew bailed out safely and all became POWs. Bombing results were good. . (Subparagraphs a, b, c, d, e, & f - added by Paul West; July 1994)

 

Mar 9, 1944 (Diary resumes)

Berlin again - only nine planes out this time and no losses. Results only fair. Thirteen new crews arrived today.

Mar 10, 1944

Critique at Framlingham. According to experts the 100th did well in the Berlin raid. Distinguished itself, in fact.

Mar 11, 12, 1944

No operations on the 11th but newcasts resumed after an interruption of several weeks. The 12th, Sunday - rain, fog, some warmer - no flight operations.

Mar 13, 1944

Briefed for No-Ball - scrubbed. Generals Carl Spaatz, Glen Doolittle, LeMay and Kissener visited the post. The occasion being to the presentation of The DFC to Capt. Summer Reeder and other decorations to seven other officers. After the presentations the Generals "held forth" at the Officer's Club, answering any and all questions. They proved to be "Good Joes" in every aspect. The evening was extremely interesting and revelatory.

Mar 14, 1944

No operations today. First Division went to the "Rocket Coast. " Intense activity last night, with enemy aircraft playing around the field for 30 minutes or more. One reported shot down near Horham - Ispwich and Norwich appeared to getting it.

Mar 15, 1944

Mission to Brunswick completed, but with the loss of the fine lead crew of Capt. Devore. Included Capt. Peel, Lt. Tashijan, Lt. Barton Joseph, lead navigator on the missions to Berlin earlier in the month, and others. Reports indicate they went down over the target from a direct flak hit.

Mar 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, & 21, 1944

Capt. Bowman makes no entries for these dates.

The following added by Paul West. March 16, 1944:

HEADQUARTERS

ONE HUNDREDTH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H)

Office of the Operations Officer

APO # 634

17 March 1944

Subject: Navigational Narrative, Mission of 16 March 1944.

TO : Commanding Officer, 100th Bombardment Group (H), AAF

1. The 100th Group was briefed to fly lead group of the 13th Combat Wing, which was the third wing in the Third Air Division.

2. Route Flown : Buncher # 11, arriving at 0855 hours, one minute early with the 30th "A" and "B" Groups slightly behind coming in from the north. We flew to Splasher #7 at 0908 hours, two minutes early; Splasher #8 at 0925 hours, three minutes early. At Splasher #7 we sighted a five group wing and fell into position. At Splasher #8 a turn was made to get in Division formation. We departed the English Coast at Folkestone at 0930 hours on time. The French Coast was crossed at 50°05"N & 01°25E, four miles north of the briefed course but on time. We were flying behind and to the left of the lead Wing. Crossing the coast we were at 20,000 feet. At 4854"N & 04°04"E, control point #2, we were slightly north of the course and three minutes late. At control point #3, in the vicinity if Zell, we were five minutes late; a little north of course at 1122 hours. At control point #4, 48°26"N & 09°02"E, we were approximately seven minutes late and six miles north of the briefed course, at 1137 hours. At 1146 hours we turned to the briefed heading, but were forced north of the course by another wing, making us considerably north of out turning point for the I. P. Arriving at 49°03"N & 10°55"E at 1206 hours. six minutes late and eight miles north of the course, at 1213 hours we fired YY flares. We opened bomb bay doors at 48°45"N & 11°20E, nine miles east of course and eight minutes late. The target was bombed at 1223 hours, 12 minutes late. The Rally Point was also reached 12 minutes late. From there to 09°00"E, we were approximately four miles north of course and paralleling the briefed course out. The enemy coast was departed at 1500 hours, three minutes early, at 50°03"N & 01°20"E. The English Coast was crossed at Dungeness at 1520 hours, Base was reached at 1603 hours.

3. Bombing Data : Bomb bay doors were opened and YY flares fired at the I. P. about nine miles east of the briefed I. P at 1213 hours. The bomb run was made on a magnetic heading of 242° at an altitude of 20,000 feet; time 1223 hours. A right turn was made at the Rally Point after bombs away.

4. Navigational instruments functioned well. The Pathfinder equipment was in working condition.

5. The only trouble with the rendezvous was the metro data, which effected all the time. I recommend that the weather ship contact Group Leaders with data concerning changes in metro forecasts.

Leornard P. Bull 

Captain, Air Corps,

Lead Navigator

Mar 22, 1944

Berlin - twenty-one (21) aircraft over the target - no loses and excellent bombing results.

Mar 24, 1944

Stand down today and tonight - low clouds and rain.

Mar 25, 1944

No operations account of weather.

Mar 26, 1944

Briefed for a target way the hell into Czechoslovakia, but the weather pulled the plug. Scrubbed.

Mar 27, 1944

The 100th took a crack at the Luftwaffe's advanced flying school at Bordeaux - Marignac - all planes returned safely. Bombing results good, flak heavy but fighter opposition nil.

Mar 28, 1944

Airfield and hanger area at Chateaudan was today's target. Group was briefed early - take-off delayed by ground haze and weather in general. After three delays the boys finally got away at 1030 hours - all planes returned safely. Bombing reported good.

Mar 29, 1944

Stand down today - other Divisions apparently working as many formations were over during the morning.

Mar 30, 1944

The 100th got it's first bombing this morning and no one cares to go through anymore such mornings, although damage was picayune. Just after the briefing for Ludwigshafen had been completed and while crews were proceeding to their planes and intruder aircraft let go some pounders over the runway. A PFF ship was landing and the place was lighted up for that purpose. One bomb struck the edge of the main runway (28/10) and made a hellava crater. There was no little excitement, most of the field's personnel having been heaved out of bed. Despite injury to the main runway the Group took off on time. The mission was recalled and our pilots had to fly around for a couple of hours to lighten their gas load before attempting to land. Bombs were jettisoned in the Channel and all planes landed safely, even though the runway was extremely narrow at one point.

Mar 31, 1944

Payday and POW war fund day. Third Division is raising money to procure comforts and luxuries for our men in Stalag Luften. Each officer today on being paid donated one pound and change included in his pay envelope. Enlisted personnel gave their change. In the evening the enlisted men ran a smoker benefit in the main hanger, with raffles and other features for raising money. Raffle winners put up their prizes for auction, and silk stockings went for 10 pounds a pair, lipstick for 2 pounds. Money collections can set up all over the post for contributions. Winning barracks on each site promised real eggs for breakfast and ice cream for dinner. Early this morning the 100th, together with a composite group took off and bombed Ludwigshafen - all returned safely with everybody smiling.

Apr 1, 2, 3, 4, 1944

1st, Stood down - Monthly dance at the OC devoted it's profits to POW relief fund.

2nd, Rained all day - stood down. Totals for POW relief fund 1630 + pounds - whole division quota only 2500 pounds. Winning teams had their egg orgy this evening. The S-2 enlisted personnel won their site. Member in charge of the drive also put them selves down for eggs. Lt. Mackesey and Capt. Bowman helped the boys put away the ice cream.

3rd & 4th, Rain - stood down both days.

Apr 5, 1944

Stand down last night with a practice mission scheduled for the morning was scrubbed at 0745 hours. Extremely low ceiling and heavy rains during the night. Weather is not uncomfortable as the temperature is up considerable.

Apr 6, 1944

No air operations today, but an innovation which was proven extremely popular with the ground echelon was introduced on suggestion of Colonel Bennett. Armament, ordnance men etc. were gathered in main briefing room, informed they were temporarily Combat Crews and that they were now to be briefed on the mission to Regensburg of Feb. 26th. Full procedures were carried out, roll of the real pilots was called. S-2 briefing by Major Shaw; S-3 by Capt. Reeder; Weather by Lt. Frye; Communications by Lt. Innaconne. Photos were then shown detailing the damage caused by that particular raid and then Colonel Bennett, who led the mission, talked to the groundlings, telling them of incidents which occurred. Briefing wound up with plea for security consciousness among the ground crews. Entire proceeding were unusual, the men followed every detail with great attention. First inkling for most as to just what goes on when a mission is in preparation. Incidentally respect for S-2 went up several notches.

Apr 7, 1944

Briefing at 0600 hours for Quackenbruck airfield, just over the Belgian border in Germany. Half hour after briefing the mission was scrubbed account of weather. Practice mission held in the P. M.

Apr 8, 1944

Group bombed Quackenbruck - ideal mission, weather perfect, no fighters, little flak. Only one cloud on this horizon, the 100th did poorly on it's bombing. Some said the bombardiers were so used to being shot at on the bomb run that they could not concentrate when the conditions were ideal. Groups following did better and the target, a fighter base, was hit hard.

Apr 9, 1944

Briefed at 0430 hours for targets in Poland - one of the longest missions to date. Target was the FW plant near Posen. The mission was recalled over the North Sea - weather at the base had deteriorated to the point most planes were forced to land at other fields. Planes were coming in all day - S-2 personnel had to spent the entire day in the interrogation room.

Apr 10, 1944

Target was an airfield three miles north of Rheims. Take-off at 0700 hours - mission duration of only four hours. For once cloudless day - bombing reported as fairly good. Top Turret Gunner/ Engineer of Lt. Lacey's crew was killed by enemy action - T/Sgt Chester Carknard was dead on arrival at Thorpe Abbotts.

Apr 11, 1944

Posen, Poland was the target for today but weather forced the bombing of the secondary, Rostock, with good results.

Apr 12, 1944

Thirty-two (32) planes departed for Schkeuditz, suburb of Leipzig, but weather forced a recall - entire mission aborted. This mission, while recalled, seems to have been successful from the bombardier's point of view. The 100th attacked Lipstadt, while nine of our other planes flying with the 95th bombed the airport at Werl. Both groups reported good bombing results on these targets of opportunity. Capt. Barr, Major Blakely and Capt. Cope left today for thirty day furloughs in the U. S. A. . Flew to London in a 349th plane much to the envy of the entire field. Capt. Reeder becomes CO of the 349th - permanent.

Apr 13, 1944

Colonel Kidd led the entire division to Augsburg - target was the Messerschmitt designing and research plant. No fighter opposition - flak heavy over the target but little encountered on the way in or out. There were many ships damaged at the target by flak, however the damage was below expectations. Bombing was good; 100th "B" placing it's bombs squarely on the MPI. Colonel Kidd had one engine shot out and the crew feathered the wrong engine - error quickly rectified and they came home with further mishap.

The incredible ship "Hard Luck" was on the mission and now has 5221/2 hours on the original engines with two of the original superchargers still in service. The venerable old girl came home with 25 flak holes in her hide, but nothing vital was hit.

Clipping from hometown papers indicate the story of the 100th's POW fund got national distribution over both AP and UP wires. Sale of silk stockings for $40 and lipstick for $10 hit editors fancy around the nation.

Apr 14, 15, 1944

Standing down, a welcome break after six straight days of operations. About 0200 hours a Red Alert, with a plane stooping overhead - no attacks. Note for history: A PFF plane was landing at Framlingham the other morning and a JU-88 waited until the landing lights were turned on - shot down the Pathfinder aircraft, dropped fragmentation bombs and strafed the field. Three members of the Pathfinder crew were killed.

On the 15th stood down again last night. Several S-2 officers newly arrive in theater assigned here for training.

Apr 16, 1944

Stand down today; rain, fog, mist, and 11 other weather features that go to make East Anglia the resort center that it is. Forty ATC cadets on base today. Lectures by Lt. Abbey and Colonel Kidd. Some cadets went through the Sub-Depot repair facilities. Dinner at the enlisted mess.

Colonel Bennett was informed today that the Augsburg mission made a total of 100 mission for the 100th. Division had credited us with a couple of mission our operations staff had thought were aborts with no credit. Long story in Stars & Stripes - eight or nine photos were dispatched to the paper which either omits it altogether or butcher it beyond recognition, putting the wrong captions on the pictures - there is no middle ground with the S & S.

Apr 17, 1944

Continuation of yesterday's weather with drop in temperature. New Commanding Officer, Colonel Robert Kelly, expected to arrive today. Colonel Harding has been acting CO of the 13th Combat Wing flew back to the States day before yesterday for leave and hospitalization. He is suffering from jaundice and gall stones. On his way he flew by here and did a masterful job of buzzing headquarters - firing flares - like the boys completing a tour do.

Apr 18, 1944

After several days of stand downs, the Group, with Capt. Reeder leading, took off for Berlin. Return set for 1755 hours. The new Commanding Officer did not show up - seems he is in a hospital somewhere. This fate seems common to Commanding Officers of the 100th. Major Karl (NMI) Standish, first officer ever assigned to the 100th, has been transferred to the 407th - a B-24 outfit. His successor will be Major Utley. Major Standish had been Ground Exec for some months after serving more than a year as Group Adjutant. Group returned from today's mission one half hour early and with no loses but discouraging bombing reports. Target - Berlin - and industrial plant to the southeast of the city. Weather good all the way to the target area then changed to solid overcast Wing Leader tried to get under it and took the formation over Berlin at 16,500 feet! Flak was intense, but the 100th luckily suffered no loses. After stooping around making 360 degree turn and returning over the fringe of Berlin the Group dropped on the lead outfit over a target later identified as Rathenow. In the middle of the bomb run the lead outfit cut the 100th off with it's turn forcing the 100th to swing right - most of our bomb were right of the target. Our Bombardiers believe they may have hit a railroad junction. Eight of the 100th planes in composite group with the 95th bombed a small city east of Berlin identified as Wilunach or Kluben. Some bombs were seen to hit in the center of the unidentified town.

Apr 19, 1944

Alerted last night and at 0100 hours a Red Alert heralded the approach of a large formation of German planes - droned overhead for the better part of half an hour. Bombs hear not too far distance and some interested observers reported up to three planes going down in flames in the general direction of Ispwich. The Germans may have been heading for London as the seemed to depart in that direction. About 0400 hours there was another Red Alert as the same formation of German planes headed home. There seemed to be fewer of them on the way out - this may have been wishful thinking. Group took off at 0730 hours for a German airfield at Lipstadt. Group returned at 1800 hours with no loses. Nine ships flew composite with the 96th and bombed the airfield at Werl. Both target plastered. 100th met no fighter opposition and encountered very little flak - weather perfect - everything as it should be. Colonel Robert H. Kelly assumed command of the 100th today. He was a class mate of Colonel Harding at West Point and seem like a genial person. Major Shaw reported assigned to the 13th Combat Wing as A-2. Major Donahue going to the 93rd according to the same report.

Apr 20, 1944

Lts. Bowers and Terry left this morning for London to identify returning evades. That is about the only excuse for getting to London in these degenerate times. Crossbow operation this afternoon with "A" & "B" groups putting up 38 planes - all returned safely. Targets were in the Cherbourg and south of St. Omer areas. Poor bombing results, our bombardiers had trouble picking out the targets from the landscape and our bombs were wide of the target. Lt. George Morgan, lead bombardier, was wounded by flak across the collar bone - luckily not serious. Two other men were scratched on the ankle and one across the outside of the thigh. Groups departed one hour apart and returned the same way, the last group landing at 2100 hours. S-2 was busy with interrogations until 0100 hours - meanwhile another alert came in and the duty officer and briefing personnel had their night's rest spoiled waiting for the Field Order to come down.

Apr 21, 1944

Today's mission was finally made official at 0715 hours - target the synthetic oil plant at Leipzig. Briefing scheduled for 1015 hours but moved back to 1100 hours. Only 18 of our planes are scheduled for this mission. RAF planes going over last night - steady stream for over 45 minutes. Red Alert called to due to possible attack by intruders, who recently have been with the returning RAF planes and strafing any lighted areas on the theory that it could be an airfield - usually is. A bomb dropped anywhere in East Anglia has about a 50-50 chance of hitting a airfield. The new base at Eye is almost ready to open and the S-2 Officers have completed their indoctrination.

Apr 22, 1944

Yesterday's mission was recalled and today the 100th was briefed for Hamm - take off set for 1045 hours. Main group bombed Hamm while the composite attacked Werl. This time the bombing results were excellent. Colonel Kelly flew with the Group for the first time, accompanying Major Elton as an observer. Shortly after interrogation we were alerted again. Lt. Harte's plane down on the Hamm mission somewhere near the target.

Apr 23, 1944

0400 hours briefing for Leipzig synthetic oil works - mission scrubbed soon after briefing completed.

Apr 24, 1944

At 0830 hours Group took off for Friedrichshafen with Colonel Ollen Turner leading. The 100th led the 13th Combat Wing today. Bombing results were fair to good.

Apr 25, 1944

Colonel Bennett led mission scheduled to attack Thionville, but weather forced the Group to bomb Dihon Airdrome with fairly good results.

Apr 26, 1944

Fallersleben was today's target but a secondary one was bombed.

Apr 27, 1944

The first double mission today. In the morning one of the No Ball targets was plastered. While the crews were debriefing, Officers were setting up the afternoon attack on Le Culot airfield. Results satisfactory for both targets.

Apr 28, 1944

Colonel Kelly led his first and last mission with the 100th today. Target was Sottevast, one of the No-Ball sites. Colonel Kelly's plane, carrying Bubbles Payne as navigator, received a direct flak hit and plunged down in flames near the target. ("Bubbles" is Capt. Joseph Payne, one of the 100th's original Navigators and said by Jim Brown and Harry Crosby, two of the 100th's best known Navigators, to have been the best. . pw) Most optimistic report was that one chute was seen, most crews thought there was no survivors. Lt. McGuire's plane also lost to flak at the same time. Colonel Kelly commanded the Group for only eight days; in that time he had won the respect of all concerned. Lt. Colonel Bennett again resumes temporary command.

Apr 29, 1944

The 100th bombed the center of Berlin today almost without incident - no fighter encountered, although the other half of the 4th Combat Wing, in which we were flying lost 20 Forts. There were a total of 65 bombers lost for the mission.

Apr 30, 1944

Stand down today - the 100th has flown 12 missions in 12 days - a record for us.

May 1, 1944

Pre-invasion practice today. Group took off at 0400 hours and assembled in Combat Wing formation - went down and simulated bombing the English coast in line abreast, practically. Then they returned, reassembled at 12,000 feet and carried out a mission against a No Ball site at Wizernes. Heavy overcast prevented bombing and the Group brought their bombs back. (6 1000 lb GP's) We were ready for them when they got back with another mission; this time the marshaling yards at Saaraguemines. The target was clouded in an a secondary was bombed. No losses although Lt. Horne landed at another base and was given up as lost for a while.

May 2, 3, 1944

2nd, stand down for training - clear and cold. 3rd, still standing down; cold front due a noon - otherwise a cloudless morning. Heavy rain during the night - just in time to aid the grass planting program on the base - most of the sites already prepared with top soil and seeded. This will be the best looking post in the 8th AF, if it isn't already. Reports that the 3rd Division's Presidential Citation for the Regensburg (Aug 17, 43) mission has been approved. When the papers come through the 100th personnel can begin wearing the unit decoration.

May 4, 1944

Center of Berlin today's target. Group got away carrying 12 X 500 lb and 3 X 1000 Gp's each - really a load. Weather closed in over the channel and the mission had to be recalled. There was no interrogation, since the ruling was that none of the planes were dispatched. Very chilly today, although the sun shone faintly here and there. The 100th's citation for the first bombing of Berlin bounced at 8th AF. Somebody doesn't like us there. The 390th and 96th have been cited - God knows why. Both have screwed up enough missions to get plenty of recognition - hardly of this sort however.

May 5, 1944

Flight operations canceled just before the briefing for Berlin last night. Practice mission called instead. A news summary at the Aero Club in the evening.

May 6, 1944

Stand down last night - hard rains. Capt. Bill Rives and Lt. Harry Burkhalter of the London PRO office in to look the place over. In the evening the monthly dance was held at the Officer's Club.

May 7, 1944

Thirty - six (36) planes dispatched for Berlin - bombed in regular form. Returned at 1345 hours - PFF bombing reported. Van Steenis came home with Becker, the navigator dead and his bombardier wounded. The London PRO boys got a look at war - or at least a second hand look.

May 8, 1944

Thirty-two (32) planes dispatched for Berlin. Ten aborted - bombed PFF with unobserved results. Lt. Riggle and crew failed to return. In the afternoon a NO-Ball target, with briefing set for 1430 hours. Right in the middle of interrogation for the first mission Lt. Colonel Thomas Jeffrey arrived to assume command of the 100th.

May 9, 1944

Airfields at Laon-Couvron d Laon-Anthies the target for today. Main group attacked Convron airfield, composite the other. Strike photos indicate excellent bombing results. Lt. William's plane was hit in the tail by a bomb dropped from above. Tail gunner was hit and mortally injured by the un-exploded bomb which lodged in the tail compartment. Williams made a feather landing. Capt. Major, ordnance and his First Sgt, finding the gunner still alive, entered the plane and de-fused the bomb. Doc. Kinder was right in the middle, risking his life in an attempt to save the crewman along with several other enlisted men, definitely outside their normal line of duty. Such bombs are normally left for bomb disposal units, but the fact the man was still alive, although unconscious, was the reason these men took such chances to get him out. All were put in for the Soldier's Medal even the photographer, McAllister. In spite of the gallant efforts of Doc. Kinder and the rest the airman died on the way to the hospital. His injuries were too massive. .

May 10, 1944

Group took off leading the 13th Combat Wing for Fallersleben, but recalled over the channel. Alerted about 2000 hours with Munich mission - scrubbed at 3245 with a standby until 0800 hours.

May 11, 1944

One of those no notice affairs today. Alerted at 1030 hours - briefing at 1230 hours. Marshaling yards at Liege the target. During the day received photographs of raids NO-Ball targets of May 8 & 9 came in and indicated the 100th distinguished itself by hitting the MPI. Gratifying since the Group has been consistently good in everything except bombing, its prime reason for existing. Group returned from Liege at 2000 hours. One plane lost over the target to a direct hit which tore off a wing - two to five chutes reported. Bombs damaged the marshaling yard, but were to the right of the MPI.

May 12, 1944

Group was alerted during interrogation last night. Briefing was at 0500 hours and the group dispatched for Brux, Czechoslovakia. Distances mean nothing to this bunch anymore, and they would not be surprised at being briefed for Ceylon, Tokyo or Celebes any day. Target was the synthetic oil plant, largest in the Reich. The Group returned safely, having hit the MPI dead center. Later General LeMay called Colonel Jeffrey to congratulate the Group. Seems the whole division kicked the hell out of the plant but the 100th was the only one to hit the MPI precisely. 100th's bomb pattern actually surrounded the MPI, which was the vital gas generating works. One of their oil plants is missing!!

May 13, 1944

Oanabruck as the target today - marshaling yards were hit - the MPI. a locomotive repair shop escaped a direct hit.

May 14, 1944

No mission today, first in some time. So somebody in higher echelons dreamed up a simulated mission of all things to find out, and I quote, whether the S-2 machinery works. We gave them full reports of the simulated bombing of the English town of Watton, reporting three pubs destroyed. Somebody likes to play games.

May 15, 16, 1944

Briefed for Melun, a French airfield on the 15th - scrubbed - practice mission in P. M. !6th - exactly the same as the 15th.

May 17, 1944

At 0315 hours, one of those last minute briefing (during a pouring rain storm) for Emden. Mission scrubbed at taxi time after Ordnance had set a record in "bombing up" the entire Group in less than 2 hours. Personnel somewhat vocal in their remarks concerning the ability of higher headquarters to make up their minds about anything.

May 18, 1944

Yesterday was a day free from care, and at 1500 hours we were released for training - a new equivalent of a stand down. Lt. Bowers was happy to be promoted to Captain, which seems to take care of all the original junior officers in the S-2 section. There were lowering skies and rain in the morning but a practice mission was flown shortly before noon when some clearing developed

May 19, 1944

Briefing early this morning, with Berlin as the target A, Rostock B, and Kiel C. Takeoff delayed by some haze in the early morning - planes got away at 0900 hours. Weather clear and warm here. Colonel Jeffrey leading this mission, his first with the 100th. Target bombed but three (3) planes lost.

May 20, 1944

Mission to Bruxelles M/Y today's target. Clouds 100 percent - bombs brought back. Bill Jones and Herb Finnegan of Boston American here - just in time for the 100th's first smoker with strip tease.

May 21, 22, 23, 1944

Stand down the 21st and 22nd with a mission to Troyles M/Y on the 23rd. No runs, hits, or errors.

May 24, 1944

Berlin - Major Fitzgerald, just appointed CO of the 350th, led this one and failed to return as did eight other planes. Colonel Ollen Turner and Captain Jack Swartout finished their tours. The Group was spit by weather and hit by droves of fighters. Target was bombed with fair results.

May 25, 1944

Buxelles M/Y today's target. Visual bombing, results fair to good. Colonel Bennett led, made two runs on the target. No fighters and only meager flak. Capt. Rosenthal has been appointed CO of the 350th.

May 26, 1944

Stand down on account of weather - practice mission later in day.

May 27, 1944

Strasbourg - one place the group had not hit previouly. Saarbrucken and Trier B and C targets. Takeoff about 0830 hours, ETR 1330 hours. 100th flew high group with the 13th Combat Wing, the 390th leading. All ships returned safely, claimed primary well-bombed. Fighter escort was particularly fine according to reports - photos show beautiful job on MPI.

May 28, 1944

Eighteen plane group and one squadron for composite group dispatched to Magdeburg (synthetic oil plant). Dessau Junker engine works B and Dunlop tyre plant at Hanau C. Ground fog delayed take-off one hour. Finally took off at 0930 hours. A smoke screen screwed up the bombing - the 100th got about 10 percent in a 1000 foot circle, but the MPI was not hit. Fighters bounced the formation on the bomb run. The 390th lost five planes of the lead squadron on the first pass. Our Lt. Lacy's plane took a direct hit in the cockpit and was reported going down in flames.

May 29, 1944

Leipzig today with Colonel Kidd leading. The MPI was Junkers main headquarters building. Marvelous weather for three days now, warm and cloudless. Temperature around 90 degrees and the British seem to be burning up. Group returned at 1600 hours. One plane, Lt. William's, lost to fighters over the target. The tail gunner, Sgt. Lyle Nord, hero of Blakely's Provisional Group (Bremen Oct. 10th, 1943) who had just resumed operational flying was aboard. Some screens prevented good bombing and most of the strike photos were obscured. Believe the MPI may have been hit by some group as the smoke above it was very heavy.

May 30, 1944

Celebrated Memorial Day by bombing marshaling yards at Troyes. No fighters, hardly any flak (one gun in the target area). Crews claim the target - locomotive shed was squarely hit. All ships returned safely - missed the MPI but the target area was well plastered.

May 31, 1944

Payday - Oanabruck M/Y the target. MPI was locomotive shop. Fear we missed the MPI as lead ship's bombsight went temperamental. Altitude was 26,000 feet - reports are that some group rang the bell, however.

Jun 1 & 2, 1944

Stand down on the 1st. On the 2nd, first tactical target, north of Boulogne. Our PFF went out and the bombs were brought back. Second mission of the day sent 12 planes to Archeres near Paris - rail junction. Returned at 2215 hours - put 60% in 1000 ft. circle - this junction will not be the same for some time. Alerted at 2000 hours for a tactical target - Pinetree relented and said briefing would be at 1400 hours tomorrow.

Jun 3, 1944

Mission scrubbed. Lt. Cowing going to the 95th on detached service to learn PFF briefing etc. Will return in 90 days as the 100th PFF expert.

Jun 4, 1944

Another attack on coastal points in the Boulogne area. Photos indicate good bombing - pattern dropped squarely on the shoreline.

Jun 5, 1944

Bombed three (3) tactical targets in the Boulogne area on PFF. Colonel Jeffrey, who was leading, was summoned to 3rd Division immediately upon landing - accompanied by Capt. Bowman. At 3rd Division Headquarters the assembled Group CO's and S-2's heard General LeMay explain time, details and plan of the invasion, set for 0750 hours June 6th. Returned to base with complicated Field Order - all personnel held on base, all phones disconnected. Lead crews briefed from 1800 to 0000 hours on the 100th's targets. Briefing 2300 hours for first groups. The 100th flew six groups during the invasion hours - 72 sorties. There were no aborts.

Jun 6, 1944 (D-Day)

The invasion began this morning. Briefing at 2300 hours last night, 1215 hours, and 1415 hours today. Capt. Bowman had first three main briefing, Capt. Mackesey the gunners. Capt. Hutchinson briefed the afternoon mission. No gunners briefing as this has been dropped for tactical missions. Crews moral bounced up 100%. First take off at 0230 hours. First two waves bombed coast using PFF - third wave had Falaise for a target but returned with bombs when no PFF could be found. Last wave of the day left at 1700 hours, returned at 2315 hours. Had a good view of the invasion, the undercast having broken away. Told of hundreds of ships unmolested off the coast, indicating that shore batteries have been silenced. Hundreds of gliders going in; no air opposition at all. German radio is something to hear; are reporting the invasion a complete flop - a few parachutists who were quickly eliminated. Whom do they think they are kidding? Figures indicate that between 0300 and 0800 hours the 8th AF dropped 10,000 tons of bombs - flew 7500 sorties and put 31,000 fliers over targets. Jersey and Guernsey attacked, according to reports. Standing down tonight - we have temporarily ran out of bombs.

Jun 7, 1944

Group took off at 1730 hours for Nantes; rail bridge as the target. Target smacked cold by high and low groups, the lead group putting one 2,000 lb. egg squarely between the rails. Back at 2300 hours with no losses. Shortly after midnight, while the crews were still milling around the interrogation rooms, two enemy intruders, probably ME-410's strafed the field and really caused excitement. One gunner who had just completed his tour was slightly wounded while standing just outside the door of the interrogation building. Exploding 20mm shell or a ricochet slashed him across the temple. Both planes were heavily fired on. A luckless B-24 without lights, came blundering across the field about 10 minutes later at 500 feet and was so badly shot up by 50 cal. that he had to land at a nearby field. Hope this will teach him a lesson.

Jun 8, 1944

Briefing at 0315 hours for a railroad bridge at Tours. Returned at 1140 hours - first strike photos show target completely missed, but some later photos show that it may have been hit. It now appears the early photographs were from a plane which had tacked on to the 388th and the pilot neglected to mention this little detail to the photo lab. Briefed at 1415 hours for Saumu rail road bridge, this just after preparing a second mission for Tours. It was scrubbed while the planes were on the taxiway awaiting take-off. Weather gave us a stand down tonight.

Jun 9 & 10, 1944

Stand down on the 9th - weather. On the 10th took off at 0415 for Morlaix airdrome - purpose to immobilize the fighter on this fighter base. Weather not as briefed and neither of the 100th's two groups reached the target, turning back while still over water. New briefing room and interrogation rooms slowly nearing completion.

Jun 11, 1944

Another early morning take-off, this time a coastal target at Brecks-sur-Mer, south of Boulogne. Bombing was PFF and group was short, bombs falling in the water and on the beach. Colonel Bennet led this mission - return at 0814 hours. Sun shone today for first time since the invasion.

Jun 12, 1944

Today was a bad day. Tried for Airdrome at Rosieres-en-Sanerre. 95th leading and took us all over France, that is except for the target. The Groups got separated coming home and flew squarely over Ostend and lost two ships to flak - Lts. Ryan and McGeague. Later two members of McGeague's crew were picked up by Air Sea Rescue. To make matter worse nobody bombed anything.

Jun 13, 1944

Waited all night for a 0115 hours briefing for Fallersleben. At midnight, Wing notified us that the target would be changed. Finally around 0130 hours they scrubbed - weather presumably. The Jerries must have some kind of arrangement with the devil.

Jun 14, 1944

For the second time in a week the 100th really fouled up. Target was Le Culot. thirty-six (36) planes went over Belgium looking for it - never located it - came home with their bombs. Blamed place mostly on weather with some slight blame on navigators. Group Commander not happy.

Jun 15, 1944

Commanding Officer and Capt. Bowman went to 3rd Air Division Headquarters to hear plans for shuttle mission to Russia. Planes to be there several days, run several missions and return home by way of Italy. Capt. Bowman fortunate enough to get assignment to go along as S-2 Officer. Everything set for briefing around midnight - weather scrubbed it and the Group attacked Wilser & Mulburg instead.

Jun 16 & 17, 1944

Weather caused stand down on the 16th and a mission to Melum was scrubbed on the 17th account of weather.

Jun 18, 1944

Brunsbuttel - Ostermoor bombed successfully.

Jun 19, 1944

Corme - Ecluse the 100th's target for today. . Good Going!!

Jun 20, 1944

Our old friend Fallersleben, many time briefed, but never hit by the 100th's was finally bombed. Photos show hits on the MPI.

Jun 21, 1944

Russian shuttle raid got off today. (see also July 5th, 1944) Thirteen (13) additional 100th planes went to Basdorf, near Berlin, as part of a general attack which ran interference for the Russian trip. Bombing was successful and all planes returned safely, but landed at Framlingham, to allow for repairs to the perimeter taxiway, runways, etc. , during absence of the main group. Twenty-eight (28) ships went to Russia. Lt. Colonel Bennett is acting Commanding Officer in the absence of Colonel Jeffrey. Capts. Johnson and Bowers, Lt. Shirley and T/Sgt Brackeen went to Framlingham to handle 100th crews there.

Jun 22, 23, & 24, 1944

On the 22nd the 100th bombed an airfield near Paris - 23rd stand down and the 24th a No-Ball target was briefed, Group could not locate it and bombed a target of opportunity near Rouen, France.

Jun 25, 1944

A super secret (Zebra) mission to the South of France. Successful drop but the 100th lost Lt. Houghton's crew to flak over the French Coast on the way to the target.

Jun 26 & 27, 1944

Stand down both days

Jun 28, 1944

Group returned to Thorpe Abbotts from Framlingham. A mission was started but scrubbed in the morning.

Jun 29, 30, July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1944

29th through 3rd of July stand down - July 4th briefed for Boulogne - scrubbed. 5th July briefed and scrubbed for Boulogne again. This afternoon the main Group returned from the Russian - Italian shuttle raid.

Chronology of the Russian Shuttle Raid

June 21,1944 - The 100th flew lead group in the 13th Combat Wing, with twenty eight (28) planes. Assembled over 10/10 undercast - made wing assembly at 0410 hours. Landfall between Cuxhaven and Bremerhafen, flew straight course toward Berlin - turned south about twenty (20) miles west of the city and bombed the synthetic oil plant at Ruhland with fine results, confirmed by later strike photographs. Continued due east along the 51st parallel until south of Warsaw, then turned southeast toward the Russian front. About this time we were attacked by twelve (12) ME-109's and one B-17 from another group went down - appeared to be under control. Escorting P-51's shot down several enemy fighters and we had no more trouble. Cloud deck formed below and began getting higher - Combat Wing milled around for a time, pretty well lost. Finally found the Dnieper river after letting down to 2,000 feet and then locate Kiev. Here four of our planes went down out of gas, Lts. Chadwick, Simmons, Mulius and Williams. All later returned to England via ATC routes, except Williams who rejoined the group at Mirgorod. The 100th, 390th and 95th landed at Mirgorod, while the 4th Combat Wing went to Poltava; their misfortune since the Luftwaffe flew over our field and bombed Poltava and destroyed 50 to 65 B-17's with the loss of two American lives. Our wing was quartered in a former Russian and German barracks that was maintained by an airborne squadron. "Good Ole Tin Rations," all these Joes here every see.

June 22, 1944 - To avoid certain bombing by the Luftwaffe, wing ordered to Kharkov late in the evening after the Jerries had taken aerial recon-photos all day. On taxi, Colonel Jeffrey plane put a wheel through a weak spot in the runway, so we watched the other planes depart for Kharkov. Colonel Jeffrey's, a PFF plane, and two others were left on the field, one the victim of a flat tire and the other needing an engine change. The Jerries change it that night - about 0100 hours from 75 to 100 Ju-88's plastered the field with everything except the kitchen stove and live fish. Many Russian soldiers were wounded and some were killed. Our damage B-17 was practically destroyed but the two others escaped with only minor damage, probably from falling flak.

June 23, 1944 - Main group remained at Kharkov. This evening our two planes able to fly left Mirgorod and flew to Kirovograd, about 100 miles southwest of Mirgorod. Spent the night at a big Russian training field - was royally entertained by three Russian generals and the whole post for that matter. Big dance given for the Americans along with a concert and all the trimming.

June 24, 1944 - Spent the day here (Kirovograd), inspecting Russian aircraft, Yaks, Stormovicks, Yaks, etc. The generals took us swimming in near by river and it was an interesting occasion. Several more B-17's arrived today - spent the night in the Russian barracks again.

June 25, 1944 - Returned early to Mirgorod to find rest of wing back from Kharkov. Planes bombed up for a mission that was scrubbed. At 0700 hours entire wing flew to Kirovovgrad and slept on the ground under their planes wings, expecting and attack that did not materialize.

June 26, 1944 - Up at 0300 hours and returned to Mirgorod - bombed up and took off for Italy. Crossed the Russian front at 1315 hours and received a spirited welcome from the German flak. Shortly afterwards we hit our target, synthetic oil works at Drohobyce, Poland and a lovely fire was enjoyed by all. The Wing with the 100th flying low group, took a straight course for Italy across Poland, Hungary, Jugo-slavia to Foggia, Italy. Escorting fighters shot down twelve (12) enemy fighters on the way but we say none. Group was shot at over Jugo-Slavian mountains when the 390th (leading) let down sooner than briefed and dragged the 100th practically through the tree tops of mountains seven or eight thousand feet high. Crossed Adriatic Sea, a welcome sight, and landed at Tortorella, a satellite field for Foggia at 2030 hours. Put up with the "Swoose " group (It flies), tents, dust and mosquito repellent, the chief feature of the place - not to mention the terrific hear in the daytime and the remarkable cold nights.

June 27, 1944 - Most of the day spent in the sack by all hands.

June 28, 1944 - Same as yesterday - some of the group went to the beach at Manfredonia for a swim. 95th and 390th at fields nearby. Late in the afternoon all S-2's called into 5th Wing headquarters at Foggia to discuss briefing procedures, etc. Tentative sortie homeward bound scrubbed - much to everyone's satisfaction since it involved attacking Munich. (184 flak guns around the target)

June 29, 1944 - Colonel Jeffrey, Clarke's crew and several others were flown to Naples by Colonel Kurze, the Swoose Group Commanding Officer. ( He was the narrator of the " Queens Die Proudly " book. Spent the day sightseeing and visited Pompeii and other points, including and Allied Officer's Club on the mountains overlooking Naples and the bay. Best day of the shuttle raid. At night we were alerted again - for a target worse than Naples according to the 5th. Again we scrubbed - saved by the bell.

June 30, July 1, July 2, 1944 - No activity - weather over Europe blamed.

July 3, 1944 - The 100th journeyed to Rumania with the rest of the 13th Combat Wing to show the 15th AF how things are done in the Big Leagues. Target was a marshaling yard at Arad. No flak, no fighters and no marshaling yard anymore.

July 4, 1944 - Alerted for trip home to Thorpe Abbotts.

July 5, 1944 - Took off at 0810 hours for Thorpe Abbotts, via Beziers, France where a marshaling yard was reduced to ashes on the way. On the way we had a grandstand seat to watch the 15th smashing Toulon - flak there was terrific and one B-24 went down in flames. Several Me-109's made advances at us over the Mediterranean, but our escorting P-51's discouraged them permanently. Course home almost a straight line from Beziers to Beachy Head. No flak except at target and no fighters got through our escort - they claimed 10 to 12 enemy fighters destroyed. Picked up near Orleans by P-51's and P-47's from home and they were a welcome sight. From there on flew over 10/10 clouds to England and reached the base at 1730 hours. Distance, 7,000 miles, 34 and one half hours flying time not counting the Arad mission. 100th's score; Four targets destroyed - no losses to the enemy.

(diary resumes)

Jul 6, 7, 8, 9, 1944

6th, No Ball with poor results - 7th, Bohlen/Merseburg - weather bad dropped on Gottingen airdrome - 8th, Glamecy - weather bad, hit two targets of opportunity - 9th, standing down for training.

Jul 10, 1944

Briefed for Mery-sur-Oise, north of Paris - scrubbed - weather

Jul 11, 1944

Briefing at 0415 and 0500 hours for Munich - primary was the BMW plant with the center of the city as the secondary. The secondary was hit by both 100th Groups - PFF bombing with unobserved results. One tail gunner wounded by flak. No fighters.

Jul 12, 1944

Munich again with the targets, same results - no fighters.

Jul 13, 1944

Munich again - this could get monotonous. Today the fighters came up and the 100th had several combat claims. Lts. Harding and Waters, both shot up by flak - thought to have reached Switzerland. Our fighters escorted them to the Swiss border.

Jul 14, 1944

Today being Bastille Day, 8th AF sent out another mystery mission to the South of France - called "Cadillac" this time. Very successful - no losses and the crews enjoyed it.

Jul 15, 1944

Stand down for training, and high time. Three missions in a row to Munich proved very fatiguing to our crews. They feel the 15th could take care of targets right at their front door without the 8th having to fly 1000 miles to hit the same places. May be the penalty for being the Major League Air Force.

Jul 16, 1944

Believe it or not another stand down - two days in a row. Most of the 8th again over Munich. Alerted at night, however.

Jul 17, 1944

Briefing at 0330 for the railroad bridge at Auxerre - Colonel Kidd leading. Mission returned at 1315 hours reporting good results. During their absence nine crews were briefed for an attack on the coastal battery at Gravelines but were recalled after taking off. Alerted again tonight.

Jul 18, 1944

Two groups left early for Kiel and Heimstadt - both bombed PFF with unobserved results. Group released for training in the afternoon.

Jul 19, 1944

Two groups to Schweinfurt. SDF ball bearing plant was A target for the A Group, which were bothered by smoke and probably missed. B Group bombed Duren, the secondary, but missed the MPI. Flak at Schweinfurt was terrific, but no fighters were seen. Three men slightly wounded. Major Sammy Barr, back from thirty days leave on the States, led the B Group. It was Sammy's first mission in ninety days or more. Today Lt. Colonel Ollen Turner left for home - permanently. He completed his tour sometime ago but has been working on a secret project at Third Division. Major Reeder has completed his tour and Major Sammy Barr succeeded him as 349th Commanding Officer - his old job before he went on leave.

Jul 20, 1944

Two groups to Merseburg - fair to good results.

Jul 21, 1944

Two groups departed for Regensburg. Weather interfered and all bombed by PFF. Ludwigsburg was probably the target - photos very uncertain.

Jul 22, 1944

Stood down last night and today due to rain. Cold cloudy and altogether unpleasant. Semi-monthly tea dance today.

Jul 23, 1944

Early briefing for beach-head attack, bombs to fall just ahead of our troops. Mission took off with Colonel Jeffrey leading, but was recalled account of weather.

Jul 24, 1944

The mission recalled yesterday was flown today. For the most part it was highly successful, but one of the 100th's groups dropped short. It is possible some of our bombs fell among American Forces. This was the day General McNair was killed by American bombs. Blame was attached, however, to medium bombers, not heavies in later investigations.

Jul 27, 1944

Briefed for Ludwigshafen - scrubbed before take-off.

Jul 28, 1944

Merseburg - two groups bombed with poor results. We lost Capt. Bucky Mason, on his last mission and the PFF plane "Island F for Fox" flown by Lt. Noble.

 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    

Lead Bombardier (Actually the Deputy lead as the Lead was shot down) reports; The Lead ship was hit by flak on the bomb run but continued and dropped his bombs on the primary before aborting at the Rally Point. There were no cloud coverage to the target area and the target was discernible half way down the run. The target itself was covered by a great deal of smoke and haze. Other than the intense accurate flak over the target there was no other enemy activity encountered. Sighting for both course and rate was accomplished by the squadron leader. Bombing was in Group Formation.

The General Narrative reports: # 42-3379, the Lead, was hit by flak, some reports indicate a ground rocket, a few seconds before "Bombs Away. " The aircraft continued on the run and dropped bombs. Fire producing a dense white smoke was seen to break out in the fuselage - bomb bay, and included the cockpit. The bomb bay doors were closed and then reopened. Pilot opened his window and peeled gently off to the right, directing the Deputy Lead to take over the lead, this on VHF. The stricken Lead headed Northeast and flew level for a few minutes while six (6) members of the crew bailed out. Three chutes appeared to have come from the tail or waist while the other three were from the bomb bay. There there was a small explosion in the No# 3 engine nacelle and the aircraft headed down, burning and starting to spin. When last seen, at 15,000 feet, observers feel the entire crew had a good chance to bail out.

A/C # 44-6500 received a direct hit by flak, may have been a ground rocket, on the right wing just as bombs were released. The right wing folded up against the fuselage and the plane flipped over on it's back. The wing tank apparently exploded and the entire A/C was began to burn and exploded. One man, thought to have been the tail gunner, bailed out and his chute opened.

A/C # 42-102958 was hit by flak on the right wing, thought to have been a ground rocket, just after bombs away. Starboard engines began to flame and the aircraft nosed over into a steep dive, apparently in an effort to extinguish the fire. A few seconds later it pulled up in a half roll heading toward the 100th "C" Squadron, then did a split "S" and went down. Only two chutes were seen to come from this aircraft as it fell away in a tight spin. When last seen it was nearly completely engulfed in flames.

A/C # 44-6092 was hit by flak at 1129 hours just before the turn at the Rally Point. As the formation turned left the aircraft continued on course or veered slightly to the right. #3 engine was burning and the aircraft was losing altitude. One chute was seen immediately after the flak hit and all the other followed shortly thereafter. The aircraft continued flying apparently under AFCE, in a ever descending curve until it struck the earth and appeared to explode. Chutes were seen to be drifting toward Berlin.

Feb 4, 1945

Briefed for Munich but mission scrubbed before take-off.

Feb 5, 1945

Stood Down

Feb 6, 1945

Briefed targets: Lutzkendorf, Magdeburg, and Bohlen: Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF's departed this station at 0700-0730 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing's "C" group which was the last (14th) group in the Division. All but four aircraft attacked the bombed and there were no loses.

The Lead Bombardier: "The primary was completely undercast so we used the Rally Point of the primary as a I. P. for the secondary. Here, however, Mickey could not pick up the secondary target and a run was made on a target of opportunity at Zwichen. The high squadron dropped on the lead squadron since their Mickey was completely out and the undercast was 10/10.

The logs of the PFF operators is as follows:

100th "A"; (Storm Rhode) - Weak returns on the bomb run, fair returns to and from target. Unable to identify last resort target on scope. Picked up target of opportunity (Zwickau) at 25 miles making a bomb run on this.

100th "B": (John Gately) - Bombed on smoke bombs of 100th "A". Returns too weak during entire mission to be used.

100th "C": (J. R. Jenista) - H2X returns poor on route in and out but fair on bomb run. Target identified at 24 miles.

Feb 7, 8, 1945

Stood Down

Feb 9, 1945

Briefed target: Bohlen. . . Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF departed T. A. at 0820-0847 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th "B" Group which was the 3rd Division's fourth group. All but three aircraft bombed and there were no losses.

Lead Bombardier: "The secondary target was attacked under orders received from the Division Leader. 100th "A" was north of course prior to the IP and had to ease to the right to make the briefed IP good. Even so the IP was overshot by two miles. Cloud cover was 9/10 and an H2X run was used. Bombardier and Mickey worked in close harmony and all checks were made good. At the six mile check the target became visible and the bombardier was able to take over, making the visual corrections before bombs away. Rate was killed through breaks in the clouds and we had 15 seconds to kill the rate and course refining through corrections. No flak or enemy fighters were encountered on the run. Target was bombed in squadron formation with a 30 seconds interval between squadrons. There was no traffic interference at all, sighting was made for both rate and course. Eleven aircraft bombed this target with unobserved results. Altitude was 25,000 feet.

Feb 10, 1945

Briefed for Misburg but mission scrubbed - Base inspection by Wing highly successful - The legendary Capt. H. H. Krinke, the 100th's "Everything Officer," was appointed V. D. Control Officer. The list of his other titles and duties is too long for this document.

Feb 11, 1945

Briefed for the marshaling yards at Hanover - scrubbed again.

Feb 12, 13, 1945

Standing down - explosions reported near the base - no explanation.

Feb 14, 1945

Briefed target: Chemnitz. . . Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF departed T. A. at 0830-0900 hours. The 100th flew as 13th Wing "B" Group which was the second group in the 3rd Division formation. All but four aircraft attacked and there were no loses. The operational Narrative indicates - CP #1 (Control Point # 1) was made good at 10, 000 feet, one and one half minutes early. Briefed course was flown up CP #3 at which time thick cirrus clouds were encountered and visual contact was lost with the 13th "A". A frozen pitot tube in the 100th "A" leader cause the airspeed indicator to fluctuate. Visual contact with the 13th "A" was regained at 1000 hours and the 100th remained in trail on course. The decision was made for the 100th "B" to assume lead of 13th "B" and that squadron dropped down from 23, 000 feet with the 100th "A" echeloned to their right. The IP was made good and the H2X run was made to the secondary target. On the bomb run, 100th "C" was forced to abandon their run by the 390th "A" and "C" groups and elected to bomb the last resort target, rather than be a lone squadron, a decision was made to join the 13th "A". The target of opportunity was attacked at 50:02 N & 12:20 E and they then joined the 390th "A" & "C" near the Rally Point at 49:55 N & 12:10 E. Poor range made the H2X set unavailable as a navigational aid and as GEE was also out DR was had to be used until a definite pinpoint was found near Wurzburg. A right turn was made and they converged with the briefed route in the Frankfurt - Koblenz flak corridor. 100 "B" took over Division Lead at the briefed RP and 390th "B" formed with them and followed the briefed course back, departing the continental coast at 1611 hours at 5125 N & 0325 E at 8, 000 feet. The English coast was crossed at 1652 hours.

Digest of crew comments: Eliminate traffic control briefing for pilots as it serves not useful purpose. . Missed critique on jet A/C because of a clean-up detail. . Poor VHF discipline. . Waist gunners should have four extra feet of oxygen hose and interphone cord on heated flying suits. . this would facilitate position changes when required.

Feb 15, 1945

Target: Bohlen. Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF departed T. A. at 0725-0750 hours. The 100th led the 13th Wing which was the fourth wing in the 3rd Division. All aircraft attacked the target and there were no loses.

The Operation Narrative follows:

The briefed course was closely followed across the Channel. The group arrived at control point #2 about one half minute late and slightly north of the briefed departure point on the coast. The route over the continent was essentially as briefed, deviating at times to echelon on the groups ahead. The IP was overshot approximately 16 miles to the east, caused mainly by preceding groups overshooting the IP, thus making it necessary for the 13th "A" to swing a little farther to the east in order to avoid interfering with the squadrons ahead on the bomb run. The Low Squadron did not have good H2X returns so had to fly with the "A" Squadron on the bomb run. The Radar Navigator in the High had picked up Ruhland instead of Cottbus and proceeded to make a run on it. After being notified by the navigator that he was on the wrong target, the Mickey Operator picked up the Secondary and made a run on that after correcting to the right behind the "A" and "C" Squadrons. The 100th was quickly reformed after bombs away and made a right turn in an effort to close up the interval with the proceeding groups.

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.

The Lead Bombardier reported:

"Primary target was completely overcast so the secondary was attacked. The bomb run was about 50 miles long and strong headwinds were encountered. The run was completely H2X all the way and the Mickey Operator gave the bombardier a check at 11 miles and additional checks every mile until the four mile point was reached. All checks came out good - no traffic interference was encountered on the run. Altitude was 23, 300 feet.

Feb 16, 1945

Stood down

Feb 17, 1944

Target: Frankfurt. Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF departed T. A. at 0840-0920. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing "C" group which was the ninth group in the 3rd Division forces. All but one PFF aircraft attacked and there were no loses.

The route to the continent was flown essentially as briefed until approximately 6 degrees east, where the flight plan was changed via radio channels from the 3rd Air Division. A triangular course was flown at this time in order to gain sufficient altitude to attack the target at Frankfurt. Kodak (code name for weather service) reported 10/10 cloud cover in the target area and preparations were made to make PFF approaches by squadron. "C" Squadron radar was temporally out, so they followed "A" on the bomb run. The IP was made ten miles to the north due to formation difficulties. On the bomb approach, "A" leader aborted and the formation lost 5,000 feet during the abort maneuver; as result the two squadrons did not release their bombs on the target. Meanwhile. "B" Squadron made an H2X run. "C" Leader then took over the lead of "A" and "B" Squadrons and decided to attack the last resort target at Giessen. The 5,000 feet of altitude was regained prior to the IP at 5040 N & 0913 E. By this time the radar set in "C" was working properly and the bombardier turned the formation sharply to the right and synchronized on what he thought was the last resort target. Actually it was the town of Staufenberg. The route back to the base was uneventful. "B" Squadron joined the Division Column independently and returned uneventfully.

Lead Bombardier, 100th "C"; 40 miles from the enemy lines Plan A was abandoned for Plan B. As flight plan for this plan had not been drawn up, no IP for last resort target, etc, was available. 100th "C" had trouble with Mickey and advised "A" they could not bomb H2X and agreed to bomb with "A". The IP was made good and the 100th "C" swung in with "A" for the run. "A" did not drop and closed their bomb bay doors with "C" doing likewise. At this point "A" Lead aborted and the whole squadron dropped to 17, 000 feet and broke up. The "C" Navigator picked himself up and it was decided to go on to the town of Alsfeld for an IP for Giessen. The Bombardier realized the run would be crosswind but it was necessary to gain altitude and to get the lead which was badly scattered into position behind 100th "C". The 100th "C" made Alsfeld good and turned into the bomb run at 22, 000 feet. The Mickey was giving a faint but fairly accurate return on the scope. The Bombardier picked up the autoban leading to Giessen and it looked as though a good run was possible. High clouds were encountered and it was impossible to see the ground. 100th "C" went on straight Mickey about three miles before we got out of high clouds where the Bombardier saw that the course and drift were not killed. the only course of action was to make a sharp correction to the right to and approximate 270 degree heading, roll out, make one correction and drop the bombs. 100th "A" dropped with "C" in group formation.

Feb 18, 1945

No air operations - Tea Dance at the Officer's Club. .

Feb 19, 1945

Target: Osnabruck. Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF departed T. A. at 1000 - 1030 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing's "B" Group, which was the third in the Division formation. All aircraft except one (42-32090 returned with engine failure soon after take-off) and there were no loses.

The Group made Control Point #1 on time and course, but trailed Able by a considerable interval. A proper interval between Able and Baker was attained on route to the Channel. Control Point #2 was made good and on time. The route into the IP was flown essentially as briefed. Prior to the IP, "B" and "C" Squadrons reported poor beacon reception, which was unsuitable for bombing. "A" Squadron committed itself to a G/M run. "C" Squadron elected to bomb off "A", and made the bomb approach echeloned in formation to the right of "C". On the G/M run the course beacon faded completely out, causing the Radar Navigator to switch to H2X in time to continue a sighting on the scope return, which he believed to be Osnabruck. The Radar Navigator made corrections to the right. When bombs were away, GEE and Mickey fixes from "B" Squadron the release was on Munster. The H2X equipment in "B" Squadron lead was operative on the bomb run; the position of "B" in relation to "A" made it impossible for "B" to turn toward the correct target After bomb release the formation made sharp right turn followed by a gradual left turn, passing over the flak defenses south of Osnabruck before reaching the long west leg out of th continent. The remainder of the route to the base was uneventful. "B" Squadron made an independent H2X sighting on the Tertiary target and later joined the "A" Group on the return.

The Lead Bombardier "A": The Mickey Operator could not hold the course beacon on cat and mouse bombing. The set finally failed completely, so we elected to make a H2X run on Munster. The Bombardier was clutched in at 11 miles, and was given a check every mile until seven, where the interphone was shot out. Towards the end of the run there as a hole in the clouds showing a build up area. The Bombardier looked to the right into the sight and the rate appeared to be good on this area. Bombs were away at 13:48:30 hours. The weather was 10/10 all the way in with small breaks the last few seconds of the run. Enemy flak was accurate, the target was picked up and bombed by H2X. "B" Squadron dropped on "A". There was no traffic interference on the run. The bombardier thought the bombs hit a built-up area and possible a railroad. The Mickey Operator (Storm Rhode) was wounded, but made the run. He performed his duties after being wounded, and also crawled to the nose and gave a navigational fix, went back and continued to work until the Bombardier discovered he was wounded. (note: Storm Rhode died in August 1994 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery . . . pw)

Feb 20, 1945

Target: Nurnberg. Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF departed T. A. at 0855-0925 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing's "B" Group, which was the eleventh group in the 3rd Division Line. A/C 42-337521 returned early due to the loss of No #2 engine. A/C 44-48613 returned early due to the loss of No #1 engine. A/C 43-46297 returned early due to losing the formation and PFF aircraft 44-9400 did not attack due to flak hits. There were no losses.

At mid channel the group was in excellent Wing order at the briefed altitude of 7, 000 feet and on course. Here layers of stratus clouds were encountered and a climb was established to get above the weather. The Continental Coast (CP #2) was crossed at 1103 and one half, four and one half minutes early and four miles to the south of briefed course. The Group remained as much as possible in Wing order throughout the climb. The briefed course was paralleled six miles south to CP#3. Here the Group was at 22, 000 feet and at 1231 was 12 minutes early and five miles south of course. On the run to the IP it seemed the Wing Leader was making a run on Ulm, the tertiary target, but he was not and the turn was made to the IP approximately nine miles later. The IP was made good and a H2X run was made on the secondary target in group formation.

Lead Bombardier, "A": The IP was made good just one mile east of the briefed one. Clouds were 10/10 at the target and most of the way along the route. The Mickey Operator took over the ship at the IP and made an H2X run on the secondary target. The MO gave the bombardier checks at 70, 68, 65, 62, 58 and 55 degrees. A small correction was necessary after the first few checks but the remainder came out well. Rate was good - Bombardier gave no visual assistance. Bombs were away at 1314 and one half hours in group formation. Results were not observed - flak was only enemy resistance and not traffic interference was encountered on the run.

Feb 21, 1945

Target: Nurnburg. Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF departed T. A. at 0710-0740 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing's "A" Group which was the seventh group in the Division Line. All aircraft attacked the target and there were no loses.

The briefed route was followed across the Channel. crossing the Continental Coast at Control Point #2 at 0912 hours, 2 minutes early. CP #3 reached at 1010 hours, five minutes late, at an altitude of 23, 700 feet. At the next turning point the Group overshot two miles to 5022N & 0919E and paralleled the course eight miles to the left until five minutes from the IP. At this point the navigators in the Group noticed proceeding groups in the column were right of course and the decision was made to follow the bomber stream. The IP was overshot two miles and individual H2X runs were made by the squadrons on the secondary target. The Group did not drop to 24,000 feet on the run to stay above the D/P contrails in the target area. All squadrons quickly reassembled in good Group formation at the Rally Point and the decent to 22,000 feet was started.

The Lead Bombardier, 100th "A": 10/10 undercast over the entire target area. Mickey Operator turned on IP and made a H2X run from that point. The secondary target was attacked and Bombardier was clutched in at 11 miles with 6 checks being made in between, all made good. Initial and final checks came out good, while those in the middle (8 and 7 mile) were off at the most - one (1) degree. Bombs were away at 1125 hours concluding a successful run. Results were not observed - flak was moderate but accurate. There were no traffic interference on the run. The Mickey Operator picked up the target 30 miles away and sighted for both range and deflection. Altitude was 24,000 feet.

Feb 22, 1945

Weather improved and heralded the start of the attacks on the German rail and road communications. Optimum bombing altitude was said to have been 10,000 feet. This was the start of "Operation Clarion. "

The General Narrative as follows:

Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF aircraft departed T. A. at 0721-0730 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing "C" Group.

Control Point #1 was left on time and the briefed route was followed to GP #2. In as much as Baker's interval with Able was poor, the 100th stayed abreast of Baker to the left throughout the run to CP #3. The Group was south of course six to eight miles on this course. At CP #3, the Group crossed the front lines at 21, 500 feet and started a letdown to the bombing altitude of 12,000 feet. At this time Kodak (8th AF Weather Service) reported that both the primary and secondary targets would be completely covered. The Group was separated from the rest of the Wing, which flew on into a cloud bank ahead. A H2X run was started on Heilbronn. "B" Squadron was lost in the clouds at this point. This run was abandoned as the rate checks were not good. An 80 degree turn was made to attack the primary target. The IP was made good and a visual run was started. However, a few miles before bombs away the target was covered and this run was also abandoned. The Rally Point was made good and a run was started on the secondary target. The Bombardier was not able to synchronize properly and this run was also abandoned. The briefed course was followed to 4800N & 0840E. Using this point as an IP, a run was made on Pfohran. The IP was made good and the briefed route was maintained back to the base.

Immediate interpretation of hot print photographs show 100th "A" bombs burst near the small town of Pfohran, two and one half miles east of Donaueschingen. 100th "B" bombed target of opportunity visually but the photographs were cloud obscured. 100th "C" photos show a few bomb bursts on a railroad track one and one half miles west of Wehinger, but the majority are in open fields.

Feb 23, 1945

Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF aircraft departed T. A. at 0650-0720 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing lead Group. The 13th Wing led the 3rd Air Division. All but one aircraft attacked and there were no losses. The target was Treuchlingen.

The General Narrative is mostly unreadable from the Maxwell AFB Micro-film library. The Lead Bombardier for this mission was Capt. Don Ventriss, who at the time was the Group Bombardier. Ventriss scored direct hits on the MPI, a railroad junction, and received a commendation from Wing Hdqts.

Feb 24, 1945

Thirty-seven aircraft including three PFF aircraft departed T. A. at 0740-0810 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing "B" Group, which was the tenth group in the 3rd Air Division Force. All but two aircraft (43-37994 returned early due to failure of No #4 engine - bombs returned and 42--97071 returning early due to failure of No #2 engine - bombs were returned) and there were no losses.

General Narrative as follows:

The route into the IP was flown as briefed. At the IP, there was no flare fired by Baker Leader. "C" Squadron construed this to mean that the bomb run was to be in Group formation and had difficult time pulling our from under the high on the run into the target. There was also considerable interference by another Squadron on a collision course with "A". After the target, "B" became separated from the Group and eventually joined Able on the route back to base. "A" and "C" came back intact without difficulty.

Lead Bombardier, 100th "A": The primary target at Bremen was attacked, Visibility conditions at target was 4 to 6 tenth cloud cover. Flak was light and inaccurate. The IP was made good and the target was picked up at 8 miles. Briefed MPI was sighted at 6 miles visually. Mickey was used early in the run for deflection but as the run progressed the bombardier could sight the MPI visually. He had about four minutes to synchronize. There was traffic interference on the run. Another squadron was on a collision course with 100th "A" and this caused them to dive slightly and drop their bombs 4 seconds early. Altitude was 25, 500 feet.

Feb 25, 1945

The target was Munich. . Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF aircraft departed T. A. at 0720-0800 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing "A" Group which was the eighth group in the 3rd Air Division Force. Four aircraft failed to bomb the Primary; A/C #42-97126 returned early due to runaway prop - bombs jettisoned, A/C #42-32090 did not attack due to the bombs being dropped between the IP and before the target - cause unknown, A/C #43-37636 returned early due to #2 engine oil leak - attacked a Target of Opportunity (TO) at Burladingen, A/C #44-46817 returned early due to engine failure, thus losing the formation - attacked TO at Burladingen. There were no losses.

13th "A" reached Control Point #2 at 0920 hours, 6 minutes early, at 6,000 feet. CP #3 was made good at 1040 hours, still 6 minutes early at 20, 500 feet. From CP #3 the Group veered to the right and was twelve miles south of the briefed turning point. The Group returned to the briefed route at 48° 30" N & 09° 25" E and made the track to the IP as briefed. The Squadrons peeled off and passed over the IP in Squadron formation to the Primary Target.

The Lead Bombardier, 100th "A" reports; The visibility at the target was good except in the target area itself, where the MPI was obscured by ground haze and smoke from previous bombs. Flak was moderate an tracking - Bombardier picked up the target area but could not identify the MPI. Because of the know Prisoner of War camp nearby and on course, the Bombardier elected to aim left and hit the eastern section of the marshaling yard. The squadron formation at the time of bombs away was good. There was no traffic interference on the run. Bombardier sighted for both course and rate - Mickey Operator checked rate and came out well. Results not observed and the altitude was 24, 300.

100th "A" Photos show hits 2, 000 yards NNW of the secondary MPI, and aiming point to the left of the primary MPI was selected. Bombing was visual. (The report summary failed to mention the reason the bombs were left of the MPI - Bombardier wished to avoid the nearby POW camp. . . pw)

100th "B" Photos show bombs hit 2500 yard due West of the secondary MPI. Bombing was visual with PFF assist. Radar Navigator set up course at IP on Primary but due to smoke obscuring the target, was forced to select an aiming point to the left of the primary MPI. On the approach the RN (Radar Navigator) made two correction after which the run was conducted by the Bombardier.

Feb 26, 1945

418 B-17's from the 3rd Air Division attacked the Alexanderplatz station in Berlin. More than 1200 tons of bombs were dropped in the attack. The 100th was led by Colonel Harry F. Cruver, flying with the Charles Blanding crew.

LT. COL HARRY F. CRUVER

Com P

SGT PETER GLANZ

ROG

1ST LT CHARLES B. BLANDING

P

SGT ROBIN J. WHYBROW

TTE

2ND LT JOHN A. CLARK

CP

SGT WADE DOARES

BTG

2ND LT DAVID L. BITTMAN

NAV

SGT IRVIN J. DELANEY

WG

2ND LT ALVIN H. BELIMOW

BOM

SGT REX D. THOMAS

TG

The target was Berlin.

General Narrative as follows: Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF aircraft departed T. A. at 0830-0900 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing "C" Group which was the sixth group in the 3rd Air Division Line. All but two (2) aircraft attacked the target, A/C #43-37815 did not attack due to malfunction of bombing equipment; A/C #44-8613 returned early due to #3 engine failure. There were no losses in the "A", "B", and "C" 100th Groups or the Composite which flew as the high and low flights in the 95th "B" Squadron. one of these aircraft. A/C #44-6608 returned early with a Turbo failure.

The Group trailed considerably behind the 13th Wing "B" on the way in, however at Dummer's Lake the interval was closed up when the Wing Leader turned wide at the turning point at 08° 15" E to allow the groups to catch up. On the leg into the IP, the Group continued to gain on the 13th Wing "B" and at the IP was at a close interval. The turn on the target was made slightly inside of 13 "B". The Group was intact at the Rally Point. High velocity headwinds were encountered north of Berlin. The Group joined the bomber stream, which was extremely compact and began a letdown at 08° E.

The intelligence summary as follows:

Group attacked by Squadrons.

"A" Squadron attacked secondary - H2X - RN (Radar Navigator) believes bombs hit in target area. 

"B" Squadron attacked secondary - H2X - RN believes bombs hit short and to the left of MPI, but well within the city. 

"C" Squadron attacked secondary - H3X - RN believes bombs hit over MPI, but within the city.

Feb 27, 1945

Stood down - no air operations.

Feb 28, 1945

Most of the base personnel receive inoculation and it was a Pay Day, mention is made of the "Infamous Maghotus Still" constructed and operated, some say, by Capt. Scharding and the 100th "Mr. Everything Officer" Lt. Harold Kinke. Tests were made with rather alarming results and it was decided to reduce the strength of the product by 50% before allowing further consumption. Possible the air operations of the day may have been overshadowed by "other high octane" ground operations, never the less the 100th flew to Kassel and the Alivin Mieklejohn crew completed their tour with this mission.

General Narrative:

Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF aircraft departed T. A. at 1035-100 hours. The 100th flew as the 13th Wing " A" which was the ninth group in the 3rd Air Division column. There were no losses and all but one aircraft attacked the target; A/C #43-7994 returned early due to No #4 engine failure, leaving the formation at 1348 hours. This aircraft attacked a Target of Opportunity at 50° 10" N & 07° 43" E.

Control Point #2 was reached on time, on course at 17,000 feet. The briefed route was closely followed to CP #3. At this point the 13th "A" was on time and course at 20,000 feet. Bombing altitude was reached at 50° 08" N and 07° 43" E and the route to the IP was as briefed. Individual H2X runs were made on the secondary target. The reassembly was quickly accomplished at the Rally Point, and the briefed route was flown to the Continental Coast - crossed at Ostend at 8,000 feet at 1638½ hours.

Lead Bombardier 100th "A": The Mickey Operator made the IP good and brought the Squadron in on course for the bomb tun. After a few corrections for drift, the Bombardier was checked in at 70° and gave 68°, 65°, 62°, 58°, and 53° checks. All checks were good except the 58° which was slightly off course because of propwash. Very little correction was made on this check and bombs were away at 1423 hours through 10/10 undercast. Bombing was done by Squadrons in A-B-C order. Flak was moderate and inaccurate.

Intelligence Narrative: Group attacked by Squadrons. "A" attacked secondary- marshaling yards at Kassel. H2X -- Radar Navigator reports bombs hit a little to right of MPI - near center of city.

"B" Squadron attacked secondary - marshaling yards at Kassel. RN reports bombs should have hit near MPI. with pattern extending east.

"C" Squadron attacked secondary marshaling yards at Kassel by H2X. RN reports bomb should have hit about a 1,000 yards over and 500 yards to the left of the MPI. Black smoke boiling from the target area caused by bomb hits from previous groups. .

Mar 1, 1945

Group received word from higher headquarters that "Rosie" (Major Robert Rosenthal) was safe in Moscow. This information spread like wildfire throughout the station and the Old Man said, "Rosie has flown his last mission, and this time I mean it. " (This refers to the fact Rosie had talked his way out of going home after he crash landed on the Continent earlier. He had flown two tours (52) and started on a third when shot down over Berlin on the 3rd of Feb, 1945. . . pw)

Mar 2, 1954

The target was Ruhland but on twenty-four aircraft bombed the primary with the remainder attacking Dresden.

General Narrative: Thirty-eight aircraft including three PFF aircraft departed T. A. The group made a normal take-off and assembly over Buncher 2E at 8,000 feet. 13th Wing's "B" Group echeloned to the right - were in excellent formation until mid-channel, upon the Navigator;s insistence the Group crossed over and echeloned upwind to the left. Route to CP #3 was 4 - miles south of course and was subject to the flak defenses at Zwolle. Considerable easing was encountered from this point to the IP. This pint was short 3 miles to the northeast and an H2X run in group formation was made on the secondary.

Mar 3, 1945

The 100th's Colonel John Wallace, flying with the Gerald Brown crew, led the 3rd Air Division to Brunswick, Germany. On this mission there were six 100th planes, lead by Lt. Jack Thrasher, assigned to carry chafe in hopes of rendering German radar less effective. A/C #44--8220 flow by Lt. Thrasher was the only aircraft the 100th lost on the mission. They were attacked by a lone ME-262, starting an uncontrollable fire in one wing. The crew was as follows:

44--8220

     
2ND LT JACK W. THRASHER 
(KIA)

P

T/SGT ALBERT L. EGSIEKER
(POW)

ROG

2ND CHARLES S. BAYHA 
(POW)

CP

T/SGT THOMAS C . BROWNING 
(POW)

TTE

2ND LT GERALS A. RIMMEL 
(POW)

NAV

S/SGT ALFRED S. COLLINS 
(NOC)

BTG

2NDLT HARRY F. BOTT 
(POW)

BOM

S/SGT RAY U. MUFFLEY 
(POW)

WG

1ST LT WILLIS R. MC GUIRE 
(KIA)

Radar N

SGT CECIL A. BAKER
(KIA)

TG

EYEWITNESS: "A/C 44-8220 was attacked by one of six jet E/A which made a pass at the formation at 1018 hours over the target just before bombs away. The #1 engine was hit and burst into flames. Bomb bay doors were closed and the aircraft slid away to the left.

The left wing crumpled and the aircraft flipped over on it's back and exploded. The fuselage broke at the waist door and both wings fell away. One chute was seen to leave the aircraft before it exploded. Later four (4) others were counted. Pilot was seen in cockpit 30 seconds prior to the explosion. "

The Tactical Reports reads: The target was Braunsehweig (Brunswick), Germany. (Bussing-Naationale Automobil Geselischaft (N. A,G. )

13th A Group - 100th A, B, & C

Navigation: Three Squadrons made a normal take-off and climb to assembly altitude of 8,000 feet. A B-24 formation caused the 13 A to cut short at Buncher #11. This caused the Group to depart the Buncher approximately 4 minutes early. The Lead Navigator was able to lose time on the Wing assembly route and make CP #1 on time.

The route across the North Sea was essentially as briefed to the Continental Coast, which was crossed at 25, 000 feet. The flak corridor was made good, although it seemed there would be difficulties with the B-24 formation at the same altitude at this point. Because of change in wind direction the Group had drifted south of course approximately ten miles. Using the derived winds the Navigator attempted to correct back to the briefed course but found he was just paralleling. With aid from the Radar Navigator he was able to make good the IP and a derived wind for the bomb run. An interesting phase of this flight was the wind changes, especially the velocities. The winds at the coast were from 350° at 75 knots and increased progressively to 360° at 101 knots along the track to the IP. It is now apparent that the Navigator's use of his latest derived winds would only parallel the course because his correction did not counteract the progressing increase in velocity along the track.

At the IP, interference with the B-24's was experienced and hampered the Squadron peel off, which necessitated the 100th "B" to swing out from the IP and then back on course to the target. In this maneuver the 100th "C" got ahead of "B" and bombed second. Twelve of the 100th aircraft bombed the Primary Target.

Mar 3, 1945

Vernon Sheedy reports: "Red Alert tonight at 0930 hours. First one in a long time. . . Red Alert at 0100 hours - a German plane dropped bombs near Eye and strafed Botesdale. "

Mar 4, 1945

The Tactical Report from the 13th WG Hdqts :

Target was Braumanhein, but weather in the area the attack was made on the railroad marshaling yards north and south of Ulm, Germany. All but one 100th Aircraft attacked the target and there were no losses.

Navigation: The 13 "A" took off and made a single ship penetration of the continent, assembling at 20,000 feet over Buncher Y-21. On the penetration, several B-24's crossed in front of the lead ship and fired several rounds in the vicinity, causing no damage other than alarming the leaders. The assembly went well after a late start.

CP #1 was made good 3 minutes early. At this point visual contact was lost with the Division Leader. Later radio contact was established and 4th "A" (A group of the 4th Combat Wing) was behind 13th "A" at 19,000 feet. 13th "A" climbed to 23, 000 feet and broke out on top. Kodak Red (8th AF weather Service) reported the Primary 10/10 overcast and the decision to attack the Secondary using PFF was made. The Rally Point for the Primary was used as the IP for the Secondary and individual H2X runs were made on the Secondary.

This mission completed the tour of five members of the Donald A. Jones crew; Donald A. Jones, pilot; Grant A. Fuller, co-pilot; Arthur H. Juhlin, navigator; Alfred F. Marcello, engineer; Sam L. Foushee, waist gunner. This crew was a lead crew almost from the start of their combat tour.

Mar 5, 6, 1945

Millard Browning of the 1776 Ordnance Company won a 48 hour pass to Paris, France and the Group stood down both days. . There was a Red Alert on the 6th in the A. M. The Group received a commendation from the Air Inspector on the Station Salvage Dept.

Mar 7, 1945

The assigned target was Dattelin, but weather conditions forced the Group to bomb the Secondary, marshaling yards at Siegen. All but two aircraft attacked, one received sortie credit, and there were no losses.

Tactical Report from HQ 13 CBW

Target: Siegen, Germany -- Secondary

13 Group - 100th A, B, C

Navigation: Since the lead aircraft had faulty H2X equipment, the High Squadron assumed the lead at mid-channel and maintained the lead the remainder of the mission. After CP #2, which was crossed on course, the route was flown approximately as briefed to the IP. Previously a decision had been made to bomb the Secondary because Micro-H reception was very poor. Faulty planning of the route forced 13C to go from the IP over the Primary target and through an extensive flak area in order to reach the proposed IP for the Secondary.

Bombing 100th "A" Squadron: Unable to bomb the Primary because of no beacon reception. Secondary attacked. The maneuver at the IP made by the 100th "B" and "A" in formation. The RN took over and proceeded to set up course. The target was picked up on the Radar scope at 25 miles. The Bombardier was clutched in at 10 miles and all subsequent rate checks of 7, 6, and 5 miles were very good. Bombs were released on a true heading of 100°. C-1 auto-pilot was used on the bomb run. This narrative also applies to the 100th "B".

Mar 8, 1945

Tactical Report from HQ 13 CBW

Target: Langendreer and Giessen, Germany -- Primary Landendreer - Secondary Giessen. Thirty-five plus three PFF aircraft were dispatched and all attacked. There were no losses. 

13 Group - 100th A, B, C Squadrons

Navigation: On the Channel crossing the 13B Group began climbing too early and was compelled to "S" turn slightly in to order not to overrun the 13A Group. At CP #2, reached 2 minutes early, the Groups were had attained the proper interval. 13A vectored to the south, and continued inside of the Pre-IP and IP. The beacon course was intercepted about 15 miles south of the IP. 100 th "A" and "C" had strong beacon reception while "B" had none at all. The low element of the Lead Squadron lagged about 400 yards behind on the bomb run and interfaced with 100th "C". This caused the 100th "C" to pull away from the target and hold it's bombs. They went on to attack Giessen, while "A" and "B" delayed in the Giessen area waiting for "C" to complete the sighting. On the withdrawal the lead was assumed by 100th "B" and after skirting the flak defenses at Weisbaden, the remainder of the route was uneventful.

Mar 9, 1945

Tactical Report from HQ 13 CBW

Target: 100th "A" & "C"; Secondary - Railway marshaling yard west of Frankfurt, Germany

100th "B": Primary - Sheet Rolling Mills, one half mile north of Herrernheim, a Frankfurt suburb. All but one of the 100th's aircraft attacked and there were no losses. 

13 Group - 100th A, B, C Squadrons

Navigation: Three squadrons made a normal take-off and assembled into formation over Buncher 26 at 6,000 feet. 13 "A" made contact with 13 "B" and were in good formation at Felixstone. To avoid interference with 13 "C", the 100th "C" was forced to "S turn" on the Wing assembly line. This cause the 100th "C" to fall behind the 100th's other two squadrons. To enable the 100th "C" to get back in formation the 13th Wing Leader leveled off in mid-channel allowing them to pull back in formation. Continental Coast was crossed 4 miles south of CP #2. 13 "B" was 6 - 8 miles south of course while following the bomber stream to 52° 36" N and 08° 05" E. The flak corridor was made good. Prior to the IP the 13 "B" Leader echeloned to the right in order to enable the Wing Leader to make the turn over the Pre-IP which was overshot by 6 miles. Being echeloned to the right and too close an interval, 13 "B" had to turn short at the IP and remained on the inside of the turn on the bomb run. There was considerable traffic interference between 13 "A" and 13 "B" on the bomb run.

Mar 10, 1945

Tactical Report from HQ 13 CBW

Target: Dortmund, Germany -- Primary . . Thirty-five plus four PFF aircraft were dispatched and all attacked. There were no losses. 

13 Group - 100th A, B, C Squadrons

Navigation: 13 "A" was four miles left of course over the North Sea. CP #2 was crossed at 1148 hours, on course at 24,000 feet. In the Zuider Zee area, the last group of the 45th Wing began to lag behind the Wing Leader and vector to the left of course. At 0730 hours 13 "A" vectored to the right when the group ahead made no attempt to correct into the IP. 13 "A" turned approximately 3 miles northeast of the Pre-Ip and at 3 miles east of the IP the Radar Navigators took over for individual runs.

Mar 11, 1945

The 100th attacked synthetic oil targets in the dock area of Hamburg. Thirty-five 100th aircraft and three PFF were dispatched. All attacked the target and there were no losses.

The group assembled over Buncher 28 at 10,000 feet. The Wing assembly point was made good on time as well as Control Point #1, where proper interval was taken in the Division bomber stream. The enemy coast was crossed at 25,000 feet ten miles north of the briefed point. At the coast the Wing Leader ordered bombing to be in group formation using H2X and that interval was taken. On the bomb run the 13th A (Combat Wing) changed to squadron formation. This resulted in some interference between the 13th B and the low squadron of 13th A. Proper interval was reinstated at the Rally Point and the route home proved uneventful.

Mar 12, 1945

The 100th attacked the port area of Swinemunde, and while the bombing results were not observed, later reports indicated they were good. Thirty-five aircraft and three PFF were dispatched. A/C #841 was forced to return with engine failure (No#2) all others attacked the target and there were no losses.

The group assembled over Buncher 28 at 7,000 feet, encountered difficulties with the 2nd Division forces to the north and the 95th Group to the south. 13th A Leader moved their assembly point farther south upon request by the 13th B Leader. Enroute across the North Sea, 13th B was in very good position and was echelon to the right of 13th A. The I. P. was made 10 miles north of the briefed point. The peel off was initiated and individual H2X runs were made on the secondary target.

Mar 13, 1945

Stood down

Mar 14, 1945

Thirty-five and three PFF aircraft made normal take-off and assembled over Buncher 28 at 6,000 feet. The route across the Channel was as briefed and Control Point #2 was reached one minute early at 15,000 feet. Under orders from the Wing Leader, 13th B leveled off for a considerable length of time enroute to CP #3. Climb was resumed before crossing the front lines and CP #3 was made good one minute early at 20,000 feet. Bombing altitude could not be reached before the IP due to the delay in resuming climb. A turn was made south of the IP and 13B peeled off in individual groups, passing over the IP to the primary target.

One aircraft failed to attack due to bomb rack malfunctions, all others attacked and there were no aircraft losses. S/Sgt Garland S. Miller, the waist gunner of the Edward Aubuchon crew in #43-38852, was killed by flak.

Mar 15, 1945

The 100th attacked the marshaling yards at Oranienburg with the locomotive depots near Wittenburg as the secondary. Thirty-four and 4 PFF aircraft were dispatched. All attacked and there were no losses. Bombing results were reported as poor.

The navigational log states the 13th A of which the 100th was a part off, was four to six miles north of briefed course while crossing the North Sea, but reached Control Point #2 on course and one minute early. The briefed route was closely followed to CP #3, which was reached two minutes early at 19,000 feet. The turning point at the Pre - IP was overshot slightly to the east in order to echelon to the left and pick up a good interval for the visual run on the primary target. The IP was made good and individual visual runs were started on the primary target. 100th A attacked the LRT (last resort target).

The greater part of the 100th planes attacked the marshaling yards at Wittenburg.

This was the last mission for the Sidney Johnson crew:

351st Squadron. 
Crew joined the 100th on 28 Oct, 1944
  T/SGT CHARLES M. BECK, JR. 
(CPT)

ROG

2ND LT SIDNEY C. JOHNSON 
(CPT)

P

T/SGT HARRY E. MENTER 
(CPT)

TTE

2ND LT WILLIARN J. DUGGAN 
(CPT)

CP

S/SGT WILLIAM G. WEEKS 
(CPT)

BTG

1ST LT CHESTER ROMANOWSKI 
(Became a Lead NAV) (CPT)

NAV

S/SGT EDWIM R. HODGSON 
(CPT)

WG

F/O HARRY M. THOMPSON 
(CPT)

BOM

S/SGT FRANCIS W. MANSER 
(CPT)

TG

This crew flew 35 missions. For most of the tour the Navigator was M/Sgt Gordon Sinclair, only a few NCO'S served as Navigators. Gordon Sinclair was removed from Navigator's school one day short of graduation for some unknown infraction, probably the Training Command acted a bit over zealous in view of the need for trained Navigators. The 351st Sqdn. Commander (Harry Cruver, a man known to have had some disagreement with training command personnel during his cadet days) corrected this bit of over zealousness by immediately promoting Sinclair to M/Sgt and making him the Navigator for the Sidney Johnson crew, where he completed a tour. This from Charles M. Beck, of the Sidney Johnson crew. . pw

Mar 16, 1945

The 100th was briefed for the oil refinery at Ruhland only to have the mission scrubbed before take-off. Weather, according to higher headquarters cause the scrub.

Mar 17, 1945

The 100th dispatched 35 and 3 PFF aircraft for the oil refinery at Ruhland but cloud cover forced them to attack a textile, spinning mill, target southwest of Plauen, Germany. All aircraft attacked and there were no losses.

Navigation logs indicate 13th C, of with which the 100th was flying, had to "S" turn slightly over the Channel to gain proper interval behind 13th B. Control Point #2 was crossed on course at 0444 hrs and 6 minutes early at 10,500 feet. 13th C was forced to remain south of course over the Continent in order to remain in the bomber stream. At 06°00"E, where a high cirrus cloud layer was encountered, temporally caused 13th C to lose visual contact with 13th B. Contact was reestablished at 50° 07"N & 07° 00"E where the group broke through the undercast at 23,500 feet. Several course corrections were necessary in order to echelon off 13th B.

The IP was overshot approximately 8 miles of the NE. After turning, the Radar Navigator notified the Air Leader that due to poor ranging the secondary could not be attacked. The Air Leader issued orders to attack the LRT (last resort target) of Plauen. Bombing was from 26,000 feet and the duration of flight was 9 hours.

Stanton Lawrence and most of his crew completed their tour with this mission. Crew as follows:

350th Sqdn. Joined the 100th on 21 Oct 1944. 
S/Sgt Adolph W. Caruso WG XFR TO 15TH A. F.
  T/SGT ROBERT L. WOLF 
(CPT 17 MAR 45)

ROG

2ND LT STANTON T. LAWRENCE, JR 
(CPT 17 MAR 45)

P

T/SGT JOSEPH BODEN
(CPT 17 MAR 45)

TTE

2ND LT JAY L. POWELL 
(CPT 17 MAR 45)

CP

S/SGT RAYMOND L. WILSON
(CPT 17 MAR 45)

BTG

2ND LT ALFRED L. DENKEWALTER 
(CPT 17 MAR 45)

NAV

S/SGT ALEXANDER NAZEMETZ
(CPT 17 MAR 45)

WG

F/O MARVIN BERG 
(Wounded in Action 24 DEC 44)

BOM

T/SGT RICHARD M. KORPALSKI 
(CPT 17 MAR 45)

TG

This also was the first mission for Lt. James Lantz who flew as co-pilot for Captian Thomas Hughes, who had competed a tour but was flying an extra three missions. Lanz was flying at the end of hostilities.

The German Air Force celebrated St. Patrick's Day by dropping a few bombs close to Thorpe Abbotts.

Mar 18, 1945

The 351st's Colonel Harry F. Cruver, recognized as the best flight leader in the Group, led the 100th on it's final attack on Berlin. The Luftwaffe, employing ME-262 jet fighters for the most part, hotly contested this large attack. It was the heaviest assault by the 8th Air Force of the war, 1329 heavy bomber and the 100th lost four planes.

The Intelligence Narrative indicates enemy aircraft attacks were concentrated on the Low Squadron, with one pass being made at the High Squadron.

The Group flew as 13B in the 13th CBW where six to ten ME-262's and possible two ME-410's concentrated their attack.

It was reported by Colonel Cruver that most attacks came from 5 to 7 o'clock low to level, using contrails and cloud banks as cover. The Intelligence narrative adds that the first attack was made by four ME-262's that came from 5 o'clock, slightly low, and out of contrails. Three were echelon right and other was slightly ahead and below this element. The formation was similar that used by P-51's. The lead or low plane came straight in on the #4 of the low element of the Low Squadron and peeled to the left after closing to point blank range. This A/C #521 was damaged by this attack and fell back. The other three enemy fighters appeared to go for the Low Squadron Lead. One broke away to the left when 75 yard back, one of the other broke to the right and the third came into the formation broke toward ten o'clock and down. The lead B-17 and it left wing A/X were both set on fire by this attack. A few minutes later the same type attack was repeated by three ME-262's from 0630 level. On this attack the enemy aircraft were spaced farther apart and all of them broke down and to the left when about 75 yards from the Low Squadron trail elements. The entire tail section appeared to be shot off our A/C #861 after bombs away. Then two enemy jet fighters made a pass at our High Squadron from 6 o'clock level but broke away when fired on about 800 yards out. About the same time two enemy aircraft that some gunner thought were ME-410's attacked our A/C #521. It was about 2000 yards behind and below the formation, the aircraft went down after this attack.

The attacks began at 1106 hours near 52° 39"N & 10° 28'E and continued until 1130 hours over Falkenberg. There were three attacks on the formation and two on stragglers within a period of twenty-five minutes.

The pilots appeared to the crews to be skilled and aggressive.

The 100th claimed 2 shot down, 2 probable, and 2 damaged.

DATE: 18 March 1945

TARGET: Berlin

The four losses are as follows:

43-37521 "Skyways Chariot" 351st Squadron 
MACR#13143, Microfiche#4787
  S/SGT ARCHIE MATHOSIAN
(POW)

ROG

1ST LT ROLLIS C KING 
(POW)

P

S/SGT RAY E. WILDING
(POW)

TTE

F/O JACK S. WILLIAMS 
(POW)

CP

SGT ROBERT G. MITCHELL
(KIA)

BTG

F/O JOHN W. SPENCER 
(POW)

NAV

SGT MEYER GITLIN
(KIA)

WG

S/SGT FRANCIS S. GORDON
(POW)

NG

SGT JAMES M. BAKER
(KIA)

TG

EYEWITNESS: "A/C 43-37521 was attacked by an ME 262 at 1109 hours,5240N, 1200E and the left stabilizer broke off. A/C was last seen going down into contrails under control with E/A making another attack. "

On 19 Sept. 1945 in Los Angeles, CA. , Rollie King gave the following statement:

"I was the pilot of a B-17 type aircraft in which S/Sgt Robert G. Mitchell was ball-turret gunner, and that on 17 March 1945 we proceeded on a regularly assigned bombardment mission over Berlin.

That on said date,S/Sgt Mitchell was acting as ball turret gunner. After bombs away on the target, we received numerous fighter passes. The first fighter pass knocked out our vertical stabilizer and the tail turret, killing the tail Gunner. On the next fighter pass we received a great deal of damage to the plane and practically all of the controls were knocked out.

I called back and had the radio operator check the crew members, however I did not receive a reply as to their condition. On the third fighter pass we received a burst near the front which knocked out all of our controls and put the plane into a violent spin. I ascertained that I was going to be unable to get the plane out of the said spin due to the lack of control and I told everybody to bail out.

S/Sgt Gitlin, he waist gunner, checked the ball turret gunner and he had previously checked in the tail for the tail gunner. I saw Sgt. Gitlin going out by himself and inasmuch as S/Sgt Robert G. Mitchell was a very close friend of his, I do not believe he would have bailed out if he could have in any way helped Sgt Mitchell.

I have never seen Sgt. Gitlin since that time, nor have I heard what happened to him,and I do not know whether or not his chute opened when he bailed out.

I have never heard regarding S/Sgt Mitchell,and I do not know whether or not his chute opened, or whether he bailed out, prior to Sgt Gitlin. As soon as I bailed out the ship exploded. "

Rollie C. King

1st Lt. , Air Corps

Compare above with the following statement made by F/O John W. Spencer at his home in Elizabethtown, KY on 3/11/45:

". . . . Am writing in response to a letter received by me today considering S/Sgt Robert G. Mitchell. The last time I actually saw Sgt. Mitchell was on the ground before take-off 18 Mar. 1945 but he was on the mission. Everything went well until just after we had turned on the I. P. a couple of minutes after we turned we were hit by an ME 262 that got practically all of the left horizon- stabilizer. A second attack was fought off half way down bomb run with no damage done.

Since being hit we were gradually trailing the formation more and more so by the time we were over the target area the rest of the formation was approximately one-half mile away. We salvoed our bombs over the "built up" area at 1125 and at approximately 15 to 30 seconds later there was a terrific burst that seemed to come from the rear of the plane. From where I was in the nose I could see smoke boiling up from under the pilot's seat.

The conditions of the plane then was that the controls had been shot out, as had the Interphone system, & the right wing was on fire. Up until we received this last attack everyone in the ship reported they were all right. As soon as we were hit -since there was no communication - I looked thru the astro-dome into the cockpit & my first pilot nodded for me to bail out. So then I handed my toggalier his chute & then put on my own but still wasn't sure to bail out so looked thru the astro-dome again & seen both pilot & co-pilot preparing to abandon ship. Then looking at the right wing which was burning pretty badly decided it was time to leave. So I bailed out, floated to the ground and was picked up immediately.

The rest of my information was received from talking to the fellow crew members when I ran into them two or three days later. I found out that ourtail gunner, James D. Baker, was hit badly on the last attack - or may even have been killed & never left the ship. Later on his unopened, bloody, chute was shown to the enlisted men of the crew & they recognized the number on it to be his.

As to Mitchell, his fate is not known. The crew member who was to assist him out of the ball turret - in case of emergency -is also missing -waist gunner Meyer Gitlin. Altho the waist gunner is known to have bailed out, he was not seen since. The radio operator, Archie M athosian,says that Gitlin bailed out ahead of him through a hole in the fuselage made by cannon shell from the jet. From that time to my knowledge he has never been seen or heard from.

It is my suspicion that,if his chute did open he may have been killed by the Germans for he was a Jew,had it on his dog tags, and didn't seem to care who knew it. That may or may not have happened. Nonetheless that was the last seen of him. If he were alive today he could probably tell what happened to Mitchell.

According to my talks with the crew no one knows what condition the ball turret was when the last man abandoned ship. The only other man in the rear of the ship was the radio operator and since he says he does not know I know of no way of finding out.

Spencer ends his letter with a list on names of crew and their addresses.

Crew Members of B-17 "Heavenly Days"

351st Sqdn. 100th Bomb Group

43 38861 351st Squadron. 
Crew joined 100th on 5 Oct 44.
  SGT WILLIAM C. DANIELSON, JR. 
(KIA 18 MAR 45)

ROG

2ND LT EDWARD P. GWIN 
(KIA 18 MAR 45)

P

SGT HERBERT HAMANN
(POW 18 MAR 45)

TTE

2ND LT DONALD H. REICHEL 
(POW 18 MAR 45)

CP

SGT Earl S. HAMILTON
(grounded at some point)

BTG

2ND LT ROBERT B. LANDINO 
(POW 18 MAR 45)

NAV

SGT NORMAN D. HEILBUTH
(POW 18 MAR 45)

WG

2ND LT STEWART P. LAIDLAW

BOM

SGT CHARLES T. MAEDEL 
(NOC)

WG

    SGT JOSEPH M. GRIEGO
(POW 18 MAR 45)

TG

Letter from Joe Griego in 1983 states that Lt. Laidlaw was made Group Bombardier after about 10 missions with crew. "On 18/3/45 Sgt Raymond Y. Uhler and Sgt John W. Disher were flying in place of Hamilton & Maedel and both were KIA. Sgt. David Ackerman was aboard as NG and became a POW. R. K. Uhler was from the crew of J. L. Wofford. John Disher was from the crew of H. S. Bucklew. S/Sgt N. D. Heilburth was aboard as a waist gunner and became a POW. "

MACR #13144 A//C#43 38861 was attacked by an ME 262 at 1114 hours, 5247;N & 1145E.

Our A/C had two engines on fire and dived away from the formation. . A/C then nosed up with tail falling off and fell down spinning. One chute was seen. "

Joe Griego was in the severed section of the tail and had a difficult time getting out so that he could open his chute.

See S. O. C. p. 86/87 &103/105

The following are excerpts from statements of Lt. Robert B. Landino taken from MACR No# 13144

As to Lt. Gwin, ". . . from enlisted men who were working near where we were shot down; they claim one man bailed out below the clouds, then they heard shooting, his chute collapsed and he fell to the ground presumably dead. "

As to Sgt Disher, " . . . S/Sgt Heilbuth saw him just before he bailed out. He was crawling out of the radio room with blood all over himself, but he (Heilbuth) did not have time to help him as the aircraft was below the clouds which were not more than 500 feet, so he had to jump. Disher probably never got to the door to jump as the plane must have hit only a few seconds later. "

As to Sgt. Uhler, ". . . I believe he was trapped in the ball turret by enemy shell fire. His body was seen on the ground along side of the plane. "

As to T/Sgt Danielson, ". . . He must have been killed by the fire from the two ME - 262s that shot us down. They sprayed the back part of our plane as it was shot in half just in front of the tail wheel. "

44-8717 418th Squadron. 
Crew joined the 100th on 24 Dec 44
  T/SGT ROBERT A. HAUSAM 
(POW 18 MAR 45)

ROG

CAPT ROGER L. SWAIN
(POW 18 MAR 45)

Com P

T/SGTMORRIS O. KOLLING
(KIA 18 MAR 45)

TTE

1ST LT PAUL E. DE WEERDT
(POW 18 MAR 45)

P

S/SGT NORBERT J. DOUGHERT 
(REPLACED BY RADAR NAV)

BTG

F/O JAMES M. CARDEN
(POW 18 MAR 45)

NAV

S/SGT PETE J. FISCHER
(POW 18 MAR 45)

WG

2ND LT BERNARD F. KOZIK
(POW 18 MAR 45)

BOM

2ND LT BILL E. THOMPSON (CP)
(POW 18 MAR 45)

TG

F/O SUMMER H. WOODROW
(POW 18 MAR 45)

Radar N

   

On the 18 Mar 44 (Berlin) mission Capt Roger L. Swain was flying as Command Pilot and became a POW. F/O Summer H. Woodrow, a Radar Navigator, flew instead of Norbert Dougherty and became a POW. Bill E. Thompson, the regular CP flew in the TG position for this mission. See Thompson Memo for a description of the attack, his bail out and POW experiences. . . . . pw

(BILL THOMPSON BELIEVES MORRIS KOLLING WOULD NOT LEAVE THE AIRCRAFT AND PAUL DeWEERDT WOULD NOT BAIL OUT WITH KOLLING STILL ABOARD AND ONLY SURVIVED BECAUSE HE WAS BLOWN CLEAR OF THE AIRCRAFT WHEN IT EXPLODED SEVERAL MINUTES AFTER THE BAIL OUT ORDER WAS ISSUED. )

According to statements in the MACR, T/Sgt Morris O. Kolling had flown a tour in the CBI (China - Burma - India) theater and had a total of forty (40) to fifty (50) missions. After Capt. Swain bailed out, Kolling took over his seat - DeWeerdt thought Kolling to be in dazed condition and would not bail out. Aircraft was probably hit again and went into a spin and DeWeerdt got out some way. (May have been blown out in an explosion) DeWeerdt was later shown Kolling's wallet by the Germans and told that a body was found in the co-pilot's seat.

44-6295 351st Squadron. 
Crew joined the 100th on 21 Jan 45
  SGT JOHN T. PALMER ROG

LT MERRILL E. JENSEN

P

SGT THOMAS L. GALLAGHER

TTE

F/O CHARLES L. KEMP

CP

SGT HOWARD B. HODGES

BTG

F/O RICHARD R. SCROXTON

NAV

SGT ANTHONY G. SCHEMBRI

WG

SGT CHARLES P. FRIEL

NG

SGT MELVIN J. MADSEN

TG

This crew flying its 14th mission, took off for Berlin 18 Mar 1945. In a letter of Nov. 1983 Richard Scroxton relates what occurred:

"We were in the #3 position slightly behind and below the element lead. As we neared our target of Berlin, he sky was clear but we were leaving heavy contrails. There had been no warning of bandits when our tail gunner opened fire. Four M~ 262s came in hidden by the contrails and hit four of us. I had one quick glance of ours just off our left wing tip which was then five feet too short. Our element lead was also hit and turned directly into us we turned in formation and he slipped below us.

This change in position was not noted by the person who wrote the report as it applied to the other plane. (He is here referring to a report of an eyewitness who had said that Scroxton's a/c had the entire left wing afire and that two men Were seen to jump from the ship. jb) No one bailed out of our plane partly because several chutes were destroyed. In addition to the wingtip damage, 4 engine prop was hit resulting in very severe vibrations. These and other hits on #2 and #3 made it clear that we were no longer a part of the formation. I gave the pilot a heading of due East we crossed the Oder river front line at 9,000 ft down from 33,000. At 2,000 ft. we were able to maintain altitude and picked an open field

We did take one very close flak burst that ripped up the chutes near the front escape hatch. We landed near a town in Poland called Kostian. We thought that our troubles were over when we landed gave away all our provisions even those in the raft. We spent that day and next with Russians then they put us on our own. We traveled by horse cart, railroad flat car, etc. until we got to Lodz. There we met a crew with a C47 who had flown in to evacuate an injured airman it turned out to be Capt. Ernst of the 100th. (Ernst had flown as pilot of a mission on 3/2/45 Robt. Rosenthal Command pilot and suffered a wound which caused amputation of his leg. jb)

We flew with him to Poltava. Melvin Madsen had left us in Poland due to sickness but he got back to the States before we got back to England. As we got off the plane in Poltava, I saw a classmate from Navigation school who had arrived the day before and left the next day. We expected to do the same but the Russians had other ideas. We were not allowed to leave or write for four weeks. We left Poltava on April 23 in a B 17 with another crew. We landed in Bari, Italy dropping off the other crew then flew to Caserta and stayed two days then flew back to England landing at Thorpe Abbotts on 25 April 1945. "

Mar 19, 1945

Tactical Report from the 13th Combat Wing reports that the primary target was Lutzendorf but weather conditions forced the formation to attack the Carl Ziess Optical works at Jena, Germany. The 100th dispatched 34 aircraft plus 4 PFF and all but one attacked. One aircraft was forced to return early with total oxygen system failure. There were no losses on the mission, but the 100th received the bitter news that Major Summer Reeder was lost on a C-54 training flight in Florida. Reeder was original 100th and had completed his tour before the advent of effective fighter escort. The popular and highly respected Reeder won the DSC on the September 6, 1943 Stuttgart mission when he had brought the crew home with the Harry Edeburn, the co-pilot dead, and himself wounded. Summer Reeder's loss was a grievous one for the 1900th. Navigation reports the route flown to be essentially as briefed to control Point #1. Enroute to the Pre-IP, 13A was 6 - 7 miles right of course while in the bomber stream. A course correction was made and the Pre-IP was made good. Bombing altitude (25,500 feet) was reached 10 minutes prior to the IP. The IP was made good by 13A and B. 13 A peeled off for individual H2X runs. Bombing results were considered disappointing.

Weather: A low stratocumulus layer prevailed over the base area and enroute to the Continental assembly area. In the assembly area patchy middle clouds were encountered at 12,000 feet, but cause no difficulty with the assembly. The IP was visual but there were contrails and cirrus clouds to 25,000 feet on the bomb run and to the Rally Point.

Mar 20, 1945 No air activity - stood down

Mar 21, 1945

Tactical Report from the 13th Combat Wing reports that the 13A group made up of the 100th A, B, & C took-off for Ruhland, led by Colonel D. L. "Handlebar Hank" Lyster. Weather forced Lyster to divert and attack the secondary, the machine shops one and on-half miles southwest of Plauen, Germany. The Lead Bombardier had some problems with the Norton sight, never-the-less he hit the tank factory and machine works dead on. All but three aircraft attacked the target and there was one aircraft lost to ME-262 jet fighters. A/C #44-8613 was destroyed by the jet fighters on the bomb run. The crew was as follows:

44-8613 350th Squadron 
Crew joined the 100th on 4 Feb 45.
 

Crew was on their 14th or 15th mission. MACR #13572, Microfiche #4952

 
2ND LT BERNARD L. PAINTER 
(POW 21 Mar 45)

P

SGT ARTHUR B. MAC NEIL
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

ROG

2ND LT CHARLES W. HIGGINBOTHAM 
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

CP

S/SGTVIRGIL S. DOWNING, JR. 
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

TTE

F/O DANIEL MARTIN
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

NAV

SGT WALLACE R. MATZDORF
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

BTG

S/SGTHERBERT SINGER
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

TOG

SGT EMIL E. HAVELKA
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

WG

    SGT DONALD A. BECKER
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

TG

EYEWITNESS: "100TH "A" was attacked by five (5) ME 262's at 0940 hours at 51°33"N & 13°41"E. Aircraft 44-8613 which was straggling with another aircraft two (2) miles behind the formation was observed to be hit in the left wing. It exploded and went down in tight spin. Three (3) chutes were seen, two of which reported to be on fire. "

The following letter was written by Bernard Painter and appears in the MACR file.

Subject: WHEREABOUTS OF CREW MEMBERSJune 23, 1945

TO: Major Wm. D. Sanders

SIR: In answer to you request for information concerning the whereabouts of the missing airmen I will give you what details I have.

We were scheduled to bomb Ruhland, Germany on March 21, 1945. Fifteen (15) minutes before the target we lost N0#1 engine due to a mechanical failure (Supercharger). We were forced to leave the formation and to salvo our bombs. We accomplished this and were rejoining the formation when attacked by several ME 262 Jet Fighter planes. Although our gunners were firing at them constantly, they were able to shoot out #2 engine and set it on fire, foul the controls rendering them useless and scored several hits in the nose section, setting it on fire.

I immediately gave the order to abandon ship and went below to aid the men in the nose, but was unable to accomplish this because of the fire and was forced to bail out at approximately 18,000 feet. I opened my chute immediately in an effort to drift toward the Russian lines. I counted five (5) chutes below me and I can presume they were crew members from the rear of the ship who jumped when we were at 22,500 and made a delayed jump.

I have had no contact with the crew since that time. I have written all of the next of kin and given them what I could of the above details. I will also try to call on many of them personally. I would appreciate any information you receive concerning the missing men forwarded to me and I will do likewise with any received through other airmen. "

Bernard Painter

1st Lt AR 0-926819

Box 327 Carlinsville, IL.

The navigation section of the report indicates the briefed route was closely followed to the IP for the primary target. At this point a southerly heading was taken, skirting the Chemitz flak concentration, to the IP for the secondary. The bombing altitude was not made good because of cirrus clouds at 24,000 feet. 13A bombed in group formation due to the presence of fighters in the area.

The weather in the secondary target area was 8 to 9/10 cirrus at 24,000 feet. The target was clear with a downward visibility of 15 - 20 miles.

Bombing: The primary was not attacked due to the undercast. After making an IP at 50°30"N & 13°18"E, the bombardier took over. Six minutes from the BRL (bomb release line) the bombardier identified the assigned AP and proceeded to synchronize. Immediately after synchronization began, the formation encountered prop wash and the bombardier experienced a tumbled gyro, this occurred again and during the little time left the bombardier resynchronized using a caged gyro. At bombs away synchronization was excellent and bubbles level. Because of the presence of enemy fighters bombing was in Group formation at 21,000 feet. Bombing results were excellent, the target being hit squarely by the 100th. They were declared EXCELLENT

Mar 22, 1945

The 100th took-off at 0830 hours for the airfield at Alhorn and dropped their bombs at 1130 hours from an altitude of 18,000 feet. All but one aircraft attacked the target, bombing results were excellent, and there were no losses.

The 13th Combat Wing Tactical Report relays that 35 aircraft plus 3 PFF were dispatched.

Navigation: The route was flown essentially as briefed to the Pre-IP. At this point 13B and 13C were to the right of course in order to obtain the proper interval and approach to the IP. Bombing altitude was reached 45 minutes prior to the IP. The IP was made good and individual visual runs were made on the primary target.

Weather: Enroute a haze layer prevailed with the tops at 10,000 and nil to 3/10 cirrus clouds above 25,000 feet. The target area was clear with visibility 15 to 20 miles in haze.

Bombing: After the maneuver at the IP, which was made good, the bombardier took over and proceeded to kill course, using the extended vision. 17 miles from the BRL the bombardier identified the MPI and made a well synchronized run of 4 to 5 minutes. When the bombs were released on a true heading of 300°, synchronization was good and the bubbles were level. C-1 Auto-Pilot was used on the bomb run. The photo reports indicated the bombing of the 100th was declared GOOD.

Mar 23, 1945

The 100th, led by Colonel Fred Sutterlin, the Group Commander attacked Unna with good results. The two Lead Navigators Carl Roesel and Robert Kirby obtained solid hits on the marshaling yards with 100th A & C, while the 100th A, with Tony Shiurba the lead navigator attacked the last resort target at Marburg. This was due to the extensive smoke at the primary from the Groups A & C squadron's bombs. Of the 34 plus 4 PFF aircraft dispatched all attacked and one #43-37812 was lost. This A/C was hit by flak and collided with a aircraft (#42-97812) flown by the Laurance Lazzari crew, crinkling eight feet of his wing. At the time of the collision the Lazzari plane was being flown by the co-pilot, Guiher (Gene) Greenwood, who made a recovery and was escorted back to Thorpe Abbotts by a flight of P-51's. Upon arriving at Thorpe Abbotts the operations people were fearful the wing would collapse on landing thus blocking the active runway. In view of this the crew was advised by the tower to use one of the secondary runways. Interesting in the fog of war is the fact that as they were on approach they were cut out by a B-25 with an engine on fire. Lazzari and Greenwood were able to abort their approach and watched as the Mitchell crashed short of the runway but did not explode or burn. The pilots, having enough of the emergency by now elected to land on the long runway and did so safely.

(The fact these two aircraft had the same last three tail numbers has confused historians for the last half century. . pw)

43-37812 351st Squadron 
Crew joined the 100th on 9 Jan 45
  SGT HOWARD R. TUDOR 
(KIA 23 Mar 45)

ROG

2NDLT ALFONSO C. GUARDINO 
(KIA 23 Mar 45)

P

SGT HUGH H. PENNOCK
(KIA 23 Mar 45)

TTE

2ND LT WILLIAM E. DAVIS 
(KIA 23 Mar 45)

CP

SGT ALOIS CHUDY 
(KIA 23 Mar 45)

BTG

2ND LT LEO TOMASO 
(KIA 23 Mar 45)

NAV

SGT LEON K. WILLIAMS
(KIA 23 Mar 45)

WG

SGT EDWARD W. KEEFREY, JR. 
(KIA 23 Mar 45)

TOG

SGT OBIE SMITHART 
(KIA 23 Mar 45)

TG

EYEWITNESS: "A/C #812 thought to have been hit by flak at 1428 hours 5034N 0745E. The right wing crumpled and A/C went into a spin then leveled off for a moment then went into another spin. A/C exploded on impact. No fire or smoke seen. No chutes seen. "

Guardino, Davis, Keefrey, Tudor and Chudy buried at Jefferson Barracks, Mo. Probably this is a "common" grave. Smithhart buried in CA; Pennock buried in Minn. ; Williams buried Pa.

MACR#l3604 Microfiche #4973

The 13th CBW Tactical Report 

The 13A group was made up of the 100th's A, B, C, & D Squadrons. 

Target: Primary - Unna, Germany.

Navigation: Bombing altitude was reached 40 minutes prior to the IP. At the Pre-IP, proper interval was taken, and the peel off was made at the IP for individual runs on the primary target. Since 100th D had not released it's bombs they made a run on the 3rd priority target.

Weather was CAVU (clear and visibility unlimited) in the target area.

Bombing: After the maneuver at the IP, the bombardier took over and proceeded to set up course. The attack was made on a true heading of 311°. The bombardier picked up the target area at 8 miles and identified the assigned MPI (mean point of impact) one and one half miles from the BRL (bomb release line). A normal sighting operation was completed and bombs were released from 23,100 feet.

FI Report: The bombs from 100th A fell 500 to 1500 feet beyond the MPI. A heavy concentration of bombs fell on the marshaling yards, however, and all of the tracks were undoubtedly cut in several places. About 25 goods wagons were smothered with bombs, and all of them should be considered damaged or destroyed. Percent of the bombs within 1000 & 2000 feet of the MPI were 45% and 95%. Bombing results were declared very good.

100th B bombs fell 1000 to 2000 feet left of the assigned MPI in fields, scattered residences, and a highway. Percent of bombs within 1000 & 2000 feet of assigned MPI were 10% and 34%. Bombing results were declared nil.

100th C bombs fell across the marshaling yards several hundred feet left (west) of the assigned MPI. The heavy concentration cut all of the tracks. Damage was inflicted on two small buildings inside the yard as well. Bursts were visible in the smoke of 100th A's bombs and it should be assumed additional damage was inflicted on the western portion of the yard. Percentage of bombs within one and two thousand feet of the assigned MPI were 90% and 97%. Bombing results were declared excellent.

100th D bombs fell on the northwest portion of the marshaling yards. Two explosions occurred from direct hits on a goods wagon and building. About fifteen of the visible bombs hit in the yards, probably damaging at least 4 tracks in several places and approximately 12 - 15 goods wagons. From 5 - 6 bombs hit in a residential area adjacent to the tracks. The pattern of the bombs from only one aircraft are visible due to smoke, the bombing results are thought to have been GOOD or better.

Mar 24, 1945

This was one of the few two missions days for the 100th. It was also the day Allied forces crossed the Rhine river. On the 0600 hours mission Major John Gibbons, who had came to the Group around ten mouths earlier as a 2nd Lt. , led 34 100th planes and 4 PFF aircraft in attacks on the airfield at Havelte in the Neatherlands. All of the aircraft attacked and there were no losses. The returned at 1030 hours.

Shortly after noon Colonel Jack Wallace, destined to become the Group Commander two and half months later, led the A, B, C, & D Squadrons of the 100th as well as the 13th Combat Wing in an attack on the airfield at Ziegenhain, Germany. All 34 of the 100th aircraft and 4 PFF ones attacked the target and there were no losses although most of the crews were exhausted.

Tactical Report from 13th CBW

13A Group = 100th A, B, C & D

Target: Airdrome at Zeigenhain, Germany, Primary

Aircraft Airborne: 34 and 4 PFF

Navigation: The route was flown essentially as briefed to the IP. The Wing peeled off in squadrons on individual runs to the first priority target.

Weather: CAVU conditions were prevalent throughout the mission. .

PFF Narrative: PFF equipment inoperative on 100th A and there was no beacon received on 100th D.

Bombing: After the maneuver at the IP, which was made good, the bombardier proceeded to set up course by pin-point pilotage. Ten miles from the BRL the bombardier picked up the target area. With two minutes for visual synchronization, the bombardier completed a normal sighing operation. There was some difficulty identifying the assigned MPI. The actual approach he used was slightly to the left of the assigned MPI. C-1 Auto-Pilot was used on the bomb run at an altitude of 25,000 feet.

FI Report: The bombs from 100th A fell around the selected approach which was approximately 1000 feet left of the assigned MPI. 3/4 of the bombs dropped fell on the L/F. Percentage of bombs within 1000 and 2000 feet of the assigned MPI; 79% and 100%. Bombing results were declared very good

100th B bombs fell 300 feet to the right of the MPI, all of them fell on the L/F. The bombing results were declared as very good.

100th C bombs fell on and over the selected MPI, which was approximately one half mile west of the assigned MPI. Practically all of the bombs fell left or over the L/F. Percent of bombs within 1000 and 2000 feet of the AP: 70 % and 100%. Bombing results in relation to damage inflicted on the target were declared as FAIR.

100th D bombs fell around the selected AP, which was approximately one half mile west of the assigned MPI. Practically all of the bombs fell on the L/F in the southwest corner. Percentage of bombs within 1000 and 2000 feet of the AP: 87% and 100%. Bombing results in relation to damage inflicted on the target were declared as VERY GOOD.

Mar 25, 26, 27, 1945

There was no air operations, the Group stood down to rest and recuperate from the heavy March mission schedule.

Mar 28, 1945

The 100th attacked the marshaling yard, this was the secondary target the primary being a tank factory, at Hanover, Germany. There were no looses and only one aircraft failed to attack the target, A/C # 817 was forced to return after the loss of No #3 engine.

Tactical Report from 13th CBW

13A Group = 100th A, B, C & D

Target: Secondary, Marshaling Yard at Hanover, Germany

Aircraft Airborne: 34 and 4 PFF

Navigation: The route flown was essentially as briefed to the Pre-IP. At this point 13A and 13C echelons to the left in order to obtain the proper interval for the bomb run. The peel off was made at the IP and individual H2X runs were started on the secondary target. Bombing altitude was reached at Control Point # 1, 54 minutes prior to the IP.

Weather: In the target area there were 7/10 strato-cumulus in large solid patches below 10,000. There were also traces of medium clouds below 20,000 and some scattered cirrus above 20,000. Weather conditions at the base on return necessitated an instrument approach by all the planes. This added considerable time to the mission as holding was required.

Bombing: After the IP, the Radar Navigator took over and proceeded to set up course picking up the target at 36 miles. The bombardier was able to give assistance for course as breaks through clouds made pin-point pilotage possible. . . . rate checks beyond the 3rd check were not given by the Radar Navigator. The bombardier determined rate to be good enough for release. Altitude was 25,000 feet.

Mar 29, 1945

Century Bombers, by Richard Le Strange (assisted by Jim Brown) denotes that on the 29th the "Still Maghotus" ran dry and the owners (Capt. Scharding & Lt. Krinke) decided to let it stay dry. . . . . . There were no air operations.

Mar 30, 1945

Captain John H. Williams led the 100th and the 13th Combat Wing to Hamburg, Germany to attack the Voss and Bloss Works.

349th Squadron 
Crew joined the 100th on 23 Aug 44
 

SGT STEPHEN J. MAJCHRZAK

ROG

LT JOHN H. WILLIAMS

P

SGT DON O. R. SELLWOOD

TTE

LT ARTHUR G. LARSON, JR. 
(KIA 31 Mar 45 Zeitz)

CP

SGT WILLARD P. BOSTROM 
(KIA 31 Mar 45 Zeitz)

BTG

LT JACK E. WILD

NAV

SGT AUGUST J. KOCIOLEK

WG

LT JOSEPH J. ORENDORF

BOM

SGT JOHN J. OBUCHOWSKI

WG

    SGT GEORGE E. SLAWIK

TG

Flew nine missions a "regular" crew and 20 missions as a Pathfinder Crew. When named a PFF crew (4 Dec 44), Art Larsen & Will Bostrom were removed form the crew, Larsen to take over his own crew and since the BTG was not carried on the PFF aircraft Bostrom went with Larsen. Both were KIA the last day of March 1945 at Zeitz.

Crew left the U. S. from Camp Kilmer, N. J. aboard the S. S. Brazil & ten days later docked in Liverpool, Eng. Returning to states, left South Hampton, Eng on V. E. Day, aboard the USS Kingfisher bound for Boston.

There were no losses and all aircraft attacked.

Tactical Report from 13th CBW

13A Group = 100th A, B, C & D

Target: Secondary, Marshaling Yard at Hanover, Germany

Aircraft Airborne: 34 and 4 PFF

Target: Primary - Engine Erecting Shop of the Vohn and Bloss Works, 5 miles SW of the center of Hamburg, Germany.

Navigation: The route was flown essentially as briefed to the IP. Bombing altitude was reached 15 minutes prior to the IP. 13A was forced to overshoot the IP by four miles because of interference from the 487th Group. Individual H2X runs were started on the primary target.

Weather: Enroute to the target there were 2-3/10 cumulus increasing to 5-7/10 below 8,000, and nil-2/10 cirrus from 20 to 25,000 increasing to 57/10 in the target area.

Bombing: 100th "A" - After the turn a the IP, the Radar Navigator picked up the target and proceeded set the course. The Bombardier was clutched in at 11 miles and subsequent checks of 10, 9, 8, and 7 miles were completed. After the seven mile check the formation broke out of the weather. and the bombardier was able to pick out the target which was considerably off to the right of course. The bombardier altered course to the right 30° and positioned the cross hairs on the smoke and haze that covered the MPI, by using check points out side the target. Only a few seconds were allowed for synchronization before the BRI (Bomb Release Line). H2X operated successfully the entire route.

PI Report 100 "A" - No bursts of any bombs dropped by the 100th "A" were visible. According to computations based on the bomb trajectory charts and the location of the smoke bombs in the last picture of the camera sorties, the bombs probably fell in th water and fields one and one half SW (short) of the primary target.

PI Report 100 "B" - The only set of pictures taken by 100 "B" show 10/10 undercast. Photographs taken by 100 "C" show as squadron's pattern, which in all probability is that of 100 "B", in the water and on the Oil Refinery of Europaische Teaklager Transport, A. G. , which is two and three quarter miles W (left) of the primary. No fires were started but the main concentration of bombs fell on portions of the oil installation. Smoke prevented any detailed interpretation of the bomb pattern.

PI Report 100 "C" - The bombs of 100 "C" fell in a concentrated industrial area four and three quarters miles WNW (left) of the primary target.

PI Report 100 "D" - No bursts of any bombs dropped by the 100th "C" were visible. According to computations based on the bomb trajectory charts and the location of the smoke bombs in the last picture of the camera sorties, the bombs probably fell about 3/4 mile S (right) of the MPI in the water and on a dock area.

Mar 31, 1945

The 100th took off in four groups for the synthetic oil plants at Zeitz as the primary and Bad Berken as the secondary. The Group lost one plane piloted by Lt. Arthur G. Larsen, there was one survivor, the Tail Gunner S/Sgt John E. Kiaser.

44-6470 349th Squadron 
MACR#13714, Microfiche#5010
  T/SGT JOSEPH M. POPSON
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

ROG

1ST LT ARTHUR G. LARSEN 
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

P

T/SGT RAYMOND R. BAZATA
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

TTE

1ST LT THOMAS E. O'NEIL 
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

CP

S/SGT WILLARD P. BOSTROM
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

BTG

2ND LT DALE F. WATERSON
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

NAV

S/SGT MARVIN F. BARNER 
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

WG

T/SGT CHARLES M. DINEEN 
(KIA 21 Mar 45)

TOG

S/SGT JOHN E. KAISER 
(POW 21 Mar 45)

TG

EYEWITNESS: " A/C 44-6470 was hit by flak immediately after bombs away. #3 engine was knocked loose and dropped off the wing. The A/C nosed up hen leveled off and started for the undercast in a steep glide.

At the Rally point pilot made a 180 degree turn and headed back toward Russia. He was heard over VHF saying that #4 prop was running away and that he would attempt to reach the Russian lines. The A/C was under control and there was no fire. One chute was seen to leave the A/C. Allied fighters were escorting A/C. "

STATEMENT OF S/SGT. JOHN E. KAISER. JR. 18243028

The following information was received by Captain Charles W. Terry, Station 139 Prisoner of War Officer on interrogation of S/Sgt. Kaiser 24 April 1945. S/Sgt Kaiser, since this date has returned to the Zone of Interior.

"On 31 March 1945,A/C 44-6470 was hit by flak while over the target at Zeitz, Germany and its #3 engine was knocked out of its mount. It nosed up out of the formation, leveled off, then started down in a steep glide. Just before reaching the undercast, the pilot was heard to say he would try to reach the Russian lines and the A/C went into the undercast on an easterly heading. "

S/Sgt Kaiser was flying as tail gunner and states that his A/C was hit twice. After the first hit it remained in level flight and the engineer called on inter-phone to ask if he was all right. There were noises from the front that sounded like pieces of the plane were ripping away. When it was hit again a few seconds later, the A/C started down in a steep glide. He fastened on his chute and called over in interphone but no one answered. He looked back into the waist but could see nothing because of smoke. The A/C was vibrating badly so he decided to get out. His clothing hung on the handle of the escape hatch and he was trapped there for about 30 seconds. He tried to climb back into the A/C but was weak from lack of oxygen and could not, so he pulled his-self up as far as possible and let go. This freed him from the plane so he opened his chute and looked down. He floated across the German Air Field located at 5059 N 1231 E. As he floated over the woods just east of this A/F,he noticed that there were hundreds of E/A dispersed there. He landed in an open field just east of the woods and was momentarily unconscious. When he came to, he saw several soldiers (Luftwaffe) approaching, so he stood up with his hands over his head.

After being captured and brought to a Prisoner of War Camp at Weimer he was interrogated by a German Officer. The interrogator asked him the names of the members of his crew. He gave him their last names end was told that his crew had crashed a few miles away and all had been killed. As proof he produced a basket containing the dog tags, bill folds, watches, and other personal property of the men. Sgt. Kaiser was allowed to look through this equipment and when he found the wedd-ing ring of his Pilot, 1st Lt Arthur G. Larson, Jr. he asked the Interrogator if he would not allow him to take it to Lt. Larsen's wife. He replied ''sure" and gave it to him.

Tactical Report from 13CBW. 

100th Group - 100A, B, C, and D Squadrons. 

Target: Zietz and Bad Berka (Erfurt), Germany - Primary and Secondary. 

Aircraft Airborne: 34 plus 4 PFF. All aircraft attacked and there were no losses.

Navigation: Enroute to Control Point #3, 13A was forced to parallel course 8-10 miles to the south because and unidentified group was echelon to the left. The route from Control Point #3 was closely followed until shortly before the IP. At this point the Wing fanned out and peeled off on individual runs on the primary target. 100A did not release it's bombs on the primary and attacked the secondary.

Weather: 8 to 10/10 undercast in the target area.

Bombing: 100B- The Radar Navigator assisted in setting up course at the beginning of the run. The 1st priority target was attacked by the method of Grid Bombing because very extensive smoke screens covered the target area. Three miles from the RL (Release Line), however, the target outline could be seen, but the M. P. I could not be identified. H2X equipment operated satisfactorily. PI reports no bomb bursts visible, but according to computations based upon the bomb trajectory chart, the bombs probably fell in fields 7500' east (right) of the assigned MPI.

The 418th Squadron Diary of March 31 indicates eight 418th aircraft flew in the "C" Squadron to attack Zeitz. Results were poor for the synthetic oil target and apparently the crews were not satisfied with the mission.

April 1, 1945

Vernon Sheedy notes that they day is Easter Sunday and many of the 100th personnel went to church. There were no air operations and he notes that is was also April Fool's Day.

April 2, 1945

The base personnel were restricted from in country travel between March 29 and April 4th due to British holidays. This was to make more public transportation available to British Nationals. It is also noted that the clocks were moved forward one hour -- beginning of British Double Summer Time. Lt. Krinke (Harold Krinke), the 100th's man of many talents, was appointed Advisement Officer.

April 3, 1945

The 100th took off at 1345 hours British Double Summer Time with the sub yards at Kiel as the target. Bombing was at 1744 hours - most of the aircraft carried six 1000 pound bombs which were dropped through the undercast by H2X. Results were said to have not been good.

As the formation approached 54°05'N & 06°20'E, the B-17G (43-38992), flown by William Baldwin, flying in place of the regular first pilot, Robert Fletcher (wounded on the March 18th Berlin mission) left the formation and attempted to return alone. This after Baldwin reported on VHF that he was low on fuel. The aircraft was never heard from again and of the ten men aboard all but two perished.

43-38992 351st Squadron Crew joined the 100th on 4 Mar 45 (**see note below)

MACR

#13717

SGT KERMIT E. JONES 
(POW 3 Apr 45)

ROG

2ND LT WILLIAN E. BALDWIN, JR. 
(KIA 3 Apr 45)

P

SGT KENNETH E. WRIGHT 
(KIA 3 Apr 45)

TTE

2ND LT FRANCIS G. BEEDLE 
(KIA 3 Apr 45)

CP

SGT RANDOLPH A. GOODWIN 
(KIA 3 Apr 45)

BTG

F/O JOHN H. BUCKLEY 
(KIA 3 Apr 45)

NAV

SGT ALFRED MANTOPOLI 
(KIA 3 Apr 45)

WG

SGT LESLIE O. DAVIS 
(KIA 3 Apr 45)

TOG

SGT OGDEN W. BARRON 
(KIA 3 Apr 45)

TG

    S/SGT HOWARD O. WEBER 
(POW 3 Apr 45)
RAD/
CON

**This crew, with Robert C. Fletcher as pilot, joined the 100th GP on 4/3/45. Apparently Baldwin took over as P. Francis Beedle had been the CP on the crew of R. C. Ellis. Howard Weber was not a member of the original crew.

Eyewitness report had following to say: "A/C #992 was unable to release bombs over target and retained them until formation reached 5417-0600E on return route. Bombs were then released. The A/C appeared to be undamaged and continued on with the formation to 5405-0620E at 1850 hours when wheels were lowered and pilot called over VHF saying he was low on gas and would try to get back alone. The A/C peeled off and down toward the undercast. When the formation reached 5250-0300E at 1952 hours, a VHF message from A/C 992 was received saying that 80 gallons of gas per engine was left and the A/C was an estimated 15 minutes from land. Nothing further was heard. Other pilots suggest that cloud conditions were favorable for icing and that A/C may have been lost due to ice picked up in passing through clouds. "

Letter from Kermit E. Jones 17/6/82.

Actually, icing was not the problem as Kermit Jones explains. "We were returning from Kiel when it was discovered we were running out of gas so we headed for Belgium. While enroute, and over the first Frisian Island off the Peninsula of Holland, at an altitude of 5000 feet, we were hit by flak which destroyed two engines and set the ship on fire. "

According to Jones, he, Goodwin and Wright bailed out but the others did not and the A/C exploded upon hitting the ground. Jones adds that, "Sgt. Goodwin landed on the island (Texel) and shed his chute and flying boots. These were later shown to us by the Germans with a comment that Sgt. Goodwin was dead. The Germans at the same time showed us the seven pairs of twisted and burned dog tags of remaining members of the crew with a statement that they were all dead. "

Of considerable interest in connection with the loss of this crew is a letter from "The Mayor of Texel" dated 11 Feb. 1946 and apparently directed to someone who had inquired about the burial of Sgt Barron.

"In answer to your letter of 5 February, we can assure you that the grave of Sgt. Ogden N. Barron indeed is known.

The plane was shot down on April 3. 1945 at 20 hours (8 p. m. ) and fell near Horntge in the southern part of Textel Island. The plane had possibly a crew of seven men. Two persons, their names not known, (they were Jones & Weber) were taken prisoner by the Germans. The bodies of two persons, namely, Sgt Ogden W. Barron number 420C0553 and Sgt. Randolph Goodwin, number 39855835 were identified. These two people died instantly when the plane struck the ground. Also, two others occupants who tried to leave the plane by parachute were killed instantly on account of the Plane being too close to the ground. Their names are not known. The possibly seventh occupant has never been found, either he fell into the sea or was obliterated under the plane when it fell down.

The bodies of the four crew members were buried on April 10/1945 in the Allied cemetery of the town Den Burg at Textel Island. The funeral services were somewhat delayed on account of a general uprising amongst the people with many things abnormal for a few days. The graves were marked with a wooden cross. On Dec. 7,1945 the American Graves Registration Command recovered the bodies of the American boys and reburied them in the American cemetery "Margraten" in the province of Limburg. "

In two quite touching letters written by one A. van Dienst, an official of Den Burg, to the mother of John Buckley 30/5/46 and 25/11/46) he attempts to solace Mrs. Buckley and, at the same time, explain the difficulties met with in identifying the airmen who perished in the crash.

"Parts of different bodies were found, namely two bodies and four pair of hands, partly burnt, found in or near the plane. These were buried in one coffin at 10 April in the war cemetery of Den Burg about 20 meters from my house. "

van Dienst then proposes the possibility that some human remains, if not consumed by fire, might still be in "parts of the plane that are pushed deep into the ground". He further promises to attempt to interest the American Graves Registration in digging up the buried aircraft to search for any remains.

In the letter of 25/11/46, van Dienst writes Mrs. Buckley that Graves Registration had further examined the wreckage and had been able to identify remains of William E. Baldwin, Francis G. Beedle, Sgt Alfred Mantopoli and Kenneth Wright.

Thus we know that F/O John Buckley and Sgt Leslie O,Davis were the two unidentified crewmen "buried in one coffin" on 10 April 1945. van Dienst concludes his letter to Mrs. Buckley by saying that the cross marking this grave reads "Unknown American Flyers" but the rear side of the cross now says, "Probably, F/O John H. Buckley and Sgt Leslie O. Davis".

 April 4, 1945

The 100th returned to Kiel with the primary the sub-pens some half mile southwest of the mouth of the Kiel Canal. Bombing was restricted to visual as there were some Red Cross barges with supplies for Allied POWs in Holland using the canal April 3rd. The secondary was the submarine buildings across the river, and was approved for H2X drops. The secondary was finally bombed around 1041 hours through solid undercast with results reported as poor. There was heavy flak in the target area, the effect of which was somewhat moderated by the use of chaff and 'spot jammers'. There were no 100th aircraft lost.

April 4, 1945

Vernon Sheedy notes: "Three-day passes effective today."

April 5, 1945

The 100th's target was Nurnburg.

From Century Bombers, Jim Lanz recalls the mission:

"We were after rail targets in the center of the city. , Weather was our main difficulty. There was a ceiling of 300 feet and about 500 yards visibility on take-off. We were told the ceiling was only 10,000 feet high and we were to assemble over France. However, after take-off we didn't reach the top of the overcast until we were deep in France and at 25,000 feet. Our airspeed kept dropping off on the way up and clear ice gathered on our wings.

The assembly was a rare thing too. We were in the low squadron and the lead ship kept us in the clouds. Flying in the clouds and propwash was no fun. We finally got together though and were on our way. We reached the target and started on the bomb run. It was fourteen minutes long and seemed like an hour. The flak was intense and they were tracking us. The little black puffs were blossoming at our altitude just off our left wing and I thought the next burst would have us for sure. It didn't, though and we made a sharp right turn off the target.

We thought we'd seen the worst of it and had already considered this a rough mission but we didn't know what was in store for us. The leaders saw some breaks in the cloud layer and started letting down between them. Finally we were between two cloud layers about 1,000 feet apart and ran into a blank wall. The squadron above us started breaking up and B-17's were going every which way. I expected one to come diving down into the middle of us at any minute. Out squadron stuck together some way. All we could see was the faint outline of a wing beside us and we stuck on that. Our squadron leader did what I thought was a smart thing when he turned 30° to the right and flew for five minutes and then returned to course. In this way we got out of the way of some of those squadrons that were breaking up. We continued our let down to 300 feet before breaking into rain. But at least we could see the ground now. We flew over Holland and Belgium and thought, except for the battle across the North Sea, that we has seen the worst of it. . However just as we were crossing the coastline at an altitude of 500 feet we were fired upon by flak and 20mm cannon. I thought we had it for sure. Our plane had it's tail lifted up by flak and just as it's nose started down another burst caught it and pushed it back up. I told the boys to start strafing the shore with our 50's and you could see the tracers making their path towards the shore. They were still tracking us but didn't score any hits. A little later Ray Blohm was coming back over the same spot. They shot his ship all up and tore a tire to shreds but he brought it back okay. We finally got back ourselves and I could have kissed that good old Mother Earth. Johnnie (Greenlee) did most of the flying coming back. . . "

Due to the weather Lt. Griswold Smith was forced to land at Merville, France, which is just across the Belgian border. Here they received fuel (600 gallons) and returned safely to Thorpe Abbotts.

The 100th lost one aircraft; B-17G 43-37636, flown by the Robert Estes crew. All nine men aboard perished, the aircraft has never been located and apparently crashed into the North Sea. They had been at Thorpe Abbotts only ten days and likely this was their first mission. The body of the Navigator, Lt. Dale Giebelhaus, was washed ashore at some later date.

April 6, 1945

The 100th's target was Leipzig, a rail center. It was reported by Jim Lantz to have been a pathfinder attack. The results are not reported. Weather at Thorpe Abbotts made landing difficult but there were no damage to 100th aircraft from landing accidents. During the day, however a B-24 of the 445th crashed while attempting to land at Thorpe Abbotts. The B-24 crashed east of the base near the village of Thorpe Abbotts.

April 7, 1945

The target was Buchen and the mission was led by Major John Gibbons flying with the Capt. David Hutchinson crew. Lt. Griswold Smith recalls: "Our target was an underground oil storage depot on a canal near Hamburg. The ground fog was very bad and you couldn't see twenty yards and since the target has such a low priority, they were thinking if calling it off. First came a thirty minute delay, then a four hour delay. We lay around in the crew chief's tent hoping and praying that the mission wouldn't be scrubbed as it was supposed to be a milk run with no flak.

Well it wasn't scrubbed and we took off four hours late. We were flying number two in the third element of the High Squadron.

We had barely gotten into enemy territory when they called "Bandits in the area" over the VHF. . . Then I heard the Groups in front of us calling for P-51's as they were being hit by Me-109's. Earl Baugh (Tail Gunner) was the first of the crew to see an enemy fighter. He reported them attacking and shooting down a straggler.

The first pass was made from seven o'clock low - up through "C " Squadron and on to us. Baugh and Anthony Russo (Ball Turret Gunner) were the first in the squadron to open fire. This Me-109 put a couple of slugs into us - one went through the nose and almost got Wilk (Paul Wilkerson, the Bombardier and Turnip (Wilson Turnipseed) the Navigator. The ship went past us and turned back down on us -- Wilk and Stanley Szalwinski (the Engineer) were pouring 50's into him from their two turrets and John O'Leary got in a few from the waist. I think he was diving directly for us, but he came just in front and knocked the left horizontal stabilizer off the ship in front of us. That Me-109 diving into the formation spurting flames all over presented such a vivid picture I'll never forget it. When he hit the ship in front of us, his wing (the Me-109) flew off and went over my wing and knocked one of the horizontal stabilizers off the ship behind us in the 'diamond' (Lt. Joe King). Both ships managed to make it back to England and both pilots were awarded the D. F. C. for bringing them back. . .

Another Me-109 came in from five o'clock high. Everyone said he was coming directly at us, but our gunners put out so much lead that he diverted and crashed into the ship in our position in the Lead Squadron just below and in front of us. We saw both ships explode.

The reason we got so many attacks directed at us was because we were the top ship and the corner ship in the Group and therefore, around us was the least possible concentration of friendly fire. The enemy fighters stayed with us for about an hour.

We were flying at 15,000 feet as no flak was expected; however, there was plenty at the target. I never thought I would be glad to see flak, but I was that day because it meant the fighters wouldn't come in. We started out with ten ships in our Squadron and on bombs away, there were six.

We were sure glad to get back home. There was plenty of close support by the P-51's all the way back across the North Sea -- I guess they finally found us. And to think -- I met plenty of boys in London who completed an entire tour without seeing a single enemy fighter.

Lt. Howard went down on this mission. A FW-190 got him on one pass, a diving fly through attack. His navigator, Douglas Jones had gone to Navigation School with Turnip. The three of us had gone to Norwich the night before on pass. I understand he was taken prisoner and was released after VE-Day -- the civilians who captured him had knocked his front teeth out. "

349th Squadron
Crew joined the 100th on 30 Dec 44
  SGT MICHAEL MATY
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchen)
ROG
2ND LT WILLIAM E. HOWARD
(POW 7 APR 45 Buchen)
P SGT EDWARD E. HALL
(POW 7 APR 45 Buchen)
TTE
2ND LT GENARO DELGADO
(POW 7 APR 45 Buchen)
CP SGT EDWARD T. TRUITT
(NOC)
BTG
2ND LT DOUGLAS R. JONES
(POW 7 APR 45 Buchen)
NAV SGT RUSSELL E. BOLDING
(POW 7 APR 45 Buchen)
WG
SGT SAMUEL C. LUNSFORD, JR.
(POW 7 APR 45 Buchen)
TOG SGT GEORGE F. THOMAS
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchen)
TG

On the 7 Apr 45 Buchen mission, S/Sgt Louis A. Lehrmann from the C. R. Sanford crew flew in place of Edward Truitt and was KIA.

EYEWITNESS: "A/C -# was attacked by an ME 109. The #3 engine caught fire and the pilot peeled out of formation to the left and feathered #3 engine. The fire appeared to go out in the engine but the wheel well was blazing. The bombs were salvoed, the aircraft completed a 180 degree turn and headed back alone. It was last seen diving into a cloud bank. There were 40 to 50 enemy fighters in the area. "

For most of the crew it was the 21st to 24 th missions, many of the surviving crewmembers feel Michael Maty, Louis A. Lehrmann and George F. Thomas were murdered by German civilians when they landed.

The aircraft that exploded as a result of the collision was 42-97071, flown by Lt Arthur Calder. There were no survivors.

42-97071 418th Squadron
Crew joined the 100th on 24 Dec 44
  On their first mission they were forced to bail out over Belgium (10 Jan/ 45)
(MACR #13718, Microfiche #5011)
 
2ND LT ARTHUR R. CALDER
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchan (MID-AIR/ FW 190)
P SGT JOEPH C. HALLER
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchan (MID-AIR/ FW 190)
ROG
2ND LT KENNETH R CARR
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchan (MID-AIR/ FW 190)
CP SGT LEONARD PEIPRAS
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchan (MID-AIR/ FW 190)
TTE
F/O WILLIAM J. BURBACH
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchan (MID-AIR/ FW 190)
NAV SGT CARL J. DONNELL
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchan (MID-AIR/ FW 190)
BTG
F/O VICTOR HOFFMAN
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchan (MID-AIR/ FW 190)
BOM SGT BWAYNE E. CARY
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchan (MID-AIR/ FW 190)
WG
    SGT LEON E. BRIGGS
(KIA 7 APR 45 Buchan (MID-AIR/ FW 190)
TG

On 7 Apr 45 Kenneth R. Carr (KIA) from the crew of J. L. Wofford was flying as CP. Leonard Piepgras was flying as TTE in place of Pitarra and was KIA. Sgt Dwayne E. Cary was aboard in the place of J. J. Whipple and was KIA.

The dead are buried in the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium with the exception of Hoffman, buried in a private cemetery in New York and Piepgras is buried in a private cemetery in Minnesota.

EYEWITNESS: (On 7 April 1945) " ME - 109 attacked aircraft #071 from six o'clock high and shot the left wing completely away from the fuselage. The ME - 109 collided with the severed wing and both the wing and enemy fighter exploded. The remainder of #071 spun down flaming to explode either just before impact or immediately there after. Approximately seven (7) chutes - all white- were counted in the area. (The reference to the color white denotes USAAF airmen, the German chutes were a dirty brown color. . pw) It was not possible to positively determine the seven (7) chutes came from aircraft # 42-97071. "

THIS CREW HAS ALWAYS BEEN ASSUMED TO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A MID-AIR WITH A FW - 190. THIS MAY NOT HAVE BEEN THE CASE. . . pw

The remainder of the Group landed at 1615 hours British Double Summer Time only to find the Lt. Arthur Leader's BTG, S/Sgt Loon Barnes dead, a dismal ending for a dismal mission. Although the bombing results were only fair the 100th destroyed at least eight enemy fighters.

Two heavily damaged ships that made it back were "Gold Brick, 42-37972 with the loss of the right horizontal stabilizer and 43-38514 which lost most of it's vertical stabilizer and rudder.

April 8, 1945

The Group took off at 0700 hours for the marshaling yards at Eger, Czechoslovakia. The planes dropped ten five hundred pound bombs each. No enemy fighters or flak encountered and there were no losses. In the evening a dance was enjoyed by all at the NCO club.

April 9, 1945

The target was the Munich/ Reim airfield just east of the city of Munich, Germany. There were some enemy jet fighters present but they were kept away from the formation by escorting P-51's. The debriefing make no mention of flak and there were no losses.

April 10, 1945

The 100th attacked the Luftwaffe jet fighter base at Burg-Bei-Magdeburg. The target was reached at 1415 hours and was attacked by at least seven Me-262's.

In Century Bombers Lt. Griswold Smith reports:

"The jets made several passes at us from six 0'clock low. I distinctly remember two ships going down in flames. I believe a couple of others were crippled and knocked out of formation; one or two aborted earlier -- anyway there were damned few left when we went over the target. Lieutenant Reeve's who was on his first mission was flying in my squadron in front of me and a little higher; he burst into flames and had a wing ripped off on one of the first jet passes. They put a few holes in us but no one was hurt. "

43-38840 349th Squadron
Crew joined the 100th on 30 Mar 45.
  SGT ALBERT D. CRABBS, JR.
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
ROG
2ND LT DELBERT D. Reeve
(KIA 10Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
P SGT ROBERT E. TRUEBLOOD
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
TTE
F/O HAZEN F. WILLET
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
CP SGT HERMAN WILLIAMS
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
BTG
F/O STEVE S. POULOS
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
NAV SGT ARTHUR F. EHRLER, JR.
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
WG
F/O GEORGE E. WOODHAM
(KIA 10Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
BOM SGT WESLEY A. WOODS
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
TG

THIS IS ONE OF, IF NOT THE LAST, 100TH CREW LOST. . pw

EYEWITNESS: "A/C 43-38840 was attacked by 2 ME 262' and received hits in the tail and #2 engine. Dense smoke came from the #2 engine and then it made a vertical slow roll on its right wing and burst into flame. It still seemed under control when 2 chutes were observed. Later it was believed to have hit the ground and exploded in a very large flame. "

The following statement was given by F/O George E. Woodham who returned to this station (#139) on 15 April 1945. :

"I was the third man to bail out of the A/C;the co-pilot and navigator ahead of me. The plane was in a dive when I bailed out, and soon after my chute opened I hit the ground. I saw no chutes at all when I was in the air, and saw none of the other members of my crew after hitting the ground. The plane crashed and exploded close to where I landed. "

On 24 Sept. 1945 at San Antonio, Texas (Personnel Center), F/O Woodham gave a similar picture of events.

"The B-17 of which he was bombardier was attacked by jet fighters at 20. 000 feet and sustained a number of hits. He states that intelligence later reported two directs hits in the tail turret. F/O 'Woodham believes that there were a number of other hits but has no idea as to how many. He states that the interphone was out and that he saw the navigator bail out first, then the co-pilot bailed out and then F/O Woodham bailed out. He believes that there were only three chutes in the air. He landed about 75 yards from where the plane had crashed and exploded and states further that there were two explosions. After landing, F/O Woodham ran to some woods nearby where he watched the plane burn at a distance of about 200 yards. "

It is the opinion of F/O Woodham that no member of the crew could have survived if he had not parachuted out of the stricken plane. He has written to the families of all the members of the crew giving as much information as he had.

Some few minutes prior to the loss of Lt. Reeve's ship the B-17, 43-38963, flown by Lt. Lawrence Bazin was forced to leave the formation and was immediately attacked by enemy jet fighters and crashed soon afterward in the target area.

Following is the crew component for the 10 Apr 1945 mission to Magdeburg.

2ND LT LAWRENCE L. BAZIN
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
P SGT GLENN D. ABRAHAM, JR. (POW 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg) ROG
2ND LT JAMES R. DOTSON
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
CP S/SGT ROENS W. SHEARWOOD
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
TTE
2ND LT JOHN D. GROSS
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
NAV SGT RICHARD E. SMITH
(EVD 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
BTG
T/SGT ARTHUR T. FLOWERS
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
NG/

TOG

SGT RICHARD D. LONG
(POW 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
WG
S/SGT ROBERT B. PATTERSON
(POW 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
Radar/
Con.
SGT PAUL H. DECKER
(KIA 10 Apr 45 Burg-bei Magdeburg)
TG

These are thought to have been the last 100th airmen killed in combat with the Luftwaffe in WWII. . pw

On 10/4/45, Lt. John D. Gross from the crew of J. J. Dodrill was the NAV in place of Kenneth Peiffer. James R. Dotson, pilot of his own crew, was flying as CP in place of Charles Dixon. Also aboard were T/Sgt Arthur T. Flowers as NG (Tog) in place of Harry Chase, and S/Sgt Robert B. Patterson as Radar Con.

EYEWITNESS: (MACR # 14170 " A/C 963 was forced to peel out of the formation with #2 engine feathered. Then it tried to climb back when ME 262's began pressing attack. The A/C was hit in the right wing and a large piece flew off. Then#3 & #4 engines burst into flames and it peeled off low to the right. As it went down flames were larger and it was believed to hit the ground with a terrific explosion.

No chutes were seen.

Statement by Shearwood: "The plane was breaking up when I got out and I was of the opinion that no other crew member parachuted. I saw no other chutes. When I hit the ground, I did not see any of the crew. "

From 22/3/45 to 6/4/45 Daniel Shaffer flew as navigator on this crew.

The group was to have one more of their airplanes salvaged as a result of battle damage on this mission. B-17G #43-37811 was forced to make a belly landing at Westleton on the return. While the plane suffered major damage none of the crew were seriously injured.

43-37811 349th Squadron
Crew joined the 100th on 27 Dec 44
  SGT OMER C. DUKE ROG
2ND LT LYMAN C. FILLINGAME P SGT PHILIP A. SOTO TTE
2ND LT DONALD HALVERSON CP SGT CHARLES H. RANDALL BTG
2ND LT WALTER L. LEWIS NAV SGT PAUL HRENKO WG
2ND LT WILLIAM COOK BOM SGT CHARLES L. GAMBLE, JR. TG

Lt William Cook does not appear on the orders sending this crew to the 100th, but a letter from L. C. Fillingame (1982) to James R. Brown (100th Senior Historian) lists Cook as being on the crew. Crew flew first mission on 28 Jan 1945 and their thirtieth mission on 18 Apr 1945. . . . paul west

April 11, 1945

On the 11th, the Hundredth, led by Colonel Sutterlin, took off for Landshut, where at 12. 59 and from 17,700 feet, twenty-eight B-17's released 75 tons of bombs with 'excellent results' on an ordnance depot and small arms factory.

Billy Bittle writes: 'Landshut—north east of Munich. Visual all the way. Target was creamed, and this was the Hundredth Bomb Group's 300th Mission. No flak. . . Saw front lines at 0930 East and artillery fire. Bandits reported, but none attacked us. We led the Third Division and all the targets of the day were in the area. Flying time: 8 hours, 45 minutes. '

A number of the Group's planes, went on to attack the 'marshaling yards at Ingolstadt. '

Vernon Sheedy notes: 'Rumors of a new Service Group going into effect soon. '

The American Ninth Army "had reached the Elbe River south west of Berlin, and were expected to cross within twenty-four hours. "

April 12, 1945

The following morning, the crews were briefed on Neuburg, but '"he outing was scrubbed. "

April 13, 1945

Vernon Sheedy writes on the 13th, a Friday: "We received word that President Roosevelt had died. Quite a shock for all the soldiers. Meeting of the Enlisted Men's Council regarding the 300 Mission Party. William Henes has the Meritorious Unit Service Plaque just about completed. "

On the news of the President's death, "'the Post flag was dropped to half staff. ' In the evening, the men 'observed a five minute period of silence in his memory. . . "

April 14, 1945

On the 14th, the three Divisions were assigned the German ground defenses on the French coast. The raid was the first for bombardier Allen Glaskin, who flew in 'Ship 649' with George Sharpe, co-pilot John Sanders and navigator John Scott. Lieutenant Glaskin writes: "The mission was a direct request from the ground troops to knock out the naval guns guarding the estuary entrance to Bordeaux at Royan. . . Hit target at 1043 (by squadron bombing) from 20,000 feet on a heading of 340°. Beautiful visual day. No flak. No fighters. "

James Lantz adds: "We were quite surprised when our target was disclosed to us today. It was three gun emplacements in Southern France. . Eleven hundred bombs hit the emplacement and really creamed it. . . Coming over the French coast we could see the results of D Day and the terrific bombings and shelling the enemy took. There were thousands of shell holes and Me 109's and Ju 88's were blasted all over in one place. "

David Wood, co-pilot Tony Pecyk and their crew, had "now completed their tour of thirty-five missions, intact and with no injuries. "

Lieutenant Wood notes: "On one occasion, after being hit by flak over Berlin, the ball turret gunner Frank Volk, bravely and voluntarily remained in the ball to determine the location of the damage and the amount of fuel being lost. After a tense half hour the leaking stopped and we returned safely to Thorpe Abbotts. "

Vernon Sheedy writes: "Three Hundred Mission Week called off because of President Roosevelt's death. To be scheduled later. "

April 15, 1945

The following morning, the Hundredth took off at 05. 35 and returned to Royan, the French having requested the Eighth "to knock out the fortifications and barracks area on the north east side. "

At the briefing, the bombardiers were informed, "that the planes had been loaded with six 650 pound new type incendiaries, which were to be released from 15,000 feet. "

They were also instructed: "Under no condition salvo the load. . . No bombs were to be brought back. . . "

James Lantz explains: "Again we went to Royan, where we dropped in conjunction with the French ground forces who were going to try and take the place. On the way down we passed over Paris and the Eiffel Tower. After Bombs Away we could see the French artillery open up on the ground below us. The way back brought us over Rheims and we saw the famous cathedral. "

Tonight, Bazin's engineer (Roens Shearwood) came back. He bailed out of the ship through a hole made by a 20 mm. He landed in Germany and hid and ran for two nights until he ran into our advancing tanks. The Jerries shot at him on his way down and he saw several other bodies of Allied airmen who had been riddled by the Germans.

Allen Glaskin writes: "Bombs away at 1044 on a visual target. No flak. No fighters. Rode home with three engines. . . Arrived at Base 1345. . . "

After these lovely "milk runs" the C. O. decided we needed a little diversion from our "nerve wracking" work. And so—our first two day pass in the ETO. Naturally, a good time was had by all in merry old England.

Billy Bittle adds: "Bombed some targets with new type incendiary, which was jellied gasoline put into fighter auxiliary (paper) gas tanks. . . They leaked and scared everyone. Was experimental mission. Flying time: 8 hours, 10 minutes. " The results ranged from 'very good to poor, depending on the squadron.

During the evening, a Memorial Service was held in Brockdish church, in honor of the late President. 'In the meantime, the Post flag continued to fly at half staff and would remain so for thirty days.

The great shock of the day, came when it was officially announced that the 1141st Quartermaster Company had been disbanded.

Vernon Sheedy writes: "This was a sad day for all of us because we would like to have finished our time with the 1141st—so be it I guess. A trip to Paris coming up next Tuesday, but only Bomb Squadron personnel can go—no support units will be included. "

April 16, 1945

On the 16th and for the third day running, the Group set out for Royan and missed.

Vernon Sheedy notes: "Personnel from the 1141st Quartermaster Company transferred to the Headquarters Squadron, 412th Air Service Group. . . "

During the evening, General Doolittle was informed by General Spaatz, '"hat they should consider the strategic air war as closed. " From now on, all targets would be purely tactical.

April 17, 1945

The following morning, the Hundredth was assigned the marshaling yards at Aussig, where the rail junction and station 'was hit with good to excellent results. '

James Lantz recalls: "Took off at ten a. m. and formed at 3000 feet over Buncher 28. We bombed from 20,000 feet in heavy clouds. Just before the Initial Point we ran into some flak from Brux and one of our fighter escorts, from the 357th, received a direct hit and blew up with a burst of orange flame. The boys saw another P-51 and a B-17 go down. Because of the heavy mist we made three runs on the target. . . "

Vernon Sheedy writes: "Two explosions this morning—B-24's. Three explosions this afternoon—shook the buildings. . . 662nd Air Material Squadron activated; Captain Scharding assumed Command today. "

April 18, 1945

On the 18th, the Hundredth set out for the marshaling yards at Tabor, but went on to attack the secondary target, the marshaling yards at Straubing, with good to excellent results.

During the day, B-17 42-32090, known as the 'Silver Dollar, ' was damaged in a taxing accident. It was soon rebuilt and stripped of all armament, was then used as a hack ship by Colonel Jeffrey.

Vernon Sheedy notes: "'Moving into Huts and changing around in Site number 6. Had to move into a new Orderly Room . "

April 19, 1945

There was no air operations -- General Spaatz messaged all commands that the Strategic Air War was over effective 16 April 1945. Around midnight a large explosion was heard and thought to have been a V-2. One of the 100th planes was declared salvaged - #44-6817.

April 20, 1945

On the 20th, the Hundredth, led by Major J. Stivers and Carl Hellerich, took off at 06. 00 and headed for Oranienburg, where at 10. 15 and from 22,500 feet, twenty-nine of its planes released ten 500 pound bombs on the marshaling yards with good results.

Billy Bittle notes: "Bombed suburb of Berlin, just north of the center. (Oranienburg). Visual target. Flak (155 mm) was to left. Last mission to get sortie credit for. Flying time: 7 hours, 45 minutes. "

Robert Wilkes, co-pilot George Baugher and their crew, had now completed their tour with thirty-three missions and were allowed to fly back to the USA. On their first raid, they ran out of gas and landed at a fighter base at Etain, where they spent six days, to return on January llth.

Jim Brown adds: "Two men remained in England; waist gunner Bernard Adams, who had been wounded in action, but who later finished a tour and an enlisted man, who had received more than he had planned on from a London lass and who was hospitalized for a time. "

April 21, 1945

The target was an airport east of Munich -- secondary target was a marshaling yard in the city itself. With each plane loaded with twenty-two 250 pound bombs, the mission was unexpectedly scrubbed just before take off.

April 22, 1945

There were no air operations. Vernon Sheedy writes on the 22nd: "Today starts the 300th Mission Week celebration. . . Captain Scharding to Paris, France today at 2. 30 from Honington. The 'Red Army was battling inside Berlin. "

April 23, 1945

The crews were briefed on a railway intersection at Buchen. As on the 21st, the mission was scrubbed. Then the truth suddenly dawned—there was no place to go. For the men of the Hundredth, the bombing was over. Several hours later, a convoy wound its way into Thorpe Abbotts, and the trucks were unloaded in the ordnance area. The load consisted of strange, cylindrically-shaped metal containers. In a few brief courses, the armorers and ordnance men were taught how to load the containers into the bomb bays.

April 24, 1945

The crews then flew a number of test flights over the Field, releasing their loads over the runways from a very low altitude.

Vernon Sheedy notes: "Mysterious hole in the Field across from Site Number 6. No one seems to know what it is. . . Probably caused by an explosion. "

During the evening, a big party was held at the Big Top Club.

April 25, 1945

On the 25th, the containers 'were loaded with food and supplies. At the same time, the men were officially informed: The civilian population of Occupied Holland, particularly in the cities, is suffering from lack of food as a result of their isolation and occupation by enemy troops, and deaths are occurring at the rate of several thousand per day. In order to alleviate famine conditions, this Air Force and the R. A. F. have been ordered to drop food supplies in the vicinity of the larger cities West and Southwest of the Zuider Zee. A truce with the German forces occupying this portion of Holland is being made in order that our Air Force may fly unmolested at required low altitudes through defended areas.

All crews will be cautioned against committing a hostile act of any kind while over Holland. Second runs are not authorized if aircraft are being fired upon from the ground. All aircraft are cautioned to stay south of a line running east and west from the Den Helder. The truce does not extend north of this line.

Allen Gaskin recalls: "We were to drop food and supplies to the Dutch directly southeast of Amsterdam. . . Mission scrubbed. Jerry refused to sign the flak truce. RAF and the rest of the Eighth going to bomb Hitler's hideout at Berchtesgaden. "

April 26, 27, 1945

No air operations.

April 28, 1945

The crews were alerted for a Chowhound drop, but the mission was scrubbed. The rest of the day, continued as it began, with lots of snow.

The Stars and Stripes reported: "Peace rumors sweep the world as Himmler surrender offer disclosed. Mussolini 'was executed."

April 29, 1945

Vernon Sheedy notes on the 29th: "Captain Scharding from Paris to duty. Cold all day, wind blowing. Rumors flying around here fast and thick—going home, etc. "

April 30, 1945

No air operations – "Pay Day. . . Last one with the 1141st Quartermaster Company involved. Lots of snow this morning—approximately two inches. The English do not seem to like us to have so much snow in April. " adds Veron Sheedy.

May 1, 1945

After bad weather had grounded the ships three times, the Hundredth set out for Walkenburg, where bombardiers Alfred Paterno, Arthur Zemske and Herman Calvert, dropped the parachute containers on the large white crosses which were used to mark the target' and where thirty-seven of the Group's forty planes dispatched, released 71. 7 tons of supplies.

Luckily the Nazis did not interfere. It seemed that General Eisenhower's message, sent to the German commander notifying him that any interference with the dropping operations would result in the guilty parties being treated as violators of the rules of warfare, had taken effect.

Billy Bittle recalls: "Hague (Holland)—Dropped food on airfield at 400 feet. Truce with Germans, so we weren't fired on. Had specific corridor and altitude to fly. Saw lots of Germans in the squares. Dutch people on rooftops were waving American and Dutch flags. People were running onto the airfield while the planes were dropping cases of "C" Rations. Don't know how many committed suicide. "

In all, 392 B-17's released 776 tons of supplies over four objectives. As the missions were not considered combat sorties, a number of ground personnel also went along, to help push out the sacks and boxes. During the day, it was announced that Hitler was dead. The 'Red Flag flew over Berlin's Reichstag.

May 2, 1945

The following morning, forty of the Group's planes were dispatched to Schiphol, where thirty-nine released 76. 7 tons of supplies.

Billy Bittle writes: "I vividly remember this drop, as we were literally skimming the terrain, and pulling up to miss buildings and smokestacks. I'm sure there were many broken window panes that day from the continued prop changes to maintain airspeed. . . We also had the first fresh fruit we'd seen in months—oranges. Thinking about the Dutch people and their austerity diets, I filled my flight jacket with oranges and dropped them over Amsterdam to the people waving flags. I always regretted not having a camera on that trip, because we could clearly see the faces, waves and happiness of the people. We could also see the German troops standing in formation in the streets. We were flying single file, and the drop zone was an open field outside Amsterdam. The area was lined with people who began running onto the field after the first plane dropped its cargo. "

The Germans in Italy had surrendered.

May 3, 1945

Twenty of the Group's planes made their way to Bergen and released 37. 7 tons of supplies. A further twenty-one dropped 'the same amount on Hilversum.

Allen Gaskin flew with the latter and notes: "Same restrictions applied, with nothing to go after 1155. Salvo load—British supplies in reinforced burlap sacks from 400 feet. Take off 0930. Estimated Time of Return 1248. No opposition expected. . . Forty enemy planes in area protecting shipping so take guns. Soup's on at 1130. Great sight to see people jumping for joy upon seeing us so low. "

The British had captured Hamburg. . . Prague was declared an open city.

May 4, 1945

The scheduled mission was scrubbed due to the miserable weather and 10/10 clouds. The ceiling was zero over the Channel and parts of Holland. During the evening, it was announced that Field Marshall Montgomery had, or was going to accept the German surrender at Luneburg.

May 5, 1945

Twenty-one of the Group's planes released 37. 7 tons of supplies over Bergen airfield. Twenty more made their way to Hilversum, where sixteen dropped 30 tons—four dropped 7. 4 tons on Baarn.

Allen Glaskin writes: "Each ship departed over Southwold at thirty second intervals and flew singly to target area. "

Germans surrendered today in Holland—and everywhere we flew over, we saw Dutch flags, on every farm, house and field. Never saw such deliriously happy people. We buzzed a few towns (at around 150 feet) and people waved and jumped for joy all over the place. Rotterdam is really a mess. Hope Berlin looks twice as bad (probably does). ' A little later, Queen Wilhelmina addressed the Dutch people.

May 6, 1945

Eighteen of the Group's planes released 33. 9 tons of supplies over Bergen. Nineteen were dispatched to Hilversum, where they dropped 32. 1 tons.

May 7, 1945

Thirty-eight planes released 66. 8 tons over Schiphol.

Allen Glaskin notes: "Once again single ships all the way in and back again. British supplies dropped at Schiphol Airport just south of Amsterdam. Altitude 300 feet. Take off 1130. Initial Point 1430 (Ijmuiden).

Target 1437. Home 1600. "

On his return, Lieutenant Glaskin added: "Something big up as they collected our pistols and ammunition upon landing. . . Just heard (nine p. m. ) that V-E day (Victory in Europe) is to be announced tomorrow at three p. m. "

Vernon Sheedy writes: "Peace rumors all day. Base Headquarters put out a Restriction for all at noon today. No one can leave the Base unless authorized by the C. O. "

May 8, 1945 VE-Day

Billy Bittle explains: "We picked up thirty French who had been in a German Prisoner of War Camp. It was a pitiful sight to see how tattered and emaciated they were. Our crew consisted of pilot, co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer and radio operator, and we all gave them what gum, candy, etc. , we had. All the ex-POW's had to be deloused. Lots of German aircraft

on field, but we didn't dare remove any souvenirs because the Germans had booby trapped them before retreating. Delivered POW's to Chartres (south west of Paris). "

James Lantz writes: "Got off at 4. 30 a. m. and flew at 1,000 feet over France, Germany and Czechoslovakia. . . Along the way we could see the remains of quite a few B-17's that had been shot down. The German airfield where we landed was quite good with smooth runways and huge hangars. (Joseph) Drottar in landing, just before us, had collapsed a landing gear so we had to go around a couple of times. We parked the ship and got out and there were thirty French POW's waiting for us. . . On the way back we flew over Paris and let them get a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. We landed at Chartres, where they were hurried out into the waiting trucks. "

Lieutenant Drottar's aircraft, "The Latest Rumor" (42-97126), was soon pulled clear of the runway by attaching it to a tank, leaving her only fit for salvage. In its time at Thorpe Abbotts, the engineers had replaced fifteen engines .

May 9, 1945

The following morning, the men were "Restricted from traveling on trains, except for a twenty mile limit. "

This officially ended the 100th's Combat Tour in the European Theater of Operations in World War II. There remained a few months of moving the remaining aircraft either to the Zone of Interior or assigning them to other units in theater and of course the rotating back to the Unites States of it's personnel. (Paul West)