326th Squadron
Daily Operations Journal

June 1944

1 June 1944
Lt. Williams, navigator of Shevchik's crew, visited the squadron today after returning from France

I identified Nashold's copilot, Lt. Lilles
he made his trip through Spain, picking up a lot of Spanish coins equal to ten cents and made of aluminum

2 June 1944
six aircraft to Pas de Calais
flying high squadron of the 92nd group
bombing the sites that flying bombs are launched from

Maj Belongia, ops officer, and three gunners complete their tour today and gave us a good buzz job upon return
On the last peel off he came through to spectators that sweat the boys in most of the time.

crews making the mission
Jones/Belongia - 536
Roll - 643
Shanks - 299
Wilson - 582
Sargeant - 217
Hersha - 898

3 June 1944
activities from flying standpoint limited to local flying

4 June 1944
probably noted before they seem to have a mission on this day [Sunday] in spite of weather
a twelve-ship group with PFF leading
squadron flying lead and high and leading the 92nd Wg [sic]

crews
Mahone - 156
Shanks - 299
McCormick - 121
Brand - 643
Sargeant - 227

5 June 1944
Major Belongia taking off for 12RCD on his way home

standby until 6 o'clock but nothing comes of it and another alert is called again for tomorrow
The orders have come through for the big push that everyone has been waiting for, even the Russians.

new crew came in today

Lt. Hodges, crew transferred to Chelveston to fly the PFF ship

new ship assigned
43-37535

Working all night the orders came through early this evening that D-day had finally arrived. [sic]

6 June 1944
At approximately 7:30 in the morning, reports came over German stations that invasion forces had landed along the coast between Le Havre and Cherbourg.
squadron sent out 12 ships
first six bombed Arromanches, a French air field [sic]
latter six recalled because of complete cloud cover

late this afternoon 9 more aircraft sent out
bombing Fler, France, marshaling yards

According to report there about 11,000 first line aircraft to be drawn from for this great offensive to break down the Fortress Europe.

7 June 1944
with eleven crew and PFF leading bombing Kerlin/Bastard, France, Lt. Hodges making his first run in PFF with good results on this enemy airfield

some light, accurate flak
no enemy fighters
and it was in D-Day no fighters were around as our air cover left nothing to be desired, they were really mastering the air [sic]

another new ship assignment, 697;
with 975 being in the squadron for a year is finally called war weary
after 38 missions this B-17F is transferred to Wharton Air Depot for lighter work

we have a red alert tonight
enemy fighters in vicinity

8 & 9 June 1944
With invasion progressing as planned and not too many report on it this 8th and 9th of June the planes are grounded.
past few days they have been up in weather which otherwise they would not have risked if not for the invasion

some weather conditions flown under in this country would amaze the boys back home
on several flights last winter landings made by entire combat division without any crash landing in soup that one couldn't see more than half the distance down the runway
but with the sodium lighting facilities the boys practically had to feel their way in

10 June 1944
have a new Operations assigned today [sic]
Ass't. Ops Officer from the 325th comes into the squadron with 26 missions

11 June 1944
breakfast at the midnight hour
largest number of aircraft are to take-off this morning for a mission than ever before from this group
three eighteen ship groups with four flying spares
just a little over a year ago the group had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to put up eighteen
now they string themselves to fly a combat wing

squadron supplied 1/4 of the aircraft today
ships, pilots to go were-- two PFFs leading

Seigle - 217
Wilson - 582
Shanks - 299
Gall - 958
McCormick - 121
Stroud - 227
Hersha - 898
Brand - 293
Klyza - 535
Roll - 643
Jones - 536
Reifsteck - 697
Burkhalter - 907
Mahone - 156 - spare returned early

restriction to post has caused flying personnel to grumble
but that is understood in the army routine
with all of that they are eager to go out and help the men who are fighting the battles on the ground

some light flak today
success at target not seen bombing through cloud cover [sic]

weather looks good for tomorrow and we are alerted

a story about the Jerry hiding his tanks in hay stacks and the B-26 boys discovering them and dropping down and attacking them at low-level

target today Conches Airfield

12 June 1944
some more invasion support hitting Lille Airfield
sounds like old times when they used to go there in the spring of 43
then reception from the Jerry is a bit different than it was in those days
as he is very much depleted and on the run

McKenzie - 858-M
Mahone - 156
Seigle - 217
Jones - 536
Reifsteck - 697
Burkhalter - 907
McCormick - 121
Brand - 293
Hersha - 898
Wilson - 582
Shanks - 299
Klyza - 535

visual bombing and with "like" in there bomb aiming how could Lille expect to suffer no less than bomb craters [sic]

13 June 1944
weather stepped in and gave the boys a much deserved rest

old 975 transferred to Wharton today
had 38 raids on her

14 June 1944
brief summary as carried by the news reports described raid this way today
with our highest number of ships, crews participating today (15) fifteen, a record force of 1500 heavies went out today
hitting various targets, airfields, marshaling yards and locomotives
the latter by fighters
also trucks, flak towers

15 bombers, 8 fighters lost in today's operations
due mostly to flak

a few brief dog fights took place

our particular airfield had good pattern after Lt. Michelson had to drop bombs and trying to collide with another group hitting same target

Ledyard - 848
Mahone - 156
Seigle - 217
Wilson - 582
Shanks - 299
Robertson - 227
Brand - 293
Burkhalter - 907
Reifsteck - 697
McCormick - 121
Roll - 643
Hersha - 898
Jones - 536
Gall - 958
Klyza - 535

flying high group on this one

15 June 1944
14 crews flying today
leading 1st Division with Col. Reid, the group commander, flying as command pilot

15 crews scheduled, but Lt. Johnson tagged onto another group and was lost, returning early

large bridge hit at Nantes w/Eagle Eye Michelson bombing
for past couple of months this group has been enjoying very good bombing records riding right on top of the 8th Air Force for targets hit

seven ships came back from today's mission with flak damage, which was very accurate

three heavy bombers and 3 fighters were lost of the 8th Air Force 1400 that were out

Ledyard-Reid - 848
Brand - 536
Robertson - 227
McCormick - 121
Hersha - 898
Gall - 958
Wilson - 582
Reifsteck - 293
Seigle - 217
Klyza - 535
Shanks - 299
Mahone - 16 [sic]
Jones - 697
Roll - 643

16 June 1944
finally a stand down for a much needed rest
the Sq. Commander presenting awards to combat men in the squadron ready room

17 June 1944
12 crews and spare flying high squadrons in high, low groups

Jones - 848-M
Brand - 536
Robertson - 907
Wilson - 582
Johnson - 025
Hersha - 898
McCormick - 121
Shanks - 299
Gall - 958
Seigle - 217
Klyza - 697
Reifsteck - 713
Roll - 643, spare returned early

Major Word lead combat wing in PFF ship

target Illiers/L'Eveque, France
ground installations
hitting the flying bomb sites
it was the G.H.F. ship and not the PFF ship today that led similar to the latter

this flying bomb is smaller than a fighter and are launched on a rig similar to the AFCE in a bomber and are as potent as a one thousand pounder [sic]
so far they have wrecked a lot of buildings, killed a considerable number of people
but have not accomplished a military defeat
over one thousand of our heavies out today

18 June 1944
flying high squadrons in lead, low groups, these crews, ships participated

McCormick - 121
Jones - 870
Robertson - 535
Wilson - 582
Johnson - 907
Hersha - 898
Brand - 697
Gall - 958
Shanks - 299
Seigle - 614
Reifsteck - 643
Klyza - 217

Capt. Hardin flew with the lead group as C/A

this Sunday the weather is beautiful
strictly a beach and picnic afternoon

target for today Hamburg, Germany
1300 heavies out today

Cherbourg cut off by the infantry today
a few days ago by the British news

Lt. Hodges flying out of Chelveston in deputy lead position was hit by flak today
no report to the extent as yet

19 June 1944
flying lead, low squadrons of low group to Pas de Calais

McKenzie - 848
Mahone - 697
Hersha - 535
Wilson - 582
Gall - 958
Klyza - 217
McCormick - 536
Sabin - 643
Utt - 299
Seigle - 614
Johnson - 898
Reifsteck - 753

light flak
no fighters

only Lt. Hersha's ship dropped bombs
complete cloud cover and a small target was reason enough for bombs not being dropped in France

on yesterday's raid Lt. Hodges' left foot was blown off
Lt. Crutcher C/A of 327th was killed

Lt. Corlis, flying as observer, brought the ship home after a tough battle with solid undercast and a battered ship with only the quadrant controls working, and one stuck at 3/4 full made only a wheels up crash landing possible with Lt. Hodges directing the procedure from the nose with Lt. Gisriel giving aid.
this is only part of one heroic job displayed yesterday
more will be given later

20 June 1944
13 crews out to Hamburg, Germany
Lt. Stroud flew as C/A in PFF ship
squadron flying lead, low squadron and high in high group fill in

Hersha - 898
Wilson - 582
Gall - 958
Klyza - 217
Mahone - 697
Shanks - 299
Sabin - 121
Jones - 536
Burkhalter - 970
Reifsteck - 643
Seigle - 614
Henry - 227
Hendrickson - 326

six of our squadron's aircraft damaged with flak
some very accurate stuff at target today

another screw up on bombs being dropped today
Lt. Hersha losing an engine just before target
so he salvoed his bombs to keep in formation
other bombardier thinking it was bombs away dropped on him
they fell short

no fighters today

21 June 1944
flying lead, low squadron
10 crews ship flew to target Berlin

only flight flak at target on a nine-hour flight
Capt. Stroud flew as command pilot with Lt. Mahone in 848-M, a fine lead ship

to round out the rest of the crews

Jones - 479
Gall - 156
Wilson - 535
Klyza - 227
Reifsteck - 121
Seigle - 643
Shanks - 299
Johnson - 978
Henry 627

effective today the number of sorties for a tour in the 8th Air Force was definitely set at 24 and the pro-rating scheme last used when a tour was upped from 25 to 30 will again be effective

22 June 1944
nine crews flying lead, low squadrons in lead group with 12-ship groups back into effect
McKenzie flying as command pilot of 40th "B"

McKenzie, Safran, Gunn, Batts completing their tour

target today Pas de Calais
all ships returned without any damage

43 heavies lost on yesterday's run to Berlin
another short mission in the afternoon to Ghent

Lt. Shanks - 250
Reifsteck - 851
as spare returned, but Shanks went on to Ghent, France
Wilder finished up after making his second mission in one day

rumors that the First Division was to receive a Presidential Citation very soon
other rumors of going home, etc., not worth mentioning

23 June 1944
6 crews scheduled today, but scrubbed before take-off

Sgt. Hansen went home today through 12 R.C.D.
Glen Hansen was our most decorated Enlisted Man with Purple Heart and Cluster, Silver Star and Cluster, D.F.C. Air Medal and Clusters

this past week the squadron has put up 29 more crews than any other squadron in the group

24 June 1944
13 crews to Bremen, Germany
Lt. Mahone flying with Lt. McCormick in lead squadron (PFF); low squadron Seigle and 306th filling in the formation

Jones - 614
Robertson - 217
Brand - 299
Hersha - 898
Roll - 643
Sabin - 227
Thomas - 956
Henry - 535
Seigle - 536
Johnson - 071
Burkhalter - 582
Hendrickson - 121

comparatively speaking with no fighters, flank off in a distance they called it a milk run
only sweating take-off

48-hour passes are back in for combat men

25 June 1944
Sunday a day of rest
group is flying with a stand down for 326th
bad weather is setting in as the 26th brings another stand-down with showers all day long
27th brought more rain, another stand-down

men completing tours are once again being sent home in turn through the 12 RC.D.

alert tomorrow

28 June 1944
today brings another mission to Laon/Athies, France
flying lead squadron low group and low squadron in same group
with Lt. Stroud flying as command pilot

McCormick - 848
Jones - 156
Utt - 293
Wilson - 536
Hersha - 898
Gall - 121
Sabin - 697
Johnson - 643
Henry - 535

all ships landed at Second Division bases
but weather here was good enough for landing

29 June 1944
six crews started flying high squadron in low group to Leipzig, Germany

Brand - 614
Roll - 227
Reifsteck [sic]
Shanks - 299
Hendrickson - 596

Lt. Thomas, #5 man, failed to find the formation

weather very heavy today, but target reached, bombed
moderate flak
several fighters made passes
boys on return who saw fighters for the first time talked it up like the old days when a hundred or two were seen

all returned without damages

Brand - 614
Roll - 227
Reifsteck - 217
Shanks - 299
Hendrickson - 596

30 June 1944
winding up a record month for crews over target (182) without loss during this invasion month

6 ships sent on a practice mission

stand by till midnight