T.SGT SAM CEVERRELLA|
World War II Diary
Mission # 1 -- Saturday, April 22, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G.
Target: Hamm, Germany, 20,000 ft. Plane Z: A 496
This was our first mission and the target was the rail center of Hamm. Can be compared to Chicago as a nerve center. We confronted flak as soon as we hit the German coast and all the way to target. Some was very accurate, as Ryan heard it hit the ball turret. Over target only one third of our bombs went out I pulled the salvo cable and the rest went out. The waist gunners saw it flatten a two-story building to the right of target. I stood on the catwalk until flak got too accurate. My hands were almost frozen. We saw only three fighters, FW 190s but they did not come in our formation. We had good top cover by P475 and P38s. They sure looked nice out there. There was a B24 Blown up to our right and low by the coast of France. Three chutes opened. We also saw a B26 outfit plaster heck out of an airfield off the coast of France. The flak was low. It was almost sunset now, 9:40 PM and Jerry took advantage of it and followed is in our formation to land. I wish I had a gun instead of a radio up here. The CO was pleased with our bombing, I was pleased with my salvo job, and Stone was pleased with the crew in general. A darn good crew. The crew said there were no Athesest up there. Was I scared? No no, not yet, anyway. I hope the rest are as easy. I was a little tired, but who wasn't. We won't have to go back there for a long while -- 29 more to go
Mission # 2 -- May 1, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Bennett, C.P., Patrichuk N., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G. RO A-952
Target: Liege Belgium. Visibility Good ALT 19,000 ft. Plane A.
We were to hit the Marshalling Yards at Liege. The mission was 5 hrs and 40 mins. We went straight in over Belgium and encountered very little flak but on the run we did, also coming back out. There was no fighter opposition, and we had good cover from P 38s, P 51s, and P475. We saw one formation of about 25 P38s. We hit the left of our target and didn't get our bombs in but the rest of the formation did good. The bombs were 1,000 pounders. I guess you call this a milk run compared to some missions. I hope they are all this way. Lundy is not with us any more they are sending him to Nav. school. Derr is in the hospital with pneumonia -- 28 more to go.
Mission #3 -- May 3, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Docktor, C.P., Patrichuk N., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G. A-952
Target: St. Omer France Visibility Poor. 21,000 ft. Plane A. Temp minus 24.
The target was a military installation at St Omer, believed to be secret rocket installations. It was 5 hrs. and 35 mins long. We did not see much Flack until we reached the IP. There we had a 25 mm straight flight to target with good visibility. Over the target there were clouds, neither the tail gunner or I could see our bombs hit. I was still looking when we caught a burst of flak, not direct, but close enough to knock the boys around in the back. It was 2 ft over my head, and I did not know about it till after we landed then we saw the flak holes in the fuselage. Them boys sure shoot straight over there on the French coast. No enemy fighters were around. P 51s swept the area. The flak was close enough -- 27 more to go.
Mission # 4 -- May 7, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., Me RO. A-952
Target: Osnabruch, Germany. Visibility Poor 22,000 ft Plane A. Temp minus 35
The target was Osnabruch. A 5-hr and 25 min. mission. This was right in the heart of the fighter belt and we had well concentrated flak. Our crew went in with the first run along with the 392 who were leading. We flew tail end Charlie and were able to pick our on spots. We ran into heavy flak going in on the bomb run and it knocked us around quite a bit. We saw no bandits as P 51s, P38s and P475 swept the area. Perfect fighter protection all the way. I missed most of the flak excitement and was on liaison and pretty busy, but I could feel it knock us around. I thought it was Prop Wash. We bombed non-visual PFF so we couldn't see the results. Any target in Germany is a good one -- 26 more to go.
Mission #5 -- May 8, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Bennett, C.P., Derr, C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G.
Target: Brunswick Germany. Vis. pretty good 22,000 ft Temp. minus 32.
Today we had the book thrown at us. Next to Berlin this is the toughest target in Germany. Going in we encountered the usual flak but it was inaccurate and not well concentrated. Just before the target we saw fighters forming at three o'clock and low. They were called out ME 109s and 190s. After forming they went out to one o'clock and started to press home. We were in the high formation and second element. That's just where they come in. Hartzell yelled out here they come and let fly away and so did Brown from the upper turret. They swept by and Strange got a short burst at one at three o'clock as he kept going. He did not hit it as it came by too fast. Morrie was going to get it at five o'clock but his turret went out and he couldn't get a shot. Brown came the closest to the 109s tail. In the meantime Foust was cussing the krauts cause they would not come to his Side. Ryan was screaming at Stone to let him put the ball turret down but it would have cost us the formation. The fighters made their sweep and did not knock out a single B24 all though they did some damage. They went around to form another sweep at 12 o'clock. A formation of P38s showed up and Jerry seeing them broke up and headed for cover with the P38s in pursuit. We went on to make our bomb run and back to channel and home. Two B24s collided over the target but we saw no chutes. Derr, Stone, Pat and I had to sweat out the fighter attack as we had no guns. I am going to get Foust to take over RO. duties and go to the right waist window. I want to get in a couple of shots too. I had to stomp on the bomb bays to get them to open as the hydraulic fluid was frozen it was tough -- 25 more to go. P.S. We received the Air Medal for this mission.
Mission # 6 -- May 9,1944
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., me R.O.
Target: St. Trobud, Belgium. Visibility Poor 18,000 ft Plane A Temp minus 20. A-952
We were to hit the night fighter base at St. Ohmar with 100 lbs. GPS. . We encountered the usual flak going in and it knocked us about quite a bit. We almost lost the target and had to hunt all over for it because of navigation and we were late. We dropped our bombs and did a good job on the field and hangers . It was a visual bombing. Four of ours were frozen in the shackles and we could not drop them until we got to the channel and let down. Over the target a couple of B 24s blew up. In one four chutes opened. Some bombs blew up as they left the racks and knocked the formation about. We are really giving it to them in earnest now, every day for three straight. we got up at 2 a.m. -- 24 more to go
Mission # 7 -- May 11, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., me R.O.
Target: Mulhouse, Germany. Vis. good. Plane A Temp. minus 10. Alt. 14,000 ft. Ten and a half hrs.
We were to hit the big railroad yards here in Mulhouse by the Swiss border. We were to have excellent fighter coverage as they expected the Luftwafe. They expected right, as we were hit over France by FW190s and I mean hit. At the time our escort was not with us. They came in at three and broke of at five to hit the back element. Two FW190s came in at us and as they broke off at five Morrie Meunitz opened up with a burst and got the first FW. The pilot bailed out and the plane went down in flames. They shot down Walshes crew and Lundy was in that plane. We saw three chutes open and flames coming out of the bomb bay when it went down. We almost did not make it back to the Field because of Petrol. Our sqd. did not hit the primary Target or the secondary but an Airfield in France. They did a good job on this field as the hangers and runways took a beating. The flak was moderate except by the airfield and the came pretty close. It was a pretty rough mission and if those FWs would have come in again they really would have done some damage. This makes four in a row and two practice missions. We are pretty tired and sweating a day off now. Ryan was grounded because of sinus. -- 23 more to go.
Mission # 8 -- May 13, 1944
Same crew except Ryan is in Ball
Target: Tutow, Germany. Vis. NON. Plane A .Alt 15,000 ft 8 hrs. A-952
The target was one of the biggest supply and repair depot for FW190s. We flew mostly north and then south into Germany and up to our target. We came out over water and over Denmark. We expected quite a big battle with the Luftwafe as this was right in their heart. We hit them a right. They were called out at eleven o'clock and I started to count them. I got up as far as twenty-one and they came in at the low element. They did not take long coming in and we found out why. Four P475 were coming in to the FWs and they had to break up They were too low for us to get any shots to be effective. Hartzell, Foust and Strange came close. We went over the target and we were not bothered by fighters. There was a seven tenth cloud cover and we could not see the results. Coming out we had P51s and P38s all the way out. Over the Denmark coast we ran into flak but not very accurate.
It is funny how those Jerries run when they see just one of our fighters. It is almost the biggest morale to a bomber crew to see a friendly fighter. On C channel you can hear the fighter pilots asking us " Is everybody happy " Yeah Man with them their Jerrie won't dare come around. For my part those fighters are winning the war. They saved us three times now. One bomber was fighting off a couple of FW190s and ask for fighter help. .The answer "OK srappy here comes pappy" After he drove them off he sang "If you're ever in a jam here I am." -- 22 more to go.
Mission # 9 -- May 15, 1944
Crew; Same as before except a new Co Pilot we broke in Lameed, Germany
Target: St. Paul.Vis. NON 5 and one-half hrs. Alt.23,000 ft. Temp. minus 32 A-952
This was perhaps the easiest ever had in the ETO. It was about 20 mins in and 20 mins out of France. We were to hit the military installation. I do not know what could be said about the mission it was that easy. We encountered no flak going in and a small burst about 10 miles away on the way out. We saw no enemy fighters and had complete fighter cover from P51s. That sure is beat up country along there. Bomb craters all over and the target was completely destroyed. We caught Jerry asleep today. I really got to look over the invasion coast today. It is well fortified -- 21 more to go
Mission # 10 -- May 19, 1944
Same crew. Vis. five tenths. Alt 23,000 ft. Temp minus 32. 9 hr. Mission.
Target: Brunswick Germany. A-952.
This was without doubt the roughest mission yet. we were to hit Brunswick while the first division hit Berlin. We hit a little flak going in and when we were about an hour from the target, we hit fighters. There must have been at least a hundred that hit the group to our high right. They broke away and in so doing made a pass at our outfit. Not very effective. We had fighter escort but not enough to go around. P475 were coming in within 25 ft. of us to get at the FWs. They hit the outfit behind us and did quite a bit of damage. We went on to the target and I had to salvo the bombs. We hit the marshalling yards dead center. It was a good pattern. We left the target and hit fighters again. Made a 360 degree turn, hit some flak but Pappy Stone took evasive action and we did not get hit very bad. Going back there were two wise eggs at eleven o'clock trying to sneak in. Foust shot at one at about 700 yds. and he rolled over. Then the pilot bailed out. It was a FW and a couple of the crew saw him bail out. We pinpointed 8 B24s that went down. Brown had a hole knocked in his upper turret big enough to crawl out. Hartzell also had quite a few holes in his. Finally the P38s showed up. Brown almost got frost bit from the cold draft coming through. I relieved him for about an hour and almost froze stiff until we hit the channel. My antenna was knocked off and Ryan's ball turret froze up making his guns useless, we almost had it. The fighters hit the stragglers. I have a sore face from the cold and came close to getting frost bite. -- 20 more to go.
Mission 11 -- May 29, 1944
Same crew except Ryan. 9 man crew. Alt. 22,000 ft. 9 hrs. A-952.
Target: Oil refinery plant at Politz near Settin, North Germany.
We thought Brunswick was rough, well this was as bad if not worse. We hit flak almost as soon as we hit Germany. At the Target we had 70 guns trained on us. It was visual firing and pretty accurate. An hour before the bomb run we hit fighters and plenty of them. They stayed with us for 3 hrs. in one of the biggest air battles yet. We never had enough fighter escort but what we had was good. They threw FW190s, ME109s, ME110s, JU88s, and 110s. We saw the Luftwafe in all its strength. We got a lot of shots but no confirmed fighters. We could see the smoke and flame from the target 2 hrs. later. We all were pretty well tired out. Most of the trip was over water to avoid flak. -- 19 more to go
Mission # 12 -- May 31, 1944
Same crew except Strange. We are only flying with a 9 man crew. No ball turret, the gunners are rotating. Alt. 20,000 ft 4-hr. mission B-150
Target: Railroad marshalling yards at Brussels.
It started off as other missions. We left the English Channel, and as soon as we hit enemy territory there was a ten tenth-cloud cover. We kept going until we were 15 mins. from the target and they abandon the mission. We saw about 13 burst of flak over to the left, inaccurate. We are not quite sure if this will be a mission or not as we could not drop our bombs Because of cloud cover. They won't drop bombs on an enemy occupied country with cloud cover of more than four tenths, even with Pff. We had 8 1,000 lbs. on and it was a hard takeoff. We were hit by a fragment of flak, nothing serious. -- 18 more to go.
Mission # 13. -- June 3, 1944
Same crew except Ryan. Alt. 21,000 ft. 4 hr. mission Temp. minus 21.
Target: Coastal installation on the French invasion coast. Le Touqet. A-952
This was a no ball mission on the French coast on pillboxes and big gun installations. It was a very short mission and we were only over enemy territory for 6 mins. We had no fighter opposition while the flak, while accurate, was very ineffective. We dropped our bombs PFF. I saw the results and it was a very good pattern. There still is a lot of coastline to hit. We saw a bout 15 burst of flak that followed us on our target. We had 12 500 pounders on. Coming out we hit bad weather that broke the formation up and we were lost over England for about a half of hour. We would sure like to get some more like this. -- 17 more to go
Mission # 14 -- June 7, 1944 -- second of day
Same crew except Pat. Alt 20,000 ft. Six and a half-hour mission. Temp minus 12. Target: A road Junction on the outskirts of Lies in Lisoux. C-339
We had a ringside on this mission of all the Navel Vessels and goings on at the beach. We never saw so many friendly fighters. They were sweeping the area and strafing Ground installations. Our target was about 30 miles past the beachhead. We had 24-250 lb. GPS, and the right rear rack stuck up and had to be salvoed. There were so many planes you could not turn back for running into them. There was no sign of the Luftwafe. we did not see any flak at all. The fighters must have knocked all the flak batteries out. There were battle ships and every kind of boat the Navy has at the beachhead. They told us there no limits to the missions now. -- 16 more to go.
Mission # 15 -- June 8, 1944
Same crew. Alt. 21,000 ft. Seven and a half-hour mission. Target: Crossroad by a military installation. 115 miles past bridge head. St. Nazasa. A-952.
The weather was awfully bad over the field, and we could not find our group, so we tagged on to a formation of the 453rd. Going to the target we could see most anything on the ground, but at bombs away we could not see. They bombed PFF and had every type of bomb. We had 12 500 pounders. We could see the explosions through the clouds, but that was all. We did not get into any flak, but a Fort. group to our right at the IP had it. We saw no fighters as the Luftwafe has not stuck out its nose in strength. We were lucky as we were only 12 ships in the formation and the fighter support down deck strafing. -- 15 more to go.
Mission # 16 -- June 10, 1944
Same crew except Strange; Grannon took his place. Alt.20,000 ft 6 hr. mission. Temp. minus 20. Target: A landing field near Orleans France. A-952.
We got up at one in the morning after a half-hour sleep. We were to hit the airfield at St. Andre De L'earve at 4:30 AM they scrubbed the Mission, and we waited until 10:30 and took off for the other airfield near Orleans. The bomb run was messed up and we no sooner had opened the bomb bay doors and bombs away. The leader really messed the works up. Half the squadron didn't drop on him. We came out the north east of Paris and got a large barrage of flak, nothing serious. There was a 10/10-cloud cover and we couldn't see anything but the beachhead. There was no fighter opposition. We didn't know if we knocked out the airfield or not We carried 24 150 pounders. -- 14 more to go
Mission # 17 -- June 12, 1944
Same crew. Alt 20,000 ft. Temp 20. 6 1/2 hr mission. 52 100 lbs. GPS.
Target: Landing field west of Caen about 100 miles. Illien A-952
We assembled at 20,000 ft. and went over to our target. We had got up at 12:00 M in fact we didn't get any sleep. Going over we saw all kinds of surface craft going and coming from the beach. At bombing time, something went wrong with the lead ships bombsight, and we had to go on to a marshaling yards while he fixed it. We bombed on him and completely missed our target We had to salvo ours. Coming out we flew over an airfield west of Caen about a mile and met a barrage of accurate flak. A couple of ships in our formation were hit. The lead ship messed up all around. A B 24 on the beachhead got into trouble. The crew bailed out over our lines. -- 13 more to go.
Mission # 18 -- June 14, 1944
Alt 20,000 ft. Temp. minus 20 6 1/4 hrs. 52 100 lb. GPS.
Target: Airfield at At. Anne-E-Leire near Orleans. A-952 #3 lead element.
Assembled at 16,000 ft and went in to the target. No heavy or accurate flak encountered by our formation. On the target we had to make three runs and then it wasn't too good of hits. Mostly around the perimeter and to the right. So many squads. hit the target though ,some did hit the runways and did a good job on the surrounding buildings. The Luftwafe wasn't up again. We had excellent fighter cover all the way Mostly P51s over the channel a B17 blew up and we didn't see any chutes open. We had to get up at 12:30 50 we didn't go to bed at all. I don't mind saying we were conked out after no sleep. -- 12 more to go
Mission # 19 -- June 18, 1944
Alt. 20,000 ft. Temp minus 20. 52 100 pounders.
Target: Harbor at Wesermunde, Germany. 7 hr mission. A-952.
This was another early mission, up at 1:30. From the start of "D" Day, we have been scheduled every day, the past two days we had the mission scrubbed, and the rest were aborted. Today we started after an airfield in northern Germany. There was a heavy overcast and we had to hunt another target. After 45 mins of looking they decided Weacmende ? ? ? We hit almost in the center of town. You could see houses and other buildings burning, with clouds of smoke going up. We encountered very little flak and no fighters. We had a lot of fighter support, P51s, and P38s. Those who didn't fly this morning are out this afternoon. -- 11 more to go
Mission # 20 -- June 19, 1944
Same crew. Alt. 20,000 ft. Temp minus 18. 40 100 pounders.
Target Abbeyville, France 5 hours Autheux A-952
We were up at 5:00 and took off for the mission 3:00 in the afternoon. We were to hit the rocket installations 20 miles south of Abbeyville. This was believed to be the place the Krauts have their new rocket planes that have been making raids over southern England. We had P38s for escort, results no Luftwafe. The flak was light but over the target the had us locked. It started to follow us for about a mile. Stone took evasive action and lost it. We sure was accurate. We hit the target for good results. We are scheduled every day even if we don't fly. 'Tis rumored we have to do 40 missions. I'm sure getting tired of taking that code for four to seven hour's straight. -- 10 more to go
Mission #21 -- June 20, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., me R.O. Y-415
Alt.20,000 ft Temp. minus 19. 52 100-pounders.
Target: Lille, south of Balougne. 5 hours.
We took off at 6:00 at night to hit rocket installations about fifty miles south of Balougne a No Ball. We didn't hit any flak going in. Over the target there was an overcast and we couldn't drop our bombs so we had to bring them back. At the French coast they through up a barrage of flak, some exploded in the ammo box by Pat. Two went off and just missed him. Some busted through and almost hit Strange. It was most accurate One ship got a direct hit and blew up. One chute was seen to open up. The weather closed in over the field and we were down to 500 ft. to see the ground. Morning mission went to Poletz.
rough one. -- 9 more to go.
Mission # 22 -- June 22, 1944
Same crew. Alt.23,000 ft. Temp. minus 23. Time 5 1/2 hrs. 12 500 pounders.
Target: Nucort France.-Magny E-150
We were to hit the German supply depot for the rockets. It is located 25 miles northwest of Paris. We didn't hit any flak going in. The Bomb Run was about ten minutes. The first squadron missed but the second hit it. We made a sharp left turn and ran into some accurate flak that trailed us out, about twelve guns. nobody was hit. We went under the overcast coming home and ran into some rough weather that hurled the formation around. The group has been doing some very good bombing lately. Our mission on the 21st was scrubbed. -- 8 more to go
Mission # 23 -- June 23, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., Coyne, me R.O.
Alt. 20,000 ft. Temp. minus 20. 52 100 pounders. Time. 6 hrs and 40 mins. P-024
Target: Laene France.
We were to hit an airfield located northeast of Paris. They said 28 guns would be trained on us. The mission went off OK until we got to the target, then all Hell broke loose. The flak was the most accurate yet. We went on the bomb run and standing on the catwalk, I could see it burst all around and under us. They were really tracking us. When we made the second run we had it. The minute bombs were away a burst hit us. A piece went through the nose turret and hit Ryan in the eye. The right front racks hung up, and the top two bombs were out of the arming wire and spinning. I through them out and while they were spinning. On the last one I almost lost my footing. It pulled my arm to one side and al most out of the socket. I hurt my finger. Brown was cutting' off the gas to # 4 as it was leaking out bad. Pat was giving Ryan first aid. We lost all our hydraulic fluid and had to use emergency procedure for getting the landing gear down. Stone had to rock the ship to get them locked. Stone made a beautiful landing in the middle of the runway the nose wheel blew out, but we didn't get hurt. Coming back we had to go up north to drop the remainder of our bombs. Then I had to alert the MIF sector to keep the Limeys from shooting at us. What a Jerk he was. A couple of P475 stuck with us all the way back playing around. Ryan may get the Purple Heart. Rough. -- 7 more to go .We all knew our Jobs.
Mission 24 -- June 27, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., Flegman, and me R.O. W-209
Alt. 22,000 ft. .Temp. minus 25.12 500 pounders. Time 7 hrs. Target: Marshalling yards somewhere north of Paris. Creil.
This started out to be a messed up mission and it was. I hate to write about it. We lost Strange. We didn't hit any flak going in till the bomb run, then they started to track us plenty close. I could see the burst under us. Just after bombs away we got a hit. It was in the bomb bay and at the booster pump where it connects to the tank. The gas came pouring out and you couldn't see the back. This is Foust story " We saw the gas and Strange put his chute on and bailed out pushing me off the camera hatch, I saw we were in formation and decided not to bail out." Things happened so fast I don't rightly remember, all Hell broke loose. If it weren't for Stone keeping his head and telling us what to do we would have had it. Brown did a good job of stopping the leak. We were both working on the catwalk at once. Pat gave us a course where we missed all the flak and made it back safely. We thought we would have to bail out over England but we all told Stone we would ride it down with him. We landed off the runway and Gen. Johnson told Stone it was a damn good job. I'll never fly combat with any other pilot but Stone A piece of flak tore past Derr's face and missed him and Stone both. Pat almost got it again with a hit that tore his heater apart. A piece went through the ammo box. -- 6 more to go. No. 3 engine on fire.
Mission 25 -- July 4, 1944.
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., me R.O.
Alt. 22,000 ft. Temp minus 30. 52 100 ponders GP. Time. 6 hrs. A-952
Target: Airfield 1 mile out of Beaumont, France.
We got up at 12:00 for a 2:00 briefing and ended up postponing take off for two hours. We encountered no flak at our formation in or out of the target. We had to bomb GH as there was a 10/10-cloud cover. Our bombs hung up again and we had to salvo them. Derr's heated shoe went out and had to heat it with the muff. Today finished Hartzell up with 30. we found out we actually have 26 missions as one of our recalls counted as a mission due to us seeing flak. We have to do 35. -- 5 more to go..
July 6 -- Mission aborted -- illness
Mission 26 -- July 7, 1944.
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Moffet, Hartzell, N.G., Brown U.T., Strange, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., me R.O.
Alt. 22,000 ft. Temp minus 20. 12 500 pounders. Time 7 1/2 hrs.
Target: Aircraft engine assembly plant at Bernburg Germany.
We got up at one o'clock. It was to be a maximum effort for the group. Everything went according to briefing until we got about ten minutes from the IP. Then 75 ME410s hit the formation. Ryan's left gun went out and the formation came in at 12 o'clock. He squeezed the trigger and sprayed them and then aimed at one that broke off at 100 yds. Pat saw him burst on fire and Morrie saw two blow up. Another wave came in and Morrie got one at 4 o'clock. Foust was sore because he couldn't get a shot in. P51s and 385 were bagging 410s right and left. Ryan saw eight go after eleven and shot all of them down loosing three. Our fighters had a full day. We lost three ships out of our group but the others losses were heavy. I never saw so many chutes going down. I saw at least six B24s go down. We had to salvo our bombs but did a good job. The field and assemble plants were destroyed. Coming out we got hit by flak. if it wasn't for the way Stone threw the ship around we would have got hit worse. He also took evasive action from the fighters. We had a gas line shot out and an electric lead into the inverter. We were lucky to make it back. I never was so scared in all my life. If it weren't for the close fighter support we would have had it. The dogfights were really something to see. -- 4 more to go
Mission # 27 -- July 24, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Moffet, Flugman, Richardson, R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., me R.O.
Alt.15,000 ft. Temp. minus 6. 52 100 pounders. Time 5 hrs.
Target: Outskirts of St Lo.
We were to bomb 15,000 ft. on the other side of our troops at the German concentrations for what was to be a big push. 9th. Air Force was to follow their artillery. After delaying take off for four hours we started. There was a 10/10 cloud cover all the way over the target, we couldn't bomb because of this. The but the group behind us sure caught it. This was our first mission in 17 days after spending week in the rest home. We had very good cover of P38s, P51s, and P475. We will probably do 35 now as some are. -- 3 more to go.
Mission # 28 -- July 25, 1944
Same crew as mission 27 also same target and plan. Alt. 12,000 ft. 52 100 pounders. Time 5 hrs. St. Lo.
The big push was to start today. We again led the 8th Air Force. We had to go in under the overcast at 12,000 ft . and bomb 15,000 ft. on the other side of our troops. After we ere through the 8th and the 9th. had to follow us in. There were dive bombers, P475, 51s, and 385. sweeping the area. There weren't any enemy fighters in the area. The group behind the 4th. didn't do so good. Two bombs hung up and we couldn't kick hem out so we brought them back. I got stuck in the bomb bay with my heavy flak suit on when I tried to kick them out. We made a quick right turn and didn't get any flak. -- 2 more to go.
Mission # 29 -- July 29, 1944
Same crew. Alt. 23,000 ft. Temp minus 20. 24 250 pounders. Time 5 1/2 hrs.
Target: Bremen Germany. A-952
We were to hit the synthetic oil refinery at Bremen. Flak alley itself. While forming our two wing ships collided and one person escaped. We went over and didn't encounter hardly any flak until after bombs away, and then there was a barrage the likes of which I never saw. We went around it wasn't tracking flak as there was a 10/10 cloud cover and we dropped our eggs PFF. We had good fighter cover by P51s. Flugman and Moffet finished up today. This makes 30 for our crew but we have to do 35. One of our recalls went for a mission. I don't know which one it was. Most of this mission was over water. -- 5 more to go.
Mission # 31 -- July 31, 1944
Crew: Stone P., Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., Peters, Richardson, Robinson, , R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., me R.O.
Alt. 23,000 ft. Temp. minus 22. 12 500 pounders. Time 6 1/2 hrs. A-952
Target: Ludwigshaven, Germany.
We were to hit the chemical and synthetic rubber factories in the heart of the city. It was to be PFF. as there was a 10/10 cloud cover. There were 188 flak guns trained on us. Things went according to plan. We had a hard time climbing as there was a thick soup over the field. We dropped our bombs and came back. We saw more P51s. than we thought existed. They sure came in close, we also had P38s. We saw no fighters, But the flak was a very heavy barrage of it. Stone kept us away from it. -- 4 more to go
Mission # 32 -- August 1, 1944
Same crew as 31. Alt. 22,000 ft. Temp. minus 18. 8 1000 pounders.
Target: Amiens, France Time 6 hrs. A-952
We were to hit a railroad bridge at Amiens France. Going over we had to take a long way in by Belgium. Over the target there was a 10/10 cloud cover and we couldn't bomb. we went on and tried to find another military to hit but couldn't so we had to bring our bombs back. Over the field there was a 10/10 cloud cover and we had a rough time landing. We had P51s. for escort. The flak was moderate and we didn't encounter any enemy fighters. We had two new crews flying off our wing and they almost clipped us a couple of times. -- 3 more to go.
Mission # 33. -- August 3, 1944
Crew: Derr C.P., Patrichuk N.A.V., R.W., Foust, L.W., Ryan, B.T., Menuitz, T.G., me R.O.
Alt. 23,000 ft. Temp. minus 18. 8 1,000 pounders. Time 4 3/4 hrs. A-952
Target: Paris, France.
We were to bomb a supply depot where they were sending parts out to the buzz bombs. We got about 20 minutes into enemy territory and a big front was in the area. We tried to go through but the formation started to break up and we had to abandon ops. In the area there were ME 109s but we didn't see any. coming out there were three burst of flak. At present we are sweating out whether it will be counted as a mission or not as we are not sure. If it is we are through with our tour. Stone was finished at 33 and volunteered to do another to finish us up. Nobody has heard of any pilot doing an extra mission for his crew. We sure do appreciate it. Derr and Ryan have thirty and will have to three more with some other crew.