FEBRUARY 1 THURSDAY
No mission today, but we had to fly. We flew with Col. Baker, our group leader. He asked for the best crew in our Sqd., and they took us. The rest of the Sqds. had a mission and we looked over their formations. We were up for 2 ½ hours. We missed out on a very short mission. Went to the show with Rat. Played black-jack till 1:30a.m. and won five pound-ten.
Got up this morning for a mission and a hot one too. It was none other than Big “B” for Berlin. We were to help out the big Russian offensive by bombing hell out of the city. We were pretty glad to have is scrubbed, it would have been rough. Got back in the sack as soon as possible and was awoken at 1030 for a damn practice mission. We were up for 4 ½ hours. Hit the sack early, we’re alerted for tomorrow.
FEBRUARY 3 SATURDAY
– 7 TO GO
28TH MISSION – BIG ‘B’ FOR BERLIN, GERMANY
Got up at 0330. Briefed at 0400. Took off at 0730. Landed at 1600. Flak over target was moderate and very inaccurate. They must be using most of their flak guns on the Russians. We dropped our bombs right in the heart of the city 6 – 500lbs G.P.’s & 4 – 500lbs. M&T’s. The bomber stream was 300 miles long. Good fighter support. Oxy. For 5 hours. Bombed at 26,500 ft. 44 degrees below 0. Saw the Oder River, where the Russians are fighting.
No mission today, got up at 1:00p.m. Missed breakfast and lunch. I was really corked after yesterday’s mission. Had an hour of Jam Handy and went to the afternoon show. Saw “Kismet”, pretty good show. Got quite a lot of mail and wrote quite a few letters in the evening. We’re the only crew in the hut now and it’s nice & quiet for a change. The two other crews are on pass. We go on pass the 8th.
FEBRUARY 5 SATURDAY
Got up this morning at 0315 to go on a mission. It was scrubbed because of bad weather. It was a good one to get scrubbed, because it was Munich and that’s a rough one. After it was scrubbed I went back to the sack again and slept till afternoon. The laundry man came with my clean laundry and came again for the dirty at noon, while I was asleep, and took my clean stuff by mistake, for dirty.
– 6 TO GO 29TH MISSION – CHAMNITZ, GERMANY
Got up at 0315. Briefed at 0430. Took off at 0715. Landed at 1622. Not much flak over the target, just a few flak rockets. We got flak once going to target and twice coming out. We bombed marshaling yards with 10 – 500 lbs. G.P.’s (P.F.F) in Liepzig area. On oxy. for six hours. 46 degrees below 0. Bomb run lasted ½ hour, longest yet. Good fighter support. Bad weather coming back, almost ran out of gas.
FEBRUARY 7 MONDAY
Stood down today. We’re all pretty tired from yesterdays mission, so it was a good deal. Laid around most of the day. Got stuck on detail for two hours (digging). We’re going on pass tomorrow.
FEBRUARY 8 TUESDAY
Got up at 0700 and went to breakfast. Caught the 1000 train for London. Got in at 1300 and got a room at the Brighton Hall Hotel, near Russell Square. Went to a stage show “When the Sun Shines”, Johnny, Bego and I. We had a box seat, no less.
Got a mud pack and facial today, nothing but the best. A rocket bomb landed three blocks from us, we were hit by broken glass. We went up to where it hit and it was really a horrible sight. It hit an apartment house.
FEBRUARY 10 TUESDAY
Just made the train back to camp, we slept a little too long. Got my laundry back, finally, and now I can wear clean underwear.
Played poker till 2300. Alerted for tomorrow.
Got up at 0200 this morning to go on a mission to Hanover. It was scrubbed, bad weather coming back to base. Went back to bed and slept till 1400.
FEBRUARY 12 MONDAY
Stood down today because of weather. Slept late and laid around most of the day. Got quite a few letters and answered them. Cleaned up the hit a little, was it a mess. We had a big game of poker here last night. Got a little dog in the hit now, but he is not house broken. He’s a cute little character, but he tears up everything he finds. He cut loose on one of the fellows beds, so we evicted him.
FEBRUARY 13 TUESDAY
We were stood down today for training. We went to school from 0900 to 1700 and it was the same old baloney (Gunnery, Aircraft Rect., ditching, etc.). We were alerted for a mission tomorrow at 1800. Played poker again and I was really hot, won ten pounds (40 bucks). Had a cheese sandwich before going to bed and didn’t get much sleep.
FEBRUARY 14 WEDNESDAY
– 5 TO GO 30TH MISSION – DULAN, GERMANY
Got up at 0300. Briefed at 0430. Took off at 0730. Landed 1330. Flak over target was moderate, but very accurate. We got 43 holes in our ship, three in the waist. One missed me by 3 inches. Bombed an oil storage dump with 6 – 1,000 lb. G.P.’s visually. On Oxy. 4 hours. 35 degrees below 0. Gasser’s crew got a direct hit on #2 engine over target, we thought he had it, but he’s back tonight. Pretty rough mission.
FEBRUARY 15 TTHURSDAY
– 4 TO GO 31ST MISSION – COTTBUS, GERMANY
Took off at 0700. Landed in France at 1530. We ran out of gas, it was the longest mission ever flown by the 8th A.F. No flak over target, a little over the lines. Hit marshaling yards with 6
– 500 lbs. G.P.’s (P.F.F.). We landed at Merville, France a few miles from Lille Wenlucky, hit the field in a heavy over cast with five minutes of gas left. One engine cut out over the field. Slept in ex-German headquarters.
FEBRUARY 16 FRIDAY
Hit the sack at 7:00p.m. last night and got up at 0800 this morning. We are quartered right in the center of town. German writing all over the place and all the bridges blown up. Got some souvenirs and looked over the town. They say 40% of the population are collaborationists and most of the young girls left with the Germans. What little French I know came in handy. The weather cleared this afternoon, so we took off for home. A P-51 pilot, who cracked-up, came home with us. Ollie made a beautiful landing in frost.
FEBRUARY 17 SATURDAY
Stood down today for training, but they still have us in France so no training for us. Got up at 1000 and made myself, and the rest of the chow-hounds in the hut, some breakfast from our K-rations we brought back from France. We have quite a bit left and it’s pretty good. Went to the afternoon show and saw “To Have or Have Not”. Good show. Wrote some letters and had a snack of K-rations before retiring.
FEBRUARY 18 SUNDAY
Stood down today because of lack of ships. Most of the shops in our group have major battle damage. They went to Frankfurt yesterday. Got up at 1100. Played poker most of the afternoon. Cleaned the guns and took a shower. The weather is really nice today, the best in four months. Wrote some letters. Made something to eat from the K-rations.
FEBRUARY 19 MONDAY
Stood down again today, no ships ready yet. Got up about 1030. They put us on detail again, picking up papers. It only lasted about
30 minutes, but hurt our pride. We played horse-shoes most of the afternoon. Had a meeting, an R.A.F. officer spoke on night fighters. Played some more horse-shoes in the evening. Fred & I played partners and won three straight games.
FEBRUARY 20 TUESDAY
– 3 TO GO 32nd MISSION – NURNBERG, GERMANY
Take off at 0830. Landed at 1717. Intense and accurate flak over target. We were lucky & didn’t get much. Saw one ship go down. Bombed marshaling yards in center of town with 20 – 250 lbs. G.P.’s. 22 minute bomb run. Got some damn accurate flak over liner coming out. Almost got us. The weather was the worst I’ve seen yet for flying a mission, half the ships got lost on the way over. Oxy. 4 hours. 37 below 0.
FEBRUARY 21 WEDNESDAY
Stood down today for training, but my crew, being an old and experienced crew, didn’t have any school. Got up at about 1100 and had a bite to eat. Got our rations and shot a little skeet. I hit 22 out of 25 my second round. Played some horse-shoes and had a couple of damn good games. We’re alerted again for tomorrow. Hit the sack early.
FEBRUARY 22 MONDAY
– 2 TO GO 33rd MISSION – ANSBACH, GERMANY
Got up at 0230. Briefed at 0400. Took off at 0705. Landed at 1635. No flak at any point, but the weather was bad enough to make up for the lack of flak. Bombed marshaling yards with 12 – 500 lbs. G.P.’s (P.F.F.). We were supposed to hit some yards in Czechoslavkia at 12,000 ft. (no less). 4 hours on oxy. 27 degrees below 0. Our sqds. lost each other again in the clouds. We really sweat this one out. Olin finishes on the next one.
FEBRUARY 23 WEDNESDAY
– 1 TO GO 34th MISSION – NEUMARKT, GERMANY
Got up at 0230. Briefed at 0400. No flak over target, but a little over lines. Took off at 0700. Landed at 1630. Bombed at 10,000 ft. visually. Made three passes at the target. It was the lowest this group ever bombed. Bandits were reported in the area. Boy, did I sweat. Dropped
12 – 500 lbs. G.P.’s on marshaling yards. 4
hours on oxy. 23 degrees below 0.
FEBRUARY 24 THURSDAY
– FINIS 35th MISSION – BREMEN, GERMANY
Got up at 2:30a.m. Briefed at 0400. Took off for the last rime at 0840. Landed at 1500. Flak was very intense & accurate, we didn’t get a scratch. Bombed the submarine pens with 12 –
500 lbs. G.P.’s at 25,700 ft. On oxy. for 5 hours. 35 degrees below 0. Out Co-pilot flew as pilot and did a swell job. Still can’t believe we make it. Had a big Sqd. Party and I got plastered, but good.