JANUARY 1 MONDAY
-.- NEW YEARS DAY -.-
– 12 TO GO
23ND MISSION – COBLENZ, GERMANY
Got up at 3:30a.m. Briefed at 4:30 a.m. Took off at 8:00 a.m. Landed at 3:00 p.m. Got “flak” three times today, once at the primary target (Oil dump) and at the target of last resort & then again going back over the front lines. Hit marshaling yard with 38 – 100lbs. G.P.’s Oxy. For 3 ½ hours. 41 degrees below 0. Half our group chopped on the primary and half on Coblenz. Saw smoke from oil dump. The other was (P.F.F.) Boy did I have a hang-over. Everything went wrong today.
JANUARY 2 TUESDAY
Stood down today, because of a shortage of ships. We flew only 13 our of the group. We’ve been losing quite a few ships lately. Got up at 11:30 a.m. and we all really needed the sleep. Got a hair cut, which I needed very much. Took a shower, my first of the new year. I also needed that very much. Got my rations. Sowed on my staff stripes. Got some new ships in today. The “limy” finally came for the laundry. I thought I was going to have to do it.
3 OAK LEAF CLUSTERS
– 11 TO GO
24TH MISSION – ASCHAFFENBURG, GERMANY
Got up at 3:30a.m. Briefed at 5:00a.m. Take off 7:30a.m. Landed at 4:00p.m. We didn’t have any flak come very close to us, none over target. We dropped 12 – 500 lbs. on marshaling yards. We missed them last time and hit the town (T.S.) There was one jet job reported in the area, but we didn’t see him. Oxy. 5 hours. 31 degrees below 0. Bomb run 12 minutes. #2 engine was throwing oil. Bombed at 21,300 ft. Saw the Alps mountain range. Flew deputy lead.
JANUARY 4 THURSDAY
No mission today because of adverse weather conditions. Got up at 9:00a.m. and had to go to ground school for about half an hour. Layed around in the hut and read most of the day, it was too man clod outside. Got some food from the mess-hall and had quite a snack tonight. Boy, is our hut a mess. Lost a couple of… (undecipherable)
JANUARY 5 FRIDAY
Got us up at 5:30a.m. for a #!&%! practice mission. Briefed at 7:00a.m. Took off at 9:00a.m. Landed at 1:00p.m. Bombed two practive targets at 20,000ft. 3 hours of oxy. 32 degrees below 0. It snowed pretty hard last night and there’s about one inch of it on the ground today. It looks nice, but it’s cold as hell. Played a little ping-pong. We found out today that we’re lead crew. This is a hellofa time.
JANUARY 6 SATURDAY
– 10 TO GO
25TH MISSION – LUDWICKSHAVEN, GERMANY
Got up at 2:15a.m. Briefed at 4:30a.m. Took off at 7:30a.m. Landed at 3:30p.m. Bombed marshaling yards with 6 – 1,000lbs. G.P.’s on
P.F.F. There were 250 flak guns over target and they put up a hell of a barrage, but luckily we didn’t get hit. Oxy. 5 hours. 52 degrees below
0. Bomb run 12 minutes. Our field was closed in when we got back and we had to land at Sudbury. Had good fighter support. Thick con-trails. We’re getting a new ship soon.
JANUARY 7 SUNDAY
– 9 TO GO
26TH MISSION – PADERBORN, GERMANY
Got up at 3:00a.m. Briefed at 4:00a.m. Took off at 7:30a.m. Landed at 2:30p.m. Had to go over to Sudbury to get our ship and took off from there. Flak over the target was moderate to intense & pretty accurate. We bombed railway repair shops & round house with 12 –
500 lbs. G.P.’s on P.F.F. Oxy. 5 hours, 44 degrees below 0. Bomb run 12 minutes. Good flight support. We hit some bad weather coming back. We flew with a different group. Bombed at 24,300 ft.
JANUARY 8 MONDAY
No mission today and we really needed the rest. The “Wheels”, however, decided to have a parade in preparation for Wed., when a General is coming to inspect our base. They got us out about 10:00a.m. and marched us about a mile in a snow storm. We really had some know today, about two inches. We are probably going to the “Flak” home tomorrow, I hope. We had quite a meal in the hut tonight. Spam, chicken soup and chocolate.
JANUARY 9 TUESDAY
Stood down again today. We’re still sweating out a “Flak” leave. My crew is off flying for a while, they say we’ve been flying too much lately. It’s still snowing pretty hard and is now about three inches deep. We had to clean all the stuff off the shelves and fix up the hut. A general is coming to inspect our base tomorrow. Our new ship got shot up in a raid on Frankfurt.
Stood down today for the big inspection by a two star general. This is the first time I’ve ever really seen our hut clean. We had another big snow storm today and there’s now four inches of snow on the ground. It was cold as hell out on the perimeter while he inspected us and it snowed. Went to Bwny. St. Edmon with Ward. Took showers. Murphy came to see me, was sure glad to see him.
JANUARY 11 THURSDAY
Got up at 11:30a.m. this morning, we’ve really been getting the sack time these last few days. Murphy left to go back to his base. It snowed again today, not as much as yesterday. We found out we’re not getting a “Flak” leave yet, but we’re going on pass tomorrow. Cleaned up my clothes and pressed by pants to get ready for London. This is our first pass in a month and a half. London here I come.
JANUARY 12 FRIDAY
Got up at 9:00a.m. and had to rush like hell to catch the 9:30a.m. bus. It rained last night and all the snow is just about melted. We arrived in London at about 1:00p.m. The whole crew, except for Ward, came in together. We couldn’t get a room at the Regent, so we stayed at the Hamilton House. What a dump. Went to a show & hit quite a few “Pubs”. Got lost.
JANUARY 13 SATURDAY
Got up at 10:00a.m. and sent to the Victory Café and had two steaks for breakfast. Went back to Regent and got a room for three, but all five of us slept there. Met “Frenchy”. What a character! She showed us some swell places to eat. Went to Covent Gardens to the dance. Boy, was it crowded. Came back to the Regent about 12:00p.m. and ordered some sandwiches
& beer up to the room. Rivas & Rat slept on the floor.
JANUARY 14 SUNDAY
Got up at about 11:00a.m. My aching back, am I corked out. Had another steak breakfast. Boy, do I love those things. Sat around the hotel most of the day and talked to the characters. We had to catch a train at 5:00p.m. and “Frenchy” saw us to the station. We’ve adopted her as a good luck charm. Got back to base at 9:30p.m. Were alerted for tomorrow and I’m beat.
JANUARY 15 MONDAY
No mission for Olin’s crew today, thank God. They only used six crews from our Sqd. Collins came in about 8:00a.m. and told us we’re going to the “Flak” home tomorrow. The luck seems to be with us. We found out that Johnny got a destroyed out of his fighter & Bogo & I got a damaged. We really need the “Flak” leave since we went to London. Nine days of peace and quite. Rodger
JANUARY 16 SUNDAY
Left for London at 9:30a.m. Arrived at 1:00p.m. and tried to get a room at the Regent Palace, they were filled up, so we stayed at the Red Cross. Had a few drinks at the Regent bar and went to the show. Saw “Since You Went Away”. A good picture. Had a bite to eat at the “Corner House” and hit the sack. We leave for the Rest Home tomorrow.
JANUARY 17 MONDAY
We left London today for Molesford. Our rest home is near there. The name of the place we stay at is “BUCKLANDS”. We didn’t expect it to be very good, but it turned out much better then I ever expected it could be. We checked in about 1:00p.m. and they gave us civilian clothes. We played a game of football against an officer’s rest home and beat them 14 – 0 and won back the fur lined “P” pot.
JANUARY 18 TUESDAY
We were awakened this morning by Whitie (our butler) and given tomatoe juice in bed. I then proceeded to go back to sleep. Boy, was I sore all over from that football game yesterday. Layed around all morning. The Red Cross girls here are all really swell. Ange, Tish and Marian. Ange is from San Francisco. We had a give of baseball with the officers again and beat them 20 – 19. Good game.
Went into town this morning. Wallingford is its name, it’s a very nice little town. Ward and I bought some things to take home. We made an appointment to make some pictures. We shot some skeet and had a movie show in the afternoon. Benny Hamrick, the Col. And I went into town at night and had a few beers. lThere was a dance at Benson, about two miles, so we rode our bikes over.
JANUARY 20 THURSDAY
Just made breakfast this morning. Played some poker all morning and won a pound-ten. Shot some skeet in the afternoon. Had a game of basketball with another E.M. rest home and beat them 36 – 8. We really have a sharp team. Our officer, in charge of the home, is really a swell guy. We had a snack when we got back home.
JANUARY 21 FRIDAY
Missed breakfast this morning, got up at noon. That basketball game last night really did it. I can hardly walk. Benny, Jim, Put, Bogo and I got eager and decided to play a round of golf. It was a nice course, but all up hill. We lost 10 balls and had to quit on the 7th hole. I had a 56 score and only lost one of the balls. We drank more beer last night.
JANUARY 22 SATURDAY
It snowed all day today and it’s pretty cold out. Marian, Ray, and I rode into town on our bikes and bought some more things to take home. We played cards most of the afternoon and had a game of volley ball, we won two out of three games. It was pretty slippery on the snow. Put and I shot a little archery. Had a movie at nighty and Benny and I emptied the beer keg.
JANUARY 23 SUNDAY
Slept till noon again today. Played the officers a game of football and ended in a scoreless tie. It was slippery as hell and snowed a little. Shot some more skeet. Played another game of basketball and beat the officers 46 – 10 and won another “P” pot for dear old Bucklands. Had another picture and drank some more beer. We’re leaving tomorrow and really dread it.
JANUARY 24 MONDAY
BUCKLANDS – LONDON
Got up for breakfast and started to get ready to leave for London. It was just like leaving home. They really treated us swell. They invited us back again, if we get the chance. We arrived back in London at about 4:00p.m. and got rooms at the Regent Palace. Went to the show “Frenchmen Creek” and had a bite to eat. Hit the sack early.
JANUARY 25 TUESDAY
LONDON - CAMP
Got up at 11:00a.m. and had some breakfast at the “Corner House”. Left London to go back to camp at 1:00p.m. Arrived back at 4:00p.m. There’s plenty of snow on the ground up here too. Found out that Lee Baldwin, a kid in our hut got credit for 2 fighters. It sure feels funny to be back here. Wrote some letters and hit the sack early.
No mission today, bad weather. Got up at about 11:00a.m. Layed around most of the day. Had a meeting of all crews to give out citations. My crew got another Oak Leaf Cluster for the Air Medal. Wrote some letters and read. Played some cards. All the pipes are frozen up, and we can’t wash or use the can.
JANUARY 27 THURSDAY
Got up this morning to go on a mission at 3:15a.m., but it was scrubbed because of fog. It was to Hamburg and a darn good one to get scrubbed. We we’re to hit the submarine press in the city. Went back to the sack and slept till after twelve. Made a raid on the lumber pile and have a nice pile in our hut at the present. Read and wrote a few letters.
JANUARY 28 SUNDAY
No mission today for the same old reason. We’ve had quite a bit of snow lately and it ‘s cold as hell in reverse. All the water pipes are frozen up and we can’t get any water on our site at all. It’s been that was for about a week and we’re getting pretty P.O.’d about it. They’re using a blow torch on the pipes to try an thaw them out.
JANUARY 29 MONDAY
– 8 TO GO 27TH MISSION – KASSEL, GERMANY
Got up at 0300. Briefed 0430. Took off 0800. Landed at 1500. Got a lot of flak over the target, but it was inaccurate. We bombed marshaling yards with 12 – 500lbs. Navy G.P.’s (P.F.F.) Briefed for 95 flak guns over target. On oxygen 4 ½ hours. 54 degrees below 0. Heavy con-trails. Bandits were reported in the area. Instructor got sick over target.
JANUARY 30 TUESDAY
Got up at noon today. Got my first good nights sleep in a week. You can really sleep after a mission. We had a wind storm last night and it blew the snow into drifts about three feet deep. Had a good snow fight with some of the boys in the hut. Had a “meeting of all combat crews”. Gasser’s crew is going to the flak home tomorrow, so we can get ahead of them again.
Stand down again today. Fog and rain. It was quite a bit warmer today than yesterday. Got up at noon. Cleaned the guns. Took a much needed shower and got my rations. Played hearts with Johnny, Bud and Lee for most of the evening. Wrote some letters and read a little. There iss a big black-jack game on, so I guess we won’t get to bed very early tonight. Not alerted yet.