326th Squadron
Daily Operations Journal

September 1944

1 September 1944
an agreement with group brought the squadron a stand-down
(this meaning non-operational duties for the day)
for the purpose of a party at the combat officer's mess-- dinner and dance
clerks of operations staff taking part attending bar, etc.
mostly etc.

six ships flew practice mission today

2 September 1944
very fortunate for the bad weather today
no one feeling in the mood for work or flying

stand-by till midnight

3 September 1944
a little look back on results, parts played by nations in this war
the war entering its final phase with almost complete occupation of France
Americans have been the deciding factors as more than 75% of the troops are the Yanks
Russians, Canadians, British are equal in their fighting on their fronts
No one, deep in their mind, after looking at the massive amounts of men and material played in this war by the United States can argue

in the Pacific Theater again 75% are American Troops
and most of the Territory being fought for are British mandates

many questions come up-- very few ever answered
If Uncle Sam is backing 75% of the war with young men and plenty of money, he should accept some of the land and bases over the world for future protection
and American Empire would work much better for World Peace materially than would any other--
simply because she is made up of so many different nationalities

4 September 1944
a very quiet day
no flying, just resting

5 September 1944
nine crews on mission to Ludwigshaffen, [sic] Germany

Klyza/Seigle - 848-M
Reifsteck - 005-A
Thomas - 402-L (325 a/c)
Dunlava - 847-C
Spencer - 299-R
Glasco - 279-G
Sample - 217-L
D'Ortona - 697-N
Krostek - 536-D

Lt. Thomas landed at Manston after hectic return trip with #1, #4 feathered
S/Sgt. Ramsey, the waist gunner, KIA
Sgt. Bates, radio operator, seriously wounded
It was a commendable job accomplished by this crew bringing this ship back with all the flak damage.
Pictures show it to have many direct hits.

Lt. Reifsteck (005) did another good job after direct burst shot away the ball turret, killing S/Sgt. Dames, knocked out #3 engine
he lost the prop as he was circling the field
his left main tire flat-- ship salvaged

Lt. Krostek (536) landed at base along British coast
lack of fuel and an injured man

our ship (050) with a 407th crew came back with injured aboard

Lt. Sample (217), crew crashed somewhere in France
chances are-- they are safe
it was the 64th mission for 217

flak very heavy, accurate

as bombing with PFF no results known

6 September 1944
no flying today after mission was set up-- pushed forward 4 hours-- then scrubbed due to heavy fog

7 September 1944
showers prevented flying a mission today
got news that Lt. Sample's crew all safe
but one injury during landing
they will report back in a couple of days

received another replacement
Lt. Norman E. Strom, crew

8 September 1944
nine crews out today to Ludwigshaffen [sic] again

Cooke - 614-H
Sargeant - 227-P
White - 156-E
Clay - 847-C
D'Ortona - 697-N
Spencer - 299-R

three aborts
Williams 535-F
Kolman - 958-K
Glasco - 290-B

flying high in squadrons

today's mission carried no important facts other than another long haul
flak light, inaccurate
no enemy fighters encountered

mechanicals caused the aborts

several local flights out in somewhat heavy weather

9 September 1944
Mannheim today
our former commanding officer is flying in lead ship with Lt. Glasco

all the old personnel who came over to the ETO back in ‘42 with Colonel Sutton are hoping that he might again be the boss of the group
Colonel Reid is supposed to go home
as are all combat officers who have been in the theater for 2 years

PFF bombing today

crews going out were

Klyza/McLaughlin - 660-X
Glasco/Sutton - 767-N
Williams - 279-G
Dunlava - 290-B
Krostek - 535-F
Gravelle - 847-C
Clay - 614-H
Sargeant - 697-N
White - 907-J
Beard - 958-K

a spare, Beard, returned early after flying to the channel
but no vacancy to fill in

we led the 40th "A" group
with Captain Michelson doing the bombing
no observed results

moderate flak
no fighters

a new ship assigned today

Lt. Sample's crew reported in
however, the radio operator, Sergeant Dempster, remained hospitalized with serious injuries

10 September 1944
Sindelfingen, Germany
Stroud/Shanks in lead squadron of low group of 40th "C" formation with Michelson as bombardier (848-M)

Dunlava - 290-B
Beard - 227-P
Cooke - 614-H
Gravelle - 847-M
Krostek - 535-F
Spencer - 907-J
Kolman - 958-K
D'Ortona - 697-N

Captain Hardin flew in lead squadron ship

weather very good on this side
visual over there

after lead group missed target Captain Michelson hit it

Lt. Spencer (907) last seen going down over France with friendly fighter support
all other aircraft returned without damage

night flying tonight for reasons when days are short, pilots, navigators must be checked out on return from missions after dark

11 September 1944
Merseburg today
flying lead, low squadrons of 40th "C" high group

Klyza-Sutton - 848-M
Glasco - 290-B
Parkey - 535-F
Clay - 614-H
Smith, R.A. - 697-N
White - 227- [sic]
Williams - 279-G
Sargeant - 299-R
Kolman - 847-C
Smith, J.A. - 958-K

Lt. R. A. Smith with a feathered engine
Lt. Sargeant (299) came in a half hour early with an engine on fire over continent

very heavy losses by group today
Lt. Glasco (290) missing with approximately 6 feet of one wing blown off
Lt. J.A. Smith (958) also missing
while the 407th lost 8 out of 9 crews dispatched

Lt. Spencer, crew returned from yesterday's raid
they crashed behind our lines near General Patton's HQ
he presented each with a Bronze Star, a case of champagne clearly marked "For Wermacht Use"
and had a Lt. Colonel fly them home in his C-47
quite an exciting time for the crew

12 September 1944
group stand down today
many local flights up testing and on bombing range

Lt. Sabin, a pilot, returned from France after spending time in a hospital recovering from leg wounds when his ship exploded on a Pas de Calais raid earlier in the summer
in good shape and ready to return to the states

news received that Lt. J.A. Smith, crew are safe in France after crashing behind ourlines

13 September 1944
six ships flew in 2 high squadrons to Altenbury, Germany

Gravelle - 535-F aborted
Blitz - 227-P
Beard - 842-B
Cooke - 281-A
Smith, R.A. - 229-N
Kolman - 069-P

660-X, 848-M flown by other squadrons

chalked up another mission

fighters hit other formations
flak moderate

14 September 1944
mission supplying 3 ships which was recalled soon after they had taken off

Captain Stroud terminates his job of operations officer,
assumes a new position at group as one of the assistant operations officers

some local hops
W.A. Smith's crew returns from France via Bovingdon

Colonel Sutton borrows 753-Q for a cross country to Ireland

15 September 1944
stand down today
some local hops in the afternoon

16 September 1944
stand down again
local flying

time spent on furlough in Scotland

17 September 1944
tactical target in Holland
close cooperation with ground forces

crews on mission

Shanks - 924-G
Clay - 279-O
Parkey - 535-F
Dunlava - 446-B
Sample - 299-R
White - 227-P
Reifsteck - 288-U
Gravelle - 141-A
Smith, R.A. - 444-D

flew as lead of 40th "C" formation

nine men completed their tours
"Pop" Reifsteck being one of them

this was considered a good mission
no losses, no damages, good results

18 September 1944
practice formation of 6 ships flying for the planning on the "Razzle Dazzle" set-up for screening purposes
in execution a 12 ship formation will fly at a higher altitude, approach the target sooner, dumping many boxes of chaff to counteract the effectiveness of the ground radar controlling the guns

aside from that exercise a couple of ships out on the practice range checking out new inexperienced bombardiers while the veterans kept a sharp eye for the coming of any "visual" weather

19 September 1944
six ships
crews as high, low flights of low squadron on a mission to Unna, Germany

take-off at 09:45 [sic] hours through a heavy ground fog
all off safely

was uneventful trip with bombing by PFF through 10/10 at target

making the flight were

Spencer - 847-C
Smith, R.A. - 227-P
White - 697-N
Henry - 299-R
Kolman - 458-S
Beard - 535-F

ground fog was still present at 15:42 [sic] hours, the time for return
so they were delivered to bases along the Channel Coast

20 September 1944
more bad weather held those crews at the diversion bases

21 September 1944
Sergeants Neal Persons, Maurice Hargrove who went down on the Berlin Mission, 6 March, arrived back after spending time in a Switzerland internment camp
told the story of Lt. Robert Dorgan, the bombardier, who bailed out for some unknown reason and unfortunately was unable to escape
said the time spent in these camps was no picnic
mostly because of the very poor meals that were, so to say, "handed out"
all these camps are well paid for
just as any one is who cares for any airmen who may have gone down in enemy occupied Europe
they are well paid for their trouble and little food by the United States Government

22 September 1944
back to operating today with the improved weather
6 ships leading low group to Kassel, Germany
bombing by PFF

Henry - 281-A
Amthor - 458-S
aborted with pressure failure and a sick crewman

making the mission were

Parkey - 279-G
Smith, R.A. - 156-E
Bennett - 277-P
Sample - 535-F

for the second time Sample's crew is missing

co-pilot Ralph Peters
Eugene McCready (N)
Anthony Kulikowski (B)
John Kisgen (R)
Raymond Reierson (E)
Perwin Knutson (BT)
Joseph Rueschman (T)
Joseph Cullen (W)

Sergeant Edward Fereck returned after spending 9 months dodging the "Jerry"
until the Americans liberated that part of Belgium, set him free to return to the States for a well deserved rest

23 September 1944
no action-- more rain

24 September 1944
no flying-- still raining

25 September 1944
nine crews out today
flying lead in high squadrons of 92nd
along with 2 PFF aircraft

D'Ortona - 848-M
White - 597-E
Beard - 227-P
Parkey - 458-S
Spencer - 299-R
Mol An - 614-H
Gravelle - 611-J
Smith, R.A. - 279-G
Krostek - 454-B

Strom - 156-E, flying as the spare
returned as no vacancies

Lt. Ray, Alexander, Spencer, three of our best navigators over a long period
completed their tours after ruling was changed--
7 leads, 30 missions--
without knowing it was their last run

Lt. Gross, lead bombardier also finished
along with T/Sgt. K. W. Vanda, radio operator/gunner

Capt. Jackson transferred to the 327th
Capt. Michelson came back to the 326th on paper only

today's target was Frankfurt

moderate flak, but inaccurate for the group

no battle damage nor fighter attacks

friendly fighters out in full strength

26 September 1944
another operational day with 9 crews scheduled
8 made good takeoff

Henry/Hardin - 172-F-PFF with Michelson the bombardier
Amthor - 801-Q
Parkey - 454-B
Smith, W.A. - 279-G
Strom - 847-C
Bennett - 697-E
Spencer - 611-J
Krostek - 299-R

Blitz in 43-37644-?, on takeoff, hit a cross wind
a wing picked up an engineering tent near the runway
unable to become airborne
pancaked on the grass near the end of the runway
all crew escaped
aircraft salvaged

Lt. Gustafik, navigator, helped pull Lt. Edwards, bombardier, from debris on hearing latter's cry for help
Gustafik returned to burning ship, disregarding that it was loaded with bombs
He is supposed to be recommended for an award.

target Osnabruck
probably still is as the results show only about 50% hits

new today were Lt. Cherbak, crew from 70th replacement depot, and aircraft 44-6473

27 September 1944
this is the third straight day of hitting the enemy
with Cologne the target
was the first RAF target to be subjected to a 1,000 plane raid
in 1942 they put everything they had, including coastal command aircraft, on the target to "level" the city
but it's still a target

we led low group of 40th "B" wing

participating were

Clay/Seigle - 281-A
Amthor - 454-B
Parkey - 458-S
D'Ortona - 279-G
Bennett - 697-E
Strom - 299-R
Beard - 227-P
Gravelle - 471-M
J.A. Smith - 847-C

bombing by PFF, unobserved

light flak
no enemy fighters

all ships returned safely to base

new aircraft assigned
was immediately named "Soldiers Vote"

28 September 1944
fourth day running
6 ships, crews
flying high, low squadrons off the 407th who were leading to Magdeburg, Germany

bombing by PFF
light flak
no enemy fighters
sort of a milk run

all returned safely without casualties or ship damage
but when can that insurance be given when flying over Jerry territory!

29 September 1944
stand down today

some new policies announced
combat officers with 2 years of service come under the "Return to the Zone of Interior" plan
taking out the group and all squadron commanders
Lt. Colonel James W. Wilson is our new group C.O.
Lt. Colonel Riorden, from the 306th, is the group executive
they relieve Colonel William M. Reid, Lt. Colonel Andre R. Brousseau
two mighty big pair of shoes that will take lots of filling

eleven ships out today
flying locally, on the bombing range

30 September 1944
this brings to a close a very busy month in the 8th Air Force's war on Germany's military targets

we flew the 6 ship lead in high group of 40th "A' Wing

Henry/Cox (325th Company - 050-D)
Parkey - 454-B
Thomas - 473-F
Dunlava - 453-F
Strom - 471-M
Fischer - 279-G
Blitz - 458-S, who aborted after flying the spare position

considered an easy mission to Munster, Germany
unobserved PFF bombing

several enlisted men completed their tour

two ships on the bombing range