326th Squadron
Daily Operations Journal

October 1944

1 October 1944
first day of month was a stand down
but 8 ships flew a practice mission

new group C.O. and his executive paid operations office a visit

a full flying month has begun!

2 October 1944
Kassel, Germany, was target for 9 crews

Clay/Loose/Michelson - 022-H
Parkey - 454-B
West - 453-F
Spencer - 458S
Bennett - 473-F
Strom - 299-R
Dunlava - 611-J
Thomas - 471-M
Smith, J.A. - 279-G

660-X, 697-E flew with other squadrons

ordnance depot was hit using PFF plus visual sighting with good results

no enemy damage to aircraft or crews
however, Lt. Fischer had an unfortunate mid-air collision with ship from another squadron
Lt. Fischer in 42-97227 "Cookin with Gas" had engine go out on him
unable to feather prop
rapidly losing altitude, ordered bail out
he was last out at 800 feet

ship crashed 6 miles from Stratford on Avon
narrowly missing a small village

two of crew injured
most seriously with compound fracture of right arm

This happened before coast departure and none of bombs detonated

weather very good here in afternoon, especially in evening
when weather is good here, it's worthwhile writing about, as it happens so seldom

18 key men on "grounded" list
making the alert schedule a difficult job

twelve ships considered a squadron instead of a group under the new set-up
whereas before it took 12-18 ships to comprise a group

3 October 1944
target is Nurn, Germany

Reidel/Hardin - 022-H - led 40th "A" Wing, leading the 1st Air Division

Parkey - 660-X
West - 453-F
Bennett - 479-K
White - 299-R
Smith, J.A. - 279-G
Krostek - 611-J

several other ships flown by other squadrons

day's weather starts off being clear, aiding in take-offs at 7:30

over target crews encountered moderate, accurate flak

on second run, bombs dropped on PFF
then a clearing in clouds showed very good results

no casualties to our organization
but two other squadrons lost a ship each

4 October 1944
a respite from combat flying
some local work

in evening a few of the boys huddled around radio in Ops office sweating out World Series

Lt. Spencer, who had landed behind General Patton's front lines, had some champagne left over
we supped on a quart of that
no effects closing the day

5 October 1944
short pass here

six crews filled in on lead squadron
high, low flights

Bennett - 472-M
White - 279-G
Smith, W.A. - 847-C
Smith, R.A. - 229-R
Gravelle - 473-F
Beard - 611-N

uneventful trip to Cologne
dropping by PFF without any trouble

lately about 90% of the bombing is in the PFF mode.

6 October 1944
back again, shooting for some kind of straight record

today we fly 9 crews leading low squadron to Stargard, Germany

no trouble this time with a one time feared target with heavy flak
little encountered

Williams - 684-L
Strom - 847-C
Beard - 279-G
Bennett - 054-R
White - 471-M
Smith - 611-J
Dunlava - 454-B
Thomas - 473-F
Krostek - 299-R

Lt. Dunlava completed his 35 mission tour

7 October 1944
mission number 177 for the squadron...Zwickau, Germany
nine crews participated

Klyza/Clay - PFF-050
West - 624-W
Krostek - 471-M
Williams - 473-F
Cherbak - 611-J
Strom - 847-C
Smith, R.A. 453-F
Sargeant - 458-S
Beard - 279-G

crew, as listed in the journal, flew in the slots as listed
West, in #2 slot, aborted due to an oxygen leak
was reprimanded by HQ for the turn back
funny why Group Engineering should be so eager to call it personnel failure
perhaps because they don't want to take any of the credit from the ground personnel

Captain Klyza completed his tour

Lt. Williams (44-6473) on return from target-- two engines out-- had to bail the crew near front lines
all exited, landed without injuries
landing behind German lines
with aid by civilians and forward motion of our forces, they all made it back

Lt. Edwards was first to report in
rest followed

with its control cables shot out, 050 was brought back to an English coastal base on AFCE
we have some very experienced pilots and T/Sgt. Colford flys [sic] regularly with prospective lead pilots checking them out

our bombing, formation results show product of this work

8 October 1944
brings a day of rest and well it should be for in the past, someone at HQ seems to like sending out the Air Force on this particular day
for a couple of thousand years it has been a day of rest (Sunday)

weather took care of the scrubbing today

Lt. Rosenfeld returns after going down last Spring in April
after being interned in Switzerland

9 October 1944
started the week by going to Schweinfurt
one of the toughest targets ever hit in Germany
center of enemy's ball bearing manufacturing industry

Henry/Hardin/Michelson/Hall - 022-H - leading the 40th "C" Wing
Clay - 215-M
Wilson/Gravelle - 611-J
Krostek - 453-F
Smith, J.A. - 471-M
Strom - 847-C
D'Ortona - 684-L
Beard - 458-S
Thomas - 279-G
White - 697-E - flying as a spare returned early

mission uneventful as far as encounters are concerned
bombed by PFF with unobserved results

weather heavy on return with very low ceiling

Sergeants Bradley, Standlee, Petrie, and Lt. Hilgar returned from Switzerland internment

10 October 1944
stand down– but 9 ships on a practice mission

11 October 1944
another stand down day
6 ships on a practice mission

lot of griping from all personnel
all this practice mission flying is due to the "screening" technique to be used in the very near future...one group flys [sic] over the target high and a little ahead dropping loads of chaff

12 October 1944
mission was scrubbed after a few ships airborne
ships flew a practice mission

Lt. Reifsteck, one of our former pilots, flying out of Wharton
brought in a new ship 43-48720
a name already for it taken from the DogPatch comic strip-- "Moonbeam McSwine"

13 October 1944
this time mission scrubbed before take off

there was a 5 ship practice mission plus 2 ships on the practice bombing range11/10/2002

standing by ‘til midnight awaiting the weather report

14 October 1944
nine ships flying high squadron leading 40th "A" Wing

Henry-Johnson - 660-X
D'Ortona - 281-A
Gravelle - 611-N
Kolman - 453-F
West - 471-M
Cherbak - 458-S
Bennett - 684-L
Thomas - 279-G
Strom - 847-C

target Cologne, Germany
bombing by PFF with unobserved results

lots of inaccurate flak

practice mission also flown

15 October 1944
six ships flying as high, low elements of high squadron 40th "A" wing to Cologne again
flak moderate, accurate
in fair weather bombing by PFF

crews participating:

Krostek - 684-L
Thomas - 697-E
Strom - 847-C
Kolman - 453-F
Cherbak - 458-S
Gravelle - 720-K

all returned safely, but 1 injury
Lt. Robinson of Cherbak's crew

another practice mission with use of bombing range

16 October 1944
Major Word, Lt. Horn returned after R&R in Zone of Interior
Major Word will not be squadron CO as Captain Hardin has taken over these duties

weather scrubbed today's mission

all flying personnel at meeting which covered everything in way of duty and pleasure

17 October 1944
back to Cologne

9 crews as low squadron of 40th "B" bing

McChesney - 281-A
Sargeant - 684-L
Spencer - 454-B
West - 611-J
White - 458-S
Fischer - 471-M
Beard - 847-C
Smith, R.A. - 453-F
Smith, J.A. - 449-Z

no fighters
light flak

Clay, Seigle, McChesney completed their tours

18 October 1944
local activities
practice bombing, but it's always PFF
With the kind of weather we have here 90% will be useless PFF.

19 October 1944
filling in low, high elements of lead squadron of 40th "B" Wing were 6 crews

Krostek - 720-K
Smith, A.M. - 299-R
Sargeant - 279-G
Kolman - 453-F
Strom - 847-C
Smith, J.A. - 697-E
Smith, R.A. - 611-J

target is Rudesheim, Germany

moderate but very accurate flak

Lt. Nichols, navigator of R.A. Smith's crew, killed instantly by shrapnel wound to head

Lt. Kamm passed out from lack of oxygen, giving Lt. Sargeant some trouble flying the ship, trying to fix his co-pilot's oxygen line

Sgt. Hartline, a waist gunner on Lt. Brechbill's crew (lost a few months ago), showed up in a hospital in southern England after a stay in a hospital in France
had a serious brain operation, came out of it
does not understand how he escaped when the ship blew up
no other crew member has been heard from

20 October 1944
non-flying day...any of these are thoroughly welcome

Lt. Rosen, M.I.A. since April, returned from an internment camp in Sweden

21 October 1944
another quiet day with the 2 new colonels paying a visit to the Ops office

22 October 1944
nine crews

Clay/Cox/Reynolds - 215-M, PFF
Spencer - 022-H
Strom - 847-C
Krostek - 720-K
Kolman - 611-J
Millar - 697-E
Fischer - 453-F
D'Ortona - 684-L
Thomas - 279-G

flew as lead squadron of 40th "B" Wing to Bielfeld, Germany

bombing by PFF with no observed results
light flak... a milk run

on return to base a procedure let down was executed because of very low ceiling

23 October 1944
stand down
9 crews on practice... chaff runs

time being spent on making improvements in pilots', navigators' rooms and in Ops Office

Col. Wilson is fond of photographs
so more boards are being pasted on the walls

Cpk. Pilot Schultz, rank equal to our captain, native of Canada, flying night fighters in the Royal Canadian Air Force in England, visited office, ready room
relating some of his experiences in Army talk
He is quite famous in the RCAF and more than a few columns of newsprint have been written on his exploits with the Luftwaffe.

24 October 1944

25 October 1944
nine crews to Hamburg as lead, low flights of 40th "C" Wing's high squadron

Spencer/Henry/Michelson - 050-D, PFF
Bennett - 281-A
Sargeant - 471-M
White - 611-N
Millar - 279-G
Cherbak - 458-S
Smith - 684-L
Thomas - 453-F
Beard - 847-C

9/10 cloud cover at target
all bombing by PFF, no visible results

light to moderate inaccurate flak

somewhat sticky weather here, but cleared some for mission's return

squadron leader Henry promoted to captain

26 October 1944
new tactics put to use by 40th Combat Wing including this squadron
declared successful by the screening force's chaff run

other people have other names for it, such as anti flak pills, flak paper, confetti, maiden's hair, dueppel
its sole purpose is to jam Jerry's radar
thus voiding data for his ranging instruments

nine of our crews on today's mission to Munster, Germany
none of crews carried bombardiers as bombing was by PFF

on return crews claimed very good results on use of these new jamming tactics

the 9 involved were

Bennett - 281-A
Krostek - 454-B
Gravelle - 279-G
White - 471-M
Fischer - 847-C
Millar - 697-E
Kolman - 458-S
Cherbak - 299-R
Smith - 720-K

A visit by Lt. Palmer, a Stars and Stripes correspondent, told of his jump with the Airborne Infantry into Nazi-held Holland.
His current plan is to fly with the 92nd on a bombing mission.

27 October 1944
fourteen ships in all are flying
nine on practice mission

Ralph Hoffman, crew reported in today

28 October 1944
eight men from Donaher's crew returned from internment camp in Sweden
after landing there on withdrawal from Stettin on April 11th
Lts. Donaher, Brown, Bohandler, Keller and Sgts. Kanel, White, Finlay, Sandler

no missions of any kind today
but 15 ships flown cross country... pilots going to see friends at other bases...accumulating flying time, practice

29 October 1944
similar to yesterday
ten cross country flights
raining again

a maximum effort scheduled for tomorrow

30 October 1944
twelve crews scheduled
but the Lt. Fischer crew failed to find the formation
so 11 completed the flight to the marshaling yards at Munster

Bennett/Clay/Reynolds - 660-X
Krostek - 454-B
Gravelle - 611-D
White - 458-S
Beard - 697-E
Smith, A.M. - 684-L
Thomas - 279-G
Sargeant - 720-K
Kolman - 847-C
Smith, R.A. - 299-R
West - 453-F

all flying in high squadron

unobserved results of PFF bombing

Herb Painter, Stars and Stripes writer, spent several hours in office putting together the story of the next raid on which he will fly

31 October 1944
no mission
weather bad
but about a dozen ships up flying
flying time record should be established this month if nothing else