BOMBING MISSION NOTES
WILLIAM T. CARLIN
8TH AIRFORCE (US ARMY AIR CORPS)
487TH BOMBER GROUP
(Original notes hand written in small notebook; later transcribed/typed
by his daughter, Kathleen Carlin Salvati, in 2013)
October 22, 1944
Sunday morning, 05:00 on Oct. 22, 1944, we left Lincoln, Nebraska for Grenier Field, N. H.
At approximately 11:35 on the same day we were over Avon, NY and circled
the town. While circling, we dropped two
message streamers. As we pulled away,
the streamers were lost from our view, so we were not sure of where they landed
(ed. Note – my grandparents said they
were found – one was down the street from their house – at the end of what is
now Richmond Lane – then called Sam’s Lane – in yard of home owned by Con and
Celia Horne (?) later owned by Warners at Corner of
Richmond Lane and Clinton Street). We
were at an altitude of approx. 200 feet while circling. I believe one message streamer landed near
the center of town.
We landed at Grenier Field, Manchester
NH around 13:00 on the same day.
October 23, 1944
At 0:500 on Monday 23rd we took off
for Goose Bay, Labrador, (Canada) but were forced to land because of engine
fire. Finally, at 06:30 we headed for
We landed at Goose Bay around 14:00 of the same day. Labrador was quite a sight for us, being
covered with snow and ice. That day
resembled a good old January day around home.
October 24, 1944
We were roused at 02:00 on Tues 24th
Oct. for briefing. At 05:30 we took off
for Meeks Field, Iceland. Halfway to our
destination, we were called back because of bad weather ahead. (This halfway point was the Southern tip of
October 25, 1944
At 05:00 on Oct. 25, Wednesday, we again
headed for Iceland. The trip was
accompanied by very bad weather all the way.
We were lucky to break out about 100 miles from destination. We landed in Iceland around 13:00 on
October 27, 1944
At 06:00 on Oct. 27, Friday, we took off for
Valley, Wales. On this flight, we got
our first look at the countryside of the U.K.
It sure was a change from what we had been used to. We landed at Valley around 14:00 that
afternoon. At Valley, we left our ship
and the next day, took a train to Stone.
October 28, 1944
Took train to Stone. Our stay at
Stone gave us a chance to see some of the countryside and become acquainted
with some of the customs.
November 3, 1944
On Friday, November 3, 1944, we left Stone for our assigned field at Lavenham. Our train
made a change at Cambridge and we had an hour for a quick look at that
town. We arrived at Lavenham
around 07:00 that night. (Ed note: assume he meant 7pm)?
At first glance, the field looked pretty gloomy, but that at
least in part, was due to the weather.
We soon found that the food was very good, the buildings were
cold, and the field itself spread all over the countryside.
The first two weeks here was spent in Ground School and a
few orientation flights to acquaint us with the maze of airfields that cover
England. It seemed almost impossible to
tell them apart.
About the third day here, I bought an English bicycle
complete with lights and two wheel friction brakes (no coaster brakes on most
bikes). It was a new bike and cost 10
pounds / $40. It turned out to be worth
far more to me as the Mess Hall, club and showers were about a mile from the
hut. Everything else on the base was
spread out the same way.
I now have the feeling that I’ll never be warm until I get
back to the States. It rains every day
and stays very damp in the buildings because of the lack of heat. Fuel is very scarce and the only warm place
turned out to be the good old “sack”.
Gradually we became accustomed to it and soon we discovered, despite
many inconveniences, that we could be a lot worse off.
Now we were anxiously awaiting our first mission. Those two weeks seemed to drag by. We went into our third week here at Lavenham still awaiting our first mission. The weather was against us getting
started. We flew practice missions and
found that the longer we flew, the easier it was to get lost.
November 23, 1944
On Thanksgiving, November 23, we celebrated the Group’s 100th
Mission. We had quite a time with
shows, movies, dances and refreshments.
It was on the day that Bill put a stick of wood through the spokes of my
rear wheel. That’s what we get for
hooking wood. So – my bike was laid up
for a few days and I resorted to walking.
Now, I found out just how valuable that bike was to me.
We bought a radio for 12 pounds/ $48 and it turned out to be
quite a good one. I had the time of my
life hooking up extra speakers and antennas to it.
MISSION #1 – MERSEBERG
– NOVEMBER 30 (THURS), 1944
Our first mission and we certainly picked a
honey – “the most” heavily defended target among our priority lists. We didn’t quite realize this until we got
We left the English coast around 10:30 and had a very
uneventful trip as far as the front line.
We came in over Brussels. By this
time, we were at about 20,000 feet and still climbing. We crawled into our “flak” suits and I into
two of them. I had one on and the other
piled around the exposed parts. About 10
minutes from the I.P. I saw about 10 bursts of flak off our right wing about
approx. 1,000 yards. It probably was
from a flak area and could not reach us because we were out of range.
We hit the I.P. and started our 10 minute run. The sky was filled with Forts and P51s. That day we had a squadron of fighters for
every squadron of bombers. As I opened
my doors, I began seeing what they meant by “intense flak”. The group off to our right wing was just
black with it. I saw two Forts start
down smoking bad. Two others with
direct hits collided with a third and went down in flames.
I don’t know what was wrong with the lead ship, for we were
off to the left of the target about 3,000 yards. Our group was getting moderate flak. I was so damn scared that I think I was
shaking. Once I saw 5 bursts in a row
come right at the nose. I closed my
eyes and prayed (as if I wasn’t already going full capacity). When I looked again, it had stopped.
Our crew saw six ships go down. I was as busy as I could make myself watching
the lead ship. Once or twice I looked
off to our right and saw that black wall, below and in front of us, you could
hardly see the Forts. When I let the
bombs go, you could feel the ship jump with each release. Boy, what a feeling when we peeled off and
lost a couple thousand feet. The sky
was black ahead of us but nothing to the left.
From here on out, we weaved all over the sky. There was very little flak there. Once out of the area, we were OK.
I made my regular interphone checks once every five
minutes. On one of these, the ball
failed to answer. The waist went and got
him almost froze stiff and his oxygen hose
unplugged. He passed out when he
changed from the bottle to his line.
While this was going on, I checked again with the tail. He failed to answer. Bill was scared stiff as were we all, and
went back to help. They damn near
passed out crawling around back there.
Kramer was out cold but was OK as soon as we gave him oxygen. His
hose froze up on him, and he never knew what happened. They finally got them in the radio room. We had dropped like a bullet to 6,000 feet
when Bill said that Kramer was darn near done for. If fighters had been around, we would have
been dead ducks.
Three P51’s came down with us and we could have kissed
them. We were all scared silly. Well, we learned the hard way. Our first mission on one of the worst
targets and to come through all that hell of flak and then almost lose two men
on anoxia. We got back OK though and
hit the field just a minute before the formation. That was a mission as far as I was
20 – 250 lb GP’s; 100 ft. train internal.
Alt over Tar:
27,500, we were No. 11 in High Sq.
Low undercast all the
way to target
Visual run with smoke pots trying to obscure
59 Forts lost; we saw six.
to our ship
Only casualty was slight frostbite on Rawlins’
Target was compressor houses in oil refinery
We hit left of this target but the group on our
right hit the area anyway
We’ll know whether we hit it or not if we go
back again in a few days.
MISSION #2 – KOBLENZ
– DECEMBER 2, 1944 (SAT)
Our second mission. We were
relieved beyond all measures to find it wasn’t Merseberg
again. It was reported to be a moderate
flak area. We were to bomb the
marshalling yards in the city itself. A
visual run was expected, but we had P.F.F. set up in case of a
Well we got just across the front lines and 3 minutes from the I.P. and
they called us back because of clouds up to 30,000 feet. We returned to the field with our bombs!
100 ft train
No. 13 in Lower Squadron, 22,500 (last ship in 8th
Groups ahead of us did get through and hit the
MISSION #3 – MAINZ
– DECEMBER 4, 1944 (MON)
Mission #3. We were routed
through Belgium, etc. Our target was
the marshalling yards. It was briefed
as a visual run but turned out to be a P.F.F. run. We ran into intense, accurate flak but only
for a few minutes.
12,500 lb G.P.
140 ft. train
No. 12 in Lower Squadron
No damage to ship.
We missed the yards but hit the city.
MISSION #4 –
MERSEBERG – DEC. 6 (WED)
Old Faithful again. We knew we
would be getting it again soon. This
time, we went North over Zuider Zee and then into the target. On the
way in, we hit flak in several places but avoided it by staying in the
corridors. We bombed P.F.F. and they
had our number this time again. The
flak was intense and very accurate. I
could see those old babies lined up right on our nose and wings. At “Bombs Away” we made a sharp left turn and
I saw four bursts right down our alley.
I counted them as they came in on us and I knew the fifth would be damn
close. It was! It broke near our tail and under us. The ship shuddered and scared the death out
of us. When we landed, we found a hole
in back of the ball and one in the stab. wing
Another honey to say the least
20-250 lb GP
No. 9 in Lead Squadron
Holes in stab. Wing and in back of ball
We think we hit the area of the refinery at
Group behind us said they saw smoke coming up
through the undercast.
HAMM – THURS DEC.
Target- marshalling yards. It
looked like a pretty good mission. We
were routed across “Zuider Zee” etc.
The mission was scrubbed before we had our guns in the ship.
FRIDAY, DEC. 8,
Stood down because of weather. As usual, ,flew a
SAT / SUN MON –
Had quite a time in London. Arrived back here around 12:00 Monday
MISSION #5 – DARMSTADT
– DEC. 12, 1944 (TUES)
A honey of a mission for a change.
We hit the marshalling yards – seven hours. Routed over Brussels, etc. We hit a bit of luck and had a visual run on
the yards. We practically leveled it. I saw smoke and flame all over the area.
No flak – which was odd, because there
were 8 battereis around the area. We had about 12-20 rockets come through the
formation but did no damage.
A real milk run
10 500 lb
GP 2 M-17’s, 80 ft. train
Alt. 25,500 ft.
No. 13, Lower Squadron (had to drop out of High
Squadron because of a bad engine).
Visual run on yards
Pictures show hits all over target area.
MISSION #6 – HANOVER
– DEC.15 (FRI)
Another day we won’t forget. We
were to bomb the R.R. yards at Hanover.
We were supposed to fly No. 7 in Lead Squadron and carried a K-22 and
target information. We had old No. 003
and naturally had trouble getting off the ground. After changing ships twice, we finally took
003 with a bum C-I and ball turret.
Already we were two hours and a half behind the formation, but we caught
them (drawing 38” 2300
RPM) at the Dutch coast. As usual, we
found we were drawing 42” 2400 RPM to stay with them. I suppose I felt something was going to
happen, but I never realized it would turn out so bad. We were 1-1/2 minutes from our I.P. (Dümmer See Lake) when No. 4 engine blew a head and poured
oil out on the wing. We left the
formation and headed home. Bill called
for fighters, but couldn’t get through.
About 5 minutes later, No. 2 gave out.
Now is when we went
into action. I dumped the bombs … and
everyone began throwing out everything that came loose. (The thought of being a P.W. didn’t appeal to
us.) We also knew if we headed for
France, flak would cut us to pieces and an undercast
made the possibility of finding a field very slim. Besides, with a stripped down ship, we were
holding 12,000 ft. on No. 1 and No. 3 engines pretty good. Bill called and said he believed we would
make it OK. Well, we were just about
over the coast when I looked at No. 3 and saw that dark, slimy, gooey oil
pouring out of the cowl flaps. Before
Bill told us, I knew we were going to ditch.
We were then at about 11,000 ft.
Bill went on Channel D and started Air Sea Rescue procedure. They had fixes on us all the way. (Those boys are on the old ball). I went back to the Radio Room and saw the
Radar jamming sets still in their racks.
I tore them out and passed them back to the waist, along with the tuning
units for the liaison set. Steve was
back now, No. 3 was out, just turning over so we had vacuum pressure for
instruments. Steve and I took the radio
hatch off and got everyone straightened around and made sure each knew which
dinghy he was going to.
At 3,500 feet, Mike came back and he had my hat. I didn’t know how I was going to keep it,
but slammed it on my head. Bill was
talking with Air Sea Rescue all the way.
When No. 3 went out entirely. We
held 500 feet for 5 minutes on Engine No. 1.
(46” 2500 RPM). We came from 18
miles away from the nearest boat up to 3 miles when we hit; on that one
engine. Bill told them he was setting
her down. We, in the Radio Room, were
all in position and had our heads braced when she hit.
I can’t explain the impact, it was a little like a dream,
until the water came in on me! I was
thrown forward against the pile. Later,
I found Mike had gone through the bulkhead and into the bomb bay. The ship shuddered and shook and slammed but
finally settled down. Water came up
under me, from in back of me and from on top of me. I swallowed salt water and I guess that
snapped me out of it. It scared the
devil out of me anyway. I stood up in
water up to my hips and tried to step on the radio rack to get out. My boots were so heavy I could hardly make
it. Steve gave me a boost and I got up
on the edge of the hatch. That first
sight was something to remember. The sea
was running high with waves and swells about 10-12 feet. I looked for the dinghys
and remembered I hadn’t pulled the releases.
I gave them a yank and arrowed out.
All this happened in a few seconds (4 or 5). What a sight when I saw those big yellow dinghys start to open up.
I dropped on the wing and saw it was under about 3 feet. The nose was covered. The dinghy had broken loose and I just caught
the edge of it. I pulled myself in and
looked for someone. I saw the whole
front section nose down to the tail up.
The ship was broken in two waist (?) and it kept heaving like a ????. My dinghy
kept rubbing against the tail section and I had quite a job keeping out from
under that tail. It would go up and I’d
slide under; I’d push away and down came the tail. Suddenly I realized the ship had gone down
and I was riding over the spot where the tail went under. All this happened in 20-25 second!! Now I see what they mean by seconds seeming
like a lifetime. I’ll never forget the
sound of that metal twisting and rubbing together as the waves heaved the ship
up and down. I saw Mike all by himself
and tried to get to him. I might as well
have saved my efforts because I couldn’t get a bit closer. Steve & Tomko
were holding on my raft. I had an awful
time pulling Tom in. He was stiff and so
was I, I couldn’t even feel my feet from the waist down. The dinghy was full of water and I remember
my hat floating around in it.
I got Tom in and we got Steve half in. We were so exhausted we had to stop and
rest. I saw the rescue launch coming
toward us and kept shouting to Mike. He
was bobbing like a cork out there all alone.
They got Mike first and then came to our dinghy. After we were on, they picked up the other
one. Bill’s window had jammed shut and
he had to go out the right side. He was
completely under water when he got out.
If he hadn’t been a good swimmer he never would have made it. The ship went under so fast the last two men
out of the radio room actually floated out. We had a full load of gas, so that s why
she didn’t last long.
We got on that old rescue boat and took off our
clothes. We were so stiff we could
hardly move. Those boys were swell to
us. They got us in the cabins and gave
us blankets, coats, whiskey, and coffee.
It sure felt good to be there. In
about two hours we were back at Yarmouth.
We had come down in about the middle of the Channel. They took us to the Royal Naval Hospital
Officers Annex and gave us a huge supper of bacon and eggs. A big roaring fireplace helped a little too. Next we were checked over at the hospital and
found everyone was bruised up and Kramer and I had cuts on our hands. I never noticed mine until I got on the
launch. My sleeve was covered with
blood, I must have bled like a stuck pig.
We got patched up and then went to our sacks. It was warm and we got dry clothes
there. We thought we could sleep, but soon
found different. We sat up and talked
until about 12:00. Finally I got to
sleep but tossed all night. The next
day we just sat around and had two swell meals. After dinner, two ambulances came from our
base to pick us up at 02:00. We had
about a 2 hour ride back and we sure were glad to get home again. Everyone was glad to see us and marveled at
how we all got out OK. I guess we were
pretty lucky. We had stacks of forms to
fill out and were dizzy from all the questions. We discovered that we were members of the
“Goldfish Club” and had an air medal for our six missions. We were told we two would get the Purple
Heart, but I was too thankful to be alive to worry about a medal.
SUNDAY, DEC. 17
I am stuck in the hospital with a bum ear. I hope I don’t get too far behind my
CHRISTMAS, DEC. 25 1944
Still in the hospital and a little mad because I missed out on the big mission
of yesterday. Max effort and we led the
8th Air Force. Hit by
fighters and lost 11 ships.
TUESDAY, DEC. 26,
Well, I’m one mission behind my crew now. I certainly was surprised to see Mike and
Bill come in and told me we were going on a Flak Leave. The doc let me out so I could go with my
crew, but Mike got another break. He
was sent to “Mickey” school (??) for 5 weeks, so that means we’ll lose him. Bill, Dick and I left Tuesday afternoon and
spent the night in London. Wed. Dec. 27 we came down here to Alton. This sure is a beautiful place. It was some big estate before the war and
the house and grounds are beautiful.
The meals are wonderful and we are true blue civilians for
a change. I certainly enjoyed this
JANUARY 1, 1945
New Year’s Eve we had a super party – 15 bottles of scotch cost us $225
(pounds?) but it was worth it. Chris Ashle(?)y, a WREN I met, turned out to be a swell girl and I had a
lot of fun.
JANUARY 4, 1945
Returned to our Field and found Bill had made 1st Lt. I am grounded for a few days. I don’t know how long it’ll be before I fly
MISSION #7 – FRANKFURT
– JAN 8 1945 (MON)
Back to the old grind again!
This, my first mission since our ditching of Dec. 15th, I
flew as Navigator. It turned out to be
a lot of work but I got along OK. We
went over the South coast of England and then straight through France to
8 hour mission
-58 degrees and no heaters!
PFF and flak was moderate but very accurate
Two ships landed in France
18 250 lb G.P. 2 M17’s
No damage to our ship – luckily.
MISSION #8 – DESSEAU
– JAN 16 (THURS)
Cook’s tour of Germany! Went in
by North Route, passed just North and then West of Berlin, bombed aircraft
factory and then came out just North of Switzerland. Contrary to briefing, it turned out to be anl easy mission.
No flak, a few rockets, and no fighters
12,500 lb Navy Bombs
Visual over target
Smoke pouring from target showed direct hits.
Arriving back we found our field closed in and
had to go North 150 miles to a RAF field.
Just made it for we were low on gas.
Slept there, and came back to our base next
MISSION #9 – KAISERSLAUTEN
(WEST OF MANNHEIM) – JAN 18 (THURS)
Only 3 groups went out today out of the 8th. 100 of us went in on railyards.
P.F.F. run, only in enemy territory 18’
Lead made second run while we circled at I.P.
No flak or fighters
500 lb R.D.X. 2M17 90’ train
Had to land in France. 700’ ceiling at St. Quentine
a cold night with little sleep.
Took off in snowstorm next morning and got back
No ill effects except for a cold night’s sleep.
MISSION #10 –
HEILBRONN – JAN 20 (SAT) 1945
Flew deputy lead #low?? Lost
squadron at 20,000 over Channel (clouds).
Flew all the way to IP alone!
Were set to make a one ship raid on the target when we spotted a Group
way to our right. We caught it and
bombed with them.
Holes in undercast and it looked
as if we hit it good. Half way back
over France we peeled off and came home alone.
Instruments all the way – really rough, but we made it OK.
12 500 lb
Rail yards with city
No flak or fighters
-55 degrees below
MISSION #11 – MANNHEIM – JAN 21 (SUN)
Rotten weather again. Went in over Calias,
2’ after Nancy we lost #3 engine.
We dropped behind and went in all alone.
Dropped my bombs 80 miles over lines.
On a town along a canal. Results
unobserved because of clouds. Had a job
coming back between a flak corridor but we made it OK. I managed to bring us back on course by radio
fixes, Gee Box and DR.
lb. RDX 6 50 lb H17
On instruments ¾ of the mission.
-55 degrees below
MISSION #12 – HOHENBUDBURG
– JAN 28 (SUN) 1945
Flew this one as Bombardier. Scott Roberts flew as our Navigator. He has 3 more to go. A short mission just over lines in Ruhe. Target was railyards in city where we caught 4th Panzer
Division. Visual run and photos showed
hits on target. Flak moderate and very
accurate. Scared me to death every ship
was hit but us. Serious damage or
Flew #4 Lead
Carried 12,500 R.D.X.
Very short mission, home at 14:00. 5 hour mission.
Holes in ship but no one was hit.
MISSION #13 – KASSEL
– JAN 29 1945 (MON)
Scott flew as Navigator again with us.
Flew #5 High. Went in over
Zuider Zee Route – Hanover, and down to Kassel.
Hit Rail Station P.F.F. Flak
moderate and luckily accurate. We had
two holes. Carried leaflets (10)
clusters. Letting off Russian drive
(???) handwriting hard to read here
No fighters although they were expected. 7
hour mission. No one hurt out of our
MISSION #14 – WASSEL – FEB 1, 1945
Woke us up at 08:00. Take off
at 12:00. Target was road
bridge outside of Wassel. Flew #3 in Lead Squadron. 5 hour mission, went in along French Belgium
border. I.P. in our terr. 10 min. in Ruhr area. No flak seen. 5 rockets came up ahead of our lead
ship. 10/10 undercast;
bombed Micro-H results unobserved.
Carried K-20 camera in our ship.
I got a picture of a V-2 contrail coming out of Holland, headed for
England. Load was 6 1,000 lb. G.P. Salvo release.
MISSION #15 – BERLIN
– FEB. 3, 1945 (SAT)
Flew as Navigator. Went in
Northern route and came out by Hamburg and along the North Sea. We went in on 68 degree Head and got very
little flak. Max effort by the 8th
Air Force. 1500 went over Berlin, group
after group. We hit the city as a
whole. Incendiaries, GP’s and long
delay. We carried long delays. Solid undercast
but you could see smoke and the clouds rise and vibrate from the
concussion. No damage to our ship. Flew #10 High. No. 2 ran away over target but came back in
OK. Had us
worried for awhile. 140’ Train. Had flak in most charted areas but none
could hit us. Pretty good mission,
considering the target. Big “B” isn’t
what it used to be.
MISSION #16 – WEIMER
– FEB 9, 1945 (FRI)
Weimer was Sec. Visual was
Bolin but weather was overcast so we hit rail yards at Weimer. 10,500 GP Salvo. Hit it visual and 60% of bombs were on
target. 100% battle damage to our
ship. #18 Lead. Flew as Navigator. Jet plane hit us on way in near
Frankfurt. P-51’s knocked them down but
they sure gave us a scare. My suit went
out and I flew the mission as a “snowman”.
Cold – Lordy, I had to hit the “blanket” on
way home. I’m still not thawed out.
Flak very accurate but moderate. They had our number. One burst tore a outboard
tokyo tank out.
We smelled fumes and sweated out a fire. It sure is a hell of a feeling! Another went in the waist door and knocked
out the tail wheel motor. We had a time
cranking it down to land.
A “full” mission and I’d say we “had it” that day! No one hurt, thank God, we got back OK.
MISSION #17 – COTTBUS FEB. 15 (THURS)
A long haul today. Went
Northern route and came out Southern.
10 500 lb G.P. 9 hour, 15 min mission. No fighters and no flak. Hit rail yards in support of Russians. No damage to ship.
MISSION #18 – FRANKFURT
– FEB 17 (SAT) 1945
Two plans; today “A” was Russian Front, oil plant at Rhuland but were called over France to go on “B” plan at
Frankfurt. Went in at 22,000 feet
visual run on railyards. Flak was terrific. We were hit all over the ship. A piece came in over my head above the
Navigation table. We had holes in gas
tanks, knocked No #4 engine’s oil out and plastered the tail. On top of this, we didn’t drop on
Frankfurt. Lead screwed up and we went
on to Griessen . Flak as bad there
as the Primary. No one hurt and no
ships lost in our Group. Two blew up in
Groups behind us. 20 2500 lb bombs – Salvo. Really was a close mission!
MISSION #19 – NUREMBURG
– FEB 21 (WED) 1945
Group hit rail yards yesterday and we went back today. 12,500 GP salvod. 10/10 undercast
although brief visual. Very heavy
traffic in these yards and was supposed to be heavily defended. Quite a few rockets but little flak. No damage to our ship. 8 hour mission. I flew as Bombardier. Levenson as
MISSION #20 – ASCH
(CZECH) – FEB 22 (THURS) 1945
10 hour mission. Went over
lines at 20,000, then let down to 12,000 to bomb small rail yards at Asch. Clouds proved to be too much and split us
up. We got separated and hooked on
another group and dropped on them.
Followed them back across lines and then came home alone.
9-1/2 hr – 10 hr mission.
No flak and no fighters
Flew as Navigator
Came out just North of Switzerland and then up
MISSION #21 – NEUMARKT
– FEB. 23 (FRI) 1945
Went in North Route and came down through Germany at 12,000 feet. 10/10 right up to target. Target (small rail yard at Neumarkt) was visual.
Went over at 8,000 ft. I flew Deputy
Lead and dropped through sight. We
plastered the yards, not a bomb outside.
I had a ringside seat on that target.
Visual all the way out the South route.
No flak except scattered bursts over Strasburg. 9 hour mission, but sure was a honey.
MISSION #22 – ULM
– MARCH 1ST (THURS) 1945
Rail yards at Ulm. Fairly short mission. Went in South route below Strasburg. Flew as Nav. & Capt. Accocks flew with
me. No flak over target bombed
PFF. 13 500 8CP fM17. 70 ft. int. No results observed.
MISSION #23 – DRESDEN – MARCH 2 (FRI)
Primary was airfield North of Dresden (visual only). We had to bomb Dresden PFF. No flak over target. Went in Northern route (got shot at once over
Zuider Zee). Hit on right
had head up and locked. PFF until
turned off Dresden, then turned 5/10. Saw
airfield with 100 est. planes. They
tried to T.O. but P-51’s knocked down 68 of them. We led Wing. 9 hour mission.
MISSION #24 – BRUNSWICK
– MARCH 3 (SAT) 1945
Went in over North Sea, came down by Hamburg
and hit factory in Brunswick then came out North route. Levenson flew as Navig; I flew Dep. Lead No #2. At IP, jets hit our formation. Made two passes from Sun?? right
through Far??. Came in from tail three
times and the second to come over got in my sights. I got hits on him for 5 to 10 seconds. He went through clouds with smoke trailing
from one engine. That gave me a
probable. No ships lost although we had
several damaged. Reports of P-51’s
attacking 1st Division. It
was pretty rough. 5 bombs hung up and I
had to kick them out – 25,000 feet. 48
degrees below zero. Lots of bad luck
that day. We came back OK. 6-1/2 hour mission.
MISSION #25 – CASTROP
– MARCH 7 (WED) 1945
Near Dortmund and Hamm in “Happy Valley”. Went in North Route came down over tar and
then out by Achen.
7-1/2 hour mission. No flak
damage or fighters. Very little
flak. Very unusual. 14 500 GP. (Navigator).
Took some ??? of For
MISSION #26 – FRANKFURT
– MARCH 8 (THURS) 1945
Went in North Route and came out South. 7 500 GP and 7 500 M17. Flew as Navigator. No flak over mighty Frankfurt! PFF run.
Made South run and then a 360 degree to the left then back over the
lines. Came right down over Happy
Valley – not even shot at!
MISSION #27 – FRANKFURT
– MARCH 9 (FRI) 1945
Back again the very next day! Same route as yesterday . Rail yards (south) was Primary. This time it was visual and they poured it
on. We dropped a little short in the
city. Very accurate flak but lost no
ships. Flew as Navigator and took a few
shots with the camera.
MISSION #28 – DORTMUND
– MARCH 10 (SAT) 1945
Same route as yesterday. Rail yards in North part of town. PFF
run. Very little flak and
inaccurate. 42 100 GP
2 M17. Took a pic of Bombs
Away. Flew as Navigator.
MISSION #29 – SIEGEN
– MARCH 12 (He says Sun, but must have been Monday)
Flew No. 2 with Wiebeck. Rail yards.
Went in North route down Happy Valley and out by Coblenz. Good mission. No flak at target but had a barrage as we
came out. 12 500 lb
FLAK LEAVE: MARCH 13 – 23, 1945.
In Happestad on return. Missed one with ??
MISSION #30 – HANOVER
– MARCH 28 (WED), 1945
Flew with Wiebeck. No. 2.
Went in over Brussels. Farmed
over France. Came out North route. Flak heavy but luckily we got through. 12
500 lb Salvo. No damage to ship. Target RR yard.
MISSION #31 – HAMBURG
– MARCH 30 (FRI) 1945
Flew No. 2 with our crew. John
Phillips flew last one as our Navigator.
Went in North route . Ran into front over target and got tangled up
with another group. Flak was bad. Very heavy and accurate. I took pictures of hits as we came in. Oil storage blew
sky high. I had a good view of the
whole area through break in clouds.
Roughest target in a while. Came
out over North Sea. 38 150 lb GP
MISSION #32 – BRANDENBURG
– MARCH 31 (SAT) 1945
City was secondary. Primary was
oil storage 40 miles to West but weather was 10/10. Went in over Coblenz; came out North
route. Jet planes hit some squadrons
but ours got by OK. 12 500 lb
No flak as we led the wing but following groups got heavy flak. Hit center comm.. in city. Flew as
Bombardier with Edwards #2.
MISSION #33 – VEJLE (DENMARK) – APRIL 2 (MON) 1945
Target – training field at Vejle. Visual only. BA
12000’ No flak expectgfed. Woke us
up at 0900. TO at 12:30. 7 hour mission, South to IP at Coast; West
of Tar. Flew as Nav. In NO. 3. Lead Crews last one. Doc Acocks flew
with us. They turned us back just before we hit the
coast. We didn’t think they would give
us credit and everyone was pretty sad on return. We landed without the pre-arranged buzz job
that we had cooked up. After about two
hours, word finally came through that we got credit for the mission. Bill and the boys sure are happy! I hope to finish up my two soon.
MISSION #34 – KEIL
– APRIL 3 (TUES) 1945
Flew with Wiebeck as Bomb. In Deputy Lead.
Same route as yesterday. 6 1,000 lb GP. IP at the coast made 90 degree run on dry
docks in Keil.
PFF run although it cleared as we left the target. Flak heavy and accurate. We were not hit, very luckily. Navy guns also did their bit. T.O. was delayed 8 hrs after I got up at
Midnight for Tar. T.O. at 01:30. Landed at 09:00 that night. (Was eating supper at 11:30 when I heard Tor?? study was
to be at 12:30 so I just stayed at the club and wrote a letter).
MISSION #35 – KEIL
– APRIL 4, (WED) 1945
Pretty sleepy today but anxious to finish up. We went back to the same target. Dry docks at Keil. 6
1,000 lb GP. Another PFF run which was lucky
because flak was right there. Jets in
area. We lead the Division. #2 again with Wiebeck . Came back and buzzed the field, but on
landing, I sure had bad news. The
mission on Monday bounced and we didn’t get credit for it. So… I’ve got to fly another to finish
up. Bill and the crew have to so I’ll
get to finish up for sure with them as well.
(7 hours sleep last night and was up at 03:30)
MISSION #36 – NURNBERG – APRIL 5 (THURS) 1945
I’ll always call this No. 36 because we sure went far enough to get
credit for that 33rd one.
Flew as Navigator with Bill and crew in #3. DIA.
Assembled our A-72 in France.
Weather very bad rain and solid soup all the way. Went in over Coldberg
and hit oil dump in Nurmberg. Visual run and flak was terrific. We hit the target, but good! IP was at front lines so we were over enemy
territory about 40’. Coming back we
left formation in the soup. Gee was out
and compass so did D.R. back to Brussels.
Picked up Gee OK then and got back OK.
We really dusted the field off this time, and the congratulations were
real when we landed.
We sure are a happy bunch of boys. I think I’ll sleep for a solid week, it sure
is a relief to get done! Strictly a
“gravel pusher” from now on!!