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Sgt. Joseph Adams 350th HQ Detachment

S/Sgt Joseph Adams, original WG on Cecil O. Daniels crew and grounded due to chronic air sickness. “Rosie” assigned him to 350th BS HQ where he was a clerk throughout the remainder of the War. We asked Joe what took place at Squadron Operations before and after a mission since we rarely are able to hear about this perspective. We encourage those who were Ground personnel to share their experiences with us……Michael P. Faley-100th Bomb Group Historian 

Dear Michael,
I will attempt to answer the questions you asked me about in your email. Mission Alerts came from Group Headquarters, then to the four Squadrons. Each Squadron Operation office would select which crews would be flying (on a rotation basis). This was posted on a large wall board which also included what position each crew would be flying. Group Headquarters would then inform each Squadron where they would fly in the Group. This wall board had rectangle squares outlined on a white background covered with a heavy clear plastic. We would print each pilots name over the rectangular space with a black wax marker. If a crew was lost or missing, the name was easily removed with lighter fluid and a mechanic rag. I think only 3 Squadrons from the 100th participated on most missions each time with one squadron standing down. The flight crews would be put on alert but would not know what time until they were awakened by Squadron personnel (this was one of my jobs). This might be around tw0 or three AM. The officers would go to officer’s mess for breakfast, the enlisted crew members to combat crew mess which was separate. Then they would all report to one building for briefing. This would be the first time they would find out where the target was that day. After briefing trucks, jeep’s, etc would take them to their respective hardstands and planes. At this time all equipment was checked as well as conferring with the ground mechanics about the plane. Ordnance would have loaded the bombs in all the planes before the crews arrived. The type of bombs used depended on the target selected and the field order. When the mission returned we would wait at the runways and count the planes coming back. Hoping and praying all would return. At least everyone you knew. Then the crews were taken to de-briefing, usually getting a shot or two of booze to calm them down. You asked about Col Lyster and some of the other 350th Officers. I remember Col Lyster very well. I had to wake him for every mission. He had his own private headquarters. Heat in the winter was provided with a round coke stove converted into an oil heater. The oil tank was outside the building and by gravity the oil was directed into the stove on gravel in the bottom. The heat was controlled by a small petcock in the copper tubing. Each time I would wake him he would lecture me on “the last time I either had it dripping too fast, therefore it got too hot, or not fast enough so it was too cold”. This was about the only contact I had with him other than in the 350th Sqdn office. The other officers of the 350th you asked about: Capt John P. Gibbons and Major Rosie Rosenthal were highly respected and admired by all of us. True Hero’s of the 100th BG. S/Sgt Joe Adams 350th Bomb Squadron HQ