326th Squadron
Daily Operations Journal

November 1944

1 November 1944
traditionally, this month is one of bad weather over England, Northern Europe
cloud cover on Continent minimum 4/10 to total
no action today other than 41st CW attempt at Gelsenkirchen

2 November 1944
I.G. Farbenindustrie's Leuna Refining Complex at Merseburg once again

92nd led the 1st Air Division on this raid as we contributed 9 crews:

Hardin/Wilson (AC)/Hall - 8215-M
D'Ortona - 050-D
Gravelle - 611-J
White - 453-F
Smith, R.A. - 299-R
Sargeant - 471-H
Smith, A.M. - 694-L
Beard - 697-N
Strom - 453-S

during bomb run a group from 3rd Division made a 180 degree to a collision course to the 40th "A" Group
narrowly missing one element of low squadron

Division Commander opted to bomb our secondary by PFF

all ships attacked target with no losses

92nd also furnished 12 ships as screening force for 41st Combat Wing

better than ½ of our ships had moderate or better battle damage

NOTE: Apparently Mike had a 3/5-day pass here as there are no entries in his journal for 4-7 November. The 326th did fly and what is written here for these dates is compiled from squadron load lists.

3 November 1944
no bomber missions

4 November 1944
target Theyoil Refinery Complex at Hamburg

eight ships

White - 299-R
Strom - 156-E
Kolman - 684-L
West - 730-K
Millar - 299-R
Smith, R.A. - 468-G
Smith, A.M. - 454-B
Thomas - 279-G

no losses for group

5 November 1944
ten crews to Frankfurt
marshaling yard

Spencer - 471-A
Krostek - 454-B
Beard - 468-G - 407th a/c
White - 720-K
Smith, J.A. - 559-N
Thomas - 279-G
Kolman - 546-H - 325th a/c
Millar - 156-E
Strom - 471-M
Smith, R.A. - 495-R

7:35 hour flight

6 November 1944
back to Hamburg's oil refineries
12 crews participating:

Bennett - 640-X
Krostek - 788-R
Beard - 631-J
White - 211-A
Strom - 471-M
Millar - 546-H - 325th a/c
Kolman - 684-L
West - 453-F
Sargeant - 730-K
D'Ortona - 154-R
Smith, R.A. - 299-R
Thomas - 279-C

no losses

7 November 1944
bomber stand-down

8 November 1944
Merseburg's Leuna Oil Refinery complex our target
PFF effort with nine of our crews:

Spencer - 778-R, PFF
Krostek - 050-D
Beard - 453-F
White - 720-K
Sargeant - 471-M
West - 611-J
Smith, A.M. - 279-G
Millar - 697-E
Strom - 299-R

Sargeant tagged onto Thurleigh formation, which aborted due to weather

flak moderate but accurate in target area

better than half our ships returned with damage after flying as lead squadron of 40th Combat Wing's "A" Group

9 November 1944
today filling in with 3 high elements going to Metz on a 7:50 hour mission against Aisne's Fort
in support of ground troops

our crews

White - 471-M
Strom - 684-L
Smith, J.A. - 299-R
Beard - 458-S
West - 784-O

made trip without incident

information came through today that Capt. Brown, Lt. Beal were the escorting pilots who on 22 October brought in 215 with an all star crew aboard

10 November 1944
this squadron put up 12 aircraft formation as screening force of 1st Division efforts against targets in Cologne area
(two hundred and two boxes of chaff dispensed)

other 3 squadrons flew practice mission
something becoming common, with new crews arriving so fast and other finished up the same way
training must be accomplished in a shorter time span

11 November 1944
heavy ground fog and 1st Division stand down
just a couple of local test hops

nothing of interest this day other than a new help to prevent colds with a distribution of Sulfadiazine tables one pill daily

new crew assignments came in
another Smith, Charles G.
4 first pilots by that name now in squadron
"Which is so uncommon"
and Laurence Erpelding's, a 9 man crew with a nose gunner
a first of this makeup

12 November 1944
nine ships flew practice mission

period of extensive bad weather sets in with no bomber action at all

F/O Eaton, still a F/O, paid us a visit today
a few minutes stopover from his base near London
He is remembered as being one of our best navigators in the past.

13 November 1944
same cold, damp, foggy weather keeps the 8th bombers on the ground
mission scheduled, planned, scrubbed after the crews had gone to their ships

14 November 1944
more of the same with standbys until midnight

15 November 1944
Repeat.
Today we enjoyed the foggy weather
squadron party held in Hangar 2...lots of beer
bright spot in entertainment was the performance of a swell band from another base.
Oh, yes, and the pots of coffee were enjoyed along with some "Brownies" and fruitcake from home

16 November 1944
Eschweiler, Germany, where our targets were gun positions in support of advancing ground forces
crews flew in low squadron of 40th "A" Group

Bennett - 660-X
Krostek - 870-Y
Gravelle - 611-J
White - 144-V
Millar - 872-S
Smith, A.M. - 684-L
Thomas - 279-G
Highl - 847-C
Strom - 697-N, who aborted, landed at Bradwell Bay on 1 good engine

all other aircraft of 92nd returned to land at Barford St. John on ordered diversion

six men completed tours today

17 November 1944
crews remained away as weather unfit for flying

326th officers had a "Bang Up Time" at a party

today another 8th bomber force stand down
(For the record: 25BG dispatched 6 WX Recon Mosquitoes over continent, 2 B-17s to Azores with 1 B-24 over Atlantic)

18 November 1944
about all the ships returned from Barford St. John even though weather wasn't the best

three Hawker Hurricanes escorted a 325th ship to base
for a while it was like old times with the boys buzzing the tower a few times

19 November 1944
just one short hop today
otherwise a slow day

20 November 1944
another practice mission...9 ships

21 November 1944
leading high squadron of 40th "C' Wing to Hersfeld were

Bennett - 781-?
Krostek - 454-B
Gravelle - 611-J
Kolman - 471-M
Might - 720-K
Smith - 684-L
Smith, A.M. - 458-S
Beard - 453-F
Thomas - 279-G

mission was in support of ground troops with excellent observed results on marshaling yards, autobahn

flak moderate, accurate

Lt. Jack, navigator on Kolman's crew, injured in shoulder

one ship landed away from base due to fuel shortage
punctured tank

22 November 1944
still another practice mission

The shaping-up job has started around the area in the way of painting.

23 November 1944
Thanksgiving...no flying
lots of turkey, fixings on tables everywhere on base

24 November 1944
six ship practice mission

25 November 1944
nine crews to Merseburg (diverted to Memburg)
leading 40th "B" Wing

Bennett - 172-F
White - 778-R
Gravelle - 611-W
D'Ortona - 281-A
Strom - 458-S
Hoffman - 436-H
Smith, J.A. - 624-W
Smith, A.M. - 471-M
Might - 720-K

visual bombing with very good results
moderate flak
enemy fighters but no attacks

26 November 1944
filling high, low elements of lead squadron, six crew flew to Misburg

Krostek - 536-O
Beard - 847-C
Smith, R.A. - 453-F
Kolman - 279-G
Millar - 684-L
Fischer - 299-R

seven men completed tours today

three crews from yesterday's mission returned to base

Captain Stroud, Operations officer, leading 92nd group, had his PFF ship hit
landed at Antwerp (B-70, a Brit base)
told of Jerry's shooting everything from 88mm to 20mm resulted in two men being killed

new PFF shp, 44-8367, assigned to squadron

27 November 1944
R..A. Smith, crew departed for "Flak House" at Southport

nine crews scheduled for practice Micro-H bombing mission...
scrubbed after briefing

28 November 1944
a few local hops

windy, rainy weather until noon

new PFF ship, 367, transferred to 327th

29 November 1944
target for today...Misburg

nine crews going included

White 454-B
Krostek - 436-H
Gravelle - 281-A
D'Ortona - 453-F
Might - 847-C
Hoffman - 299-R
Beard - 471-M
Smith, J.A. - 720-K
Millar - 279-G

moderate to heavy flak

200th mission for squadron

Capt. Stroud returned from Belgium

30 November 1944
twelve crews flying today
these three as part of screening force
Beard - 458-S
Strom - 684-L
Fischer - 847-C

these nine went to Merseburg

White - 050-D
Krostek - 436-H
Gravelle - 281-A
D'Ortona - 471-M
Millar - 720-K
Smith, C.C. - 279-G
Smith, A.M. - 611-J
Smith, J.A. - 453-F
Erpelding - 299-R

crew of 611 (A.M. Smith) missing
lost most of a wing from A.A.
crashed in this target area

three men ended tours today