326th Squadron
Daily Operations Journal

1 December 1943
mission today
five crews take off at 0745
target: Sieburg, Germany
I.P. was the center of the town
altitude was 26,000 feet
load was GPs and the fire bombs (incendiaries)

the drop was planned for 1200 noon time
the average time of the mission was programmed for seven hours

intensity and accuracy of A/A fire was light to accurate
4,935 rounds of 50-caliber ammunition was [sic] expended

40 to 50 Me 109s, FW 190s and JU 88 aircraft were encountered
no claims of downings

two of our Forts were damaged

two gunners, S/Sgt. Sloop and S/Sgt. Lutska were transferred to the training school at Bovingdon as they were short of good instructors

Lt. Rose and Lt. Ahrenholtz landed at this base
three other planes landed at other bases
Podington got closed in by weather

yesterday's mission was not credited

lack of flying equipment has reached a critical stage
there were lots of promises, but there were no deliveries from group

*****

2 December 1943
a new crew reports in today
Lt. Jessen and crew

also a new ship assigned
tail number 42-31175
one of the lead ships
it was assigned later in the month to Lt. George
they named it Trudy

stand-by was received at operations

*****

3 December 1943
missions cheduled and scrubbed
practice mission likewise

equipment for the crews is finally coming through
the 92nd is one group that can scrub more practice missions

among the other irritations the squadron sets up the best possible formations in strength and so forth
the Group then turns right around and rearranges theses neat setups to their own liking
gone are the days when Major Todd used to run group operations the way it should be run

*****

4 December 1943
three of the "green" crews are flying a practice mission today

975 flew to Bovingdon to check on baggage

Lt. Ahrenholtz on his 24th mission is finally a 1st Lt.

weather is clear all day for a change

*****

5 December 1943
four crews took off at 0745 and completed the mission
target not named as no bombs were dropped
flying altitude was 23,000 feet for a six-hour period

three enemy aircraft were seen, but they offered no hostile acts
flak was light to medium and was not accurate

for the first time in weeks clear weather was enjoyed for take-offs and landings
frost and ice made taxiing a bit difficult

the only wrecks were some GIs on bikes

there was a lot of difficulty waking up crews this morning
many of the guys got in late from a Saturday night out in the towns
some of the men take care of their health, but others want to have fun while still around to do so

aircraft on the mission were
Capt. Belongia - 677
Lt. Ahrenholtz - 175
Lt. Lock - 975
Lt. Saunders - 711

*****

6 December 1943
foggy, damp, miserable
Where have I heard that before?
No flying today!

*****

7 December 1943
two years ago today, Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japs
it shouldn't last over two years

the latest bunch of new crews are the most poorly trained
they must have shoved through school fast!

At present time we have 18 crews assigned

No flying today, again

*****

8 December 1943
Lt. (Gus) Ahrenholtz completed his 25 sorties on the fifth of this month and is returning to the States thru #12 Replacement Center

weather is still cloudy
not good enough for flying
stand-by until midnight

*****

9 December 1943
stand down
weather
weather canceled all flying, but not ground school

*****

10 December 1943
no flying
weather keeping the ships on the ground
giving the crews an advantage of more ground school training

during the month of November the 326th flew one more ship over the target than any other squadron in the group
we won the same honors for the month of August
we missed by one plane for September
one of our squadron's crews flew another squadron's plane on that occasion

ship #423 is being test flown after the 446th Sub Depot put repairs on it from battle damage

the 446th is the new squadron number for the former 36th Service Squadron

*****

11 December 1943
seven crews scheduled for a mission today
escorts will be P-51s for the first time
these inline engined ships can fight at altitude as well as at low levels

Lt. Stone's orders came thru [sic] from wing today for transfer to the 384th Bomb Group at Grafton Underwood

Lt. Col. Buck, former air executive of this group, was here today

ships and crews making this hop, in order:
Lt. Smith - 773
Lt. Lansing - 975
Lt. Larrivee - 180 (407th ship)
Lt. Lock - 175
Lt. Wenger - 636 (327th ship)
Lt. Shevchik - 648 (327th ship)
Lt. Wolf [sic] - 677

take-off at 0825 for seven-hour flight
target - Emden, Germany
293 incendiaries dropped from an altitude of 22,000 feet at 1301 hours

1,000 rounds of 50-caliber ammo were expended test firing guns as no enemy fighters were encountered

flak light to moderate and accurate
damaging one of our squadron's Forts
none of the crew were injured

all the new ships coming in now are the modified B-17G type with the new chin turrets

*****

12 December 1943
Lt. Stone is packing up to leave tomorrow for his new assignment at the 384th as their operations officer

Capt. Belongia, pilot coming over originally with this group, has two ditchings to his credit and a very desirable officer to work with and for

alert was scrubbed today and a practice mission et up
bad weather put an end to everything except 016 being test flown after repairs

T/Sgt. Pencek returned from the hospital

the 12th RCD is back on flying duty

*****

13 December 1943
eight planes and crews scheduled for this mission
Lt. Rose - 733 - never took off as they had mechanical problems
Lt. Wenger - 735 - also aborted with mechanical failure
Lt. Smith - 849 - got credit for the trip, but did not drop his bombs

ones to complete the mission and drop bombs:
Lt. Larrivee - 175
Lt. Shevchik - 644
Lt. Wolf [sic] - 423
Lt. Hughes - 016
Lt. Lansing - 677

take off at 0805 hours
target - naval installations in the Kiel area of Germany

visibility 10/10
turbulence was good
80 500-lb. GP bombs dropped in a train release from 24,000 ft. altitude at 1245 hours

575 rounds of 50-caliber ammo was expended test firing the guns
no enemy aircraft were encountered

flak was moderate to inaccurate
no claims of shoot downs and no damage and no losses

*****

14 & 15 December 1943
on pass these two days
an alert scheduled for the 14th, but it was scrubbed by our regular "scratcher," the weather
this occurred on both of these days

*****

16 December 1943
Thursday another raid on Bremen, Germany
after this mission naval installations are practically knocked out of this war
clippings cut out of the "Stars and Stripes" with details on these raids were carried on various pages and had a rather complete score card for us in the 8th

the following crews with their aircraft participated on this mission:
Lt. Lock - 799
Lt. Saunders - 175
Lt. Hughes - 016
Lt. Rose - 733
Lt. Lansing - 975

Lt. Walsh and crew of
Lt. Haycock - C
Lt. Hanson - N
Lt. Pinellas - B
S/Sgt. Folsom - R
Sgt. Cole - Eng
Sgt. Morgan -BT
Sgt. Conley TG
Sgt. Higbe - WG
Sgt. Martin - WG
in ship #42-30677 K
mysteriously aborted inside the enemy coast line [sic] with four engines operating and according to reports, he did not seem to have any trouble from reports received from crews that witnessed this abortion
no fix was received from the ground station of any indication of where he might have flown to
no definite report can be given at this time

Lt. Wenger and crew in 496 aborted (327th plane)
arrived back at this base without any trouble or mechanical failure

32 500-pounders and 80 65-pound incendiaries dropped from an altitude of 26,000 feet at 1319 hours
degrees of success were noted by crews observing the target area
it was a mass of smoke and flame

535 rounds of 50-caliber ammo was expended as five to ten FW 190s were encountered with no claims of "shoot downs"
flak was moderate and inaccurate

*****

17 December 1943
weather is foggy again
or still

staff discussions were about Lt. Walsh's whereabouts
they seem to conclude that he is some place in England
he still failed to check in so I'd guess he is missing with no reports

Lt. Fleming - P - who went down last summer, via a letter from his mother to Major Word, said he is in a POW compound
from this we can believe that the rest of the crew may be in a POW cage somewhere in Germany

*****

18 December 1943
a practice mission
three ships are flying
weather clearing somewhat
this is a usual day in the office

*****

19 December 1943
practice mission scrubbed

over BBC broadcasting system on 9:00 news we hear that F/O Morgan, now a 1st Lt., gave the story of his trip in the "Ruthie II" during the Hannover raid when the pilot was mortally wounded and he had to fly the ship himself for most of the day
for his utter disregard of the eminent dangers, he managed to complete the bomb run
for this unusual and heroic deed, he, Lt. Morgan, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor

*****

20 December 1943
seven ships took off at 0820 hours
it was the 55th completed raid out of over 100 starts

crews and ships to make the trip:
Lt. Wolf [sic] - 580
Lt. Rose - 716
Lt. Lock - 326
Lt. Shevchik - 423
Lt. Wenger - 498
Lt. Larrivee - 016

Lt. Lansing aborted in 975 with a mechanical problem of some kind

city of Bremen, Germany, was hit from an altitude of 26,000 feet at 1145 hours
bomb load dumped there was 252 65-pound incendiaries
the place was left burning

1,900 rounds of 50-cal. ammo was [sic] expended as 20-25 fighters were encountered
there were no claims of "downers"
flak was heavy and accurate

one waist gunner on Lt. Shevchick's crew, Sgt. Higgins, received frost bit and S/Sgt. Craig died from anoxia while trying to help Higgins

beautiful clear weather was experienced

*****

21 December 1943
practice mission
three planes flying
it sure does not seem at all like Christmas

the weather is changeable

*****

22 December 1943
two former 326th gunners finished up their missions with the 325th today

eight crews started and completed the mission
crews making the hop:
Lt. Jessen - 644
Lt. George - 580
Lt. Smith - 261
Lt. Lansing - 016
Lt. Rose - 411
Lt. Wenger - 799
Lt. Koss - 496
Lt. Hughes - 975

target Osnabruck
they said they hit the place right in the center from 26,000 feet at 1356 hours
they dumped 84 GP bombs, expended 3,865 rounds of 50-cal. ammo at about 30 fighters of the single engined type

flak light and inaccurate
one ship returned with bombs on board
cause mechanical failure again

*****

23 December 1943
three ships flying today in a practice show
alerted for tomorrow
ship 016 on a cross country trip taking an extra crew to fly #623 back from Framlingham

*****

24 December 1943
squadron was filling in today for other units
only four crews flew:
Lt. Lansing - 975
Lt. Hughes - 016
Lt. Larrivee - 580
Lt. Shevchik - 423

*****

25 December 1943
only necessary activities in the office today

a new aircraft, #42-39770-Q was assigned
they could name this ship "Santa's Express" or "Suzy Q"
Christmas in the ETO was fine in as much as the turkey was plentiful
It was just not like home.
How could it be like home?
I wonder how our enemies are doing?

*****

26 December 1943
no flying today
one of those typical, heavy English fogs has settled into the vicinity

*****

27 December 1943
more fog and cloudy, but three planes got up for practice mission

one newly assigned a/c, #42-39958, assigned to Lt. Rose and crew

ships are now coming in with guns mounted at the waist windows and electronic superchargers, plus small modifications

alert has just been posted for tomorrow

*****

28 December 1943
weather cancels alert status
this was no exception for today

Lt. Wolf [sic] and his original crew go to the rest home for eight days, starting today

ship, tail #770 (the new ship), was flown by Major Word as a test hop at altitude

new crew being assigned today
Lt. Nashold - pilot

*****

29 December 1943
negative report weather

*****

30 December 1943
seven crews flying today's mission
two abortions: Lt. Smith, mechanical
Lt. Jessen, 423 - he was going to land with his wheels up (incendiaries on board), but the tower got to him in time so that catastrophe was easily averted

Lt. Grumbles was straggling in 799 on the way back and was cautioned to that effect

crews going on this mission:
Lt. Rose - 580
Lt. George - 175
Lt. Grumbles - 799
Lt. Wenger (Hughes) - 016

took off at 0805
target Ludwigshaven, Germany
bombing briefed to be by PFF
an eight-hour flight
to hit center of town
there was cloud cover, with turbulence,
an average altitude of 23,000 feet

flak moderate and inaccurate

they saw some fighters

loaded aboard were 210 bombs, set in a train fashion
also had 65 incendiary bombs to dump into the city

no encounters with enemy planes
no "shoot down" claims

according to the newspapers, they had a good degree of success in hitting the target area

*****

31 December 1943
winding up ‘43 with a raid on the last day
squadron flying high in low group

Lt. Klein - 799 - aborted, mechanical failure

other crews to make flight:
Lt. Rose - 958
Lt. Smith - 623
Lt. Shevchik - 580
Lt. Koss - 975
Lt. Saunders - 016

Lt. Grumbles - 733 - aborted
no reports on him going down
did not seem to have had too much trouble with his engines

take-off at 0740 for Cognac, Chateau, Bernard, France
located in the southwestern end near Bordeaux
German long range fighter and bomber fields hit

average of 10 hr. flight
weather good and turbulence smooth

72 500-lb. general purpose bombs dropped from 19,300 ft alt. at 1315 hours

six fighters of single engine type were encountered
1 destroyed
1 probable
1 damaged

one of our aircraft and ten men missing

flak light and accurate

6,705 rounds of 50 cal. were expended

degrees of success, bombs were seen to have hit hangars
fires were left burning as reported by S/Sgt. Farrell - BTG flying with Lt. Saunders

so ends 1943
hoping to see the States late in 1944 is the general opinion
would dislike very much to spend another winter in this climate

Happy New Year, "FOR VICTORY."