326th Squadron
Daily Operations Journal

November 1943

1 November 1943
raining today, no flying

Lt. Holden returns from rest home

five new gunners, after spending three days at the Wash gunnery school, are placed on flying status
S/Sgt. Scanlon being an RAF transfer

*****

2 November 1943
weather still undesirable for flying

FG on Lt. Lansing crew report from the Wash today

five P-38s landed at the base today
many personnel from the field went out to look them over

*****

3 November 1943
alerted early this morning
nine crews scheduled with three of the 325th planes flown

crews and planes were
Capt. McLaughlin - 513
Lt. Makowski - 803
Lt. Rose - 493
Lt. [sic] Belongia - 016
Lt. Ahrenholz - 580
Lt. Holden - 784
Lt. Wolfe - 423
Lt. Wild - 975
Lt. George - 623

target-- Wilhelmshaven, Germany, center of town
released on Pathfinder

visibility poor and turbulence rough

take-off time at 0930
65 incendiaries and 500 General Purpose bombs were dropped
altitude 22,000 feet

535 rounds of .50 cal. were expended

intensity of A/A light
accuracy-- inaccurate

20-30 single-engine fighters encountered
no enemy losses claimed
no losses to Forts or crews

group as a whole had no losses
the Eighth Air Force sustained light losses

Capt. Hughes flew in lead ship as lead w/PFF

*****

5 November 1943
mission number 67
nine crews scheduled

all made the trip except Lt. Wild - 580 - due to eye failure
eyes going bad with the pilot due to long formation flying

other crews completing mission were:
Capt. Belongia - 016
Lt. Wolf [sic] - 423
Lt. Makowski - 677
Lt. Ahrenholtz - 623
Lt. Rose - 733
Lt. Shannon - 975
Lt. Holden, (325th) - 799
Lt. George - 513

take-off time 1025
target Gelsenkirchen, Germany (in the Ruhr Valley)

load 378 65-lb. incendiaries
dropped from an altitude of 27,000 feet
on the Pathfinder ship
at 1348 hours

50 FW 190s and Me 109s were encountered
1500 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition were expended
the AA was heavy and inaccurate
no enemy losses were claimed
nor were there any losses to our aircraft

one man was wounded

five aircraft were lost from the 8th Air Force

alert for tomorrow

practice flight with one plane from the 26th leading the formation,
Capt. McLaughlin

*****

6, 7, 8 November 1943
off on furlough now for eight days
can't keep up with the schedule very well

sixth and seventh missions were scheduled, but were scrubbed due to the very inclement British weather
both afternoons utilized to the extent of sending up new crews on practice flights
Capt. McLaughlin and his crew went to the rest home

*****

9 November 1943
today all men participating on the last Schweinfurt raid were awarded Commendation Medals by British PM Winston Churchill

a mission scheduled for tomorrow

*****

10 November 1943
mission was scrubbed
practice mission in the afternoon with six planes flying

*****

11 November 1943
six planes and crews took off today for a mission
after about four hours in the air and reaching the enemy coast line [sic] they were called back as a bad weather front was noted in the target area

back on the job today after a furlough
I had a real good time in Edinburg [sic]
I did some sight seeing [sic] and a bit of pub inspecting
I found the Scottish people to be much more pleasant toward the Americans as opposed to their British neighbors
it is still far from the standard of living enjoyed by the American people

*****

12 November 1943
practice mission for six planes

pilots' critique at 0930 with the group commander

Lt. Stone and Capt. Belongia fly to Bovingdon this afternoon
Lt. Stroud flying with Lt. Wolf [sic]
test hopping #423

crew set-up changed on the large bulletin board in the operations section to meet group specifications in order of positions

Lt. Col. Keck is the new group operations officer
I used to work for him in flight operations D back at Bovingdon
I also worked for Major Todd, the brilliant brains back of group operations until he went down a couple of months ago

he was the CO of the 327th at that time

*****

13 November 1943
Saturday morning mission scheduled
six planes took off at 0713 hours but were recalled at 1000 hours
they landed without incident around 1230

the 407th lost one plane and crew

it had crash-landed due to icing conditions

the 8th Air Force lost seven planes in the same fashion

*****

14, 15 November 1943
weather colder and cloudy
crews are sleeping in for a well-deserved rest

rumors are flying around that the group is moving to a dozen different zones

two ships flying the afternoon of the 15th
one to Bovingdon and one scheduled for night flying
they canceled it a short time later

*****

16 November 1943
an alert came up sort of late last evening
so it was back to Ops office to make crew set-up

early morning breakfast at 0300 and it was swell
the menu was elegant

it was a beautiful, clear day

here's hoping for the best

Capt. Sergeant of the 327th, who went down in August
whose plane was reported to exploded
was subsequently reported as a P.O.W. via the mail from friends in the U.S.A.

Andrews and Oakes flew today as privates
a new order dated Oct. 29 permitted men to fly as privates at the discretion of their respective squadron commanders
sometimes a man might go AWOL or commit some other serious offense
some action had to be taken as well as plug up a way to dodge a tough mission

when today's mission was completed and the formations returned to England, the weather really closed in again
one of our ships landed at this base and the others landed elsewhere

mission number 68
take-off time at 0650

six aircraft with crews scheduled:
Capt. Belongia - 016
Lt. Lock - 677
Lt. Lansing - 975
Lt. Ahrenholtz - 580
Lt. George - 623
Lt. Shannon - 608
Lt. Fullilove, of the 327th - 277
Lt. McKenzie, also of the 325th, flew 377

it was a nine-hour hop to Knaben, Norway

flight altitude was set at 15,000 feet

72 500-GPs were loaded

at 1239 molybdinum [sic] mines were hit
no hits were claimed by the group even after three runs were made over the target

Major Word flew with Capt. Belongia in the lead ship, leading the group

a total of 2,450 rounds of ammunition were expended

intensity and accuracy of flak was moderate and inaccurate

about five single-engined fighters, FW 190s, were encountered
no claims or losses

*****

17 November 1943
Lt. O'Grady transferred to the 327th

Lt. Dorgan was assigned from the 327th

Maj. Word and lead team officers to 40th Combat Wing at 1330 for a critique on yesterday's mission

the afternoon activity was a practice bombing mission
Lt. Wolf [sic] - 423
the 327th flew 733

*****

18 November 1943
practice mission
six ships
briefing at 1030

wing practice
Lt. Wolf [sic] becomes a flight leader
our seven ships flying today
they were flown [led?] by Capt. Prasse, a former tank corps officer

Capt. McLaughlin was test flying #513
it was okay

*****

19 November 1943
practice mission scheduled today
six aircraft

weather clear
heavy frost here for the second day of the second winter here in jolly old ENGLAND

16 new crews assigned to the group
no definite assignments made to squadrons and the group operations wants two of the new crews to fly today
what a life

*****

20 November 1943
Lt. Stone, as I gathered, was supposed to go on pass, but the next day come to find out that he was spending his weekend in the hospital recuperating

crews are finally being assigned
Lt. Smith and crew
Lt. Shevchick and crew
have gone through the Bovingdon school

Lt. Norton is assigned to squadron vice
Capt. Ritter as squadron engineering officer

no flying because of fog!

Flying time for this week totaled 140:15
fuel consumed by the bing ones: 39,150

*****

21 November 1943
another new crew shows up
a Lt. Hanson

trying to get some of the new crews on to practice flights
weather still will not let us fly the new boys

*****

22 November 1943

three new crews report
and for a change their records are up to date
the men have been paid up to date

Lt. Stone arrives back on the job after a brief stay in SSQ [station sick quarters]

S/Sgt. Weaver, engineer, on a hop to Hannover last summer
who, with the aid of Lt. Koske, bailed out and is reported as being O.K. as a P.O.W.
that's good news for a change

Capt. McLaughlin and his crew with the exception of Lt. Holch and Lt. Sperry, are transferred to the 325th

*****

23 November 1943
mission scheduled
crews are up at 0300

icing conditions on all aircraft kept the boys on the ground today

*****

24 November 1943
new gunners arrived from new crews who were at the Wash receiving final training

practice bombing mission today

Lt. Williams arrived today
navigator on Lt. Shevchik's crew delayed at Bovingdon because of illness

*****

25 November 1943
That's it, brother, after so many proclamations by the Stars and Stripes and etc. [sic], a hell of a lot of guys didn't get any turkey.
So what! Chops are just as good.
Anyway, I think down deep in most good people's hearts, Thanksgiving is for having so many gifts.

squadron party tonight
not too bad
some fairly good beer
a dance

The mud is plenty deep around the post

alerted for tomorrow

Lt Stone goes on pass

*****

26 November 1943
mission today
326th is flying low squadron of a composite group which is flying low, pretty damn low of the group, what group

six planes and crews took off this morning at 0815 for Bremen, Germany
to bomb on pathfinder

Lt. Wolf [sic] - 513
Lt. Makowski - 423
Lt. Shannon - 608
Lt. George - 016
Lt. Ahrenholz - 580
Lt. Lansing - 975

500 GPs were to be dropped from an altitude of 25,000 feet at 1158 hours

total time of flight was 0615 hours

13,355 rounds of ammunition was [sic] expended

A/A was heavy and accurate

50 to 75 single- and twin-engines fighters were encountered
a new type of fighter was reported to be seen for the second time

also, a scatter type of A/A is being used
this is not the first time that kind of shell was used
it's a shell that explodes and scattered jagged steel shrapnel
any plane that runs into this stuff gets cuts in the wings and it also shatters props

enemy losses, two fighters destroyed
one of our Forts went down
there were no reports of where or how it went down, just that it was last seen going into a cloud that was full of fighters

S/Sgt. Atteberry, who was riding with Lt. Makowski, died from a lack of oxygen
Lt. Makowski was also hit
as was his co-pilot, Lt. Upson
both are recuperating in the 49th station hospital

it was a nice piece of work in that ship with the aid of Lt. Koropsak, the bombardier, flying the ship back to base
also the engineer T/Sgt. Shaw was responsible for giving first aid to Lt. Upson, the co-pilot

crew members flying in ship number 42-30608-G were as follows:
Lt. Shannon - P
Lt. Hansen - CP
Lt. Joffe - B
Lt. Hamm - nav
T/Sgt. Wenzell, radio
T/Sgt. Magness - Eng/gunner
S/Sgt. Gwinn - BT
S/Sgt. [Langford] - TG
S/Sgt. Plante - WG
S/Sgt. Hurley - as the other waist gunner

*****

27 November
ground school today
weather too bad for even test flying

two gunners were giving a P.O.W. lecture today
these two just returned from a long walk from deep inside of Germany
this hike took them almost two months of sneaking, crawling and hiding before they were intercepted by the underground

flying time for this week totaled 83:35 hours

ship 513 landed at Little Staughton for repairs after yesterday's raid

Lt. Smith still at Downham Market from a practice mission of Nov. 25

*****

28 November 1943
four new crews were assigned to the squadron as follows:

Lt. Hughes and crew
Lt. Koss
Lt. Wenger
Lt. Grumbles

this brings our total up to 15
also, we now have nine aircraft
as usual, new planes coming into the 326th are always last for new assignments

*****

29 November 1943
mission today
five scheduled
after flying around for four hours they were recalled because of bad weather

news of another new crew being assigned

*****

30 November 1943
Payday!

mission scheduled
five crews made the trip

Lt. Ahrenholtz was leading, but a weather front kept them from bombing
however, flak was seen

Lt. Ahrenholtz was on his 24th mission
he took a camera aboard and took some pictures

with no bombs dropped it was a question as to if this trip would count as a mission

Lt. Lansing aborted
at the present 975 has 20 raids on it

the 407th's Lt. Stone's old Ready Teddy has 31 raids on him
that's the oldest ship in the group