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James H. Wright, Jr. – Service Diary

Albert E. Trommer Crew Page

Entries : May 29, 1943 – September 9, 1944 Diary provided by Melinda Newman, James H. Wright’s granddaughter

May 29, 1943 – Kirtland Field I start here because it seems that my life in the Army really starts on this day. I say it starts today because I complete my bombardier’s training as an Aviation Cadet and I received my commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army of the United States. After I got my wings today, I was informed that I was one of the selected group to go to navigation school at San Marcos, Texas for 18 weeks. Well, I checked out of Kirtland Field for the last time and went home. Frank, Nelle, Gladys and I went bowling later.

May 30, 1943 We didn’t get up till late and we ate breakfast and started packing. We ate dinner when we finished packing and then Frank and Nell came down. We got a G.I. from the Base to carry our luggage to the railroad station where we checked it. We went to the show and ate at a restaurant and went back to the station. We left Albuquerque at 1201 AM that night.

May 31, 1943 Nothing much till we got to El Paso. We had to wait awhile for a train to San Antonio so we wandered around town for a couple of hours. We ate breakfast downtown and window shopped a lot. I bought Gladys a pair of sunglasses. We caught the train for San Antonio at 10:20 AM and were on our way again. All we did then was look at the scenery and sleep and read and play cards. We passed through Marfa, Texas about 4 in the afternoon. That’s where “Charlie” graduated from the 20th of May. We went to sleep about 10 PM.

June 1, 1943 We arrived in San Antonio about 3 AM and we had to wait till 7:15 AM to catch our train to San Marcos. We ate at a nearby restaurant. When we went back to the station we played the radio and then we played cards till time for the train to leave. We boarded the train and arrived in San Marcos at 9 AM. We went to the Chamber of Commerce to find a room. We got a room at Mrs. Kroll’s at 626 W. Hutchinson and they are the best bunch I’ve ever met. We slept all afternoon and went downtown and ate supper and went bowling.

June 2, 1943 I went to the Air Base and signed in. Filled out a lot of papers and signed out again. When I got back to town, I found out Gladys was gone swimming so I rented a horse and went down to the river. When we got back to town we ate supper at the Penn Hotel and went home and went to bed. June 3, 1943 Slept late and went up to the Penn Hotel and ate lunch. Frank and Nell were gone to Austin. Gladys and I went swimming. When we got home, we went back and ate supper at the Penn Hotel. We went horse-back riding after supper and bowling after that. We sure were tired and we went to bed soon after we got home. We both got sun-burned while we were gone swimming. (In Gladys’s handwriting: Oh, boy, how sunburned?)

June 4, 1943 Got up and dressed and went out to the Air Base again. We had some information given to us as to how we stood in relation to everything at the Base. It started raining as we left early and came back home. We went and ate supper and came home.

June 5, 1943 I got up early and went out to camp. We layed around and had some close order drill at 2 PM. We left and it started to rain. I got home just before it came a real rain. When it quit raining I got dressed and we went downtown and ate supper. When we got back home we listened to the “Grand Ole Opry” for awhile and went to sleep.

June 6, 1943 We got up late and went up and ate dinner. We came back home, changed clothes, and we went fishing. We only caught 7 little perch and Gladys caught 5 of them. When we came back we gave the fish to Mrs. Kroll and she fed them to the cat. We went downtown and ate supper. We bowled a few games and came home to bed.

June 7, 1943 I got up and went out to the base and went to school. There wasn’t much to it. We finished at 10 PM and I came home and went to bed.

June 8, 1943 Went to school again. Nothing new except that we had athletics and we were issued our watches and maps. Left at 10 PM and came home.

June 9, 1943 Went to school. Nothing new tonight. Came home at 10 PM.

June 10, 1943 Went to school. New epidemic broke out at base. Something was wrong with some of the food in the mess-hall. There were about 350 cases of diarrhea and cramping. The hospital is full now. I haven’t noticed anything yet. Athletics was cancelled due to this and we came home for a few hours. I went back for night-class and left at 9:45 PM. I got home earlier than usual and I got to sleep earlier too. June 11, 1943 Went to school again. More cases of sickness and I was beginning to notice cramps in my stomach too. I left class at 12 noon and went to the barracks. I didn’t return to class. Night class was cancelled and I came home real early. I got a good night’s sleep.

June 12, 1943 Went to base at 6 AM, ate breakfast and reported for drill. We marched to drill field and we stood inspection. We returned and went to school. We went to athletics at 10:30 AM and quit at 12 noon. I got home at 1:45 PM and it was raining. Gladys and I went down and ate supper and window shopped before we came back home. Well, I’ve got 17 more weeks to spend here to finish this course.

June 13, 1943 Slept late and got up and went to Penn Hotel and ate some lunch. Bought writing paper and came home in the rain. It rained hard in the afternoon. Borrowed typewriter and typed some letters. Ate supper downtown and came back home in the rain. Went to bed late.

June 14, 1943 Went out to school. Nothing much new. Signed voucher for travel pay, don’t know when we will get it though. Came home and went to bed late.

June 15, 1943 Went to school. Same story. Went back to San Marcos and borrowed $100.00 at the bank. Due August 2nd or 3rd. Came home earlier than usual and went to bed late after payed Mrs. Kroll for rent for 2 weeks.

June 16, 1943 Went to school. Took a general test today and was stumped. I did not know what some of the questions meant. Got home earlier than usual and Gladys had bought some clothes that I looked at. She also had a permanent. Went to bed late again.

June 17, 1943 Went to school this morning expecting to fly. Missions cancelled. Had procedure all day. Went to athletics in afternoon. Ran obstacle course and it was rotten. No fun at all. Got home late and late to bed.

June 18, 1943 Went to school. Had class all morning. Flew in afternoon. I got sick again. We went to Huntsville, Waxahachie and back home. Dismissed after class met following supper. Frank took Nelle to San Antonio to hospital today and bought car while in San Antonio. Went to bed late. Made 83.4 on test.

June 19, 1943 Went to school today. Didn’t go to drill, class or athletics. I went to the dispensary and had a sty on my left eye lanced. Came back by barber shop and stopped. Got my travel pay at 11 o’clock. Ate lunch and went to a student officers meeting at 2 PM. Came home right after that and went back downtown later. We at supper and went shopping for some fishing tackle. Came home early but listened to radio till late.

June 20, 1943 Got up at 7:30, dressed and went to Penn Hotel and ate breakfast. We dug some worms there and went to Spring Lake. We rented a boat and went fishing. Gladys caught 17 and I caught 2. We started home at 2:30 and bought some stuff at a little store. We got home, cleaned and cooked our fish and ate them. We bathed and went to the show. We saw Glenn Ford, Randolph Scott, Claire Trevor and Gwinn Williams in The Desperados. It sure was good. Went to bed late.

June 21, 1943 20th birthday – Got up at 6:30. Fooled around and ate breakfast at Penn Hotel. Went to school. Took a meteorology test at 10 AM. Had ground missions the rest of the day. Got home at 10 PM. Went to bed late. “Some birthday.”

June 22, 1943 Got up late. Left for school and ate breakfast at the Post. Went to class. Signed pay voucher at 10:30. Left at 4:45 and came to town. Gladys, Frank and I went to San Antonio to bring Nell home. Got back at 8:30 PM. Late to bed again.

June 23, 1943 Got up late. Went to school and didn’t do much. Came home about 7 PM and went to bed about 10:30.

June 24, 1943 Got up early and went to school. Ate on the Post. Skipped athletics as my stomach was hurting. Came home early. Ate supper and came home. Went to bed late.

June 25, 1943 Got up late and went to Post. Ate breakfast and went to school. Came home at 7 PM. Gladys and I went to seeCabin in the Sky with Rochester and Ethel Waters and Lena Horne. It sure was good. Got home late.

June 26, 1943 Got up early. Went to Post early. Went to dispensary and got some medicine to clear my cold up. Came home and ate lunch. Went back to Post and signed out. Came back and helped Frank a little with car. Went out to Carson’s and ate supper. Ate trout and I ate too much. My stomach hurt all night. Went to bed early.

June 27, 1943 Got up real late and bathed. Went to the Hotel and ate dinner. We came back home and went fishing out at Spring Lake. Caught 18 nice perch. Cleaned and ate 12 of them late that night. Went to bed late.

June 28, 1943 Was late getting up. Went out to Post. Ate out there. Nothing much doing. Came home early. Went to bed about 10:30.

June 29, 1943 Got up late and went to camp. Flew calibration mission with Oliver Stewart. Got sick just before finish of mission. Couldn’t take athletics as I had strained my stomach muscles and my sides and stomach hurt too much. Came home early. Went to bed early.

June 30, 1943 Got up late and went to Post. Today was payday but checks were late. Will get in tomorrow. Came home about 7:30 PM but ate downtown. Got to the house at 8:30 PM. Got to bed early.

July 1, 1943 Got up early. Went to post and to school. Got check for $257.20 and deposited it in the bank at noon. Went back to school. Came home early and ate at Carson’s. My stuff arrived from Pine Bluff via Albuquerque. Fixed lever on shotgun. Late to bed.

July 2, 1943 Got up late and went to Post. Supposed to fly but not enough pilots and planes. Went back to ground school. Came home early. Ate at Carson’s. Got to bed at 10 PM.

July 3, 1943 Went to Post. Took exam. Was notified I would fly 8 AM July 4th. Weekend trip to Kingsville ruined. I bought a car today. 1934 Ford V-8 tudor $250. Paid $100 down.

July 4, 1943 Went to Post 8 AM. Flying cancelled went fishing that evening.

July 5, 1943 Went to school all day. Off at night.

July 6, 1943 Gladys and Nelle found a house in Lockhart. We moved between 6 PM and 8 PM. House rents for $100 per month, $50.00 apiece.

I am skipping about two weeks from here (too busy to write in diary).

July 20, 1943 Nelle left for Atlanta this morning. Frank and I started painting our cars.

Am skipping few days here.

July 24, 1943 Went to camp and took exam. Gladys, Frank and I went fishing late and caught a good mess.

July 25, 1943 Gladys and I went fishing again early that morning and caught a good mess of fish. We all went to the show that night.

Am skipping a few more days.

July 28, 1943 Frank got a letter today saying that Nelle had miscarried on the 24th.

July 29, 1943 Frank applied for an emergency furlough and Major Riley told him he could leave on the 30th by plane.

July 30, 1943 Frank left and flew to Atlanta. We flew our 1st dog-leg mission.

July 31, 1943 Payday – cashed check for $401.20 this morning. Skipped school. Blew out a tire coming to Lockhart. Gladys and I left for Kingsville about 3 PM. Arrived in Kingsville at 9:30 PM (245 miles).

August 1, 1943 Spent the day at Eloise and Buck’s. We went to Corpus Christie that evening. We left Kingsville at 9:30 PM and arrived at Lockhart at 3:30 AM.

August 7, 1943 Was confined to Post for weekend. Nothing to sign so I didn’t stay.

August 10, 1943 Gladys went to San Marcos and went fishing today.

August 11, 1943 Was supposed to fly and didn’t. I went to dispensary to get chin treated. I had a rison on my chin. I returned to classroom and got a telephone call saying Gladys was in the hospital. I left immediately. When got to Lockhart she was in awful pain. The doctor expected her to miscarry at anytime.

August 12, 1943 Reported back to base and Lt. Phipps gave me the day off. By the time I got back to Lockhart Gladys had already miscarried. She was resting easy. I stayed there most of the day after buying her some nightgowns.

August 13, 1943 Got the day off and came home. Gladys was getting along fine. I went to Austin to get tires and couldn’t get it. Frank and Nelle came home that evening.

August 14, 1943 Got day off again. Brought Gladys home from hospital. Frank and I went to San Antonio and I got the tires.

Am skipping one day.

August 16, 1943 Frank and I were transferred to 43-15-9.

August 27, 1943 Lt. Jimmy Lanford, Lt. Davy J. Schmitt, Lt. William E. Robinson were killed in an airplane crash in Meridian, Miss. tonight.

Am skipping a few days again.

August 31, 1943 Frank and Nelle moved today. We are to move Saturday or Sunday. Payday again – $321.90.

Am skipping a month.

September 30, 1943 Payday again. Check for $320.50.

October 1, 1943 Left on detached service today. Flew to El Paso and on to Yuma, Ariz.

October 2, 1943 Flew from Yuma to Mather Field. Spent the night in Sacramento.

October 3, 1943 Left Mather at 9:00 AM and flew to Kingman, Ariz. Spent afternoon in Kingman and flew to Albuquerque that night at dark.

October 4, 1943 Left Albuquerque a 0200 AM and flew to Oklahoma City. Left Oklahoma city at 1600 and landed in San Marcos at 1900.

Skipping one week.

October 13, 1943 Flew to El Paso again and returned that night.

October 14, 1943 Flew to Selman Field at Monroe and returned that night. I completed 103.2 hours of navigation flying at that time.

October 23, 1943 I received my navigator’s wings and a partial payment of $190. Clear and left for Alexandria. Arrived at Luling, Tex. and gassed car. Left for Houston. Had a flat just outside of Houston and lost 30 minutes there. Went on and ran out of gas 5 miles out of Dayton. Got gas and stopped in Dayton for rest of night.

October 24, 1943 Left Dayton at 8:30 AM and drove to Orange. Had tire fixed and wheels changed. Arrived in Alexandria at 2:15 PM and was home by 3:30 PM.

October 26, 1943 Went fishing. Gladys caught 3 trout, me – none!!!

October 28, 1943 Ebb and I went to town and sold beans. He, Clara, Gladys and I went fishing that afternoon. Bertha and Stella went too. I didn’t catch any fish again.

October 29, 1943 Ebb, Clara, Gladys and I went to Flaghan Creek and I caught 3 trout.

October 30, 1943 We all went to town.

October 31, 1943 We all went fishing again.

November 2, 1943 Duck season again. I went of course. I shot 25 times and got 6, 2 teals, 2 Poule Doves and 2 sprigtails – all were fat. I got home about 2:30 PM and Gladys and Bertha were gone hunting around 3:30. Gladys came after some shells for Bill’s gun. I took mine instead and went back with her. They had a squirrel treed in a nest in an oak tree on Long Pointe. I shot 3 loads of buckshot before it moved and then I shot a load of no. 6’s and it came out of the tree and started running. I shot again and missed. Gladys ran it down and killed it. We had duck and squirrel and chocolate cake for supper.

November 3, 1943 I left Alexandria for Pyote. I never enjoyed a train ride less in all my life.

November 4, 1943 I signed in at Pyote and was assigned to crew 1-N-29.

November 5, 1943 I reserved a room in Monahan’s for Gladys at Pete’s Hotel.

November 6, 1943 I was grounded for overweight and I must lose 30 lbs.

November 8, 1943 Went up to 37,000 feet in pressure chamber. Passed out 3 times. Got travel pay of $42.32. Sent Gladys $25.00 by telegram.

November 9, 1943 Am expecting reply from Gladys this morning.

November 11, 1943 Gladys arrived today.

November 30, 1943 Got orders to go home to A.A.A.B. at Alexandria, La.

December 1, 1943 Arrived in Alexandria at 9:30 PM.

December 2, 1943 Went to base late and signed in. Was assigned to crew 523 as temporary navigator.

December 3, 1943 Went back to base early and took a 6-4 exam and dental exam.

December 4, 1943 Went out to base and marched in a welcoming parade. Went to flight line later in evening.

December 5, 1943 Was to be at flight line at 0515. Alarm failed to go off at 0345 and I awoke at 0415. I dressed and left at 0435. I arrived in Pineville at 0455. I left Alexandria city limits at 0505. At 0510 I was nearing the intersection about 600 yards from the gate when I ran into a fog bank. I was driving about 40 or 45 mph. When I hit the fog, I failed to slow down much. When I came out of the fog I was in the middle of the intersection. I slammed on the brakes and turned the car but I couldn’t make it. The car skidded into the ditch. I got my face cut around my left eye. The car was smashed. I got out and walked to the gate and got a scout car to take me to the hospital. When I got there I had 12 stitches sewed in. I stayed there 18 days.

December 23, 1943 Was discharged from hospital and got a 15 day sick leave. Signed out and went back to town to Etta’s. Gladys was sick in bed with the flu.

December 24, 1943 Bill came in and took Gladys and I on out home. Bill and went back to town.

December 31, 1943 Gladys and I went to town with Bill and Carlos. I went out and got paid. When I got back Gladys was feeling bad. We took a cab and went out to the railroad yards where she started showing signs of starting a miscarriage again. Contacted Dr. Calhoun and got medicine for her.

January 1, 1944 Gladys was so sick she had to say in bed. She was getting worse all the time.

January 2, 1944 Bill and I went to Lihuse and called Hixson’s to get an ambulance to take Gladys to the Baptist Hospital. She got there at 3 PM.

January 3, 1944 Bill went to creek after hoop-nets and tore gears in car up again. Didn’t get to go see Gladys.

January 4, 1944 Hitch-hiked to town to see Gladys. When I arrived, she was ready to go home so I got Hixson’s to take her home.

January 5, 1944 Went duck hunting all the way to Saline and only got one.

January 7, 1944 Signed in at Base at 8:40 PM.

January 8, 1944 Returned to Base at 5:30 PM and was assigned job in mail room.

January 9, 1944 Started work in mail room.

January 31, 1944 Got paid $246.90. Lost $225.00 at 12 PM (3 months flight pay).

February 5, 1944 Moved to 406 Main in Enterprise.

February 19, 1944 Bill, Bertha and kids came about 10:30 AM. Bill and I went out to the base and drug my car back to Enterprise.

February 23, 1944 We moved again to Mrs. Lee’s in Wardville.

February 29, 1944 Payday again $244.10. I bought a new shirt and 2 pairs of pants.

March 4, 1944 Mail room was moved from one end of field up to the other end.

March 13, 1944 Was assigned to Crew 3264 in 5-23 group as a navigator.

March 19, 1944 Flew tonight for first time since October 14th. A B-17 crashed just before we took off and 6 men were killed.

March 28, 1944 5-23 group changed to 5-7

April 5, 1944 Flew to Birmingham but ended up at Montgomery due to a mistake in my drift computations.

April 13, 1944 Put a request for transfer from 3264 because I didn’t get along with pilot.

April 17, 1944 Gladys and I have been married one year today. The most wonderful year I have experienced yet.

April 18, 1944 Orders were issued putting me in Crew 3723 of 5-20 group.

May 9, 1944 Gladys was nineteen (19) years old today.

May 11, 1944 Gladys’ Lane cedar chest was delivered today. She sure was crazy about it. She should have been, it cost $50.00.

May 20, 1944 Today was a sad day to Glady and me. I left Alexandria to go to Kearney, Nebraska. It was the end of my stay in Alexandria where I had been since December 1st.

May 22, 1944 Arrived at Kearney Army Air Field at 07:00 AM. We were assigned barracks and then we had a lecture at 15:00. I sent Gladys at telegram in the eve.

May 23, 1944 We had a lecture on navigation instruments. Then we had a lecture on the .45 automatic and the chin turret.

May 24, 1944 We had a lecture on crashes and then we saw two movies. One about being forced down in the Arctic and one on aircraft recognition. Then we had a lecture at 2100 on prisoners of war.

May 25, 1944 We didn’t do anything today.

May 26, 1944 We flew a compass calibration mission this morning.

May 27, 1944 We prepared to leave from Bangor, Maine at 02:00 AM on the 28th. Bad weather prevented this.

May 28, 1944 We again prepared to leave for Bangor at 02:00 AM on the 29th. This time we succeeded.

May 29, 1944 We arrived in Bangor, Maine and landed at Dove Field at 1430 PM. We were immediately processed and then we were taken to our barracks. One year ago today I started this account of my life as a commissioned officer in the Army Air Corps. Well one year is gone and I am just now on my way overseas. Life is provincial in some ways I guess. Well I took three drinks tonight as a sort of celebration. Bradshaw went A.W.O.L. and got caught. May 30, 1944 We were supposed to take off but Bradshaw had to see the C.O. and that prevented us from leaving.

May 31, 1944 Bad weather held us at Bangor again today.

June 1, 1944 We left Bangor at 1100 AM and landed at Gander Lake, Newfoundland. God! What a desolate place.

June 2, 1944 We were briefed on the route to Nutt’s Corner, Ireland but the weatherman said, “No.” I went boat riding.

June 3, 1944 The weatherman still said “No flying.” It snowed this evening.

June 4, 1944 Well it was still snowing this morning. It has quit and the snow is melting now. We may leave now as I have been told. I am skeptical about it though. In one way I hate to leave and in another way I can’t stand this place because there is nothing to do around here. We are however getting $7.00 per day for sitting here.

June 5, 1944 When we awoke this morning Trommer checked the bulletin board and found that we were to leave tonight. We did leave for Nutt’s Corner, Ireland.

June 6, 1944 Today is D-Day, the invasion started today. We landed in Nutt’s Corner, Ireland this morning. It was cold and raining and it has been that way all day. We are to leave here tomorrow evening for somewhere in England.

June 7, 1944 I slept until 1400 PM, got up and cleaned up some and packed my field bag. Went to eat. We left and went to Larne, Ireland. We stayed there all night. It sure was a poor place so stay.

June 8, 1944 We got up and ate a very sorry breakfast. We went down and boarded the boat and went to a place in Scotland named Stranraer. We disembarked and went to another camp. We ate again but it was still very poor. We boarded the train for London and the 8th Air force Headquarters. June 9, 1944 We didn’t go to London after all. We arrived at Stake, England at 0455 AM. We went to the camp and went to bed and slept till 1300 PM. We didn’t do anything the rest of the day.

June 10, 1944 We had an orientation lecture at 1330 PM and saw a movie with Burgess Meredith in it. We ate supper and went to see Journey Into Fear starring Joseph Cotton and Orson Wells. We came home and wrote letters and shinned our shoes. Then we all went to bed.

June 11, 1944 We had a gas mask lecture and an immunization check. We at dinner of fried chicken and ice cream. Got passes to go to town but undecided about whether or not to go.

June 12, 1944 We got up late and at lunch. We went back to the dungeon and stayed. Ate supper, read till late.

June 13, 1944 Got up at 1000AM and packed to move to Beatty Hall. Before we had finished packing Lee came in and said we were leaving on the 14th. When we got to our new barracks I repacked my bags for shipment to next station. We went to the show later and saw Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart. Went home to write a letter to Gladys.

June 14, 1944 Got up early, ate breakfast and left Stone at 0900 AM. Walked to town and boarded train for Bury St. Edwards; at 1600 PM we arrived. We got out to 94th Bomb Group. They didn’t need us so we went to the 100th Bomb Group. We were put in the 350th Squadron.

June 15, 1944 Went to personnel office and turned in orders. Went to an orientation lecture. Ate lunch and went to another lecture. Had shot record and teeth checked. Then had picture taken. Ate supper and wrote a letter to Gladys. Had two alerts after dark.

June 16, 1944 Went to school all day. Had an alert at 1610 PM.

June 17, 1944 Went to school all day.

June 18, 1944 Went to school all day.

June 19, 1944 Went to school all day.

June 20, 1944 Went to school all day.

June 21, 1944 Today I am a man. I am 21 years old. We had ground school again all day.

June 22, 1944 Same old thing, ground school all day again.

June 23, 1944 We had a few classes today.

June 24, 1944 We flew a practice mission this morning. We had one cancelled in the afternoon.

June 25, 1944 We flew late in the morning, got back and flew down to 390th group. Met Bill Russell there. Got home late. David Shass went down over Paris today.

June 26, 1944 Scheduled to fly but the weather cancelled it. Had trainers in the afternoon.

June 27, 1944 Got up and ate lunch. Went to fly. Stayed up for 3 hrs. Landed and went to barracks.

June 28, 1944 Got up late, found out that on the flight of 27th that Lt. Donaldson and crew were still missing. They were presumed to be lost for good. Al and I swung the compasses in 991 this afternoon on the ground. Ate supper and went to bed very late. Funny thing, that airplane disappeared into thin air.

June 29, 1944 We flew in the afternoon. After having been here for the 5th day, I still have not received any mail. Well tomorrow is payday.

June 30, 1944 I was awakened at 1000 AM to fly an instrument procedure assent and descent. When we landed we rushed to eat and report back for a practice formation flight. When we returned, we were alerted for the real thing at last. It was scrubbed after a while. Giles, Irons, Jones and Skelton got teed up. Skelton shot a hole in the roof. We got to bet at 0200 AM.

July 1, 1944 Got up late and went and got paid. Went to a show and a class in target maps. We are alerted again tonight. Maybe we will and maybe we won’t. We didn’t.

July 2, 1944 Got up late. Scheduled to fly formation but mission was scrubbed at last minute. Went to show that night, sayHuman Comedy. Very good but too realistic and sad.

July 3, 1944 Got up and went to class late. Ate lunch and stayed in barracks. It rained all day.

July 4, 1944 We got a lot of mail today. I got nine letters. We were alerted to fly this evening. Short tactical mission. They scrubbed it just as we were starting engines.

July 5, 1944 I was awakened at 10 AM to fly a short while. Flew 1 ½ hours. Alerted to fly tactical mission again and it was scrubbed again. Alerted again to fly early on the 6th.

July 6, 1944 We flew our first combat mission today. It wasn’t so bad. We only had one hole in the plane. Stayed in barracks the rest of the day. May fly another one in the morning. Went to Flury, France.

July 7, 1944 We flew as spares today. Lost the formation and returned to base. Went to sleep. Were alerted to fly on 8th.

July 8, 1944 Briefed very early. Took off at 0330 AM. Were informed original target cancelled due to weather. Bombed target of opportunity. A main line R.R. (railroad) junction of Paris to west coast R.R. line. Returned to base and landed at 0930. No enemy opposition encountered at all. Slept in afternoon and saw a show in the evening. On stand-by for tomorrow.

July 9, 1944 We got up and flew a practice mission. Returned and ate. Supper was early and missed it. Supposed to go on pass on 10th.

July 10, 1944 Flew practice mission very early. Left on pass at 3 PM. Flew down close to London. Landed, ate supper and went into Reading and caught train to London. Went to Red Cross “Reindeer Club” and stayed.

July 11, 1944 Got up late and went shopping. Lee and I went to show then we returned to our room. We ate supper and he left to visit an old buddy of his. I stayed in the room and read. Went to bed late.

July 12, 1944 Got up at 10 AM, shaved and dressed. Went to barber shop and got haircut, massage and a shampoo. Lee and Tim went to show. I went shopping again. We caught the 5:06 PM train out of London for Diss. Got home at 8:30 PM. When we got home we were alerted to fly the next morning.

July 13, 1944 We got up at 1 AM and went to briefing at 2 AM. Took off at 5 AM and flew over to Munich, Germany. Flight time was 8 hours and 30 minutes. Bombed from 26,500 ft., highest altitude have been to yet. On return trip we were attacked by some Me. 109s. Arrived home minus two planes. Waters and Hardy went to Switzerland because their engines were shot out. We got home at 2 PM. Couldn’t sleep this afternoon. On the alert to fly again tomorrow.

July 14, 1944 We got up very early and were briefed to fly to Southern France. We were to drop some very special parachute bombs. These bombs were full of equipment for the French guerillas. We were the only plane that was unable to release our bombs. We returned to the base. I ate and came back to the barracks. I went to sleet at 5:00 PM. I had a parachute from one of the bombs.

July 15, 1944 I awoke at 10:00 AM. I dressed and ate. Went to a meeting at 13:30 and came back to the barracks. Then after sewing a while I ate supper. Capt. Howard phoned and said there was a stand down till tomorrow. I wrote Gladys a letter and am going to bed.

July 16, 1944 Nothing to do today. Slept late and layed around barracks all day.

July 17, 1944 Got up very early. Briefing was very early. We couldn’t get off the ground. Engine trouble. We went back to bed. Got up at noon for a rush mission. It was scrubbed when we got in the air. We were briefed at 1600 for a noball in France. For the third time we climbed aboard. This time we made the trip. We bombed at the target. We missed the damned thing. We go some nice flack holes in our wings.

July 18, 1944 The Keil Canal this morning. Bradshaw flew with Fitzroy and we stayed at home. We were to do some slow time but the field closed down. Then Al flew that afternoon with Capt. Smith. I stayed at home. July 19, 1944 We flew air spare today on a raid to Schweinfurt. One plane aborted so we filled in. We didn’t drop on the primary nor secondary targets but we did bomb at Rouen. We missed the damned target 4,000 yards. We got home at 1300. Slept in the afternoon and part of the night.

July 20, 1944 We flew to Meresburg this morning. We bombed from 23,500 feet. Flack and rockets were all over the sky. We got down at 1430.

July 21, 1944 We started to Regnesburg, Germany. We ran into a high front northeast of Frankfurt. We climbed to 28,000 and leveled out on top. We turned around short of Regensburg and we bombed Ludwigsburg instead.

July 22, 1944 We didn’t do anything today because of bad weather.

July 23, 1944 We didn’t do anything again today. Just sit around. I made a scarf from the parachute that we got on our 4thmission. We were alerted to fly again at last. Went to bed hoping.

July 24, 1944 We got up and briefed at 8 AM. We flew down to France. Our target was near St. Lô. We didn’t drop due to bad weather. Came home and ate.

July 25, 1944 Same target as yesterday. We were instructed to drop as low as 10,000 if it was necessary in order to bomb the target visually. We dropped our bombs from 12,000. Just after leaving the target one crew bailed out behind the German lines. The irony was that it was their 35 and last mission. We went on pass upon returning. Went to London.

July 26, 1944 I got up at 08:45 AM and dressed. I went to Paddington Station and bought a ticket to Exeter. I left at 10:30 AM and arrived at 02:30 PM. By 04:30 PM I had already found Homer. He got a pass and we went to town. We roamed around town all evening. He had to be back at 23:00 PM so I left him just before 11 and went to the station. Caught the train back to London at 01:30 AM.

July 27, 1944 I arrived in London at 08:30 AM. I had to stand up all the way back. I got a few hours sleep and wend shopping. I caught a cab and went to the train. I arrived at the base at 09:00 PM.

July 28, 1944 We were briefed to fly to Merseburg. I had a strange feeling about the mission. Something kept telling me I’d be sorry. I had left one of my knives in 413 on Tuesday and I wanted to get it before I took off. It was so late when I got to the ship though that I let it go. We lost our pathfinder ship with Noble and Mason in it due to fire. We lost another ship due to fire and then two more in a collision. We had a hell of a time too. There was more flak at Merseburg than I ever saw before. I hope I never see it again. We got home only by the grace of God I think. This was mission #11.

July 29, 1944 We went back to Merseburg again today. Flak was more accurate and heavier. We mad a dry run. As we left the R.P. enemy fighters jumped us. The low squadron in the low group was composed of Jones, Stacey, and Fitzroy. None of them came back. We had one attack on our ship. Klutz sent him down in smoke. Another time we returned home by the grace of God. There is to be a stand down tomorrow. I hope they don’t change their mind.

July 30, 1944 We just sat around today. Flew a practice mission this afternoon.

July 31, 1944 We went to Munich today. I dropped the bombs myself from 25,000 feet. We got 11 holes in our plane. One piece of flak hit the #1 cylinder head on #2 engines. It tore the whole top off of the cylinder. We luckily didn’t even have to feather the engine thank God. We came home escorted by P-51s and P-47s all the way. Well July is gone. We flew 13 missions in 26 days. I hoe we can fly 15 next month. Well we have been gone from Alexandria for 72 days now and it seems like a year since I last saw my darling wife.

August 1, 1944 We flew a practice mission in the morning. We were awarded the Air Medal by Col. Jeffery that afternoon.

August 2, 1944 We slept late and went to briefing at 1145 AM. We went to France, northeast of Paris and bombed a railroad bridge. Got home very late.

August 3, 1944 Did nothing all day long. Wrote letters and got my rations. Went to the show and saw June Allyson and Van Johnston in Two Girls and a Sailor. It was very good. Cleaned up my dresser and wrote more letters.

August 4, 1944 We got up at 4:30 and briefed at 5:30 AM. Target was Hamburg, Germany. We took off and climbed out over the North Sea. We bombed the target area at 1330 PM. Results not known yet. We returned to the base and ate supper. No mail again today.

August 5, 1944 We got up and left on pass for London. We left Diss at 2 PM. Arrived in London at 5:20 PM. We went to the Reindeer club and ate. We went to see Bing Crosby in Going My Way. It was really good. We ate again. Went to bed late.

August 6, 1944 We slept late. Got up and ate lunch. Went downtown to meet the boys. I went to the show in the afternoon. I say Red Skelton in Whistling In Brooklyn. It was really a good picture. Went back and ate and then went for a walk.

August 7, 1944 Got up earlier and dressed. Ate breakfast and went shopping. The Post Exchange Clothing Store was the only store open. I left London on the early train. We got home at 4:30 PM. No mail while was gone. Was alerted for 8th.

August 8, 1944 We briefed at 6:15. We were to bomb the German lines south of Caen. We did, much to our sorrow. We lost two ships. Keyes and Zeller went down. Keys’ ship lost the tail due to a direct hit by a burst of flak. Zeller’s crew bailed out. Wilson got hit by a piece of flak on his arm and hand. He wasn’t hurt very seriously. I had some mail waiting for me when I came back.

August 9, 1944 Al was grounded by a cold today. The mission was scrubbed so we didn’t miss anything. We just sat around all day and did nothing. Stand down for tomorrow.

August 10, 1944 Tim and Al flew as instructor pilots this morning. Lee and I slept late. They got back around 3 PM. Major Rosenthal had a meeting of all the 350th crews. Went to the show after supper. Saw Edward G. Robinson and Lyn Bari inTampico. It was good. Went to bed real late. Stand down till noon tomorrow supposedly.

August 11, 1944 We didn’t do anything all day long. We just sat around. I got a lot of mail from home today.

August 12, 1944 We sat around again today. Kluttz, Stone and I went to have our pictures taken with the Air Medal. We were alerted for the 13th.

August 13, 1944 We went to France again today. We bombed a road at {48° 49’N, 01° 38’E}. There was practically no flak today. We came back and ate chicken and ice cream.

August 14, 1944 We went to Ludwicshaven this morning. When we arrived there, we had a nice barrage waiting for us. We got one hole in the plane. The target was hit pretty well. the weather was pretty nice. We came home late. Alerted for 15th.

August 15, 1944 We flew a real “milk run” today. We bombed an undefended airfield at Venlo, Holland. Weather was perfect. No flak was encountered anywhere to speak of. We went to the show.

August 16, 1944 We got our flak leave today. Al, Tim, Lee, Shortie, Bill, J.C. and Tom all went to Blackpool. I stayed here. I just lay around the barracks.

August 17, 1944 I got up late. Ate lunch and came back to the barracks and read a book. I sewed a little more on my baby dresses. Went to bed late.

August 18, 1944 I got up late and ate lunch. I came back and sewed all afternoon. I went to supper and then came back and sewed on the dress until I finished it. Then I wrote Gladys a letter and went to bed.

August 19, 1944 Got up late and ate lunch. It clouded up and was trying to rain all afternoon. I ate supper and went up to Squadron Orderly Room to get my first Oak Leaf Cluster. It started to rain as soon as we got through. It rained all night.

August 20, 1944 I got up around 10:00 AM and dressed and ate. Then I went to Diss to catch the train to London. I had to stand up all the way and the train was an hour late. To top it all off, it rained all morning and it was still raining when I got to London. I finally got to the Reindeer Club. I ate and wrote Gladys a letter. Then I went to bed.

August 21, 1944 I got up and went shopping after eating breakfast. I bought some music and went to the P.X. I bought some clothes. Then I ate lunch and went to the show. I saw Cover Girl, it was pretty good. Then I ate supper and wrote Gladys again. I read a while in my room and then I went to bed.

August 22, 1944 I got up late and got a cab to take me to the train. I got on the train and came home. I got home and ate supper. Then I wrote Gladys and went to bed.

August 23, 1944 I got up and ate lunch. Then I came back and started sewing on another dress. I sewed all afternoon. I ate supper and came back and finished the dress. I wrote Gladys and am going to bed.

August 24, 1944 I got up late again and ate. The boys came back tonight.

August 25, 1944 We got up fairly early and went to target study class. Then I got a new oxygen mask and ate lunch. Spent the afternoon writing letters. We are alerted for 26th.

August 26, 1944 We went to Brest, France this morning. We made a dry run because of the undercast over the target. The target was a battery of 105 mm. guns. The low squadron bombed the target on their 4th run over the target. We came home. We are alerted for the 27th. Well today was the 20th mission. Now we are on our way again. I hope we keep on rolling now.

August 27, 1944 We started to go to Berlin this morning. We got within 30 miles of the coast of Denmark and ran into a stationary front and turned back. We fooled around and went over Northern Germany. We got shot at. We came home and didn’t drop our bombs again. Well we got shot at over enemy territory and that is supposed to constitute a mission. We had better get credit for it. I had 4 letters waiting when I got home. 3 from Gladys and one from Mama. We also had chicken and ice cream and cherry pie for supper. I wrote Gladys and Mama and now I’m ready for bed.

August 28, 1944 It rained most of the day and we sat around the barracks all day. Had a class or two but I didn’t go.

August 29, 1944 We had some classes but we didn’t go. We slow timed 657 “Boss Lady” for an hour. Then we came down and ate.

August 30, 1944 We had some more classes but again we didn’t go. We finished slow timing “Boss Lady”. Put 4 hours on it. Then we cam in and ate. Welty, Giles and Skelton had another wild night. They were drunk and they sure were funny to watch.

August 31, 1944 I sent Gladys my picture today. Also, I sent her a money order for $75. I just sat around the rest of the day wrapping up some personal belongings of Fincher’s and Jones’.

September 1, 1944 I mailed the packages today. We are on pass so there is nothing to do. I just sat around all day.

September 2, 1944 Slept late and got up and ate lunch. Sat around barracks rest of the evening. It started raining. Lee, Al and Time came in later.

September 3, 1944 We went down to the Crozon Peninsula just south of Best. Made one dry run. On second run over the target, it was clear and we bombed visually. We made a direct hit on the target. We came home and had chicken and ice cream.

September 4, 1944 It was raining again so I stayed in bed till noon. Then I got up and ate. After lunch Wilson and Shortie brought an Air Medal and Purple Heart over for me to wrap. Then I just did nothing the rest of the day.

September 5, 1944 We went to Stuttgart this morning. We bombed visually from 23,000 ft. We dropped the whole load exactly where it was supposed to be dropped. We got home early in the evening; it was 9 ½ hours in the air. Flak was fairly heavy and extremely close but we didn’t lose anyone. We had a number of ships shot up.

September 6, 1944 I got up and went down to Group Operations to help Lt. Abbey fix the flight plans for a mission. Then I came back and ate lunch. I came back to the barracks and finished my map.

September 7, 1944 It rained all day today. We just sat in the barracks and hovered around our fire. We were informed that we are to go on pass on the 8th.

September 8, 1944 I slept till noon today. When I got up, I fixed Brad’s pants for him. I ate lunch and came back. The boys left on pass. I stayed at the base.

September 9, 1944 I slept till noon again and got up and ate lunch. Then I went after the mail. I got 2 from Gladys. First ones since the 5th. I went to see Shortie, Wilson and Kluttz. I stayed a while and came back to the barracks. I started working on Wilson’s map. I ate supper and came back to the map. I wrote Gladys late and went to bed.

September 10, 1944 I slept till noon again and got up and shaved. Then I ate lunch. I came back and wrapped the silk and nylon to send home. I ate supper early. Then I came home and drew pictures a while. I wrote a letter to Gladys. We are alerted for tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

September 11, 1944 There is no entry written under the heading of this day because at 12:05 PM Buddy’s plane was hit by enemy aircraft flak in the right wing and the bomb bays. The plane, “Boss Lady”, exploded mid-air over Schmiedeberg, Germany and Buddy, Al Trommer, Shortie Severson, William Stone, and Lee Groce were all killed in action. Tim Bradshaw, J.C. Kluttz , Thomas Kent’s and Charles Wilson were captured by the Germans and held as POWs. The mission was to bomb Ruhland Oil Refinery in Germany.