Donald R. Jenkins|
World War II Log
Mission 1 -- August 25, 1944 - A/C S-643
Object: To bomb airfield at Schwerin
Procedure: Departed England and flew across the North Sea crossing the German coast about 20 miles south of the Germany, Denmark border. There was some flak as we crossed the coastline. It was not too accurate. We flew to about ten miles east of the west shore island of Lapland at this point three turbo's ceased to function and we were without radio, interplane or turret operation. We turned back alone without fighters' escort.
At this point, there was still about 80 miles of enemy territory to cover, subject to both flak and enemy fighters. Most of the way back to the coast was undercast. The bombs were jettisoned in the Kiel Bay just before the West Coast of the Denmark Peninsula. The navigator was going on straight DR because he had no other aids. As we crossed the west coast we were hit by flak which came up through solid overcast (2 holes).
The navigator believed it to be coming from Amrun Island. At this point the pilot performed some violent, evasive action. After a few minutes, the ship was out of the flak, but the crew did not relax because there was still the prospect of fighters attacking the lone ship and also of ditching. The pilot and copilot could not change power settings and there was the prospect of an engine cutting out at any time. The engines were operating on mags. When the navigator ETA for the English coast was drawing near the put-put was started and the navigator shot one fix with the G box. This showed the ship to be about 30 miles to the right off course or heading directly for the wash. Visibility was poor. The heading was immediately altered to the base and soon after the coast was reached. When the ship was near the field, the put-put was started again and the pilot turned on the radio compass to verify the field, as there are many identical fields in the area.
Summary: The landing was made successfully and no one in the crew was injured. Everyone was very happy to be back at the base.
Mission 2 -- August 26, 1944 -- D-381
Object: To bomb the oil refinery at Salzberger
Mission completed without incident or mishap. Very successful bombing. Light flak.
Mission 3 -- August 27, 1944 -- T-805
Object: To bomb a BMW aircraft engine plant employing 8,000 at Basdorf about ten miles north of Berlin.
Aborted when we reached the Denmark Peninsula due to towering Cu in our path. Received credit for mission. Saw some flak over coast.
Mission 4 -- September 8, 1944 -- D-381 (Time 9 hrs. 10 min)
Object: To bomb the marshalling yards at Karlsruhe.
Procedure: Briefing at 0415. Takeoff at 0715. Had to climb to 15,000 feet to get above overcast. Assembled at this altitude.
A little north of Paris encountered high Cu. Climbed to 26,900 feet to get over the weather. The temperature was -40°. Encountered no flak until target area was reached. Here, a heavy barrage was seen. The target was unobscured, but cloud coverage was about .5 in target area. Bombs were away at 1149 from 26,000 feet. Accurate bombing. Bomb doors were stuck; one fell off. Had to stay at altitude until weather was passed again. Went back over Paris. Successful mission. No accidents (1 small hole).
Mission 5 -- September 9, 1944 -- D-381 (Time 7 hrs. 15 min)
Object: To bomb the ordnance depot at Mainz, Germany.
Procedure: Briefing 0400. Takeoff 0740. Came over the continent in the northern part of Belgium.
Flew down over Brussels and on to the target. Came in over the target at 22,500 ft. The bomb run was nine minutes and bombs were away at 1043. The bombs were released too soon due to the fact that the element leader toggled too soon. The flak was intense for about four minutes in the target area. Directly ahead of us a ship blew up.
Coming back we broke the Belgium coast at 11,000 ft. Near the coast at 51°20°N. 03-36°E. We were hit by flak. This was light flak. Arrived back at base at 1353. No accidents to crew. Three holes.
Mission 6 -- September 10, 1944 -- J-805 (Time 9 hrs.)
Object: To bomb an ordnance depot at Ulm, Germany.
Procedure: Got up at 0100 a.m. for prebriefing. Flew with Dimpfl as deputy lead. Met some flak over Siegfield line. The target was covered by clouds so therefore bombed marshalling yards. PFF. No flak over the target. We left formation at English Coast and came in ahead with pictures. There was no damage to ship.
Mission 7 -- September 11, 1944 -- D-381 (Time: 8 hrs 40 min)
Object: To bomb armament factory at Hanover.
Procedure: Briefed at 0500. Met enemy fighters at about 45 minutes before the IP. Had no support in this area. The fighters did not attack our group, but did attack some of the other groups. 392 got it bad. Had heavy flak over the target tacking in our section. Met our escort at IP and did not see any more enemy fighters the rest of the way back to England. There was one large hole in engine cowling. Couldn't find piece. No casualties to our crew. There were some enemy parachute bombs over target area. Bombing was excellent.
Mission 8 -- September 13, 1944 -- X349 (Time 8 hrs)
Object: To bomb transition airfield at Hall, Germany.
Procedure: Briefing 0300. Flew with Saddreth. Encountered accurate flak over Rhine, none over target. Bombing was good with incendiaries. No accidents to crew.
Mission 9 -- September 18, 1944 -- D-381 (Time 5 hrs 20 min)
Object: To drop supplies to paratroops. Dropped in an area five miles north of Eimdover in Holland.
Procedure: Briefed and took off in the afternoon. We assembled at about 1,000 ft. and flew across at about 500 ft. At the Dutch Coast we dropped down to the deck. We were so low we could see the expressions on people's faces. Our speed was about 180. The Netherlanders looked very happy. There were large groups waving and cheering at various bases.
As we went over Hestgenbosch, .30 cal. Machine guns opened on us. The civilians were waving and cheering and the Germans were shooting. We caught one 20 mm, which exploded in one bundle of 75 mm howitzer shells on the catwalk of the bomb bay. This was just before we dropped. Immediately after the radio operator kicked out the bundle of howitzer shells, one blew up just below the ship. The equipment parachuted to ground in just about the spot where our paratroops were, so we believe they got it all right. No major damage was done to the ship, but it was peppered with .30 machine gun holes. One entered inches behind the copilot's head. Another went between a gunner and loadmaster in the waist. The rest were not close, although there were three holes very close to our right tire and there was one hole, which almost severed our hydraulic lines. The rest were insignificant. No casualties to our crew.
Mission 10 -- September 28, 1944 -- D-596 -- (Time 7 hrs 00 min.)
Object: To bomb a tank factory at Kassel, Germany.
Procedure: Flak heavy over target before we went through and also after bombs away. Flak was nil while we went through. The bombing was good. No casualties. No damage to ship.
N.B. One of the most spectacular air battles of World War II took place on this Kassel mission. Luckily, it wasn't our group. The 445th group put up 35 B-24s; for some strange reason they strayed from the protection of the "bomber stream" of 1200 planes protected by our fighter planes. They were jumped by 150 German fighters. The total score for the "Battle of Kassel": 25 B-24s down right away; 5 crashed on the way back; only 4 planes made it back to the base.
We heard about it later from some of the 445th people. A second or third-hand account was: When the first of the four landed (other ones in the pattern) the pilot got out and in answer to the waiting ground people, his now famous quote, "There aren't any more."
The Germans lost 29 fighters to the 445th gunners and late arriving P-51s. One P-51 was lost in a midair collision with a German plane.
Total casualties: 60 airplanes destroyed
118 Americans killed
18 Germans killed (air pilots)
8 German soldiers killed when a downed plane hit a hospital
121 Americans survived the battle and were taken as POWs.
Mission 11 -- October 3, 1944 -- (Time 7 hrs 30 min.)
Object: To bomb factory at Gagpanau, Germany.
Procedure: Encountered very little flak along route. There was none over the target. Bombs were away on primary target. On way back, had to feather No. 3 because all oil leaked out. No. 2 was running rough so we broke away and headed for Brussels. A fighter brought us down through clouds. Then we headed for Brussels at tree-top level. Had a job finding field at Brussels. Finally did. Stayed in Brussels until October 6th.
Mission 12 -- October 7, 1944 -- X-711 -- (Time: not listed)
Object: To bomb tank factory at Kassel, Germany.
Procedure: Flak over target intense and accurate. Tail gunner saw ship blow up in formation behind us. Saw one going down with No. 3 engine on fire. He got the fire out though. The bombing was visual and was good. Group lost three ships. Miraculously we did not have a hole. Found out later that the ship, whose No. 3 was on fire wing fell off. Don't know if any got out.
Mission 13 -- October 9, 1944 -- D-381 -- (Time 6 hrs 40 min)
Object: To bomb airfield at Giessen, Germany.
Procedure: There was undercast most of the way and the primary target was completely covered over so the secondary target of the marshalling yards at Koblenz, Germany was bombed PFF. The flak over Koblenz was not very heavy. We did not have any damage to our ship.
Mission 14 -- October 15, 1944 -- O-596 -- (Time 6 h 30 min)
Object: To bomb Ford Motor Plant at Cologne, Germany.
Procedure: The target was obscured by clouds and smoke. Because of this, we bombed PFF. Flak was not too heavy.
Mission 15 -- October 25, 1944 -- X-711 -- (Time 7 hr 0 min.)
Object: To bomb oil refinery at Buen, Germany. In Rohr Valley.
Procedure: Target was covered by clouds. We bombed by GH. We were in heavy, accurate flak for over ½ hour. Hydraulic system was shot out. Tail gunner's oxygen shot away. Had to land at Woodbridge due to no hydraulic pressure. From 50 to 100 holes in ship. No casualties. 42 holes confirmed.
Mission 16 -- October 30, 1944 -- X-711 - (Time 6 h 30 min)
Object: To bomb synthetic oil plant at Harburg six miles from Hamburg.
Procedure: In the bomb run, we had two runaway props and a runaway turbo. Therefore, had to peel away from formation. The weather was very bad. The formation was in clouds on the run. We salvoed bombs after we were under control again and lost altitude to about 12,000 ft., then flew instruments in the clouds for about ½ hour. D red until within G range. Missed all flak except for a small coastal defense. Saw seven bursts on us.
Mission 17 -- November 2, 1944 -- M-725 (Time 6 hr 10 min)
Object: To bomb synthetic oil plant at Kestroboteel, Germany in Rhur Valley.
Procedure: Were briefed for 9 ¼ minutes of flak. Knew that was probably correct as have been in Rhur before. Really sweat on bomb run, but they did not shoot at us. Some other groups near us and behind got it but we went through without any flak. No trouble whatsoever.
Mission 18 -- November 10, 1944 -- P-260 Lili Marlene (Time 8 hr. 0 min)
Object: To bomb airfield at Hanau just outside of Frankfurt, Germany.
Procedure: No flak over target area. Bombs went away by ABR, GH. Coming out lead led us over Koblenz where we were in heavy, intense accurate flak. We didn't get any battle damage, only a couple of insignificant holes.
Mission 19 -- December 112, 1944 -- B-965 (Time 7 hr 30 min)
Object: To bomb railroad bridge at Karsrube, Germany.
Procedure: Flew third section deputy lead. Little flak in target area and inaccurate. Ran into weather coming back. Left formation in Channel and came on home due to weather.
Mission 20 -- December 28, 1944 -- B-965 (Time 7 hr 10 min)
Object: Marshalling yard at Kaiserlautern, Germany
Procedure: Flew hind section lead. Flak heavy and accurate. Lost Gus Konstand leading 392. Cohen was with him.
Mission 21 -- December 31, 1944 -- A-660 (Time 7 hr 0 min)
Object: To bomb at Neuwied, Germany.
Procedure: Flew 44th Deputy lead.
Mission 22 -- January 3, 1945 -- A-660 (Time 7 hr 15 min)
Object: To bomb at Landau, Germany
Procedure: Lead of 2nd section.
Mission 23 -- January 13, 1945 -- B-965 (Time 7 hr 10 min)
Object: To bomb marshalling yards at Kaiserlautern
Procedure: Lead of 2nd section.
Mission 24 -- February 6, 1945 -- A-704 (Time 7 hrs 50 min)
Object: To bomb marshalling yard at Madgeburg, Germany
Procedure: Flew deputy; were briefed for Berlin for Madgeburg. Berlin plan was scrubbed. H2X bombing. Flak was intense, but inaccurate barrage. Ship blew up over Dutch Coast going in. Can't identify.
Mission 25 -- February 14, 1945 -- B-965 (Time 7 hrs 30 min)
Object: To bomb oil refinery at Madgeburg, Germany.
Procedure: Were briefed for Plan A and Plan C. Plan A was to bomb an aircraft component parts factory at Meschede. Plan A was scrubbed so we went to Madgeburg. We flew second section lead, which is high right. Made a 360° with our section over Channel because we thought recall was given. Realized it was a bad move. Weather was against us also. Finally, got back in group formation again at Dutch coast.
Target was covered so had to bomb PFF south end of town. Results were unobserved. Flak was moderate and inaccurate. We bombed at 27,000 feet due to high clouds over target area. Got back without too much trouble or battle damage. We didn't have any ourselves. Some of the group did though. After landing had an accident in the dispersal. Knocked the tip of the wing off on a tree. All in all, it was a bad day for us. Circumstances were really against us.
Mission 26 -- February 15, 1945 -- A-704 (Time 7 hrs 10 min)
Object: To bomb oil refinery at Madgeburg, Germany.
Procedure: Flew Deputy Lead. Visual weather was expected over target. Target was about .9 covered so bombed secondary which was same as primary fly H2X. Results unobserved but believed good as oil smoke over target was reported by fighters. Flak was heavy for some of the other groups. Our group missed most of it. Mission was quite successful.
Mission 27 -- February 21, 1945 -- A-704 (Time 8 hrs. 50 min)
Object: To bomb marshalling yards at Nurmberg, Germany.
Procedure: Another deal of Plan A and Plan B. Plan A was Berlin, which was scrubbed just before takeoff. We had nothing more than points on field order to go by on Plan B. We flew 2nd section lead. Did a good job of it. Bombing was PFF and Fowler said he had a good run. Flak was inaccurate and moderate. Snavely was command pilot and made a 360° at the IP. There was a little flak at the Rhine and lines in and out. A few ships had to land on continent. Lead of second section.
Mission 28 -- March 10, 1945 -- D-387 (Time 8 hrs. 5 min)
Seever's first mission as Captain.
Object: To bomb railway viaduct at Biehlefield, Germany.
Procedure: Flew group lead. We were second group in the eighth air force formation. As the mission was GH, I flew pilotage in the waist. Colonel smith flew with us as command pilot. Overcast all the was to and from the target and target area so I could not do pilotage. Was a very good mission. Bombing was believed to be excellent. No proof as yet. The bridge at Biehlefield is sort of a challenge as it has been tried to be destroyed so many times by the 8th; always missed. There was absolutely no flak. Made an instrument let down at field.
Mission 29 -- March 24, 1945 -- M-588 (Time 6 h 0 min)
Object: To drop supplies to troops at Wesel, Germany.
Procedure: Lead third section. We practiced for this particular mission for almost one week practically every day, i.e. just the lead crews participating.
We had no prebriefing in the morning as all the leads were completely briefed the day before. It was the most thorough briefing I've ever had. Maxwell did not fly with us as he finished on the 23rd with Peter on Rhine. Perkins flew with us as copilot. Halek flew as pilotage nose turret. Johnson was in the nose and I was between the seats on flight deck. The three of us did pilotage. Most of the fellows attending briefing did not have any previous knowledge of the operation. So naturally, most of them were awed.
We assembled at 3,000 ft. later dropping as we left England. As we approached the Rhine and IP, we were at tree top level. As we approached the IP, we ran into fairly dense smoke becoming more dense as we approached the dropping area. There was much evident of the war near the Rhine. We could not see the squadron ahead as we came upon the IP. The haze was very thick. Halek guided us down the bomb run. It was practically perfect. We dropped exactly on the spot. In about 15 seconds after dropping, Bob rocked it up into a fairly tight turn so as to miss the city of Wesel. Right after dropping, we again lost the slight altitude in which we had pulled up for dropping and he pushed everything forward so as to get the most speed. The whole squadron followed us fairly well. We were hit by some small arms fire, but no damage done. Gillespie had his hydraulics shot out which was about the extent of damage in the squadron. After a bit of buzzing, we pulled up to about 2000 ft. and came on home.
We were first section in and landed without mishaps. This was Bob's last mission and we were leading the third section.
The other two squadrons did not turn as soon or as sharp as we did. They received more damage from small arms fire. Two ships crashed and blew up. One fellow in another squadron fell out of the bomb bay and was more than likely killed very dead as he hit the ground.
Almost every wrecked plane and building in sight was burning. We saw one C-47, which had ploughed, into the west bank of the Rhine. Our wing lost 11 ships. However, the operation was a huge success in terms of helping to end the war.
Mission 30 -- April 4, 1945 -- ? -- (Time 7 hr 30 min)
Object: To bomb airfield at Raltenkirchem, Germany.
Procedure: This was my last mission and I flew with Captain Boggs as pilotage navigator in the nose turret. We were leading the wing in and the division out. This was my first mission in the nose turret. Naturally I had trouble with the guns. I got the left one working and after much sweating and tinkering, I finally decided I couldn't get the right one working.
We were not supposed to bomb anything by Mickey,. The airfield was covered over so we went on and tried to find another through a hole. The overcast was too thick for us to find any field, so we finally gave it up and headed on back. While looking for a field (our wing) we got slightly away from the bomber stream. A few minutes after leaving the bomber stream, a couple of Jerry fighters came in to take out a straggler. All of the tail gunners in the lead six opened up on ME262. They did not get any of us, nor us get them. He came around the front from the right and underneath formation. He was out of my range, but I tracked him until out of sight. I didn't know enough to shoot at him, but if he turned his nose in toward me, he would have had it. Brought our bombs back. Stayed away from all flak. Saw some not in formation though.
Finish. Good tour.