ROBERT P. KNOWLES|
Notes from Robert's World War II Diary
May 15, 1944. 5 hours 25 min.
May 19, 1944. 5 hours.
May 21, 1944. St. Politz, France. 10 mi. S.E. 5 hours. Construction yards. None lost (Ward). Missed target on GH 1000 ft.
May 23, 1944. Bounge, France. Airdrome. None lost. Knocked the hell out of the target. 8 hours.
May 24, 1944. Paris, France. Airport. None lost. Knocked out target. 24 x 300 lb. 7 hours.
May 25, 1944. Belfort, France. Marshaling yards. Tower lost. Probably in Switzerland. Did fair job on target. Heavy flak. Hole in No. 1 engine. 12 x 500-lb. 7 ½ hours.
May 27, 1944. Saarbrucken, Germany. Marshaling yards. None lost. Only fair job on target. Heavy flak. About six holes in ship. 10 x 500-lb. bombs. 7 ½ hours.
May 28, 1944. Zeitz, Germany. Oil refinery. Swell job. Flames 2,000 ft. Smoke almost 20,000 feet. 52 x 100-lb. Minor flak. Cost Irving Gorman (506) over Dummer Lake. Flak damage. 7 ½ hours.
May 29, 1944. Politz (Poland), Germany. Oil refinery. 500 x 10. Not such a good job. Flak over target accurate and fairly heavy. Picked up some more holes. Fighters all over the place. Poor support from ours. We lost two ships 392nd was hit hard. 8 hours. Boy am I tired. I've had more flying hours than hours sleep in the last seven days.
June 3, 1944. French Invasion coast. Milk run. PFF 12 x 500. None lost. Some flak over target. 5 ½ hr.
Mission 11 - D-DAY
June 6, 1944. (Normandy). Bombed invasion coast ahead of troops and did a good job, though it was PFF. We were first in and met no opposition at all. 20 250-lb. frags. 18 hung up and Mike was pounding on them trying to get them loose. 7 ½ hours.
June 7, 1944. 2nd day of invasion. Bombed crossroads behind lines and believe we did a good job on GH. No opposition at all. Saw lots of activity in Normandy. 6 hours.
June 10, 1944. Orleans Airport on GH. I was in lower element and dragged through clouds just as we got to target formation scattered but I managed to get bombs away on leader. Light accurate flak at target. None lost. 52 x 100-lb. 6 ½ hours.
June 12, 1944. St. Andrea, France Air Field. Bombs were short on second run. Light, accurate flak over target and on run in over Caen, medium, accurate flak. 6 ½ hours. 320x20 frags.
June 14, 1944. Chateau Dun, France air field. Three squadrons bombed, all hit MP1. There is no more airfield. One of the finest jobs I've ever seen. 52 x 100. None lost. 6 hours 45 min.
June 18, 1944. Luneburg, Germany. Ward led and although we made two runs on primary and one on secondary, we brought back our field bomb load. Poor planning and poor execution. 52 frags. None lost. 7 ¾ hours.
Politz, Germany. Oil refinery. Second trip to Politz and this time successful. We did great damage to refinery. Lost two? Planes including Dick (68th) Keller, whom I hope is in Sweden (Yes and okay). 90 x 100. 9 hours 15 min. Heavy flak in target area. Also about 60-75 fighters. Our escort good.
June 21, 1944. Berlin, Germany. 12 x 500-lb. Hit factory making tanks and guns. Results unobserved. Heavy flak in target area but inaccurate on our squadron. 9 hours. Lots of ships shot up today and we lost two. Fighters reported, but we didn't see any. Lost Howe (506th).
June 29, 1944. Magdeburg, Germany. Hit an aircraft factory and bombs were on the target. 52 x 100. No fighters but very accurate flak. Lost three planes. Scuddy and Landall and Westcott. 8 hours.
July 4, 1944. Beaumont, France. Airfield. PFF. No flak. No fighters. No nothing. Didn't see target, so don't know if we hit it or not. 5 ½ hours. 52 x 100 GP.
July 6, 1944. Kiel, Germany. Submarine works. 6-500 GP. 6-500 available incendiary. Heavy flak over target. A few fighters seen, but they didn't attack us. Air support wonderful. 6 ½ hours.
July 7, 1944. Bernburg, Germany. Airport. 52 x 100. Fighters hit before we got to target and also afterwards. We lost three. 458 lost 12; 392nd lost 6. Light flak. Did good job and hit target right on MPI. 8 hours.
July 11, 1944. Munich, Germany. A long trip. On PFF---. We did a good job according to the papers. No fighters. Light flak. We lost two. About 8 ½ hours. 6 x 1000. Zweig Bonnet.
July 12, 1944. Munich gain. 6 x 1000 available incendiaries and GPs. Light flak. No fighters. None lost. 9 ½ hours.
July 13, 1944. Saarbrucken, Germany. 12 x 500 GPs. We came back with No. 2 feathered and entire electrical system out. None lost. No fighter. Medium flak. 6 ½ hours.
July 16, 1944. Saarbrucken, Germany. 12 x 500 PFF. Slight flak. No fighters. About 7 hours. None lost.
July 18, 1944. Front lines in support of our troops east of Caen. 52 x 1000 frags. Classed as excellent. No fighters. Plenty of flak, but not accurate. Looks like a big push in that section.
July 19, 1944. Koblenz, Germany. (secondary). Marshaling yards. 12 x 500. 7 hours. No fighters. Flak but not accurate. None lost.
July 20, 1944. Erfurt, Germany. 12 x 500. No fighters. Little flak. 7 ½ hours. None lost from our group.
July 21, 1944. Munich, Germany. 8 hours. 52 x 100 M-47s. Got mixed up in clouds and lost half of formation. Went on to target and bombed, but did no good. Flak very accurate over target and picked up a number of holes. Fighters hit us over target. Joe got one. Schiff got one and Russ got a probable.
July 24,1944. Tactical raid near St. Lo. Clouds obscured target and we returned with bombs. 52 x 100 demolition. 5 hours.
July 25, 1944. Tactical mission which aided our ground troops east of St. Lo. 50 x 100 demolition's. Results were good in our group, but light and medium dropped short on our own troops, killing McNaive. Modest accurate flak. 5 ¾ hours.
July 29, 1944. Bremen. Oil refinery. PFF. 12 x 500 and 6 x 500 incend. Heavy accurate flak. Results unknown. 7 hours.