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Legacy Of:

Henry  O.  Siteman

 

Personal Legacy
HENRY D. SITEMAN
Diary of WW II

March 15, 1944

No. 1 mission. First raid was on Brunswick, Germany, an important aircraft works. Did a good job. Saw fighters and flak.

March 16

No. 2 mission. 7 hours. Second raid was deep in Germany about 18 miles from the Swiss border on Lake Konstance. A Domer aircraft works. Saw the Alps in Switzerland.

March 18

Pilot Hawkins, ten hours. Last five crews over the same target as above, but I didn't go. Ten men were lost in our barracks alone, but reports say some went to Switzerland and others bailed out over the target. It was a very sad day as news is only what they other news bring in. One crew that came home with me had 16 flak holes in their plane.

March 19,20

Hawkins is grounded so just went to the skeet range and hung around the barracks.

March 21

Flew with Lt. Marx in Johnson's place as he was sick. Target: Rocket installations in France. On takeoff had a runaway prop and had to feather No. 1 engine. Had 4 2,000-lb. bombs and couldn't get any altitude, so we couldn't land with the heavy load so they told us to dump them in the Channel, which we did and then came in on three engines. Was plenty scared as well as everyone on the ground.

Didn't get credit for a mission. Hawkins still grounded.

March 22

Didn't fly today, just waiting around. Got first letter from Margaret today and now everything is jake again, as I was kind of worried.

March 23

Just hung around the barracks and went to the dance at the Red Cross where a bunch of Waifs were brought in from another base.
March 24

Just hung around all day long. Went to town at night and had a few beers.

March 25

Same as yesterday only no town and no beer.

March 26

Hawkins still grounded so am still hanging around the barracks.

March 27

Third raid was deep in southwest France, an advanced airfield for German cadets. Made a good hit. Mont de Monsone, and destroyed target. Was longest trip yet over ten hours. Was up and ate at 0300 and didn't get back to the field till 1930 hours about 17 hours without food or drink. And was I tired. Pilot Blow, 1st Lt. 1030 hours.

March 28

Didn't get up till 1300 as was plenty tired from day before raid. Had 11 flak holes, which hit our ship. Bomb load was 240 frag bombs. Just hung around barracks and rested up.

March 29

Just hanging around the barracks. Got three letters from Peggy today.

March 30

Hanging around some more. But did borrow a bike and toured the countryside with Lts. Bennett and McCloud for eggs. Got 3 dozen. Got two letters today.

March 31

Lt. Hawkins in hospital with ear trouble and has an infected toe and is grounded and seeing the doctor. Otherwise, no change in the day but the boys are out on their 25th mission of the month, a new record for raids over enemy territory.

April 1

Hawkins still in hospital so am doing the same thing which is nothing. Did go out looking for eggs again and brought back 6 dozen. Lots of fun.


April 2,3

Nothing doing as usual, but got in a game and made 04 lbs. Also got 15 letters today and it sure made me feel swell.

April 4

Did very little today and the days to come.

April 5-8

Just hung around. Hawkins discharged from hospital so will be operational again in a week or so. I hope not.

April 8-10

Went on a pass to see Nonnie and when I returned, 11 men in our barracks including our tail gunner Hicks were shot down over Germany. The 44th lead the whole 8th Air Force and the 506th lead the 44th. Sent 11 ships up and only six returned. Robinson got a fighter as a replacement on a new crew and Lt. Beardon is still a little shaky. We are now the only crew of the original four who came to the 506th from the states. Hicks loss to be was quite a blow. All reports so far are not so good as to his parachuting to safety. All the Monks also went down but believe me not without a fight as the reports say the 506th got plenty of fighters that day.

April 11 - Saturday

Just hanging around to get paid (flying) and may go on pass again tonight on account of our loss of thicks and Lt. Beardon's condition (nerves all shot).

April 12

Didn't do a darn thing all day. Got up at noon so half the day was gone. Am back to operational again and Hawkins is ungrounded again. Am up at Spares tomorrow. Things should happen again soon.

April 13,14

Yesterday was same as of late and today Lt. Bennett and I sent egg hunting and had pretty fair luck. Am up again as spares.

April 15,16

Test hopped two planes so we got the best one of the two to continue on with our missions. Today, Sunday, was a standown so no mission. But will be up tomorrow.

April 17

Hawkins didn't care for either ship we hopped yesterday so tried another one today. And think maybe we will keep it as there are no more new ones in Consolidated Mess?

April 18

Was to go to Berlin today but had to come back to base due to a gas leak in the bomb bay. Target was to be an underground railroad station in Berlin proper. The boys who did go missed the target due to bad visibility. They just bombed any target they thought good.

April 19

No. 4 mission. Was up at 0245 a.m. to be briefed for a mission at 0400. Went to an airfield a little east of Brunswick. About a seven-hour trip and very successful hit the hangers and a number of barracks and tents. Flak not heavy - no fighters at all. Saw other air fields that also caught hell by other groups. Won't be flying ships from that field for quite some time to come. Well, on our way now to a very successful tour. Bomb load was 12 500-lb. bombs. Time 600. Pilot Hawkins.

April 20

Mission 5. Went out at 1600 hours for a mission over Pada Di Calais, France only a short mission, but plenty rough. Was back at 9:30 p.m. Hit the hay at 11:30 and at 12 Jerry came over and shot up some of the barracks. Did very little damage but scared hell out of everyone. Am up again for a mission in the morning. Bomb load eight 1,000-lb. bombs. Pilot Dines. Time 5:30.

April 21

Briefed at 1000 hours for a mission into Germany but at 14,000 feet had ice form on the plane and had to come home. Had a hard time and for awhile we thought we might have to bail out. Lost 6,000 feet a minute in a spin and pulled out at 4,000 feet. Close but made out okay. Whole group returned to field due to bad weather. No mission.

April 22

Mission 6. The marshalling yards in Hamm, Germany. Takeoff at 1600. Returned with Jerry on our tail at 2200 hours. Landed after dark with Jerry all over our field the 8th. A.F. lost three planes over Germany and ten over England. To me mission was more of a trap to get Jerry in England. Target destroyed. Bomb load 12 500-lb. bombs. Time 6 hours. Pilot Dines.

April 23

Up at 0300 with only three hour's sleep after yesterday's mission. Mission was a long one, but was scrubbed ten minutes before takeoff. Was very glad as I was plenty tired. Hit the sack for the rest of the day. We'll be up for No. 7 tomorrow.

April 24, 25

Nothing doing as our pilot is grounded again and the one we have been flying with has a crew of his own now.

April 26, 27

26th, nothing doing. But 27 Jerry paid us a visit and dropped about four bombs about miles away. Explosion awoke everyone up. No damage, but scarred hell out of everyone. Today is the beginning of two missions a day. The group went to France this morning and are going out again this afternoon. Good luck Men. Give 'em Hell.

April 28,29

Hawkins back in the hospital again with the same ear trouble as before. Lts. Bennett, Bearden and McCloud are flying pretty regular with other crews as spares. We don't fly again unless they break up the crew and make us all spares or until Lt. Hawkins gets either better or else the doctor grounds him for good. Tomorrow is pay day and are getting a pass. May go up to Scotland.

April 30

Nothing doing but the same old story. Go to bed late and get up early in the afternoon. April was a beautiful month.

May 1-7

Went down to see Ronnie and spent a couple of days in London. Lt. Hawkins is out of the hospital and we are up for a mission tomorrow. Saw quite a few interesting sights in London and enjoyed a nice trip.

May 8

Mission 7. Went to Brunswick, Germany. Just one month to he day Hicks went down on the same target. Flew the nose and toggled out the bombs. Was attacked by 15 FW 190s and got a few bursts before French fighters came to our rescue. They just made one pass and after that the fighters took care of them. Darn good boys. Am up again for tomorrow so am hitting the sack at 2000 hours. Hawkins was the pilot. Target the city itself. Bomb load 12 500-lbs. Time 6:30. Target St. Stroond.

May 9

Mission 8. Up at 02:30 for a 0600 takeoff to an airfield just about three miles east of Liege, Belgium. Four groups hit the same place. Will other groups hit other fields in the same area? Back at 11:30 a.m. with only one hole by Lt. Bennett. Flak was moderate and close, but not too heavy. Bomb load 52 100-lb. G.P. bombs. Lt. Hawkins pilot and two spares. Good fighter cover all the way. Time 5:30 hours and min.

May 10

Up at 0230 and briefed for a mission to Germany. Took off at 0600 and formed at 18,000 feet. Left England at 0830 and half way across Channel got a recall. Came home and landed at 10:30. Hit the sack right away as only had about six hours sleep in the last 71 hours. Up again tomorrow.

May 11

Mission 9. Went to Mulhouse, France, and the target the marshalling yards there. Up at 0500. Briefed at 0600 for a n 0900 takeoff but was moved ahead two hours. Off at 11:00 and returned at 19:30 hours. Saw plenty of flak and fighters hit us before we got to the target. Got in a couple of good bursts. But they knocked down one of our planes in the low section. Lost two for the day. Hawkins pilot. Connor copilot as Lt. Bennett is on pass. Bomb load 8 1,000 lbs. and up again tomorrow. Time 8:30.

May 12

Up at 0500 for No. 10 mission, but had a leak in the bomb bay and had to abort but took another plane and caught the formation over the Channel. Was in sight of French Coast when engine trouble forced us back a second time. Mac and Joe are on another crew and flying in the lead ship. Mais section laid the bombs right on the nose and was the talk of the group. He was the only one to hit his part of the target. His was the powerhouse to an oil works, which produces about 6% of Germany synthetic oil. Lt. Connor pilot as Hawkins has pilot's fatigue.

May 13

Mission 10. Up at 0700 for a mission to Anklan in northern Germany and airfield. Took off at 10:30 and returned at 1800. Saw the largest dogfight of the war so far when over 100 planes attacked up over Hamburg. Had a couple of waves of attacks and got in a few bursts. But our fighters gave us beautiful support and they only knocked down eight planes while our fighters knocked down 54 and the bombers 9. At one glance saw seven fighters going down in flames and one bailed out. Flak was light and saw Sweden, a neutral country. Hawkins pilot, Scott copilot as Lt. Bennett is still on pass. Bomb load 52 100-lb. inc. Time 7:30.


May 14

Standown after a very hectic week but now am ready to go again after a nice 15 hour sleep. Mac and Joe are now on furlough and we will be going by the end of the month. Playing cards.

May 15

Mission 11. Supply depot. Up at 0200 for a 0600 takeoff over Calais and a pussy only 40 minutes over enemy territory. Back at 10:30. No flak no fighters. Bomb load 8 1,000-lb. Hawkins pilot. Time 4:30.

May 16

Up at 0300 for a mission to France, but just before takeoff it was scrubbed so came back to the sack and in the afternoon went to the presentation of awards and got my air medal. Am up again tomorrow for No. 12.

May 17

Up at 0400 for a mission for a 0600 takeoff but at the last minute the 493 a new group called in and said they couldn't be ready on such short notice that the mission was scrubbed. So went back to bed.

May 18

Standown so didn't get up to 1300, so went out for eggs in the afternoon and went to the movies at night. Am up tomorrow.

May 19

Mission 12. Brunswick again and the roughest mission yet. Plenty of flak and about 200 fighters which took a good toll of B-24s. They almost whipped out the new group 492 and which flew high to our left. Nose gunner and top turret gunner claimed a fighter. And believe me, our plane threw out plenty of lead. Finished up a tail gunner and gave him a beautiful buss job. Our fighters were outnumbered 4 to 1, but really gave a good account of themselves. Made a good hit on the target, but it was plenty costly. Pilot Hawkins. Bomb load 6 1,000 lbs. Time 6:30.

May 20

Standown after yesterday. The different groups had to take time out to recover. From all reports, 125 fighters were shot down and the 44th put in claims for 21



May 21

Mission 13. Up at 0700 for a 11:15 takeoff to St. Paul in the Calais area, the same place as my No. 11 mission. Shorty took over the tail and got another new man for the ball. Mission the same as No. 11. No flak, no fighters. Tried out a new radio system on flak guns and all reports show that it works pretty good. Hawkins pilot. Bomb load 8 1,000-lbs. Time 5 hours.

May 22

Up at 11;00 and took a practice hop around the field. Went to the show tonight and saw a pretty good picture.

May 23

Mission 14. Up at 0100 a.m. for a 0445 takeoff to an airfield about 60 miles south of Paris. And while waiting for takeoff, Jerry came over and dropped paratroops just north of the field and a squad of men were sent out to round them up but only came back with the chutes. Bomb load 52 100-lb. incendiary. Hawkins pilot and time of landing 12:30 7 hrs. Light flak.

May 24

Mission 15. Another airfield about 20 miles southwest of Paris. Up at 0100 for a 0500 takeoff. They rounded up seven German. IF the possible 20 dropped last night and now the whole post carries arms and to be on the look out for strangers on the field. Bomb load was 24 300-lb. G.P. Hawkins pilot. Time of return was 11:00 hours. 6 hours round trip. 4 flak holes.

May 25

Plane was grounded for repairs to wing so we were not scheduled to fly so first hung around the barracks and caught up on some sleep.

May 26

Standown so went egg hunting with Lt. Bearden.

May 27

Mission 16. Flew with a nine-man crew as when our plane was grounded they took out the ball turret as they are doing it to all the ships. Mission was to Sarrbrucken in western France. The target was the marshalling yards there. Had a good trip with the only flak over the target. Over 60 guns and pretty accurate, but only got one hole. Was up at three, takeoff at 0800 and returned at 1530 hours. Pilot Hawkins. Bomb load 10 500-lbs. Time 7 hrs.
May 28

Mission 17. Up at 0500 for a 1030 takeoff to a target about 120 miles south of Berlin. Saw Berlin from the wing I.P. Target was a large synthetic oil refinery, which produced about 6.1% of Germany synthetic oil. Did a swell job. Made the flames fly 10,000 feet. Lost that kid Carson who lives on Norfolk ST. (Joseph Gurman's crew). It was his sixth mission. Can't quite understand what happened to them as the last time I saw them they were heading home with fighter escort but never got home. Bomb load 52 100-lb. G.P. Pilot Hawkins. Time of landing 18:00. 7 hrs.

May 29

Just resting up as they have flown and pretty steady these last few weeks so got a day off. Expect to go on furlough the first of the month. Will go to Scotland with Shorty.

May 30

Mission 18. Went to an airfield about ten miles northwest of Breman in Germany. Was up at 0500 for 7;30 takeoff and a 1300 return. Mac led the section and really hit his end of the target, and was congratulated by the general. The General said it was the most beautiful piece of bombing he has seen in a long time. Bomb load was 12 500-lb. Pilot Hawkins. Time 5:30.

May 31

Went to see some friends of Lt. Beardan's at a 17 base and really had a swell time. On the way home we bussed everything in sight and at no time were we over 200 feet in the air.

June 1

Were up for a mission but the weather is against flying for today. So am just hanging around the barracks and waiting to get paid.

June 2

Wasn't scheduled so went to Norwich and got drunk with Duke who finished up. Got back quite late as I wasn't up for a mission.

June 3

Mission 19. Was not supposed to go but put up a maximum effort to Pade di Calais. Up at 0400 for an 0800 takeoff, back at 1300. Target was four heavy guns. Pilot Hawkins. Bomb load 12 500-lb. Time 5 hours. 41 planes.

June 4,5

4th was a standown but did send some planes to the Pade di Calais area. The 5th is just another day, nothing doing but are restricted as of 1600 hours this afternoon.

June 6

Mission 20. After being alerted at 1800 hours we were told to be at a 2000 hour briefing that's 2300 June 5th. Everyone tensed that something big but no one knew just what. About 23:30 hours we were briefed for a trip to northern France. To be the first wing of heavy bombers to hit the invasion coast of France. The cheer that went up was tremendous. Put up 545 planes the first trip for a 02:30 takeoff and 18 more at 05600 so all day long it was a shuttle run. Got off at 0230 and were to bomb at 16,000 feet. Not later than 0628 as at that time the boats were only 400 yards off the French shore. Flew to our target and dropped at 0606 and the Navy was doing plenty of shelling at the same kind of targets. Planes took off and landed from here all day long and the last mission over didn't get back till after 2300 hours. Saw every kind of plane the Army or Navy has and between the 8th and 9th Air Force over 13,000 sorties were flown. The weather was the only drawback but even then, everything went off as planned. Expect hi same kind of schedule to continue for at least a couple of weeks. Am very proud to have taken part in such a thing as this. Hawkins pilot. Bomb load 240 frags. Time 6:30.

June 7

Weather is bad (raining), but still sent some planes to bomb ahead of our troops and others are hitting Berlin.

June 8

Up at 0200 for a 04:30 takeoff to a marshalling yard a few miles ahead of our troops in France. Climbed to 24,500 feet and ran into a snow storm as the group got a recall, no mission. But logged 4:30 minutes.

June 9, 10

Weather is bad but we are not scheduled to fly. Some ships are out but we are resting up waiting for a break in the weather.

June 11

Mission 21. Target a railroad bridge near La Mano, France. Missed target due to overcast, so picked a target of opportunity; another railroad bridge. Went in three ship elements and bombed at 8,000 feet. The lowest yet. We are going to get none of these kinds of targets to and the troops in their drive to conquer France. Takeoff 0400. Briefed at 0130. Never got to bed. Back at 10:30. Hawkins pilot. Bomb 4 2,000 lb. Time 6:30.

June 12

Mission 22. Went to an airfield about 20 miles southeast of Paris. Mac lead a section No. 2 in which we were No. 4 man. He couldn't pick up the target so didn't bomb the airfield. So instead, he picked up a railroad with a highway running along side of it and hit this target. On the way home, we passed between Caen and Bayone and got the shit shot out of us. And we were supposed to have these town but now I don't believe the papers or radio as to who gained what and where. Pilot Hawkins. Bomb load 52 100 G.P. Time 700 hours.

June 13, 14

We aren't flying for a few days but got Mac and Joe back and they are going to make us a lead a new. Have a new operation officer and Capt. Blow is going to take a new home on a bond selling tour. Hope it's our crew as now we are the oldest crew in the squadron.

June 15, 16

Got 1st and 2nd O.L.C. today and still have another one due yet. Went to visit Mr. Brown and spent a beautiful afternoon in the country. We are up as section lead tomorrow with Joe and Mac back with us. Should give a good account of ourselves as we are now the oldest crew in the squadron. Had a few beers tonight and am hitting the sack early.

June 17

Was up for but never got to bed as they called us at 0030 for a 0200 briefing but scrubbed the mission at the last minute. So came home and went to bed and visited Pop Brown in the afternoon and evening.

June 18

Was called for a 1500 briefing and at 1700 mission was scrubbed again as the 492nd couldn't be ready on time.

June 19

Mission 23. Went to the Calais area to look for the plant where they make the pilotless planes they have been sending over London. Was up at 0500 for an 0800 takeoff, but mission was set back 7 hours and took off at 15:30 and returned at 19:30 hours. Hit the sack at 23:30 and was headed for a well earned sleep. Pilot Hawkins. Bomb load 40 100-lb. G.P. Time 4 hours.



June 20

Mission 24. Up at 1400 hours. Briefed at 1600 hours. Takeoff at 1800 hours. E. T. Raid 22:30 hours for another trip to the pilotless plane area in Calais. Flak was rough and we lead the group. Hoppy got a piece of flak about four inches from his ass and today was his birthday. He says they can't do that to him and he was plenty mad at Jerry on return. Can't write his remarks here but one can imagine what they were. Pilot Hawkins. Bomb load 52 100-lb. G.P. 4:30 min. Didn't bomb as target was overcast with clouds

June 21

Didn't do a thing today, but just hung around the barracks and went to the movies today.

June 22

Mission 25. Briefed at 1400 takeoff at 16:30 for an airfield just two miles south southwest of Paris. Got a good glimpse of the Eiffel Tower and the city itself. Flak was rough in the target area. Hawkins Pilot. Bomb load 12 500-lbs. Time 5 hours.

June 23

Standown so am going down to Higgham and visit my friend Mr. Brown.

June 24

Another standown but a beautiful day. Orders just came out that crews have to fly 35 missions now to complete a tour as they say the missions during the invasion period June 6 to 17 didn't count on the tour so I may have to pull 33 as I got three such missions.

June 25

Weather bad so no mission, but did go up and check Lt. Bennett out as a first pilot.

June 26

Now that Lt. Bennett is a first pilot, they are taking Lt. Hawkins away from us and sending him to P.F.F. in the 66 squadron. It means a captain rating for him. So now, Lt. Bennett will take over. Visited Pop Brown in the evening and had a swell time.

June 27

Lt. Bennett is going to London to speak on the radio. So Operations gave us all a three-day pass. We are flying down so that will be okay.
June 28,29

Went to London for these two days so didn't do any flying, but the boys went out just the same and really had a rough time of it. A very good friend of mine I met over here was killed and another one wounded pretty bad. A big piece of flak hit him in the ass. Bomeos (Tucker crew, June 27) was killed while doing his job and saved the rest of his crew from the same fate. Also, lost three other ships all lead crews so we are now the only lead crew in the squadron outside of the one G.P. lead crew we have. Are going to Bomeo's funeral Saturday down to Comb. Crews that went down were Scuddy, Westcott who crashed in the air. Landahl who got a direct hit by flak. The boys say about nine or ten men got out of these three ships, but they still had 23,000 feet to fall so reports later on will show more men got out.

June 30

Pay day again, but no flying as ships were shot up too bad yesterday, but am up tomorrow.

July 1

Went to Bomeo's funeral and it was very nice. Came back and flew with Lt. Bennett on a practice mission shooting, landings, and takeoffs. He let Robinson (Wallace) and I get about 20 minutes flying time each. While in London saw four pilotless planes (Diddle Bugs) and heard about 14 of them go off. Saw a church where 500 people were killed by one of these said bombs.

July 2

Up at 1200. Went to show and Mass at 1730 hours.

July 3

Got up late so went to the movies in the afternoon and hit the sack early.

July 4

Mission 26. Up at 0100. Briefed at 0200 for a 0400 takeoff but mission was set back two hours so took off at 0600 for an airfield about 30 miles southeast of Caen in France. Bombed G.H. at 24,000 feet. Back at 10:30. Pilot Bennett. Bomb load 52 100-lb. G.P.

July 5

Slept late and went to the show in the afternoon. Went to Red Cross in the evening and wrote a letter.

July 6

Mission 27. Up at 0145. Briefed at 0245 for a target in Germany. Keil, a sub-base. Took off at 0600 and rode two hours over the North Sea. Hit the target at 0946 and returned at 1236. Flak heavy. 44 guns and very accurate. Pilot Bennett. Bomb load 100 x 4-lbs. incendiary.

July 7

Mission 28. Up at 0100. Briefed at 0200 for an 0500 takeoff to an engine plant in Central Germany (Bramburg). Flak was heavy over target and over Hanover. Attacked by about 60 fighters ME 410 but they didn't get any of us. Hoppy set one on fire. Lost three planes including Lt. Morrison's crew. But he finished so crew who averaged 32 missions went down by attack from 109 and 190 as they were straggling after the bomb run.

Bennett now has 22 missions and needs three more. Hope next are easy as last two were kind of rough. Pilot Bennett. Bomb load 12 X 500 lb. G.P. Time 7:30 hours.

July 8

Standown but most of the crews are up this afternoon on a practice mission.

July 9, 10

Didn't do a thing for these two days but did go see Mr. Brown and spent the evening with him.

July 11

Group and the whole eighth air force went to Munich, Germany. Dropped over 4,000 tons of bombs on city itself. German radio report said bombs were falling for 45 minutes. Didn't go on this one.

July 12

Still just hanging around the site but group went to Munich again in force 1400 this time. Just about cut off the supply lines R.R. to Italy so things should break soon down that way.

July 13, 14

Went to tea at Pops on the 13th and had a swell time. The 14th Lt. Bennett got his D.F.C. at 32 missions and finished his tour and is going on D.S. somewhere in Scotland. Have no crew now, but am going to fly with Lt. Tucker. Refused to fly with another pilot as we didn't think him capable of bringing us home. Khowy came home form hospital today but he went flying for awhile.

July 15

Standown so just hung around all day and in the evening Lt. Bennett and I went for some strawberries. Monday, Lt. Bennett leaves for Scotland and is going on D. for 90 days and fly to Sweden and back. He will be back and then go home.

July 16

Mission 29. Fine way to spend a birthday, 23,000 feet above Germany. Went to Saarbucken again and hit the marshalling yards. This target was requested by the ground forces. Up at 0130. Briefed at 0245. Takeoff at 05:30 with 2,700 gallons of gas load and 12 500-lb. G.P. Returned at 12:30 and hit the sack. Pilot Kearney and copilot and nav. were on their first mission and quite thrilled. Flak moderate. No fighters but Jerry now has bombs hanging from a cable attached to a blooner. Was shooting at these to clear a path to the target. Hawkins led the group in a P.F.F. ship and had to abort. Why I don't know yet. Time 7 hours.

July 17

Lt. Bennett left for Scotland to ferry officers back from Sweden

July 18

#30 mission. FINISH.

July 18

Mission 30. Was told last night that I would finish at 30 missions. So was briefed at 0200 for a 0400 takeoff to the German lines just about eight miles southeast of Caen. Was to start a drive through this area later on in the day. And the Br. Ground forces requested we help out. Bombed just 3,000 feet from the Br. And Com. Troops. Bombed at 14,000 feet and the pilot got hit by flak in both feet and legs. Gave first aid and copilot brought plane home. Lt. Smith copilot did a beautiful job. Pilot almost lost left foot at the ankle and had to administer first aid and give morphine. Had a hard time with him while in the air and also getting him out of the plane after landing. Am glad it's all over now and at least will be able to sleep nights. Pilot Kerney, copilot Smith. Hoppy, Wright, Gardner and I all finished today. Robbie has one move to do. Hawkins five in the 66th. Joe 5; and Mac 9. Will surely pray for them all and have a swell reunion after it's all over. Lt. Hawkins is now in for Captain. Bomb load 52 100-lb. G.P. Home at 0830. 4:30 hours.



July 19, 20

Am just hanging around waiting to see what they are going to do with us. Lt. Bennett came home from Scotland as they didn't need them up there.

July 21-22

Have been released from the squadron and now the group has charge of us. Went to hospital today to see about pain in back at bottom of spine. Doc Allisson says I go to the general hospital tomorrow.

July 23

Admitted to hospital and operated on at 18:30 hours. Was in hellish pain for 48 hours, but feel much better now. Have to have another operation after this one heals. Later on the cyst will have to be removed. May be in hospital four or five weeks.

July 24-31

Still in hospital doing nothing as usual, but may get out tomorrow.

August 1-7

Was out for 24 hours, but had to come back for another week or so as the doc says operation must heal all up while in hospital to avoid infection.

August 8-14

Got out of hospital and went right to rest home which was very nice. But as usual had to come home to rest up. While away, lost Larson from Revere.

August 15

Got back from rest home to find out I was to leave for home today. Hoppy, Gardner and Wright left early this morning. So got on the ball and chased up to GP Hq. And I leave in the morning to join the boys at the P.O.E., also got my D.F.C. today. Am all packed and ready to go to he 12th R.C.D. party on the 12th.

August 16, 17

Took off for Charley the 12th. R.C.D. for a boat home I hope in the very near future, via London.

August 17

Left Charley the 28th for Scotland to catch boat for home.
August 29

Boarded the Queen Mary for home.

September 5 20:40 hours

Had to spend a week on board the ship waiting for Mr. Churchill who is going to the states to see President Roosevelt. But am now on the high seas heading for home.

September 10

Pulled in to Halifax at 1400 hours. Let Churchill off and left Halifax at 1630 hours, headed for good old New York.

September 11

Docked in New York at 19:30 hours and am now awaiting outcome of trip home.

September 12

Left ship and went to Camp Kilmer for a small processing.

September 13

Left Kilmer at 17:30 hours for New York and train to Devens. Train to leave at 0010 hours.

September 14

Arrived at Devens to receive pay and orders. Left for home at 1600 hours. Arrived home 1730 hours. Everything okay.
 
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