326th Squadron
Daily Operations Journal

August 1943

1 August 1943
daily routine work and ground school classes continue while there is no flying

rumor has it that the group is destine to move to a new airdrome the latter part of this month

money has been subscribed for radios for the Officers and Enlisted Mans ready rooms

*****

2 August 1943
squadron planes have been checked for "G" equipment
and one at a time are being sent DS [Detached Service] to Little Staughton for this equipment if lacking

ground school is being observed again today
office work is always in a run during the morning hours
also at lunch when roll call is sounded

*****

3 August 1943
Monday enough being donated by the officers through Lt. Fieg, the SS officer, a radio was bought and paid for
In American money (best) it cost the unheard of war price of 108.00 bucks, robbery!
A fair set of English sets go.

*****

4 August
daily routine work in the office
ground school schedules, etc.

an officer from the Air Ministry interrogated Lt. Belongia & crew on ditching.

*****

5 August 1943
ground school schedules, this fifth day of August, and a little shower for the first time in more than a week
something unheard of in England (dry weather)
Cheerio!

*****

6 August 1943
from a Detroit newspaper of a former 92nd BG bombardier
Lt. John S. Trost, bombardier on a Flying Fortress, was greeted home by his sister on a surprise visit to his Detroit home. He had been listed in January as killed in action

planes scheduled to fly this morning
was canceled due to a practice mission ordered by Wing

gunnery for extra gunners not flying this morning

passes have been canceled for all combat, line and armament men,
these needed more than others

another ship assigned to the squadron, 42-29787, twin nose guns

Red Cross doughnut truck parked near the office
a daily morsel was had by the paper throwers

a 4:00 lecture for all combat personnel on P/W [prisoner of war]
some awards of Air Medals to twelve men in the squadron in the S-1 briefing room

*****

7 August 1943
stand-by alert for today canceled
turned out to be a practice mission
which in turn was also canceled
last resort ground school
and even that was canceled for the am

another new a/c arrived today: 42-30423

flying for the week totaled 46.25 [sic] with no missions and bad weather

Form #34, a weekly report, had very little information

S/Sgt. Goldman and S/Sgt. Chester put in requests to be dropped from flying status

*****

8 August 1943
six planes flew today
#423 with Lt. Parkinson as pilot flew to Little Staughton to have equipment installed

Capt. Winget flying today to check out co-pilots on some practice landings
rest of the planes test flying, checking various equipment

no ground school today

*****

9 August 1943
clear weather today
some ground school
a couple of ships flying this morning, 712, 717 over to Little Staughton

formation practice mission called today
scrubbed

three co-pilots transferred out:
Lt. Reed
Lt. Thomason
F/O Paynter

T/Sgt. Johnson - R - asked to be relieved from flying status with 17 missions to his credit
kind of late in the game to decide

*****

10 August 1943
clear weather this am
mission scheduled (practice) and scrubbed at the last minute

no ground school today

Capt. Word's promotion came through today
we now have a majority in the squadron

complete new crew assigned today:
Lt. Whelan - P
Lt. Tomlinson - CP
Lt. Emery - N
Lt. Rodway - B
T/Sgt. Neville - R
T/Sgt. Hecker - E
Sgt. Wince - gunner
Sgt. Zimmerman - gunner
Sgt. Batson - gunner
Sgt. Martinez - gunner

*****

11 August 1943
another practice mission scheduled for the afternoon canceled
this is becoming a regularity

two planes returned from Little Staughton after having some "G" equipment installed

new gunnery officer, 2 Lt. Koch, assigned to the squadron
had 25 missions as an enlisted gunner

Capt. Winget assigned on special orders to the squadron today

*****

12 August 1943
a mission today
six ships alerted, one completing
Lt. Stone - a/c 231
Lt. McLaughlin - a/c 717
Lt. Holden - a/c 975
Lt. Wolfe - a/c 963
aborted, mechanical failure
although Lt. McLaughlin may get credit for his

Lt. Johnson with crew of
Lt. Weir - CP
Lt. Doolan - N
S/Sgt. Broyles (327) - NG
T/Sgt. Dickerson - E
S/Sgt. Jackson - R
S/Sgt. McKagan - BT
S/Sgt. Gutierrez - WG
T/Sgt. Antala - WG
S/Sgt. Treon - TG
the pilot was on his 21st mission
Dickerson, Treon and McKagan also on their 21st

F/O Davis - P
Lt. Barrett - CP
Lt. Morton - N
Lt. Irwin - B
T/Sgt. Spicer - E
Sgt. Lash - R
S/Sgt. White - BT
Sgt. Bertagnolia - WG
S/Sgt. Quinones - WG
S/Sgt. Jacks - TG
also missing on this raid

no authoritative reports
good chances of them being prisoners of war

on Lt. Stone's crew T/Sgt. John Z. Urbis was killed in the top turret
after living two minutes, he died from a hit in the chest by a 30 cal.

S/Sgt. E.A. Murphy was hit in the left arm and through the left side of the stomach
getting along okay in the hospital

S/Sgt. Scott suffered frostbite on the hands from aiding Murphy-- disregarding his own safety
he also is doing okay in the hospital

target was Gelsenkirchen, Germany
but the weather was so bad the secondary target was hit in the Ruhr Valley
the toughest spot to raid in Germany

t/o 0615
a five-hour flight
28,500 feet
85 fighters encountered
success-- none
flak was very, very heavy
10-500 GPs used

*****

13 August 1943
not much doing today
ground school
adverse weather conditions

practice mission for the afternoon was also canceled (raining)

*****

14 August 1943
new crew assigned to the squadron from Bovingdon 11th CCRC: Lt. Fleming - P

jeep was assigned to squadron operations
used for alert purposes day and night

an alert for tomorrow

enlisted men from Lt. Stone's crew went to Sgt. Urbis's funeral
S/Sgt. Kulick going from the office, being a close friend of mine, I went along

*****

15 August 1943

mission no. 46 for the 92nd Bomb Group
six ships alerted and completed the mission

Lt. Gibson - 975
Lt. McLaughlin - 698
Lt. Foster - 712
Lt. Belongia - 624
Lt. Wolfe - 776
Lt. Holden - 787

target Vlissingen, Walcheren Island
German airport was hit

time of attack 1924
average time of flight 4:15
16 300-lb. GP were carried and dropped by each ship
results were very good
enemy aircraft encountered: two FW 190s
enemy losses: one destroyed
flak meager
altitude of flight 23,000 ft.

one plane from the 327th failed to take off, crashing at the end of the runway
co-pilot hitting the landing bear switch before the plane was airborne

*****

16 August 1943
mission today
seven ships alerted and six completed trip

some explanation on alerts
in most cases the word about a raid comes in the day before, giving time to set up crews
schedules are typed and sent to various places where the men are quartered
a flying officer acts as alert officer in the Operations building overnight
usually one of the spare co-pilots
engineering is doing a creditable job on the line
considering the shortage of qualified mechanics, the boys are doing the job

Capt. Winget stated today that in the future when this struggle is finished, he may get some author to compile a true novel in book form for publication
something on the line of a biography of a bombardment squadron and personnel, etc.

crews of the mission today:
Lt. Holden - 787
Lt. Belongia - 624
Lt. Stone - 975
Lt. McLaughlin - 717
Lt. Foster - 712
Lt. Wolfe - 698

Lt. Makowski and crew failed to take off because one of the new navigators scheduled to fly with him got mixed up on his pilots, going with Grabowski instead of Makowski

target: LeBourget, France
airfield occupied by the Luftwaffe
300[-lb.] GPs used
16 on each ship
dropped from an altitude of 19,600 feet
at 0937
flak was moderate
10-15 enemy fighters encountered
success for the most part good
our damages and losses by squadron were nil

in the past most new crews have been Eager Beavers
after a few tough ones they know better

*****

17 August 1943
today is the one-year anniversary of the Eighth Air Force in the ETO
twelve ships went on the first raid to Amiens, France
at present it is an average of 200-400 ships each raid

the 92nd Bomb Group with personnel from the 97th, the first group in this theater, landed in this country on that date, the first echelon of flying personnel, and the USS West Point docked at Liverpool, taking the northern route with all the ground personnel

mission today
seven ships alerted and completed the mission with plenty of luck because it was one of the longest raids and deepest penetrations into Germany
Schweinfurt on one of the tributaries of the Rhine River
a ball bearing plant making 90% of the bearings for the German war machine

Forts were over enemy territory for three hours, 20 minutes
fighting their way in and out
Me-109s, FW 190s Ju-88s, Me-100s were used
and perhaps a few other types

500[-lb.] GPs were used
dropped from 22,000 ft
at 1505
average time of flight: 6:30

fighters were encountered in and out of the target
flak was moderate
two of our planes were damaged
eight enemy fighters were destroyed and one probably
and one ball turret gunner was frost bitten

success, contrary to early reports, were [sic] excellent

The Germans at this stage of the game are really hard pressed and surely must be feeling the worst of the damage that the Forts are so marvelously handing out.

three of the squadron ships landed at other bases, running out of fuel
Lt. Makowski's ship was completely dry as it hit the runway

*****

18 August 1943
a breathing spell today
Sicily Campaign was completed today, all but the mopping up

no ground school today

S/Sgt. Chester, Sgt. Sharer, Sgt. Toole, S/Sgt. Jackson were relieved from flying status today for various reasons
all reduced to the grade of private except S/Sgt. Jackson, who had spent considerable time in the RAF Coastal Command on Sunderlands
his twin brother going down with Lt. Johnson sort of broke the lad up
his knowledge with English procedure will make him valuable for instructing new crews that come in the future

six ships scheduled to fly this evening
to have pilots checked out for night landings
for in the future raids may call for night landings with the short English days during the winter months, late in the evening the night flying has been scratched

407th Sq is having a party this evening
being an old member of that squadron, I am going to drop in on the party
is was okay
picking up ideas for a party of our own that Capt. Winget is trying to stir up some interest in

passes were restored to normal today
with Lt. Foster's crew going on a 48-hour tomorrow

*****

19 August 1943
a mission scheduled today after the practice mission was scrubbed
six ships scheduled for the mission
completed the hop without any abortions

take-off time at 1545
four-hour run into Flushing, Holland
bombing an airfield with 300[-lb.] GPs after primary target missed due to weather conditions

three other planes were flown by other squadrons
making the 326th flying nine of 17 planes on this trip

no enemy aircraft encountered
flak being meager, but accurate
hits on targets were fair
1,132 rounds of 50-cal. expended

Lt. Stone - pilot - completes number 25
first in squadron to do so

*****

20 August 1943
alerted again today
that being scrubbed also
practice mission scrubbed

only incident of interest: a Mosquito is going a honey of a buzz job over the field

*****

21 August 1943
weather rainy and low overcast
no flying
ground school as usual

Lt. Parkinson, ass't operations officer, back from a 48-hour
Capt. Winget starting on one

new ship assigned the squadron today: 42-30387
goes to Lt. Foster and crew

*****

22 August 1943
nothing on today
combat men slept till noon
no ground school all day

Storer on a 48[-hour pass]

*****

26 August 1943
an alert today
planes took off about 0430
seven from squadron
weather closed in and they were recalled
rest of the morning devoted to sleeping

Lt. Parkinson flew 387 at 30,000 feet
one of the clerks in the office, including the author, had their first flight at that altitude

Major Word is spending his second day on a 48-hour pass

night flying tonight
pilots to be checked out are
Lt. Belongia - 231
Lt. Foster - 387
Lt. George - 717
Lt. Wolfe - 423
Lt. Fleming - 698
Lt. Davis - 962

*****

27 August 1943
one class on ground school this am
others flying last night slept in

alert is scheduled this afternoon
with eight crews set up for the mission
but group only wants seven

planes and crews flying this mission:
Lt. Belongia - 580
Lt. Wolfe - 423
Lt. Fleming - 698
Lt. Foster - 231
Lt. Davis - 717
Lt. Clough - 787
Lt. Holden - 975

primary target was Watten, France
objective hit unknown
three runs made on the target by our squadron
missed
object kept secret, but from studying the position, it seems as though it may have been an important gun installation or some sort of control tower
because some groups got some hits in on the target

seven ships carried 14 2,000-lb. GPs
dropped from 17,000 feet
flak medium, but accurate
about 25 enemy fighters encountered

Sgt. Currier, BTG on Lt. Fleming's crew
killed on the second bomb run over the target

two men were slightly wounded

five of our ships were damaged to some extent
some being out for repairs for two weeks.

Lt. Fleming crash-landed 698 at this field (Alconbury) and washed it out permanently
no one injured on landing

Today we find that photos on the Schweinfurt raid of Aug. 17, of which seven of our ships with our crews flew in and two others flown by other squadrons, [show] 326th was the only one in the group to hit the target
(Generals are awarded Silver Stars for leading one raid.)

*****

28 August 1943
crews resting till noon today after a late landing yesterday
raining and generally miserable, cold weather
S/Sgt. Jackson, after being relieved from flying status for ten days because of his twin brother going down with Lt. Johnson's crew a while back, decided he couldn't stay away from flying
in a talk with Capt. Winget, he said it was in his blood, just can't stay away

S/Sgt. Barner, after being grounded for a month with acute flying fatigue, is relieved from flying status at his own request
and partially due to the fact that he is a problem child
Sgts. Cleveland and Farrell are assigned from First Wing as gunners with schooling at the Wash

*****

29 August 1943
cloudy weather today
chance to get caught up in the office
no ground school or flying other than 897 being test flown by Lt. Fleming

*****

30 August 1943
mission scheduled today
six ships from the squadron
19 from the group

still operating on a three-squadron basis with the 325th in the process of being formed to make the fourth squadron
the other personnel of the 3325th are starting a new pathfinder group and are to remain at this field

today's trip recalled because of weather

Lt. McLaughlin landed 231 at Little Rissington, about 50 air miles
#1, #2 engines in trouble

Lt. Foster - 962 - had his tail assembly chewed up by Lt. Bruce's ship of the 407th

*****

31 August 1943
Capt. Winget finally made the grade
Major Winget
sure did a lot of bucking

a move in the wind for the group
Lt. Col. Cowart is supposed to be the new CO of the pathfinder group

up to the present time the 92nd has been in on a lot of firsts in the Theater:

  • first to fly B-17Fs over
  • using the Northern route first
  • Col. Sutton going to Washington, obtaining permission for the Northern route
    some people say Col. Sutton's unpopularity was due to the fact that he went over the ETO's head to fly the new route
  • 92nd started and gave up key personnel for the gunnery school, #11 CCRC
  • of the entire force over here the 92nd enjoys being the oldest
(I hope it's the first to go back to the US)
no good reasons can't be given why it shouldn't go back to home soil

another new ship assigned today - 608

all new planes are equipped with wing tanks or Tokyo tanks

the six planes to make the raid today:
Lt. McLaughlin - 461 (407th plane)
Lt. George - 717
Lt. Foster - 171
Lt. Makowski - 776
Lt. Whelan - 712
Lt. Clough - 787

target Amiens, France, an airfield
took off about 1450
average time for 20 planes to take off is about five minutes
weather was clear
average time of flight five hours
72 500[-lb.] GPs
dropped from altitude of 23,500 feet
hits very good
2,255 rounds of 50-cal. expended as 50 enemy fighters encountered
one claimed to be damaged
flak light but accurate

no damage to the ships or personnel
92nd lost the first B-17F