326th Squadron
Daily Operations Journal

October 1943

1 October 1943
activities for today slow
three planes flew local, slow timing engines, etc.

an alert last night
enemy planes in the nearby vicinity

an alert on for tomorrow

monthly reports and all the like going out today

*****

2 October 1943
six ships scheduled today
Sqd. is flying low in the Group

target Emden, Germany
naval installations
second rain in succession here

Lt. Belongia - 231
Lt. Whelan - 733
Lt. George - 623
Lt. Holden - 975
Lt. Makowski - 608
Lt. Wolfe - 387
Lt. Fleming - 580 for Air Sea Rescue

time of flight six hours
bombs carried: 65-lb. incendiaries
dropped from 24,000 feet
flak light and inaccurate
about five enemy a/c seen
bombing was on pathfinder
8th Air Force losses were comparatively light
no losses for the Group

*****

3 October 1943
326th Bomb Sqd. took top honors for the Group
putting planes over the target the past month of September
the line crews are classed with the best in the 92nd and have been producing

alerted for tomorrow

4 October 1943
six planes scheduled for today's raid
target Frankfort, Germany
aiming point airplane prop factory

this was number 15 raid, but unfortunately, one crew was lost and no awards for Silver Star

take-off 0630
flying at 24,000
six 1,000[-lb.] GPs were dropped
all went over the target

Lt. Foster - 387
Lt. Belongia - 231
Lt. Holden - 975
Lt. Fleming - 646
Lt. Ahrenholz - 733
Lt. Makowski - 608

crew lost on way back:
Lt. Fleming - P
Lt. Larson - C/P
Lt. Purdom - N
Sgt. Suss - NG
Sgt. McMann - R
Sgt. Spencer - E
Sgt. Fenclau - B/T
Sgt. Antonacci - WG
St. Cleveland - WG
Sgt. Turon - TG

after being hit by flak or by these rocket shells carried by twin engines fighters, he began to struggle
and then the single engine aircraft came in for the knockout blow
Sgt. Bomberger, TG on another plane, saw five chutes blossom out
and the sixth man bailing out landed in the water near shore as they were left out of sight
it was believed that all bailed out safely
the pilot being one with ice in his veins
probably tried to save the ship

another crew we must sweat out to get news that they are safe as P/Ws

flak was moderate and accurate
30-40 single engine enemy a/c encountered

Sgt. Pencek - E on Lt. Clough's crew, hit by a shell high in the thigh
although hit, he climbed back to his post on two separate occasions in the top turret to man his guns when fighters attacked
it is this writer's opinion that this lad should get some recognition for his valor and gallantry

14,250 rounds of 50 cal ammunition was expended on this flight

last week the Sqd. put in 169:40 flying hours

*****

5, 6 October 1943
plenty of ground school accomplished these two days
also YB-40 was transferred reducing the amount of work for the small number of linemen on duty

Since Lt. Stone has been appointed the Operations Training Officer attendance has risen to a new high and the group as a whole is enjoying some happiness on their reports

*****

7 October 1943
mission scrubbed a few minutes before briefing time
although weather being fair
while working today with one good ear open, am listening to discussions by combat officers on awards
not discriminating or criticizing any particular person, but for one example F/O Morgan being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor when navigator Lt. Koske and bombardier Lt. Irwin played an equal part; they were awarded oak leaf clusters

another case Lt. Fleming flying back all four engines turning over same as Morgan's
Lt. Fleming had his BT man killed, two others injured
crash-landed the plane
no awards and no griping by Lt. Fleming
It takes a lot of courage.

on last raid Lt Fleming's top turret cut down one of three FW 190s that attacked them
confirmed by other crew members of other planes
then the other two FWs took tail

*****

8 October 1943
mission today
seven planes took off at 1145 hours
Lt. Holden returning in 975
an abortion due to mechanical failure

other planes and pilots:
Capt McLaughlin - 513
Lt. Whelan - 962
Lt. George - 677
Lt. Clough - 608
Capt Foster - 231
Lt. Wolfe - 580

target Bremen, Germany, naval installations
average time of flight six hours
dropped 240 65-lb incendiaries from an altitude of 26,000 feet
degrees of success: fires left burning
flak, as on other raid, heavy and accurate
about 250 fighters encountered
single and twin engine
two claims of enemy fighters being destroyed
one Fort damaged and this is the raid that S/Sgt. Pencek was wounded by shell fire and is progressing nicely at the hospital (Dennington) 49th Station Hospital.

*****

9 October 1943
Number 62 mission, second day running
longest flight in Fort history (Poland) to present date in the 8th Air Force
seven ships started and completed

Lt. Clough - 513
Lt. Wolfe - 423
Lt. Whelan - 554 - dropped bombs, but developed engine trouble and went down near Denmark coast
six chutes seen to blossom out
one landing in the water near the coast
others landing on shore
ship was going down under control when last seen

Lt. Ahrenholz - 580
Lt. Holden - 493
Capt. Foster - 231
Lt. George - 623

take-off time 0815 hours
an eleven-hour flight
bombs 35 1000[-lb.] GPs
dropped from 22,500 feet
no reports on degree of success
12,000 rounds of 50-cal. ammunition expended
flak moderate and accurate
25 to 30 single engine fighters encountered
enemy losses claimed 4 destroyed, probables 1, damaged 2

our losses
1 Fort and ten men missing
high hopes of the crew being safe as P/Ws
this particular crew on their fifteenth mission

*****

10 October 1943
six planes scheduled today

Lt. Clough - 513
Capt. Foster - 580
Lt. Holden - 493
Lt. Ahrenholz got over enemy territory but did not drop bombs
Lt. Wolfe - 423

Lt. Wild - 171 - aborted, mechanical troubles
crash landed at Ship Lake Cress
at present time, it looks like the plane will be a wash out
good only for salvage

planes took off at 1130 for primary target at Munster, Germany
but secondary hit, which was city of Coesfeld
dropped bombs 36(T) 500[-lb.] GPs at altitude of 25,000 feet
degrees of success good
about 25 enemy planes encountered, JU 88s, FW 190s and Me 109s
no losses and no claims
flak moderate and accurate

Lt. James J. Ryan - B completes his 25 and goes home
S/Sgt. George T. Seymour completes his 25 and goes back to Alconbury as instructor for ninety-day period
then he will probably go home

*****

11 October 1943
most sorrowful day yet
only two planes in commission to fly
the mission was scrubbed this morning
fog and generally bad weather

The troops are sleeping in this morning for a well-earned rest after making three in succession

Lt. Shannon and crew assigned today
officers report, but EM are delayed at #11 CCRC
came over two weeks later and there for training

*****

12 October 1943
six planes scheduled for today
scrubbed due to typical English weather conditions

*****

13 October 1943
mission today
seven planes
Col. Reid flying with the sqd
we are leading group and wing
a recall after planes were quite deep into enemy territory

Lt. Rose had a taxi accident with one of the 325th planes that were borrowed.

*****

14 October 1943
mission number 64 today
leading group and wing

weather very bad at take-off
raining and fog on this type of take-off, planes form into formation up where it is clear

Capt. McLaughlin - 580
Maj. Ott - 387
Lt. Clough - 231
Lt. Makowski - 677
Lt. Wild - 623
Lt. Rose - 962
Lt. Wolfe - 171

171 crash-landed on this raid instead of the previous one

Lt. Makowski - 677 - aborted
#3 engine trouble

Maj. Ott - P
Lt. Long - CP (first raid)
Lt. Champagne - N - just transferred back from Alconbury
Lt. Tiger - B
T/Sgt. Hottenstein - E
S/Sgt. Spellerberg - R (a nice, clean-cut chap who studied to be a preacher)
S/Sgt. Benson - BT
Sgt. Clark - WG
S/Sgt. Pribish - WG
S/Sgt. Proakis - TG
plane went down under control
interrogation reports say that nine chutes were seen to open
presuming and hoping that when word comes in all will be safe

Lt. Clough - P
F/O Dickens - CP
Lt. Bird - N
Lt. Fraser - B
T/Sgt. Herman - E
T/Sgt. Jackson - R
Sgt. Cauley - BT (first raid)
S/Sgt. Calvert - WG
S/Sgt. Woiblett - WG
S/Sgt. Bomberger (Bomby) - TG
reports have it that one chute was seen to open*
tail gunner having best chance of escape and is believed the only one to bail out before the ship exploded
[*all ten men survived this mission]

target today was Schweinfurt, Germany
second raid for this squadron on that target
of which 75% of ball bearings are manufactured for the German War machines

take-off was at 10:15
average time of flight 7:45
24 1,000-lb. GPs were dropped from an altitude of 23,500 feet
degrees of success according to Gen. Marshall and on down were equal to those of the Ploesti raid on the oil fields by the Libs. from N. Africa

60 crews were lost on this raid

23,100 rounds of 50 cal. were expended at 500 German fighters
FW 190s
Me-110s
JU 88s
the latter two being twin-engine and carried rocket guns, which they would lob into a formation and hope for hits
then the single-engine fighters would finish off stragglers

in the heat of battle gunners were probably letting the enemy fighters come in too close

claims by the squadron
7 fighters destroyed
3 probable

our [squadron] losses were two missing, two damaged and 18 men missing
Maj. Ott being the 325th CO and Lt. Long from Group Operations
the group lost six planes and crews

flak was moderate, accurate

*****

15 October 1943
crews reporting back from various stations in England after yesterday's raid
a top turret gunner assigned from another group who has completed 25 missions
T/Sgt. A. Fullin, a good instructor, handling the new men properly on checking them out for their first few missions

*****

16 October 1943
Major Winget is being officially transferred to the 325th as the new commanding officer vice absence of Maj. Ott, who went down in earlier part of month
1 Lt. Arthur M. Stone, Jr. is the new operations officer
2 Lt. William A. Stroud, Jr., the new assistant operations officer

*****

17 October 1943
a new B-17F assigned
a/c 42-31016
goes to Lt. Belongia and crew
nicknamed "Sweet Sixteen"

mission scheduled today
four ships standing by
mission scrubbed after several hours of steady downpour of rain

P-38s scheduled to fly as escorts on today's raid for the first time

*****

18 October 1943
mission scheduled
seven crews and ships
five planes borrowed from other squadrons
a recall after several hours of flying

word came in today that F/O Davis and crew who went down on 12th of August were reported prisoners of war

*****

19 October 1943
practice mission this afternoon
training for flight formation
lead team dropped practice bombs

Lt. O'Grady is the new squadron bombardier with the transfer of Lt. Lockwood

*****

20 October 1943
mission number 65 for the Group
six planes took off at 10:15 as usual
GIs strung along the perimeter tracks witnessing the take-off and watching the Forts form into formation as they climb for altitude

the target was marked as Duren, Germany
as they penetrated the enemy territory that far without dropping bombs

visibility and turbulence was cloudy and rough
incendiaries were carried and as stated before, were not dropped
170 rounds of ammo expended to test guns
light and inaccurate was the enemy AA
about ten single-engine fighters seen at a distance, but no encounters

success only to the extent that the boys chalked up one more raid

alert tomorrow!

*****

21 October 1943
mission scheduled and scrubbed in one breath
same old story
adverse weather conditions

plenty of office work

five planes flying tonight
two local and three cross country

Capt. Doughtie assigned to the squadron as ground executive officer from previous status of group personnel officer

*****

22 October 1943
ground classes and meeting of flying officers with the group commander
subject matter: team work, more cooperation in group

flying tonight was canceled due to a nuisance raid
weather wasn't too good anyway

*****

23 October 1943
practice mission
six planes scheduled to fly with P-38s and indoctrination for new type of escorting by the Lightnings
Capt. Foster was transferred to the 407th
they are running short of qualified squadron leaders

*****

25 October 1943
Lt. Wolfe flying a ship up to Prestwick, Scotland
a transition hop

in the afternoon guns being checked by crews

a short discussion in the office by Capt. Moneymaker, S-2 officer, on crews going down in France and the aid given them to return to the Allied territories

Lt. Col. Arnold new rulings set up today
no electric stoves, no sleeping bags, no nothing
orders from higher headquarters
typical Army chatter

*****

26 & 27 October 1943
very heavy fog the past two days
stand-by ‘til midnight of the 27th
after that it became a stand-down

423 returned from Kings Cliff today where it was undergoing an engine change and other
repairs since the raid of the tenth

Lt. Stone checked out chairs and tables from Base QM
the officers' ready room is now in very good shape

*****

28 & 29 October 1943
heavy fog for the 28th
normal procedure, classes and all

the 29th the fog is lifting and once again the sun shines through

all P/W pictures retaken of flying personnel
compasses are being swung and planes are on 90% operational status today for the first time in days

stand-by ‘til midnight

Major Word, our squadron commander, has moved his desk into one end of squadron operations room
making it much more convenient to get work out

*****

30 October 1943
six ships scheduled for mission
foggy weather
took off at 0835 and were recalled after several hours of flying over England

a B-24 crash-landed in the later afternoon near the north end of the field
all crew escaped with the exception of one man who was burned in the wreckage
Lt. Shannon was on the job, helping to put out the fire and giving aid to the men

a large cupboard was obtained at Q.M. [quartermaster] and moved into Ops office
being used for various supplies and any grub that the boys can pick up in the mess halls, such as coffee, milk and sugar
many pots of coffee are being brewed lately

also meeting some of these new ships brings some breakfast, dinner and supper rations
the dinner box having some good Kraft cheese in it

am sweating out furlough to Scotland
and am very mixed up on the date
one day ahead of myself

*****

31 October 1943
Brest of Sands bombing for our use but no flying due to weather

Lt. Stone returns from a 48-hr. pass today.

Lt. Lansing, a new crew reports from Bovingdon, #11 CCRC