Biography of Emilio N. Fantasia

T/Sgt, 328th Bomb Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group (H), 8th Air Force, USAAF

    Following are the personal and mission diaries of my father, Emilio N. Fantasia, who served with the 328th Bomb Squadron of the 93rd Bomb Group (H). The diaries begin on January 22, 1944, when he and nine other crew members left Morrison Field, Alabama for the 8th Air Force in England. They end on August 30, 1944, the day he left his base to board a transport plane in Scotland for the ride home.

      Read these diary entries and try to put yourself in the shoes of an average guy from upstate New York, 23 years old, with a wife and baby daughter waiting at home. He was one of thousands of men in the same situation. Every day brought a new target, each with its own challenges and dangers, and the knowledge that this mission could be "it". Or maybe it brought bad weather over the target, at home, or both. That meant another day of lying around, playing cards or hanging out at the Aero Club, waiting for the dreadful spring weather to clear so you could fly another mission and be that much closer to going home.

      During this time period my dad participated in three missions to Berlin, three to Brunswick, at least 6 to the invasion coast and 2 to Tutow. He witnessed the naval bombardment by the allied navies during the early hours of D-Day, and he saw the Eiffel Tower at least twice on missions near the French capitol. He shot down one German fighter on a Brunswick raid, and lost a crew mate, radio man Henry Vogelstein, when he filled in on "Judith Lynn" on April 1, 1944.

      From the time he arrived back in the States and the end of the war, dad was stationed at various bases in the States. He taught various classes to new airmen and shared his experiences with them. He returned to Auburn, NY, his wife Connie and daughter Carol when he was discharged in September 1945. Over the next 14 years, 6 more children joined the family, 3 more girls followed by three boys. Dad died on Christmas Eve, 1961 of a massive heart attack, just 3 months after his 40th birthday.

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      The personal diary is shown in regular letters, while the mission diaries are shown in bold letters. I have tired to be as accurate as possible as I typed these diary entries. I have taken slight liberty in editing on occasion to make some thoughts more clear. I know there are typos, especially with geographic names. On top of it, dad's handwriting, while not awful, does leave some room for interpretation on occasion. For instance, he mentions flak batteries near a lake in Germany. Is it Dummler, Dumbler, Dommler? I'm not sure. If you notice a misspelling, please let me know and I will make changes.

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      Please do not use any of these diary entries in whole or in part without my expressed permission. Please contact me at mfantasia@earthlink.net or at 12809 Greene Ave., Los Angeles, CA 9006 (310) 306-9413 if you would like to quote these entries.

Thank you.

Mike Fantasia

August 7, 2000

January 22 - 24, 1944

      Our crew left the States from Morrison Field, Alabama, on January 22, 1944, for the 8th Air Force in England. We took off from Morrison Field at 11:55 p.m. under ideal conditions and after a night of flying we landed at Waller Field, Trinidad, on the afternoon of the 23rd. This was my first voyage out of the States & I was curious to see how the natives of foreign countries lived. Trinidad is under the rule & jurisdiction of England and many English customs are practiced on this tiny island. It was here in Trinidad that I got my first haircut outside from someone other than an American. Was I afraid when the native used a straight razor on the back of my head! At night, Jimmy Eldert & I took in the post movie and it was really a treat for it was a sub-tropical building with a cool breeze blowing through the slitted sides all through the performance. We slept under mosquito netting that night and early the next morning we were awakened to take our next hop to Belem (sp?), Brazil.

      After our first takeoff from Waller Field, we had to come in for a landing because an oil filler cap was loose & had to be re-tightened. We finally did take off about 9 a.m. that morning & we arrived at Belem, Brazil at 4 p.m. the same afternoon. This was to be my first sight of South America & it was a beautiful one from the air. We weren't at any too high of an altitude, so we were able to see quite a bit. I saw the small native river homes & quite a few rubber plantations as we reached the Amazon River. The Amazon was a long, twisting, muddy river, which left a muddy pool as it emptied into the Atlantic Ocean. I was surprised to see the dense jungle-land all along the coast extending inland as far as the human eye could see. I was praying that we'd never crash land or bail out at a place such as this, 'cause I doubt very much if any of us would get out alive again. I had a good idea of what jungle animals would thrive in a place such as this.

      When we arrived at Belem we had a nice job to do. The airplane was due for a 25-hour inspection & we enlisted men on the crew had to pull the inspection, because of a lack of ground maintenance men at this field. It took all of us from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. to do the job so we didn't have much time to look the camp over. Although we worked all through the night, we were able at times to go over to the PX and indulge in a bottle of beer every so often.

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January 25 - 29, 1944

      We departed from Belem at 5 a.m. on the morning of January 25 and arrived at Natale at 4 p.m. the same day. Natale seemed to be a whole lot different than the fields we landed at & it was because it was under the control of the A.T.C. We stayed at Natale for 4 days and it was a treat all the time that we were there. All six of us enlisted men slept in a tent & we had native men to keep it clean for us. The food at Natale was good & plenty of pineapple & bananas were served at every meal. At the field we had an open-air theater & shower room. It was so warm at Natale that everything possible was done in the open air.

      Here at Natale I met Llone Massey who stopped only for a few days to entertain servicemen & then continue to Ascension Island by airplane. Also at Natale, Vogelstein, Ruskowsky & I went to the beach to go swimming. It was here that I purchased 4 pair of supposed to be silk stockings from the Brazilian natives. We also purchased a quart of Brazilian wine & cognac champagne. It was really lousy stuff to drink. At the PX I bought 2 pair of Brazilian boots which cost me $5 per pair. We hated to leave Natale because it was an ideal spot, but on January 28, 1944 at 6 a.m. we took off for Dakar, Africa.

      I dreaded this hop because this was to be over the S. Atlantic Ocean all the way, but once we were on our way over I couldn't mind it too much for I fell asleep & didn't wake up until we were nearly to our destination. To tell the truth, I slept most of the way from Florida to England because the time went by faster this way, I found out. We landed our plane at Dakar at 4:50 p.m. & as soon as possible we went to our quarters & then headed to supper. All of us were pretty hungry after that trip. By the time that we had gotten things straightened out it was pretty late so we decided to get in a little sack time for we were supposed to take off early the next morning.

      At Dakar I met some of the blackest Negroes in all my life. They were coal black and very friendly. They had quite a few of these Negroes working in the mess hall. At Dakar I saw the first native French soldier which are called Askaris. They are very well disciplined soldiers & very friendly toward we Americans.

      We took off from Dakar at 8:30 a.m. the following morning, January 29, 1944, & arrived at Marrakesh, French West Africa at 3:45 p.m. the same day. The trip was very interesting & we were able to see some of the old colonial French forts which the French Foreign Legion used so much & of what I saw many pictures of & heard so much of. We also flew over a range of the Atlas Mountains & they were the first mountains that we flew over since leaving the States. They were about 10,000 feet in height and at one place they were over 14,000 feet so we had to fly through them because we didn't carry any oxygen on our whole trip across. It was impossible for us to fly over them cause it was such a long range of mountains.

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January 29, 1944 - February 3, 1944

      Marrakech was the first place that we were allowed to go into town & we all took advantage of the break. We stayed at Marrakech for 5 days because of bad weather up to England, so practically every chance that I got I went to town to drink up some of that good old French wine. It was warm at Marrakech & we always sat out in front of the French restaurants to sip wine while in town. I bought myself a wallet & a cigarette case made by the native Arabs & for my daughter Carol I bought a pair of baby sandals, also made the Arab natives. The Medina was out of bounds for all servicemen & I was never fortunate to enter the wall enclosed town.

      We were scheduled to take off from Marrakech on February 3 but our left main wheel blew out in taxiing. I was put on guard duty the rest of the night & we finally took off the following day,

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February 4 - 15, 1944

      At Marrakech I met quite a few Italian prisoners of war under French rule & also quite a few under American rule. The Italians under French rule were treated pretty harshly, so many of us Americans gave some sort of clothing or food to these Italian prisoners. I, myself, gave a pair of shoes, coveralls, socks & undershirts to some of the fellows. The Italian prisoners under American rule were treated like human beings & did such work as K.P. or build roads. They in turn were fed, clothed & paid by the Americans while the prisoners under French rule were not. We left Marrakech at 1:55 a.m. on February 4, 1944 & landed at Nookie, England at 11:55 a.m. the same day.

      My first impression of England from the air was that it was a beautiful country with its many beautifully laid out farmlands & old towns & cities, but once on the ground I found out otherwise. We stayed at Nookie only 1 day & from there flew in a small formation with two other planes to Watton, England. This was on February 5, 1944.

      On landing, our pilot, Lt. Jordak, hit the tail of a parked B-24 while taxiing to our stopping point. At Watton we enlisted men were given a tent for our quarters and we nearly froze to death on our two nights at this base. The small English stove that we did have in our tent did us no good & most of the time we slept with our winter flying suits on in order to keep warm.

      On February 7, 1944 at 8 a.m. we left Watton for Stone, England by train. This day will always be on my mind for it was my wedding anniversary & it was a beautiful day. We ate K-rations for our meals aboard the train & we arrived at Stone at 3 a.m. on February 8.

      It was raining when we arrived at Stone, but that was to be expected for England is noted for its rain & dampness. Stone was one of the best fields that I had seen in England up to that time & now as I'm writing this I know for sure that it's the best. We slept in small compact rooms with four men to a room with steam heat supplied all day long. We also had beautiful showers & wash rooms, which we were not fortunate to see again once leaving Stone.

      It was here at Stone that I ran into Gabriel Jerome & again saw Gus Vetano whom I left back at Herington, Kansas. Gabriel Jerome was an M.P. at Stone & had quite an influence with other men at the base. While at Stone I went into the town twice & both times had to walk up & back. I soon found out that it didn't pay to go all the way into town for a drink of whiskey or beer. The girls in Stone were pretty eager & it was easy to pick one of them up, although I, myself, didn't try. Henry Vogelstein, our radioman, did date up a girl at Stoke-on-Trent & soon fell madly in love with her. I tried to talk him out of it, but with no avail. No one could stop him now.

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February 16, 1944 - March 8, 1944

      We left Stone on February 16 for Cookestown, North Ireland & we all were sorry to leave such a well-systemed base. From Stone we traveled up to Wigtown, Scotland, by train & as usual we ate K-rations for our meals all the way. At times when the train stopped at some town or station some of us fellows would get off the train in order to obtain a cup of hot tea & crumpets.

      At Wigtown we stayed at an English camp for the night & it was the sorriest night that I ever spent in my life. We had some stew & some soy flour bread for supper & then made up our supposed to be beds for the night. The beds were composed of a wide plank 6 feet long and 3 feet wide with no mattress & standing only a few inches from the floor.

      The following morning, February 17, 1944, we ate breakfast consisting of beans, soy bread & tea, and then boarded the steamship at the harbor which was to take us to Lorne, North Ireland, just across the North Channel. The voyage across the North Channel was only to take us 2 hours & it was a pleasant trip all the way. Music played over the loudspeaker system all the while & tea was served on some of the lower decks. We docked at Lorne at 11 a.m. & after having dinner at one of the near-by English camps we boarded a train for Cookestown at 2 p.m.

      Arriving at Cookestown at 4 p.m., trucks from the field at Cluntae were ready to take us to the field which was about 7 miles away. Upon entering the field we could see that this base wasn't what it was supposed to be. The barracks that we were assigned to at the start were half-completed & organized confusion was in the making. To make matters worse, no coal or kindling was available & no lights in the barracks would work. After checking the lines over we found out that the electric wires were cut. The following day, February 17, we were all reassigned small Nissen huts which housed 3 crews of enlisted men (18 men). It didn't take us very long to get accustomed to these conditions & it wasn't too long that we really enjoyed our stay in North Ireland.

      While in North Ireland we attended 8 days of lectures & schooling all given to us by ex-combat men. All this schooling was very interesting & intellectual in a way. In the last part of February we put in some flying time, which consisted of 12 hours of formation flying to England & back again. On a couple of our training missions to England we were fortunate to pass over the Isle of Man, one of the most expensive resorts located in the middle of the Irish Sea. While in North Ireland we were able to buy eggs, steaks and whisky freely. Eggs cost $1.20 a dozen, steaks for $1.50 per lb. and whisky for $10 a quart. Many of us in our hut fried & scrambled eggs every nite before going to bed. It was quite a nuisance in a way for my bed was next to the stove & everyone sat or laid on my bed when the stove was throwing off a little heat.

      It was here in Cluntoe that I ran into Lucian DeSocio from Lake Ave. I never did leave the camp to go to town up in North Ireland but I told Connie that I visited Belfast, just to let her know where I was located. Gus Vetano arrived at Cluntoe on March 8 from Stone & I was to leave there in a few days or so. I attended a dance in the post given by the Red Cross but I had a lousy time. All the girls could do was the Irish jig & that's no exaggeration on my part. On March 9, 1944, at exactly 12 noon we hit our last & final field which was to be our bomb group.

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March 9 - 10, 1944

      On March 9, 1944 at exactly 12 noon we left Cluntal, North Ireland, for our last and final field, which was to be our bomb group. The route back to England was to be different than the one that we came across on. This time we passed thru Belfast & then on to Larne. In our group across there were 66 enlisted gunners and 44 officers, eleven crews to be exact, but our crew was the only one coming to the 93rd Bomb Group (H), which was to be our final destination.

      We took the boat from Larne at 6:30 p.m., docked at Wigtown at 8:50 p.m. All of us then unloaded all our baggage from the boat to the waiting train & we finally left Wigtown at 11 p.m. the same evening. Each crew of enlisted men were issued a compartment & the officers likewise. It was very annoying & crowded to sleep that night & it was really an experience with us sleeping like a bunch of pretzels with feet, arms & heads all over one another.

      At daybreak we ate the K-rations passed out to us on leaving North Ireland, and Findley & I were lucky enough to get off at one of our railroad stops & buy a cup of hot tea. On our way back to the 93rd, we passed thru quite a few large Scottish and English towns and they all looked empty and vacated except for the busy factories. There are very few civilians walking around on the streets nowadays. They're either working or sleeping for there are day and night shifts all the time around the clock.

      We finally arrived in the great blitzed city of London at 11 a.m., March 10 & it was really something that I was looking forward to seeing. Many buildings were leveled off right to the ground and others were pretty well shattered from shrapnel & fragmentation bombs. We were in London only for an hour or so and couldn't see too much of the city itself. What we were able to see was mostly from the back of a GI truck taking us from one railroad station to another.

      We boarded the train at 3 p.m. & arrived at Buccils at 5 p.m. The train was so crowded that we had to stand all the way. I didn't mind it too much but towards the end I got pretty sleepy. I met an English girl on the train coming from London to a small town near our field to see her family and I was fortunate enough to start quite a conversation with her. She was working in a munitions factory near London & things were pretty slow at the plant at the time so she decided to spend the weekend with her family.

       At Buccils we had a little time before catching the next train to Harleston so we all decided to catch a bite to eat. After quite a bit of trouble finding a hotel or cafe open, we were fortunate enough to finally find a small inn where we were treated to a hot steaming plate of fish an chips with some mineral water for a beverage.

      We caught the 6 p.m. train to Harleston & arrived at 6:30 p.m. at the town. While waiting for a GI truck to pick us up at the station we did a little snooping around and finally found a small pub open where we could quench our thirst on some beer and stout.

      We finally arrived at our 93rd Bomb Group at 7 p.m. on March 10, 1944. Our crew was given quarters for the night at the transit building and the following day we were assigned to our Nissen huts.

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March 11 - 15, 1944

     On March 14 our crew was up on a training formation mission over the field & this was our first flight in the 93rd Bomb Group. We are flying with the 328th Bomb Squadron and this squadron has a swell system all the way through except for strictness on the part of the operational officers.

      The enlisted men of our crew pulled guard duty on the airplanes stationed on the line on Sunday March 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 am March 13. John Findley and I were assigned to 3 B-24's, the Itsy Bitsy Commandoe and Boomerang, and another nameless plane. The famous B-24 The Duchess was assigned to the 93rd Bomb Group before being shot down over Brussels, Belgium.

      Our Nissen hut is a cozy one with 14 enlisted men quartered here. Only 3 enlisted men from our crew are assigned to this hut & the other 3 are in another. Jimmy Eldert, Henry Vogelstein and I are together in this hut.

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Thursday, March 16, 1944

      First I want to include that on the nite of Tuesday, March 14, I experienced my first German air raid over England. The city of London and other East Anglia towns were bombed & I could hear German bombers passing overhead on their way to their targets. Spot lights could be seen everywhere and ack ack heard. Henry Vogelstein and Joe Widincamp went to Norwich on an 11 hour pass. I didn't go because all my O.D.'s were being dry cleaned. All our crew to-nite ate a couple of roasted chickens and also had some beer. It cost us 10 shillings apiece. Swell meal.

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Friday March 17, 1944

      Findley and I went to Norwich today to buy some padlocks. We took in a movie, "The Garden of Allah" starring Charles Boyer and Marlene Dietrich. In the evening we met a couple English sailors and a royal artilleryman & we took in about 6 pubs. I myself didn't drink but 3 glasses of beer because of a slight headache. Findley got sick on the way back to camp and I was really tired. I have no intentions of going back into town again unless on a 2 or 3 day pass. I got into camp at 11:45 p.m. and went right to bed.

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Saturday, March 18, 1944

      Didn't get up today for roll call as I should have. Eldert and Vogelstein likewise neglected to get up. We laid around most of the day listening to the radio and walking from one point in the camp to another. The rest of the fellows in our barracks went on a long raid to Fredrickshaven, Germany located close to the Swiss border. This evening Findley, Widincamp, Eldert and I took in the post movie & saw "Tales of Manhattan." It was a fair movie. Wrote a letter to Connie and am now going to bed at 10 p.m.

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Sunday, March 19, 1944

     I went to Mass this morning with Lt. Jordak & Lt. Monahan. I also went to confession and communion in order to make my Easter duty and not keep putting it off. Received quite a bit of my old mail, which is finally catching up with me. All told I picked up 17 letters, mostly from my wife, Connie. Also got one from Grace Smith of Kansas saying she saw her husband at Leavenworth. This evening we had an air raid by German planes lasting from 9:55 p.m. to 10:20 p.m. Saw plenty of spot lights and ack ack fire just north of this base.

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Monday, March 20, 1944

      Lts. Pietrucciola and Monahan went on a raid to Frankfurt today, but the bombers never reached their target due to ten-tenths cloud formation. Lt. Jordak has a chest cold so we may not start our missions for a few days yet. Went to the movies to-nite alone and saw "Forest Rangers" starring Fred MacMurray, Paulette Goddard and Susan Hayward. During the performance all armorers & ordnancemen of the 329th Bomb Squadron were called out. All planes have to be ready in a 2 hour notice. Rumors going around thick of an invasion but I doubt it. Weather is too bad for its been raining all day long & mud is everywhere. Took my flying equipment to the locker today.

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Tuesday, March 21, 1944

      Today our crew was up on a practice mission with four other planes. It was a formation flight and only at 5,000 feet. Clouds were low so Lt. Jordak flew above them. It was a beautiful sight to see those fluffy, cottonlike clouds.

      This evening we received the great news of our crew going up on its first mission tomorrow. The planes are loaded up with 2,500 gallons of gas so it looks as though Berlin or Frankfurt is going to get it. I feel a little nervous and excited, but not afraid. I'm surely going to sweat this first mission out (not kidding either!).

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Wednesday, March 22, 1944

1st mission - Berlin, Germany Plane: 294-B, Victory Belle 7 hr., 15 min.

      Today we were awakened at 4:30 a.m. to up on our first combat mission. We ate breakfast at 5 am and were in our briefing room at 5:30 a.m. Our destination was Berlin & it sure made us pretty nervous & excited to hear that the capitol was to be our first mission. I was the only one in the crew to receive Holy Communion and it made me feel as thou I had a giant load out from inside of me. We took off from the field at 9:17 a.m. and arrived at Berlin at 1:20 p.m. We bombed the target at 1:26 p.m. and landed at our field at 4:30 p.m. It was a rough mission & flak was thick all the way from the target until we reached the Channel. The weather was also pretty rough & the temperature came all the way down to 38 below zero. I received frostbite on my chin where my oxygen mask froze to my face. A big piece of flak tore a hole in the plane at the navigator section.

      We woke up at 4:30 a.m. and then went to breakfast at 5 a.m. From the mess hall we were given a ride to our briefing room. It was then that we found out that Berlin was our target for today. I received Holy Communion and indulgences from the chaplain. We bombed Berlin at 1:26 p.m. and ran into flak batteries all the way out over Germany and France until we reached the channel. It was rough going for our first mission but we made out OK and landed at our field at 4:30 p.m. I was pretty tired after that mission and went to bed at 9:15 p.m. I was frostbitten under the chin on the mission.

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Thursday, March 23, 1944

      Today was gas mask day and Captain Wilson checked our masks and ointments just for routine sake. To-nite we have to go on guard duty again so we have the day pretty much to ourselves. I was at the Aero Club all morning long and then got my rations for the week. This noon I heated some water in a steel helmet and tried to wash a little. I received quite a bit of mail today and most of it as usual was from Connie & my sisters. It's a swell day today and it looks as though Spring is really here.

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Friday, March 24, 1944

      Jimmy Eldert and I were relieved from guard duty at 7 a.m. & we decided to go to chow before hitting the sack. It wasn't too bad a night for guard duty and Lt. Jordak, who was officer of the guard, brought us coffee and sandwiches during the night. I slept to 2 p.m. & then hung around waiting for suppertime to roll around. We ate at 4:30 p.m. & then took in the 5:30 p.m. movie. Playing to-nite was "Bahamas Passage" starring Madame Carroll and Sterling Hayden. Came over to the Aero Club & wrote a few letters, one to Tut Tony, Connie and Grace Smith. Went to bed at about 10 p.m.

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Saturday, March 25, 1944

      We had all morning off and this noon our whole crew went to the machine gun battery to fire the .45 cal. pistol & the .50 cal. machine gun. It was fun and it was a beautiful day for it. This evening I went to confession again, 'cause I've made a resolution to go to confession every week if possible. Jimmy Eldert and I then went to the Aero Club to get a cup of coffee and some cookies. Thirteen crews from our squadron are on the alert for a mission tomorrow. It sounds like Berlin again or else another long run. Went to bed at 9:30 p.m.

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Sunday, March 26, 1944

      We were supposed to bomb the aircraft factory at Saalfeld, but the mission was called off at the last moment. It was supposed to be a long raid 'cause we had 2,700 gallons of gas and 52 incendiary bombs on board. Ten of the planes were ready to go up out of the 13 planes which were put on alert. The temperature over the target was about 37 below zero. Bombing altitude was supposed to be 17,000 feet and the secondary target was Schweinfurt.

      Our mission today to Saalfeld, Germany, was cancelled on account of bad weather over the target and surrounding area. We all went out to the plane and were ready for takeoff. It was a beautiful day here at the field and an ideal day to lay around and do nothing. I went to mass and communion this morning and felt like a new man going to communion regularly again. This noon I went to the movies with Ed & Vogelstein & then this evening Vogelstein and I cleaned our A-2 jackets in some 100 octane gas up at the line. This evening Jimmy, Joe and I went to the Aero Club for a while.

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Monday, March 27, 1944

      Today we were awakened at 3 a.m. for a mission over France, but again the flight was cancelled because of low ceiling and fog. Our supposed to be target was a German cadet school near Pog, France, about 6 miles from the Spanish border. We were on standout from 7:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., and then were dismissed. I slept this noon until 4:30 p.m. & then went to chow. This evening, Jim Eldert and I went to the Aero Club to write a few letters & at 8 p.m. we went to the post movie and saw "Yankee Doodle Dandy". Swell show. I received mail from my wife Connie, sister Jeannie and also a letter from Rosetta Tiehonne.

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Tuesday, March 28, 1944

      Went up on a mission to Amsterdam today but only 20 minutes from the target all our group was called back because of a six-tenths undercast. We had a maximum bomb load of 4-2,000 lb. bombs & we brought them back to the base. The formation took off at 9:30 a.m. and landed at 1:10 p.m. Our ceiling was 19,000 feet and the temperature was 21 below zero. The target was supposed to be the E-boat pens just outside Amsterdam. On takeoff today we nearly cracked up when our left wing fell as soon as we left the field. With good judgement, Lts. Jordak and Shubek put her back in control.

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Wednesday, March 29, 1944

2nd mission - Pas de Calais area Plane 294-B , Victory Belle 6hr. 30 min.

      We took off at 0840 to bomb the construction works in the Calais area. Our bomb load was 4-2,000 lb. bombs which we were supposed to have dropped on a previous target the day before. The raid itself was a milk-run with moderate flak over the target and no fighter opposition whatsoever. While getting into formation for this raid I saw 2 of our planes collide in mid-air & go tumbling down to earth. I saw no chutes open from either plane. It was a horrible sight. Pieces of debris from both planes flew in all directions & Lt. Jordak had to swerve the plane in order to miss the wreckage. We hit the target at 1305 & got out of the area but fast. We bombed at an altitude of 21,000 feet & the temperature was 21 below zero. It was an awful cloudy day & it took us quite a while to find the field. We landed at 1417 & it was another raid to our credit. We only receive done flak hole in the plane & it was in the left rudder.

      Our crew was upon a mission to a target near the town of Watten, France. It was a construction project which had to be knocked out. We took off at 8:40 a.m., dropped our bombs at 1:05 p.m. and were at the field at 2:17 p.m. Our bomb load was the 4-2,000 lb. bombs which we failed to drop the day before. While getting onto formation over England, two of our B-24's collided in mid-air and went down. No one saw any of the crews in either of the planes bail out. Flak over the target was moderate compared to the Berlin raid. Saw the movie "Casablanca" to-nite.

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Thursday, March 30, 1944

      As barracks orderly today, I cleaned the barracks out real well because of an inspection by our C.O. Went out to clean the waist guns on two planes on the line, Itty Bitty Commando & Judith Lynn. This noon I made myself a clothes trunk and straightened my equipment out. Jimmy Eldert, Lt. Pietrucciola & I then went to the photographers field & had some passport photos taken just in case we're ever shot down in France. RAF planes flew over at 11 p.m. to-nite heading for the French coast & Germany. Could have been 1,000 planes or so. Went to bed at midnight after having a couple sandwiches.

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Friday, March 31, 1944

      This morning we sweated out the pay line from 9 a.m. to 12 noon until we finally got paid. I received approximately $115, of which I sent home $100. I can't use any of it over here. This noon I was supposed to go up on a training flight but with a little squirming I was able to slip out of it. I wrote to Tut earlier this evening & after supper Jimmy Eldert & I took in the post movie "Edge of Darkness" playing with Errol Flynn & Ann Sheridan. Wrote to Connie & then went to bed at 10:05 p.m.

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Saturday, April 1, 1944

      Well, today is Aprils Fools Day but our group didn't fool the Huns any today. All the planes that went up on the raid over Germany came back all shot up. The Judith Lynn was shot down and the Itty Bitty Commando was forced to land on a different field in England. Henry Vogelstein was the spare radio operator on the Judith Lynn so it's supposed that he was killed in the crack-up. I didn't go up on the mission but I did go up on a test hop with Lt. Jordak to test out a new plane. Lts. Monahan, Pietrucciola & Jimmy Eldert were all on that combat mission & all returned safely.

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Sunday, April 2, 1944

      Went to 11 a.m. Mass today and also Communion. This noon I took in the post movie with Jimmy & Joe & saw "The Gay Sisters" starring George Brent & Barbara Stanwyck. After the movie Jimmy and I got together & straightened some of Vogelstein's articles out and put aside those that Lt. Jordak is going to send home to his folks. We all feel rotten about losing Vogelstein, but this is war and anyone of us may go from any day on out. I made myself a little shelf to-nite & I'm about settled in this hut now.

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Monday, April 3, 1944

      No mission today, so I straightened some of my equipment out & then Jimmy, Joe and I signed up for a pass to visit Norwich. Our pass was good from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. We thumbed a ride into town 'cause the GI bus was packed. All afternoon long we walked around the town just sightseeing. We visited the Red Cross building and also some of the blitzed areas of town. In the evening we stopped in quite a few pubs and drank bitters & gin cocktails, but it didn't get us as drunk as we wished to. It started to rain about 9 p.m. & we all got soaked. We hopped on the officer's bus to get back to the field.

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Tuesday, April 4, 1944

      No alert today either 'cause a few of Saturday's raid planes are still laid up. We were told by our CO that all ground crew men would be restricted to the post from now on, so I've got a feeling that something is in the air of an invasion in the near future. The plane Bomerang, a B-24 which has completed 43 combat missions was flown back to the States today. In the evening, Jimmy and I stayed in the barracks & I fixed the flat tire on the bike, which I got this morning while meeting a formation. Also went to the Aero Club for some coffee before hitting the sack.

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Wednesday, April 5, 1944

      Jimmy and I went to town again today & followed the same route of two days ago. We bought some phonograph records & I got "Begin the Beguine" by the Andrews Sisters. In the evening, we went to the Club Lido & attended the dance which is held every night. It was a beautiful place & looks like a dance hall back home. Plenty of beer and sandwiches & we sure ate and drank! I had about 4 dances, but these English girls dance a whole lot different than what we do back in the States.

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Thursday, April 6, 1944

      Didn't do too much today except clean the guns on our new plane, which Lt. Jordak signed for. It's a B-24H & it looks to be in pretty good shape. The name of the plane is "Ma's Worry" but Lt. Jordak is going to have it changed as soon as possible to a more appropriate name. I slept this noon for a few hours & then our entire crew went to report for guard duty at 11:45 p.m. It seems as though it's going to be a beautiful evening so we won't mind it too much. I expect to sleep for a change while on guard duty & let someone else watch.

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Friday, April 7, 1944

      Got off guard duty at 7:30 a.m. & went to breakfast & then to sleep for a few hours. Awoke at 12:00 noon & had dinner, after which I went to the Aero Club to listen to the records we bought in town. After supper I went to the services being held the Chapel. Rosary & a sermon. Came back to the barracks & wrote a few letters after starting a fire in the hut. I also did a little mending on some clothes, which needed it. Tomorrow, we're on the alert for a mission & it's the first mission inside a week for the squadron.

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Saturday, April 8, 1944

3rd mission - Brunswick, Germany Plane 336-Z, False Alarm 6 hours

8th AF losses - 34 bombers, 22 fighters; German losses - 140 fighters

      Took off at 10:30 a.m. with 10-500 lb. bombs to hit the aircraft plants at Brunswick. It was an ideal day & vision was perfect all the way to the target and back again. Flak was moderate at one place before hitting the IP & very accurate. Over the target itself the flak was heavy. But we were lucky enough to get through. Our fighter escort of P-38, P-47 and P-51's was swell & many German fighters were shot down on the way to the target and on the way back. We hit the target at 1418 and great pillars of smoke rose from our direct hits. About 500 planes, all of which were B-24's, hit the target. We received about 7 flak holes in the plane. I saw a B-24 shot down by enemy fighters over Holland & 4 chutes open. We landed at 1640 & it was a rough mission.

      Went up on a combat mission to Brunswick today and we really hit the target. Quite a few enemy fighters were shot down by our escort P-38, P-47 and P-51's. It was really a field day for our fighters. We didn't lose a ship in our group but most of our planes received flak holes. I received quite a bit of mail again today & most of it was from Connie. I also received, finally, the package which Connie sent me when I was in Hereington in December.

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Sunday, April 9, 1944

4th mission - Tutow, Germany Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 7 hours, 45 minutes

Bomb load - 10-500 lb. Gas load, 2,700 gallons No losses

       Took off at 0730 to bomb the Focke Wulf assembly plant at Tutow, Germany. It was a long and tiresome mission & for the first time I've seen and shot at Me-109's. We flew over the North Sea to a point east of Kiel, cut inland &went on to our IP right to the target itself. We received some flak around Kiel & were attacked by enemy fighters just before making the target. I got a couple bursts in onto one fighter coming in from 10 o'clock but missed him. We hit the target at 1203 & made some good hits on the plants and barracks at the target. No flak was sent up on the bomb run & it was just perfect. It was visual bombing & direct hits were seen. Coming back we hit the flak area at Dumbler Lakes, but we flew through unscathed. An element on our left took most of the flak. P-38's & P-47's escorted us all the way back from the target & they kept the enemy fighters away. I didn't see any B-24's go down at all on the mission & no one that I spoke to saw any planes go down either. The weather over England on our way back was awful & visibility was limited. We landed at 1515 hours.

      Went up on a combat mission to Tutow, Germany, & hit the Focke Wulf assembly plant which was located in a small wooded area. It was visual bombing & I saw direct hits on the plant & barracks and also the surrounding area including the airfield. No one on our crew saw any American bombers or fighters go down & flak hit our element moderately. Nothing like yesterday's raid. I shot at two enemy Me-109's, but didn't hit a one. P-38's and P-47's kept them away from the bombers on the way back. Another alert for tomorrow but I'm hoping our crew doesn't go up on it.

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April 10, 1944

5th mission - Bourges, France Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 6 hours, 15 minutes

Bomb load - 52-100 lb. incendiary Gas load, 2,300 gallons.

      Took off at 0645 on our first long raid into France. We hit the repair shops & airfield for Focke Wulf 190's & it was really a beautiful mission, with no enemy fighter opposition. We hit one flak battery on the French coast near LeHavre on the way out, but it was about 3 miles to our right. We had 52 incendiaries for our bomb load & we surely peppered the target with them. We had a beautiful fighter escort of P-38, P-47 and P-51's all the way to the target and back again. Our bombs were dropped at 1126 & the repair shop and parked aircraft were destroyed. We also noticed a parked B-24 on the field and no one even came close to hitting it. I saw none of our planes go down on this raid & the temperature at 15,000 feet was about 18 below zero. We landed at 1255 hours.

      Went out today on our first long raid into France. Our formation bombed the airfield & repair shops near the city of Bourges, France, which is southwest of Paris. All the way to the target & back again we met no fighter opposition or flak except for a single flak battery at LeHavre on the coast of France on the way out. Our plane dropped 52 incendiaries & we sure peppered the target. It was really a beautiful day for a mission. Went to the movies with Jimmy to-nite and saw "Cadet Girl" & then stopped in the Aero Club for some coffee and sandwiches.

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Tuesday, April 11, 1944

6th mission - Bernsburg, Germany Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 6 hr., 15 min.

Bomb load, 6-1,000 lb. bombs Gas load, 2,500 gallons

      Took off today at 0803 to hit an assembly line and airfield of JU-88's & JU-52's at Bernsburg, about 75 miles SW of Berlin. It was a cold day of 30° below at an altitude of 21,000 feet. Flak was heavy and accurate over the Dumbler Lake region on the way over to the target and back again, and 2 of our planes were shot down. None from our group, though. We bombed the target at 1017 & a heavy barrage of flak was sent up. The airfield itself was hit heavily, but the hangars and shops were hit a few times, if any. No enemy fighter opposition encountered on the way to or from the target & our fighter support was great. RAF fighters escorted us part of the way out in P-51's. We received one flak hole over the Dumbler Lake area on the way out. We landed at 1420 hours.

      Today was our 6th bombing mission in succession & we hit the JU assembly line at Bernburg, Germany. It was a cold day (30° below) & the flak batteries over the Dumbler Lake region & the target itself were intense and pretty accurate. Joe Widincamp didn't fly today because of ear trouble, so we took up a spare gunner who put in his 29th mission. He surely sweated this mission out, 'cause flak was pretty heavy. I slept from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. this evening and then went to the Aero Club with Jimmy. So far as I know we aren't on a mission scheduled for tomorrow.

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Wednesday, April 12, 1944

      Well, it surely is feels great to be on the ground for one day after flying four successive days over Germany and France. I cleaned up a bit this morning, expecting to go to Norwich with Jimmy, but my pass was revoked, so instead, Jimmy, Ed and I went up to the firing range and shot our .45's. In the evening, Jimmy and I went to the movies and saw "Son of Fury" starring Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney. We then went to the Aero Club and had a few sandwiches and coffee. Went to bed at 10 p.m.

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Thursday, April 13, 1944

7th mission - Oberhoffenhoven, Germany Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 8hr., 30 min.

Bomb load, 5 - 1,000 lb., bombs Gas load, 2,700 gallons.

      Our target for today was the Dornier assembly plant and airfield at Oberhoffenhaven, Germany, located a few miles from the neutral country of Switzerland. We took off at 1030 hours, hit the target at 1515 hours and landed at 1900 hours. Our trip to the target itself was met with no fighter opposition & on the way back it was the same. We had beautiful fighter escort of P-38, P-47, and P-51's all the way to the target and back again. I didn't see a single German fighter on the whole trip. Flak was encountered only over the target & we received a few hits on our plane. Our No. 1 engine was knocked out & we had to come back with only 3 engines operating normally. Our target was hit hard and I was able to see quite a few direct hits on the hangars, airfield and parked aircraft. The temperature was 30° below zero.

      Today we were awakened at 0500 hours to go up on a mission. The gas load was 2,700 gallons and the bomb load was 5-1,000 lb. bombs. We hit the Dornier plant and airfield near the town of Oberhoffenhoven near the Swiss border. It was a long and tiresome trip and flak was pretty well spread out over the target. Our number one engine received a flak hit in the supercharger so we came back with three engines operating normally. We landed at 1900 hours, went to chow and then stayed in our hut all night long. Went to bed at 2100 hours.

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Friday, April 14; Saturday, April 15 (made S.Sgt today); Sunday, April 16; Monday, April 17, 1944

      Went out on a 3 day pass to London with the rest of the crew. We had rooms at the Mostyn Red Cross on Portman St. and on the whole we had a swell time. We left camp at noon Friday and returned at midnight Monday. It cost me 21 pounds ($84) but it was worth it. We drank, took in movies, and did plenty of sight-seeing. We missed out on any raids over London for the time that we were there, but I did see the results of the blitz, especially on the east side of the city near Liverpool Street.

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Tuesday, April 18, 1944

      We started up on a mission this morning but we had to return at 1200 because of a gas leak in No. 1 engine. Our target was supposed to have been a factory near Berlin & it was a long mission. We turned back as soon as the formation took off over the North Sea. In the afternoon we just took it easy & rested up, and at 1715 hours Joe Widincamp and I took in the movies and saw "My Favorite Blonde". After the movie, Jimmy and I went to the Aero Club for some coffee and sandwiches.

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Wednesday, April 19, 1944

8th mission - Guterslok, Germany Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 5 hr., 25 min.

Bomb load, 40 - 100 lb. Bombs Gas load, 2,300 gallons

      Our target for today was an airdrome & repair shops just southwest of the town of Guterslok, Germany. We took off at 0740 & left England heading out to the North Sea at 0900. We arrived over the coast of Germany at 0945 & hit our IP at 1030 hours. On our way over the IP we overshot our primary target, but we did let our bombs go over the secondary target, which was also an airdrome. Our bombs were released at 1045 and we got some good hits on the runways and dispersal areas. We encountered moderate flak over the IP, but on the whole the raid was a milk run. All our planes returned safely & for a change we received no flak holes in our plane. As usual we received beautiful fighter support from our fighters & we didn't get a glimpse of an enemy plane. Landed at 1305 hours.

      Our crew was up on a mission to Guterslok, Germany, & hit an airdrome located just southwest of the town. We took off at 0740 & returned back to the base at 1305 hours. The mission itself was a milk run & the only flak encountered was just over before hitting the IP, but the flak was moderate and low. We over shot our primary target but hit the secondary target which was on the same IP. All our bombs hit the airfield and quite a bit of damage was caused from what I could see.

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Thursday, April 20, 1944

9th mission - Yvench-Bois, France Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 3 hours, 45 minutes.

Bomb load - 40-100 lb. bombs Gas load - 1,800 gallons

      Our target for today was the construction works at Yvench-Bois, France, and it's located in the Pas de Calais area. Takeoff time was 1630 hours and after flying around England for 1 hour getting into formation we took off for the French coast. As soon as we hit the continent we ran into flak and it kept up right to the time we left the French coast again. We hit our IP at 1845 hours and the target itself was hit at 1850 hours. Flak was intense all the while we were over France & accurate over the whole Pas de Calais area. Our plane was hit 3 times by pieces of flak, but no serious damage was caused. None of our planes were shot down over the Continent but Lt. Gutman cracked up over England and 6 men were killed. We landed at 2017 hours.

      We took it easy this morning but then at 1300 hours we were briefed for a mission to Yvench-Bois, France located near the Pas de Calais area. Takeoff time was at 1630 hours and we hit the target at 1850 hours. The target itself was the construction works located in a wooded area surrounded by batteries of flak guns. Flak was heavy all the way from the French coast to the target and all the way back again. Our plane was hit by flak but only 3 holes were found in the entire plane. We landed at 2017 hours and am glad that this mission was over with.

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Friday, April 21, 1944

      We were briefed today for a mission over Germany to Brux, Czechoslovakia to hit the synthetic oil refineries at that point. Takeoff time was 1525 hours but after circling over England for 2 hours getting into formation the mission was cancelled & recalled because of heavy cloud formations. I was really dead tired today, and was happy to hear that the mission was scrubbed. Jimmy and I went over to the Aero Club to-nite and ate some sandwiches, drank coffee and listened to some recordings.

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Saturday, April 22, 1944

      No mission was scheduled for today, but our crew was put on alert just in case anything came up. We were finally dismissed at 1000 hours, so I came back to the hut to wash up and shave. At 1430 hours, all combat personnel had to fall out for the presentation of awards to some of our buddies. Our crew wasn't to receive any today, 'cause our names weren't put in on time. Some crews went up on a raid to Hamm, Germany late in the afternoon and upon landing at 2300 hours were pounced on by a JU-88. No planes were hit, luckily enough, but he JU-88 was shot down.

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Sunday, April 23, 1944

      Nine crews were alerted this morning at 0300 hours, and our crew was included. The target was to be the synthetic oil refineries at to Brux, Czechoslovakia again, but while waiting at the plane dispersal area for takeoff the mission was cancelled again because of bad weather over the continent. I went to Mass and also to the Sacraments at 1100 hours and this noon I went out to our plane and cleaned my machine guns. I was transferred from the waist position to the nose turrets by 1st Lt. Jordak. I hate the position, but no one else will take the nose turret. Went to the movies and saw "Hot Spot" to-nite.

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April 24, 1944

10th mission - Geblinger, Germany Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 9 hours, 10 minutes

Bomb load, 52 incendiaries Gas load, 2,700 gallons

      Target for today were the hangars and workshops at an airdrome south of the city itself. Takeoff time was 0920 hours and we hit out IP at 1330 hours. The target itself was hit real hard and direct hits were observed on all our primary targets. Flak was encountered over the target itself but with a little evasive action we cleared the main areas of flak. I rode the nose turret today and it's really a swell position compared to the cold waist, where I've been for the last nine missions. None of our planes were shot down today and we had beautiful fighter escort all the way to the target by P-38's, P-47's ad P-51's. It was really a long trip and I nearly fell asleep in the nose turret a couple times on the way home. We landed at 1745 hours.

      Today we went up on our 10th combat mission and it was to Geblinger, Germany. Our target was the workshop and hangars at an airdrome which builds parts for JU-88's and JU-52's. Our secondary target, the Carl Smidt Piston Co., was also hit and great fires were observed on our way back home. Flak was encountered only over the target and it was moderate and way off. In the evening, Jimmy and I went to the Aero Club and had some sandwiches and coffee and then listened to some recordings. Went to bed at 2300 hours.

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Tuesday, April 25, 1944

      We were awakened this morning at 2 a.m. for a mission but after getting down to the briefing room we found out that it was a mistake and our crew wasn't scheduled. I came back to the hut and went to sleep. I awoke at 11 a.m., just in time for dinner. This noon I went out to the plane and cleaned my nose guns, which really needed it. The ground crew was painting up our plane a bit and they're going to paint a beautiful picture of a woman on the fuselage of the plane in a day or so. Wrote a few letters this evening.

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Wednesday, April 26, 1944

      Today 9 planes from our squadron went on a practice mission to the southern part of England. It was a practice of the coming invasion & we hit a small island with 100-lb. GP bombs. B-26's, B 17's and B-24's were all dropping bombs at the same time we were. It really was a set up of the real invasion. We took off at 1:30 p.m. from our base, bombed at 3:25 p.m. and were back to the base at 5:45 p.m. Again I rode in the nose turret and observed quit a bit of activity at the coast towns in England facing the Continent. Invasion doesn't seem to be too far off.

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Thursday, April 27 1944

      We were awakened at 4 a.m. this morning for a mission, but when we got down to the briefing room we found out it was scrubbed. This noon, we were put on the alert again, but this mission was scrubbed also. Jimmy and I went out to the plane, drained some gas out of it and cleaned our flying jackets so we could paint our missions with bombs on it. This evening our entire squadron was called to attend a lecture at 6 p.m. It dealt with the coming invasion & of us carrying mustard gas bombs if necessary. Wrote to Connie and then went to bed. On the alert for tomorrow.

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Friday, April 28, 1944

11th mission - Pas de Calais, France Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 3 hours

Bomb load - 8-1,000 lb. Bombs Gas load - 1,800 gallons

      Target for today was the construction area and marshaling yards in the Calais area. Takeoff time was 1530 hours, target was hit at 1800 hours and we returned at 1845 hours. Flak was moderate over the target and surrounding area and we were over enemy territory only 6 minutes. The temperature was 23 degrees below zero and I flew the right waist position once again.

      This morning we attended a critique on some of our past missions and then we were put on the alert for this afternoon. It was a short mission so I didn't mind it at all. Our target was the invasion coast in the Pas de Calais area and our bomb load was 8-1,000 lb. bombs. The flak gunners were pretty well off today, so that the raid was more like a milk run than anything else. The target itself was pretty well hit and I myself observed good results. We landed at 6:45 p.m., ate chow and am going to bed right away.

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Saturday, April 29, 1944

12th mission, Berlin, Germany Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 8 hours

Bomb load - 52 incendiary bombs Gas load - 2,700 gallons

      Target for today was the underground railways of Berlin. Takeoff time was 0745 hours, target was hit at 1159 hours and we returned at 1545 hours. Flak was encountered over the Dummer Lake district and over Berlin itself, and the Luftwaffe arose to give battle to our returning bombers. Four of our bombers were shot down and one Me-109 was seen to fall in flames.

      Our crew was awakened at 4 a.m. for a mission over Germany. The gas load was 2,700 gallons and the raid was to Berlin. It was long and very tiresome but it was worth it after seeing our incendiary bombs hit the heart of the capitol itself. We took off at 7:45 a.m. and landed at 3:30 p.m. Jimmy and I went to the post move this evening and saw "Charlie's Aunt" starring Jack Benny and Kay Francis. It's now 9:30 p.m. and I'm going to hit the sack 'cause we're alerted for another mission tomorrow.

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Sunday, April 30, 1944

      We were on the alert for today but the scheduled mission was canceled late last night. Instead, I slept up to 11 a.m. and then went to Mass. I also received communion. After dinner Joe Widincamp and I took in the post movie and saw "Wild Geese Calling" starring Henry Fonda and Joan Bennett. We were paid at 3:45 p.m. and I received 27 pounds, 14 shillings, 8 pence. I paid out 12 pounds and had 15 pounds left for myself. This evening we watched a softball game which was going on and then stopped over to the Aero Club for some coffee and sandwiches. We'll be awakened at 12:30 a.m. for a tomorrow's mission so it might be a long raid. Going to bed at 10 p.m.

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Monday, May 1, 1944

12th & 13th missions - Bonniere, France Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 2 hr., 40 min.

      We were awakened at 12:30 a.m. for today's mission. It was the first 2-missions-a-day deal for this group. At 2 a.m. we had our briefing and at 4:30 a.m. we all were at our stations on the plane. It was at takeoff that I saw the worst accident that I've seen so far. A plane from the 409th squadron cracked up at takeoff and the plane was completely demolished. Four enlisted men and the navigator got out alive and the rest were blown to kingdom come by the 12-500 lb. bombs which were on board. We finally took off at 0715 and we hit the Pas de Calais area once again. The construction works. I was operating the nose turret and also salvoed the bombs on the lead ship of the 389th Group (C). We bombed at 0857 and ran into plenty of moderate but accurate flak which tracked us all the way out from the target. Our plane was lucky enough to receive only one small flak hole behind my nose turret. We landed at our base at 1010. A nice short mission.

      We were awakened at 12:30 a.m. and had to be at briefing at 2 a.m. It was a practice hop down to the coast of England and then at 7:15 a.m. we were to bomb the Pas de Calais area. Our crew never did take off for that practice hop, 'cause there was a crackup on the end of the runway by a preceding ship. The whole plane was demolished and all the bombs except 3 went off. Five enlisted men and the navigator got out alive. We finally took off at 7:15 a.m. and bombed the Calais area with the 389th Group 'cause we couldn't find our own formation. We landed at 10:10 a.m. Plenty of flak. Took it easy the rest of the day.

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Tuesday, May 2, 1944

      Today we had to clean around our hut and also did a little spiffing up inside. Officers watched the entire operation and we finally finished at 1030 hours. At 1330 I attended a lecture by Shorty Gordon, a lower ball turret gunner on a Fort. He was a T/Sgt. and he really had some good experiences to talk about. I received my garrison hat and candy from Connie today. It was a beautiful day out so I went out to our ship just to check my guns over. Later this evening Jimmy and I took in the Aero Club and had some sandwiches and coffee. We're on the alert for tomorrow. Took a shower before hitting the hay.

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Wednesday, May 3, 1944

      The mission for today was canceled because of bad weather, so I slept in until 0700. We had a barracks inspection by a couple of colonels, a major and a captain. We passed this OK. This noon we had to clean up our planes because they too are to be inspected tomorrow. What next? Our ship, "Ma's Worry", is in the hangar having a 100-hour inspection pulled on her. For tomorrow's mission, we're flying #511 Itty Bitty Commando. Took it pretty easy all day long and caught up on my letter responding. Went to the movies this evening and will go t o bed at 10 p.m.

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Thursday, May 4, 1944

      We were awakened at 2:30 a.m. for a mission. Takeoff was at 7:35 a.m. and at 9:45 a.m., just a few miles from the Dutch coast, the whole formation was recalled because of poor visibility over the target itself. We were supposed to hit Brunswick. This noon we had the honor of listening to a lecture given by Lord Trencher, head man of the RAF and also in seeing General Doolittle. It was an inspection day of all operational aircraft in our group. This evening I just hung around and took it easy. I wrote a nice letter to Connie and kept thinking of those swell days in the past. Am feeling pretty blue this evening. Am going to bed at 11 p.m.

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Friday, May 5, 1944

       No mission scheduled for today so Jimmy, Joe and I signed up for a pass starting at 1 p.m. to visit Norwich. This morning Lt. Shubek checked both Jimmy and I out on the auto-pilot. While in town today I got a haircut and then did quite a bit of walking about. Later in the evening I ran into Dan DeMasco of Auburn in one of the pubs. He's an assistant crew chief in the 446th BG. While riding into town today I ran into some Italian prisoners of war who were working in a field close-by to our own field. Came back on the 11 p.m. liberty run.

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Saturday, May 6, 1944

      This morning we were awakened at 3 a.m. for a raid but once reaching the briefing room we found out that we were a spare crew and wouldn't take off unless a ship in our squadron aborted. Our luck as usual - we didn't take off 'cause it was a milk run to the Calais area. This noon we had to stand a formation 'cause our barracks at this site were in disorder. At 4 p.m., Jimmy and I moved out of our barracks into the one occupied by Ed Ruskowsky, John Findley and Joe Widincamp. Raeffel Pina also moved into our new barracks so it put our whole crew together.

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Sunday, May 7, 1944

14th mission - Munster, Germany Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 5 hours

Bomb load - 52 incendiary bombs Gas load - 2,300 gallons

      Takeoff time was 0730 hours and our target was to be a marshaling yard in the town itself. It was a Pff mission and the head navigator went off course and we dropped our bombs away from the target. Our bomb bay doors froze up so we salvoed the bombs over the Channel on the way back. It is thought that the Group hit a small town near Munster by the name of Ossiabruck, but even S-2 doesn't know where the majority of our bombs landed. On the way back we passed over the northern tip of the Ruhr district and flak was really sent up. We were lucky enough to get out of it all without a single hole in the plane. The temperature was all the way down to 42 below zero and Joe and I really froze in the waist. We landed at 1230 hours.

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Monday, May 8, 1944

15th mission - Brunswick, Germany Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 6 hours

Bomb load - 12 500-lb. Bombs Gas load - 2,300 gallons

      Takeoff time was 0630 hours and our target was the center of an airfield only 5 minutes from Brunswick itself. On the way to the target we passed over the Dummer Lake region and flak was terrific, but we were lucky once more to keep it away from our planes. The escorting P-38's drew most of the flak away from the bombers by flying over the guns itself. At the target (1010 hours) we received no flak but on the way back flak was sent up again pretty heavy. One plane exploded in mid-air (possibly from a gas leak). Another plane crashed near the field when all the occupants bailed out. It was pretty cold up there again (-40 degrees). We landed at 1230 hours.

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Tuesday, May 9, 1944

16th mission Liege, Belgium Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 4 hours, 20 minutes

Bomb load - 8-1,000 lb. Bombs Gas load - 2,300 gallons

      Today our target was the marshaling yards at Liege, Belgium. Takeoff time was 0630 hours and we landed at 1100 hours. Today was our best day in bombing of a target and we scored all our hits on the yards itself. No fighter opposition was encountered but flak was accurate. I saw one B-24 go down and six chutes open from that ship. On our way back I saw one B-24 feather No. 2 & 4 engines, but P-51 escorts stayed with him all the way back. Temperature was 18 degrees below zero and it was a perfect day for visual bombing. On the way back we passed over Holland and we noticed that the dikes were open and all the coast was flooded over. Much activity on the southern and eastern coast of England and patrol planes were all over the skies.

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Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 7, 8, 9, 1944

      Didn't have time to write each day out separately 'cause of our missions. We pulled three mission in so many days, to Munster and Brunswick, Germany, and Liege, Belgium. We got up at 2:30 a.m. each day but all our missions weren't too long so we were able to get a little sack time in the afternoon. In some of our spare time we finished getting settled in our new hut, and it's really a whole lot better than the one I was living in. It's cleaner and quieter. For the past three days we've been having some nice clear weather which is perfect for missions. In the evenings we take in a movie or go to the Aero Club for coffee and sandwiches.

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Wednesday, May 10, 1944

      No missions today so we were able sleep up to 8 a.m. at which time the C.O. woke us up in order to go the skeet range. We got out of that easily enough. For the past 4 or 5 days I didn't receive any mail from Connie but today I got two beautiful letters from her. Also got mail from Vogie's brother, Jean Turner (Vogie's girl) and quite a few from friends back home. Ed and I went down to the bomb dump to get a couple boxes to build ourselves a cabinet, but there was no saw or hammer to do the work. I expect to go into town to-nite but I'm not sure as yet. Am feeling a bit tired yet.

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Thursday, May 11, 1944

      We were awakened at 6:30 a.m. this morning for a mission and it was to be at the Renault aircraft plant south of Paris. We took off at 9 a.m. and formed at 15,000 feet. Just as we were ready to go out over the Channel our No. 1 engine developed an oil leak, so we had to feather the engine and come back to the field. It was our first abortion in 17 starts. I slept this noon up to supper time, went to chow and then took in the movie with Jimmy and Ed. We saw "The Major and the Minor". We also stopped in at the Aero Club and then wrote a few letters. Went to bed at 11:00 p.m.

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Friday, May 12, 1944

17th mission - Bohlen, Germany Plane 937-D, Reddy Teddy 7 hours, 15 minutes

Bomb load - 42 - 100 lb. G.P. Gas load - 2,700 gallons

      Target for today was the synthetic oil refineries just south of the great city of Leipzig. Takeoff time was 0945 and after circling the field to get into formation we took off over the Channel. We hit the coast of France at 1100 hours between Ostend and Dunquerque. Arrival at the target was at 1420 hours and our entire element overshot the target and dropped in an open field. The following element was lucky enough to hit the target and great fires were started. B-17's also hit surrounding targets in the vicinity. Good job. On our way back to England 3 JU-88's jumped our formation and 2 of the enemy fighters were shot down and the other plane made a run for it. Flak was encountered over the target and Leipzig only. Swell mission. Temperature was 20 degrees below zero. Landed at 1730 hours.

      Went on a mission to Bohlen, Germany to hit the synthetic oil refineries located there. The refineries are located near the great city of Leipzig. Great fires were started in the Leipzig area itself with great formations of B-17's and B-24's hitting all types of factories, airfields and laboratories. We landed at 1730 hours and it was really a long mission with 6 hours on oxygen. France and Belgium really looked beautiful and peaceful from the air and very little military activity could be seen. This evening I took in the Aero Club and then came back to the hut and wrote a few letters.

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Saturday, May 13, 1944

18th mission - Tutow, Germany Plane 971-N 7 hours, 8 minutes

Bomb load - 10 - 500 lb. A.P. Gas load - 2,700 gallons

      Target for today was the Focke Wolfe assembly line at Tutow. Takeoff time was 1037 hours after a delay of 15 minutes when a B-24 cracked up at takeoff. The ship ahead of us. Today we flew a new enclosed H and I was able to sleep quite a bit on the way to the target and back again. I saw for the first time the seaplane Blohn-Voss, Germany's greatest plane. It was parked on a lake south of Tutow itself. We hit the target at 1430 hours and great hits were seen all over the airfield and hangars. On the way back I saw quite a few enemy planes on different airdromes we passed over. Quite a few enemy planes were in the air also but none of them attacked our formation because of the good fighter support we had. I saw the southwest tip of Sweden on our way back and also quite a few lovely landmarks in Denmark. We landed at 1745 hours. Temperature was 11 degrees below zero.

      We were awakened at 5 a.m. for a mission to Tutow, Germany this morning. We did hit the target about a month ago so I knew that it wouldn't be too bad. We flew in a new H with the enclosed waist windows so I was able to enjoy this trip for a change. It wasn't too cold there in the waist and was able to get a little sack time to and from the target. It was a perfect day for flying and I was able to enjoy the landmarks in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Our target was hit with good results and I was able to observe quite a bit. We landed at 5:45 p.m. and I went to chow and then the movies. Saw the movie "Happy Go Lucky". Went to bed at 11:15 p.m.

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Sunday, May 14, 1944

      We got up this morning at 10:45 a.m. because of no alert for a mission. I went to Mass at 11 a.m. and also to Communion. I said a special prayer for my mother and also for Connie because today is Mother's Day. This noon I took in the movie and saw "Submarine Alert". I then came back to the barracks, wrote a few letters and then took a nice little nap. Our plane, "Ma's Worry" was being test hopped because they changed the No. 1 engine. This evening I went over to the Aero Club with Jim and Ed and we played some recordings, ate sandwiches and coffee for a bedtime snack.

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Monday, May 15, 1944

      We were awakened at 2 a.m. for a mission to Rheims, France, but at 5 a.m. the mission was scrubbed because of bad weather. We came back to the hut and slept until 11 a.m. This noon I washed up a bit, cleaned my gun on the plane and then wrote a few letters. I finally received some mail from my brother Tony. I also received a package from Connie including some delicious cookies, stationery and film. After supper I took in the movie "Remember The Day. It was an emotional movie. We then went to the Aero Club and had a snack and finally came back to the hut at 9 p.m..

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Tuesday, May 16, Tuesday May 17 and Wednesday May 18

      On all these days our crew was on alert but the missions were cancelled because of bad weather. We always came back to the hut and got a little more sack time for the rest of the morning and then in the afternoon I wrote letters. Later in the evenings I either took in the base movies or else hung around the Aero Club, just batting the breeze. I just laid around most of the time to rest up for what would be coming up in the days to come. Tomorrow will probably be a fine day for a mission. I hope.

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Tuesday, May 19, 1944

19th mission - Brunswick, Germany Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 6 hours, 40 minutes

Bomb load - 8-1,000 lb. bombs Gas load - 2,500 gallons Altitude - 22,500 feet Temp -34 degrees

      Target for today was the city of Brunswick itself, although we were briefed for a different MIP. Takeoff time was 0930 hours , we dropped our bombs at 1300 hours and we landed at 1610 hours. On our way to the target we were attacked by a group of German fighters over Dumer Lake area but all the enemy planes hightailed for home when our escort of P-47's got into the fray. Over the target itself we were again attacked by fighters and it was here that I shot down my first enemy plane, and Me.-109. We made three runs over the target and left it burning in more than one section of the city. I saw 4 of our B-24's go down and 9 German fighters. Flak over the target was heavy and fairly accurate.

     Today we went up on our first mission since last Saturday. Our target today was Brunswick while the B-17 outfit was to hit Berlin. Considerable damage was incurred by our bombers and great fires were seen in different sections of the city. Enemy fighters attacked us (our group) over the target itself and I got quite a few shots in myself. I shot down my first enemy fighter today. It was an Me-109 and I got him coming in from the 3 o'clock position. Our P-47 and P-38 fighter escort did a fine job today and all told the bombers and escorts got quite a few enemy planes.

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Wednesday, May 24, 1944

22nd Mission - Paris (Criel) France Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 5 hr., 33 min.

Bomb load - 8 - 1,000 lb. bombs (GP) Gas load - 2,300 gallons Altitude -18,5000 feet Temp -15

       Today's target was an airfield near Paris (9 miles SW). Takeoff time was 0525, bombs released at 0938 and returned to base at 10:45. The mission itself wasn't too bad except for the flak over the southern outskirts of Paris. We missed the primary target so we hit the secondary target which was also an airfield. All our bombs hit the area round the MPI and it was a job well done. From the nose turret I observed well placed hits on our primary target by the previous groups ahead of me. On our way back from the target I really sweated our formation flying. New crews were flying with us & they were all over the sky.

      We were awakened today at 12:30 a.m., had breakfast at 1 a.m. and briefing at 2a.m. Mission today was 2 airfields on the outskirts of Paris & we hit the secondary target. We landed at 1045 a.m. & were sent right to bed in order for a practice mission which our crew was scheduled for to-nite. The practice mission was canceled at 6:00 p.m. so instead most of us took in a movie. After the movie we came straight to the hut & hit our sacks for we were all tired from the mission. We did stop at the Aero Club for some coffee before going to bed.

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Thursday and Friday, May 25 & 26, 1944

      These couple of days we just laid around doing practically nothing. I did go out to clean my guns and check over the operation of my nose turret. It's been quite warm for these last few days, so we all stayed outdoors as much as possible to enjoy the warm sunshine. Our crew was put on ground duty Friday night 7. It was really a pleasure for a change 'cause of the warm weather. We were relieved at 5 a.m. 'cause two ground personnel took over our plane.

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Saturday and Sunday, May 27 & 28, 1944

      Went on a pass to Norwich for 24 hours starting at 2 p.m. & ending at 11 p.m. Sunday. Our whole crew went out together for a change & we all had a fairly decent time. I was lucky enough to have dinner on Sunday at an English home & they really treated me swell. I really mad myself at home! Saturday evening I met Sonny Ginno & Dom De Massi at the same time & we really had quite a time for the few hours I had with them. Sunday evening I met up with Pina and Ruskowsky & drank a few drinks with them.

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Monday, May 29, 1944

23rd mission - Tutow, Germany Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 7 hr, 10 min.

Bomb load 10 500 lb. (GP) Gas load 2,700 gallons Altitude 18,000 feet Temp -12

      Today our target was again Tutow, Germany, with the Focke Wolf plant as the main target. Takeoff time was 0815 hours, bombs were dropped at 1220 hours and we returned to base at 1555 hours. I again rode the nose turret & toggled the bombs away. Flak was encountered at Lubeck when we went a little off course, but after that we didn't run into any other flak areas. The mission itself wasn't bad for we met no enemy fighters although fighters were in the area. Our fighter support wasn't any too good but we did see a few P-38's and P-47's in the vicinity. The target was hit fairly well, but no photos have been developed yet.

      Today we hit Tutow. It was a fairly warm run as we had a new silver plane with windows installed in the waist position. On the way back from Tutow we passed over Denmark & saw Sweden on our right not too far away, about 40 miles. In the evening I took in the post movies & then took in the Aero Club. A baseball game was going on between our group & the 458th so I stayed to watch that for a while. I then came back to write a few letters and then hit the sack.

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Tuesday, May 30, 1944

      Our crew had a day off from flying but we still went up on a practice hop with a couple green crews. Lt. Jordak led the formation. We landed at 1 p.m. and I went straight to the sack and slept up to 5 p.m. Ate supper and then saw a handball game which was going on with the 489th bombardment group as our opponent. We won the game. Came back to our hut after the game & listened to a sermon propaganda with "Miss Metz" & "Sally Mitch" as our hostesses. Ha Ha.

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Wednesday, May 31, 1944

      Today we were supposed to go up on a raid to Metz, France & hit an airfield located there. We hit a cloud front on the French coast & had to go up to 25,000 feet to get over it. It was an easy mission but cold as hell. In the afternoon I went to the Aero Club to write a few letters & then I went to an early movie with Dave and Jim. Saw the movie "Immortal Sergeant" & it was swell. Had a few sandwiches and some coffee at the Aero Club before going to bed. Retired at 11 p.m.

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Thursday, June 1, 1944 to Monday, June 5, 1944

      Nothing important happened these days but I was too busy to write and include anything in this book. I did go out on a pass all day on June 2. We just took it easy in town all day drinking and in the evening Ed and I took in the dance at the Lido Club. On Monday night, June 5 our whole crew was on guard duty. We observed quite a bit of activity in the field and our B-24's were taking off at all hours of the night to bomb the French coast. The invasion will come off sometime this week in my estimation.

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Sunday, June 4,1944

26th mission - Pas de Calais, France Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 3 hrs., 30 min.

Bomb load - 12 500 lb. (GP) Gas load 2,300 gallons Altitude 22,500 ft Temp -19

      Our target today was the same target we hit yesterday except for a few miles distant from yesterday's target. Takeoff time was at 1230 hours, and landing was at 1600 hours. Again, I flew in the nose and acted as toggelier. Our bombs hit the area to be bombed and a good pattern was observed. Flak was moderate and off to our left and all our ships returned to base. Two planes were observed in a mid-air collision over England not too far from our base. It was a fairly easy mission.

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Tuesday, June 6, 1944 D-Day

27th mission - Invasion coast, France Plane 043-0 6hr, 30 min

Bomb load 12 500 lb. (GP) Gas load 2,300 gallons Altitude 15,500 ft Temp -7

      Today was D-Day and our group flew 4 missions all day long. The weather was the worst that I've seen for flying and a low haze and clouds prevented us from putting in more missions. Our crew flew the last mission of the day, hitting a road junction in a town about 10 miles from the Normandy coast. Takeoff time was 1730 hours, bombs dropped at 2025 hours and landing was at 2400 hours. No flak or fighter opposition were encountered over France and we had good fighter cover from our planes. I observed out own naval units at the coast of France, shelling enemy positions. On our way back to the base we went off course and landed 1 3/4 hours later than expected.

      The invasion started this morning at 7:30 a.m. and planes were going out all day long to the coastal installations and enemy movements. Our crew took off at 5:30 p.m. to hit a crossroads near Cherbourg. We missed the target and hit the center of town instead. I observed movements of naval forces in the channel and shuttle movements from the English coast to the French beachheads. Battleships were firing broadsides into the enemy lines and bombers were flying inland to hit installations of all kinds. Rough all over.

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Wednesday, June 7, 1944

      Awoke this morning at 11:00 a.m. 'cause we came in at midnight from a mission to the Normandy Peninsula in support of our ground troops. Today the weather was awful for flying so we really didn't have to go on any missions. We also heard that flying is indefinitely over now so we really have nothing to look forward to. I took in a movie to-nite and saw a Limey show by the name of "Dangerous Moonlight" about the Polish flyers in the RAF in 1940. I also beat Pappy for the club championship of Amore for the base. Ha Ha.

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Thursday, June 8, 1944

      (No mission diary for this mission). 93rd's targets for this day were a German air Force fighter center at Laval aerodrome; Pontanbault Bridge south of Avranches; and Granville Harbor.

      Last night at 12:00 midnight an air raid was sounded and an airplane was over our field. Our base defense guns drove the plane away with no damage caused. At 1 am we went to breakfast for an early mission scheduled for today. No sleep whatsoever. Our plane was out because of an engine failure so we flew a new H with enclosed waist windows. Our mission was a milk run but large cloud formations and mist held up our formation. We landed at 6 p.m. and I wrote a few letters before going to sleep.

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Friday, June 9, 1944

     No mission scheduled for today because of rain and low hanging cloud formations. I in turn slept a few hours then washed up, shaved and wrote a few letters. I also mended some socks and underwear. All the rest of the fellows in the hut played poker and blackjack all day long. After supper I took in the movie with Rae Pina and his friend Hogan. We saw "The Falcon Strikes Back". We got out of the movies at 7:20 p.m. and then went over to then Aero Club for some coffee and sandwiches.

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Saturday, June 10th, 1944

29th mission - Evreux, France Plane 437-H, Ma's Worry 5 hrs, 40 min

Bomb load 16-300 lb. (GP) Gas load 2,300 gallons Altitude 26,000 ft. Temp -34

      Target for today was an airfield about 50 miles from the west coast of France bordering the English Channel. This raid was in support of our ground troops to make sure that no enemy fighters were in operation against them. The whole 8th and 9th Air Forces were out in full strength that day and we really peppered our target with our 300 lb. bombs. Takeoff time was 0555 hrs, hit the IP at 0845 hrs, MPI at 0900 hrs and returned to base at 1135 hrs. Flak was moderate and no enemy fighter opposition was encountered. Two B-24's were seen to go down by enemy flak.

      Today makes exactly three months that we've been on this field but it really seems longer than that. We were awakened at 1 a.m. this morning for a mission. We took off at about 6 a.m. and landed at about noon. It was a rough day for a mission for cloud formations were set in from 4,000 feet up to 25,000 feet. We really had a job on our hands in trying to make up some kind of a formation. Today at 4 p.m. we had a meeting of all combat personnel and Major Morton tried his best to give us the score on combat flying during this mission period. Wrote letters in the evening.

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Sunday, June 11, 1944

30th mission - Paris, France. Plane 043-O, Silver "H" 4 hrs., 30 min.

Bomb load 16-300 lb. (GP) Gas Load - 2,300 gallons Altitude - 20,000 feet Temp -7

      Today we attacked an airdrome 10 miles northeast of Paris, and bombing results were excellent. The first two sections hit the administration buildings and the third section hit the runways. Lt. Jordak led the second section and I flew as toggelier. Takeoff time was at 0530 hrs., target hit at 0755 hrs. and we returned to base at 0930 hrs. Today was a perfect day for flying and it was really a pleasure trip compared to our last 3 missions. We saw Paris with no clouds to obscure our view and I was also able to see the Eiffel Tower once again. On our way back from the base we ran into a 5-gun flak battery near Abbeyville but no damage was caused to our plane.

      This morning we were up on another mission about 50 miles from our beachhead in France. We hit an airfield with fairly good results. We landed at 9:30 a.m. so I was able to take in the 11 a.m. mass and go to Communion. In the afternoon I slept up to 5 p.m. and then I took in a movie after supper. I saw "Flight For Freedom" starring Rosalind Russell and Fred MacMurray. Good movie. After the movie I stopped in at the Aero Club for coffee and sandwiches. Went to bed at 11 p.m..

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Monday, June 12, 1944

31st mission - St. Andre d'Leure, France Plane 204-I, Silver Plane 6 hr., 10 min.

Bomb load 16-300 lb. (GP) Gas Load - 2,300 gallons Altitude - 20,000 feet Temp -6

      Target for today was the airfield about 15 miles north of Paris & in the vicinity of the airfield we hit yesterday. Takeoff time was at 0540 hrs., we hit the target at 0855 hrs. and we returned to base at 1130 hrs. It was a clear day for a mission and we observed supply landings and activity on the beachhead all over the 51 mile front. The target itself was pulverized with two groups hitting every square inch of the field and we observed other airfields in the immediate vicinity hit by A-20's & B-26's with the support of our B-24's. Flak was encountered at several different places, especially Caen, which is still in the hands of the enemy.

      Another mission today & we hit another airfield in northern France just a few miles from the one we hit yesterday. We landed at 11:30 a.m. and early this afternoon I went back to our plane to clean our guns. When arriving back to the hut I found out that our crew has a 48 hr. pass starting at 5 p.m. today. I shaved, washed up a bit & got ready to leave. We'll go to Norwich 'cause I'm pretty low on money. I will also try to write a few lines to Connie.

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Tuesday & Wednesday, June 13, 14, 1944

      Was in Norwich for my 48 hr pass & had a fairly decent time. In the daytime we drank bitters in all the pubs we could find & took in a couple movies. In the evening, Lt.'s. Shubek & Jordak and I took in the Club Lido. It was "Salute the Soldiers" week so the Lido was pretty well packed to capacity. Ed and I slept at the American Red Cross for 2 shillings" that night & we also ate there most of the time. Came back from our pass on Wednesday, June 14 at 12 midnight & we were alerted to fly at 12:30 a.m. Thursday!

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Thursday, June 15, 1944

32nd mission - Paris, France. Plane 437- H 5 hrs., 30 min.

Bomb load 12-500 lb. (GP) Gas Load - 2,300 gallons Altitude - 19,500 feet Temp -20

      Target for today was a railroad spur across the Seine River. The bridge was 2 miles west of the city of tours itself. Takeoff time was at 0430 hrs., dropped our eggs at 0755 hrs & returned to base at 1000 hrs. It was a beautiful day for a mission & visibility was perfect all over France. We entered the French coast between Cherbourg & Le Havre, went due south straight to Tours. Every bridge in sight was being hit by our heavies & dive bombers. But our heavies missed the target. No enemy fighters were encountered & flak was seen only at the target itself. No hits were made on the plane.

      Went up on a mission today to Tours, France. Joe Widincamp didn't go with us cause he was sent to the hospital. He had a nervous breakdown & will be laid up for a few days. We slept all afternoon up to 6 p.m. then went to chow. This evening I went to the movies & saw the movie "Story of Stalingrad". I then stopped in at the Aero Club for some coffee & cake. Went to bed at 10:30 p.m.

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Friday, June 16, 1944

33rd mission - Siracourt, France. Plane 437- H, Ma's Worry 4 hrs., 30 min.

Bomb load 12-500 lb. (GP) Gas Load - 2,300 gallons Altitude - 19,500 feet Temp -17

      Today we were to hit the rocket coast & pilotless plane fields just south of Calais. Takeoff time was at 130 hrs., droppoed our bombs at 1710 hrs. and returned to base at 1900 hrs. the day itself was very cloudy so we dropped our bombs by Pff. We had a cloud formation at 8,000 ft. and another at 10,000 ft.. We landed by instruments & all our planes came in solo after breaking up over the North Sea. One of our planes from the 329th squadron cracked up about 4 miles south of the field after its 4 engines conked out on the approach. Seven men got out alive & 5 were killed in the crash.

      This morning we were alerted for a mission at 9 a.m., but they kept putting it off until 12:15 p.m. We finally took off at 1:30 p.m. & hit the French coast just south of Calais. We were scheduled to hit the rocket emplacements & pilotless plane field, but because of cloud overcast no visual run was made. It was a Pff deal. In the evening I took in the movies & saw "Bolero" starring George Raft, Carole Lombard & Sally Rand. Good movie. Went to bed at 11 p.m.

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Saturday, June 17, 1944

      This morning I awoke at 11 a.m. & for a change we all received some rest. After dinner I went out to the stadium & did a little running around the track a few times. Later on in the evening after supper, Findley, Ed Ruskowsky and I went out to the plane to draw some petrol out order to clean our A-10 jackets. We also kept Jake Resnick company who was on guard duty at the time. Wrote a few letters in the evening & went to bed at 11 p.m.

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Sunday, June 17, 1944

      We were awakened at 12:30 a.m. for a mission but seeing that we were put on as a spare it wasn't bad. We never did take off so we returned to the hut at 8:30 a.m. & hit the sack. Lt.'s Jordak, Shubek & I saw Major Paine the flight surgeon for the rest home deal but nistead got a 7 day leave. We leave tomorrow at 1 p.m. In the afternoon I took in the movie & saw "Tunisian Victory". After supper I saw a handball game & a track meet going on in the base stadium. Wrote to Connie & my sister Jo this evening. Bed at 11 p.m.

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Monday, June 19, 1944 to Wednesday, June 28, 1944

      Left on a 7 day furlough to London on Monday, June 19 & spent 2 days in Norwich with Ed Ruskowsky before going to London. Arrived in London on Wednesday at 12 noon & we left on Tuesday, June 27 at 5:06 p.m. We took in quite a few movies & a stage show. We also did quite a bit of walking about & at times had quite a time dodging those buzz bombs. Many Londoners were leaving London for northern cities when we were coming back. Had quite a time and spent over 30 pounds.

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Wednesday, July 28, 1944

      Got up at 12 noon today & read over all the mail that had accumulated while I was away. Received 13 letters in all & 7 were from Connie. In the afternoon, Jim, Joe & I took in the movie and saw "Reluctant Dragon" with Robert Benchley. Wrote a few letters in the afternoon & then went to the Aero Club. At 10 p.m. Jim, Findley & I have to go on guard duty & have to man the special guns which are .50 cal. ground guns located in a pit.

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Thursday, June 29, 1944

      Was relieved from guard duty at 6 a.m., went to breakfast & then hit the sack for a few hours. Matter of fact, I slept up to 11 a.m., at which time I went to dinner & then took in the afternoon movie & saw "This Land Is Mine" starring Charles Laughton & Maureen O'Hara. In the evening I wrote a few letters & then went to the Aero Club for some coffee and sandwiches. Came back to our hut at 10 p.m. and we all discussed the war.

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Friday, June 30, 1944

     This morning I awoke at 10 a.m. and then all of the fellows & I got together and cleaned the hut out and policed up around it. In the afternoon we all got paid and I received 35 pounds, 15 shillings, but I owed 35 pounds, so I didn't make much on the transaction. I sure did spend a lot on my 7-day furlough. Findley and I are on guard duty again to-nite, manning special .50 cal. Ground guns against low strafing planes. Wrote to Connie and my sister Jo.

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Saturday, July 1, 1944

      Was relieved from guard duty at 3 am by Findley. He was late in relieving me at 2 am. Came right back to the sack and slept right up to noon. This noon I washed up, shaved and got dressed in order to go to town. I handed some laundry in and made out a $10 money order for Connie's birthday. Here's nothing in town that's halfway decent for a birthday gift. Came back from town on the 11 p.m. liberty run.

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Sunday, July 2, 1944

      Awoke this morning at 11;30 am so I missed Mass. After dinner I took in the movies and saw Bambi. No mail whatsoever today so I just wrote to Connie and my sister Jeanne. I hung around the Aero Club early in the evening and then I came back to the hut & played some recordings on the victrola which we borrowed from the Red Cross. Have to go on guard duty at 10 p.m.

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Monday, July 3, 1944

      Was relieved from guard duty at 6 a.m., went to chow and then shaved and washed up a bit. Ed and I signed up for a pass to town starting at 1 p.m. so I slept all morning, got up at 11 a.m., dressed went to dinner and then took the liberty run into town. Brought a pair of boots in to have repaired, and also put in an order for a set of ribbons. Ed and I came back on the 10 p.m. liberty run.

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Tuesday, July 4, 1944

      Awoke this morning at 7 a.m., went to breakfast and then hit the sack again and slept to 1 p.m. This noon I went to the ship and hung around the shack for a few hours. Came back to the hut and aired out my blankets and cleaned up a bit around my bunk. Played a few hands of blackjack with the boys and lost 4 shillings. Not bad! Have to go on guard duty again to-nite with Findley at 10 p.m.

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Wednesday, July 5, 1944

      Was relieved from guard duty at 6 a.m., went to breakfast and then went over to the ablutions to wash up and shave. Went to bed at 7:15 a.m., awoke at 11 a.m., dressed, ate and then took the liberty run into Norwich with Ed Ruskowsky. Took in a movie and saw "Higher and Higher" with Frank Sinatra, Saw it last in San Francisco last January. In the evening I went drinking at Beck's and at the Coach and Horses. Came back on the 10 p.m. liberty run.

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Thursday, July 6, 1944

      This morning I awoke at 7 a.m., went to breakfast because we had fresh eggs and then came back to the sack and slept until 11 a.m. at which time I went to dinner. In the afternoon, Findley, Eldert and I were called down to the Orderly Room and there found out that we were being shipped out to a new group, the 491st. We got our clearance from the field and started getting things together. Have to go on guard duty with Findley to-nite.

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Friday, July 7, 1944

      Relieved at 6 a.m., went to breakfast & then went to bed & awoke at 12 noon. This is really a swell life, but today is the last. Work only 4 hours out of every 48 hrs.! Got all packed up in the afternoon, received our orders & then saw our pilot & co-pilot before leaving. I really hate to leave Ed Ruskowsy & Joe Widincamp behind, but that's the way war goes along. You meet swell buddies & then you have to part from them. We have to be ready to leave at 7 a.m. in the morning.

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Saturday, July 8, 1944

      Awoke at 6 a.m., went to chow & then at 7:45 a.m. packed all our baggage on the G.I. trucks in order to leave for the 491st. There were 27 of us in the entire convoy & we left the 93rd B.G. at 8:40 a.m. & arrived at the 491st at 9:10 a.m. It took us exactly 1/2 hr. to make the trip. It's only a short hop between groups, so I guess I can make it back to the 93rd any day. We were assigned to the 855th B.S. and we're supposed to go on guard duty for a period of 3 months. The base is ok up to now.

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Sunday, July 9, 1944

      This morning I got up at 11 a.m. for I was pretty tired from yesterday's toil. In the afternoon after dinner I went to the Aero Club & met the rest of the boys from the 93rd including Jimmy & Findley. Handed all my reports & files & also met our operational officers & talked about our flying pay. At 8:30 p.m. Billie Barton & I went on guard duty for our first nite. I also wrote quite a few letters during he day.

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Monday, July 10, 1944

      This morning I was relieved from guard duty at 7 a.m. & went straight to the sack after chow. Awoke at 3 p.m. washed up & shaved , then wrote a few letters. This evening Billie & I went over to the Aero Club & met the boys again. Jimmy wasn't on guard duty last nite, but had a detail today of loading boxes on trucks. This group isn't bad after all & I hope that these 3 months go by fast.

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Tuesday, July 11, 1944

      Was relieved at 6 a.m. this morning, went to chow & then hit the sack. Awoke at 1 p.m. & was too late for dinner, so instead went back to sleep. Got up at 3 p.m., washed up & then wrote a few letters after checking the mail. No mail has been forwarded as yet. Stopped at the Aero Club in the evening & met the boys. Went on guard duty again at 8:30 p.m. with Billie Barton.

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Wednesday, July 12, 1944

      Had quite a time on guard duty last nite cause there was no one on with me as scheduled. Slept from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. at which time Billie woke me up. Slept to 3 p.m. today & again checked the mail with no luck. Guard duty has been set up to 9:30 p.m. from 8:30 p.m. It gives us a chance to take in a movie in the evening if we want to. Wrote a few letters today & then took it easy up to 9:15 p.m. Oh, what a life!

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Thursday, July 13, 1944

      Was relieved from guard duty at 5:30 a.m. I pulled only 2 hrs. of it from 3:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. 'cause armament was loading bombs from midnite on. Went to bed at 6:30 a.m. & awoke at 3 p.m. Wrote a few letters in the afternoon & then saw our 1st Sgt. for a 48 hr. pass starting tomorrow noon. Had quite a time talking him into it 'cause combat men only get a 24 hr. pass. Jim Eldert is still laying around doing nothing & Findley is working on an A-20.

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Friday, July14, 1944

      Had an easy nite on duty 'cause all planes are grounded because of weather. Slept most of the nite on the flight deck & got up only when the Sgt. came up to bring us food & coffee. Am going on a 48 hr. pass starting at noon so there's no time to sleep. Have to wash up, shave, dress and also get a shortarm before leaving. Bill Barton & I have decided to stay in Norwich 'cause I'm broke and had to borrow 2 pounds.

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Saturday and Sunday, July 15 & 16, 1944

      Went to Hardwick on Saturday to see Lt. Jordak & Shubek off. They're leaving for the 12th R.T.C.D which means the States for both of them. I also picked up some snapshots which were being developed at the base photo lab at the 93rd. Spent our time in Norwich Saturday evening & Sunday up to 2 p.m., at which time we took the run back into camp. Saw D. DeMarco & Sonny Ginno in town. Don has a girlfriend from Scotland by the name of Anne. He expects to marry her.

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Monday, July 17, 1944

      Was on guard duty again last nite & slept all the way through because of no mission scheduled. On Saturday evening while out on pass the bomb dump here at the 491st blew up because a few Negroes were careless & 13 B-24's from the 853rd Sq. were damaged by the bomb fragments. Most of them are beyond repair. General Jimmy Doolittle was over this noon to inspect the damage & Major General Hodge was with him. Doolittle flew in on a B-26.

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Tuesday July 18, 1944 to Friday, July 21, 1944

      Pulled guard duty every nite & it wasn't too bad for we had early take-offs each morning & of course we were relieved early. On Thursday evening July 20th all of the ex-combat men of the 93rd B.G. received the D.F.C. & were given a little lecture by the group C.O. Colonel Miller. We've had some good weather all week & missions were pulled regularly by this group. Few planes lost in operations.

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Friday July 21, 1944 to Sunday, July 23, 1944

      Bill & I went out on a 48 hr. pass to Norwich & we also visited the fellows at the 93rd. Ed has 29 in & Joe has 26 in. Both of them are sorry they didn't finish up with Lt. Jordak. Lts. Jordak & Shubek have been gone a week now & they should be in the States before long. Norwich is getting to be a lousy town 'cause it's so crowded with G.I.'s & the pubs run out of beer.

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Monday, July 24 to Friday, July 28, 1944

      This week of guard duty was really a snap with an average of 3 1/2 hrs. of duty a nite. Monday was Connie's 24th birthday & all I could do was to send her a check for $10. There's nothing in this country worth while to send home without obtaining rationing points or coupons. We should be getting a furlough starting on August 1. Bill & I expect to go to London & Oxford.

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Monday, July 31, 1944 to Friday, August 4, 1944

      This is our last week of guard duty before Bill & I receive our 7 day furlough. It's been pretty tough staying awake on duty this past week cause they aren't pulling any early morning missions. Today, Friday August 4 we start out on our furlough with a 48 hr. pass included. I'm going to try my best to look up Jake & Dominick Pettigrass in London & Oxford. Bill is going to Derby & then to London.

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Friday, August 4, 1944 to Sunday, August 13

      Went to Oxford from Norwich by jeep with a M/Sgt. & passed thru Cambridge, Bedford & other historical towns. Was in Oxford by 5 p.m. Saturday, August 5 & got the Liberty run into Jake's camp at 11 p.m. Stayed overnite & came into town with Jake the following day (Sunday). Left Oxford on Monday & met Bill in London on Wednesday, August 9th. Had swell weather all the time while on furlough 7 had a good time. Left London on Sunday at 5 p.m. & arrived at Norwich at 9:30 p.m.

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August 14, 1944 to August 21, 1944

      Pulled guard duty on Monday nite but our whole group was moving out on Wednesday for another field so no guard duty on Tuesday. Arrived at our new base Wednesday morning & we found out that guard duty was discontinued from that day on. Then rest of the week we just took it easy & got ready to pack & leave for an R.C.D. We were told that we'd be leaving as soon as possible. Good deal.

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Monday, August 22, 1944 to Monday, August 29. 1944

      On the 22nd we were told to clear the field for we were leaving the next day for the 12th R.C.D.. We were on our way home finally. We left Wednesday, August 23rd at 6 a.m. & arrived at Charley 12th R.C.D. at 5 p.m. On Friday I was on KP & on Saturday evening August 26th I went into town with Bill Barton & the rest of the fellows. Had a fairly good time until 9:30 p.m. when we got into a fight with a bunch of Limey's. We may ship out on August 29th.

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Wednesday, August 30, 1944, 5 a.m.

      Well, today is my happiest day in the ETO, cause I'm leaving at 6:30 a.m. for an airfield in Scotland in order to catch a transport plane home. There's 11 enlisted men leaving & two of them are Clemmo & Parker from the 93rd B.G. Bill Barton still has to remain here at Charley, but he should be able to get home real soon. Cheerio England & here's to America, Connie & Carol. "God Save the King." Ha Ha.

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----- Mike Fantasia

        mfantasia@earthlink.net

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