326th Squadron
Daily Operations Journal

December 1944

1 December 1944
starting last month of 1944 off slowly
but practice missions, ground school for combat personnel goes on full swing
has been more like a technical training command around this field for past few months
each squadron trying to outdo other to make paper impressions
for all the training accomplished, somehow targets have not been hit with regularity of a few months ago
training just doesn't seem to do men as much good
wonder what the new year has in store!

2 December 1944
weather prohibited a mission take off

3 December 1944
more of same

4 December 1944
nine crews, leading 40th "A" Group, flew this 9:15 hour mission to marshaling yards at Kassel

Lt. Col. Riordan/Capt. Clay - 660-X
Krostek - 367-S (327th a/c)
Might - 281-A
Kolman - 471-M
Fischer - 279-G
Smith, C.C. - 299-R
D'Ortona - 684-L
Strom - 453-F
Millar - 458-S

flying with screening force were
Smith, J.A. - 720-K
Hoffman - 536-O
Sargeant - 436-H

all crews returned from what they called a good mission
light flak
no enemy fighters

PFF equipment in lead ship malfunctioned
deputy lead did bombing
unobserved results

Captain Michelson, flying his 55th mission, decided this was his last
but he's made that decision before

5 December 1944
92nd had stand down while mission to Berlin/Tegel flown
First division lost nine aircraft

6 December 1944
nine crews took off for "flak city"-- Merseburg/Leuna
flying as lead of low squadron 40th "Charlie" group

White/Bennett - 480-N (407th a/c)
Krostek - 436-H
Might - 454-B
Kolman - 684-L
Fischer - 279-G
Millar - 458-S
Smith, J.A. - 720-K
Erpelding - 299-R
Smith, R.A. - 453-F, who aborted with a mechanical

all other crews returned without any trouble

7 December 1944
no activities
Today completes the third full year in this Second World War for the United States.

8 December 1944
icy conditions restricted our duties to ground-hogging

9 December 1944
mission to Stuttgart's airfields, railroad targets with twelve crews as low squadron of 40th "Able" group

White - 050-D
Kolman - 281-A
Smith, R.A. - 436-H
Beard - 684-L
Fischer - 471-M
Smith, C.C. - 299-R
D'Ortona - 279-G
Hoffman - 536-O
Erpelding - 458-S
Might - 446-B
Strom - 054-R
Priestly - 449-Z

light flak at target
all ships returned safely

this was third straight mission that 326th Squadron has been only one in group to hit target
run partially visual

10 December 1944
no flying today
mission scrubbed at 07:00 before scheduled take off
continuous rain, snow

11 December 1944
twelve crews out today
flying as high squadron in 40th "Charlie" group to Frankfurt's railroads, bridges in support of front line troops

Krostek - 354-A (325th a/c)
White - 436-H
Beard - 281-A
Might - 720-K
Hoffman - 458-S
Sargeant - 453-F
D'Ortona - 684-L
Strom - 279-G
Erpelding - 536-O
Kolman - 471-M
Priestly - 299-R
Millar - 156-E

today's effort was largest force of bombers dispatched by 8th AF in one operation-- 1,586

12 December 1944
practice mission
nine ships
Merseburg bombed by other 1st Division organizations
we had heavy ground fog

13 December 1944
fog still keeps us grounded

14 December 1944
weather still bad-- no flying

15 December 1944
target for today Kassel's marshaling yards, shops
with 318 aircraft of the 1st Division attacking

ten of our eleven ship were effective

in low squadron of 40th's "Able" Group were

Kolman - 454-B
Smith - 436-H
Beard - 281-A
Might - 684-L
Fischer - 458-S
Erpelding - 536-O
Hoffman - 471-M
Millar - 453-F
Smith, C.C. - 299-R
Priestly - 401-E (325th a/c)

Erpelding aborted, landed at Bassingbourne

just another mission with unobserved results

16 December 1944
foul weather-- no flying

17 December 1944
windy, rainy day
six ships on a practice mission
clearing in afternoon
a couple of ships practicing night flying

18 December 1944
ten crews flying as "Baker" Group lead to Kaiserslautern hitting communication targets

Kolman - 467-S (327th a/c)
Smith - 480-N (407th a/c)
Beard - 537-O
Millar - 281-A
Erpelding - 299-R
Fischer - 458-S
Might - 684-L
Priestly - 279-G
Sargeant - 471-M
Smith, C.C. - 536-O

PFF mission with unobserved results
light flak at target only
all returned safely

Michelson made his 56th mission...
this one definitely ends his tour!

19 December 1944
during next four days extremely bad weather, heavy fog prevented air support to our besieged ground troops
along Western front they were under constant attack
PW's were being executed by enemy troops dressed in American uniforms as wells as painting white stars on their automotive equipment.
On Thursday, the 22nd, some elements of RAF hit marshaling yard at Trier, giving ground troops a little relief

23 December 1944
three squadrons of group, thirty seven aircraft, led by L/C James K. McLaughlin took off in very thick fog to give some aid to ground folk
target, Ehrang M/Y, was bombed visually with excellent results
earning commendatory remarks from First Division Commander

ten of our crews participated
flying the three high flights

D'Ortona - 454-B
Priestly - 436-H
Smith, C.C. - 299-R
Might - 684-L
Millar - 279-G
Smith, R.A. - 281-A
Erpelding - 536-O
Hoffman - 471-M
Sargeant - 720-K
Beard - 458-S

24 December 1944
day before Christmas found the boys delivering again to Nidd Airfield, Germany
town is no more

everybody returned safely except five ships who had to peel off as a fast moving fog forced them to land at strange airdromes

our crew were

Kolman - 351-?
Smith, J.A. - 660-X
Smith, R.A. - 720-K
Might - 471-M
Millar - 281-A
Mason - 536-O
Hoffman - 453-F
Sargeant - 279-G
Erpelding - 156-E
D'Ortona - 436-H
Priestly - 684-L
Smith, C.C. - 847-C

accident occurred during take off of a 327th ship
as it became airborne and began a left turn, it plowed into the treetops, crashed, exploded
only the two pilots and engineer survived after they were thrown free

25 December 1944
Christmas Day
very heavy fog for operations from this field
trees, entire countryside covered with ice
a good party held by office staff with lots and lots of drinks and food

26 December 1944
cold, sunny weather
the five crews that landed away from base after last mission returned today

group did not fly on a mission

27 December 1944
one local flight
299 slow timed an engine

weather has been cold, according to the natives
some of the coldest in many years

28 December 1944
commendation for mission on 23rd came through today

nine crews to Coblenz's M/Y, railroad bridge
a 6:45 hour effort

White - 480-N
Smith, J.A. - 050-D
Smith, R.A. - 501-?
Millar - 684-L
Fischer - 436-H
Mason - 526-O
Might - 454-B
Sargeant - 299-R
Strom - 720-K

flew lead for 40th "Charlie" group

all safely home

29 December 1944
practice mission

30 December 1944
ten crews to Bullay, Germany as high squadron of 40th "A" Group

Kolman - 660-X
Hoffman - 454-B
Smith, R.A. - 279-G
Smith, C.C. - 684-M
Mason - 720-K
Sargeant - 697-N
Might - 436-H
Lane - 299-R
Strom - 847-C
Elder - 156-E

light flak
all returned safely

three ex-326th pilots, Capts. Cherbak, Cook, Bennett, flew as A.C.s

31 December 1944
nine crews, flying as high elements, went to Kordel
attacking railroad facilities, bridge

D'Ortona - 436-H
Fischer - 279-G
Lane - 156-E
Priestly - 684-L
Mason - 697-N
Deegan - 720-K
Smith, C.C. - 454-B
Suhar - 299-R
Smith, R.A. - 847-C

using GH equipment the bombing results very poor

Good-bye "44"

The 326th journal ends at this point. Our thanks to Mike Kulick.