Got up at about 8:00a.m. and walked about a mile to chow. Lousy food here. Thank God we’re leaving today. We left Valley, Wales at 11:00a.m. and hopped a railway (train) for our reclassification center. We arrive in Stone, England at 4:00p.m.
Went to town tonight with a bunch of the boys. My first trip to an English town. It was dark as hell, but pretty nice, at least it was something unique. Drank a little beer (light and dark) and it wasn’t bad at all. It was a three mile walk to town. Changed our money to English.
Got mailroom detail today. Really tough. Had a dance tonight. Wacs and enlisted men only. It was too damn cold at the dance so I went to the barracks and hit the sack. (i.e.) There is a shortage of coal here in England and they only used it to help the war effort.
Got a job as latrine orderly today, really a “goldbrick” job. It will keep me off K.P. (it says here in small print).
Got K.P. tonight. It was really very easy, but it hurt my pride. Sliced butter most of the night and ate too much. Was on K.P. from 7:00p.m. till 2:00a.m.
We were told to pack our bags again today and be ready to go again in the morning. Slept most of the day and went to the Aero-Club at night
“487 BOMB GROUP”
Got up at 6:00a.m. and got our things ready to go. Left Stone at about 10:30a.m. and arrived at our permanent base at 4:00p.m. We came by train. We’re stationed at Lavenham, England with the 487 Bomb Gp. The old boys in our barracks just got back from Berlin. Their ship is “Bashful Bettsy”.
Had a few lectures and layed around most of the day.
The Jerries sent over a few “Buzz Bombs” just to let us know we were near the war zone (rather in it). They didn’t come very close, but we could see and hear them and believe me, they make a hell of a noise.
Drew some more equipment and turned some in. We were assigned lockers. More “Buzz Bombs” came over. The old crews in our Sqd. went on another mission today somewhere over Germany. They must be blasting hell out of the place.
Went to school today. “Buzz Bombs” were coming over in pairs tonight and one came too damn close for comfort. I really got a good look at this one as it came right over my barracks about 100 ft. high. What a hell of a noise they make. About 15 came over during the night. We had one “Crash Alert”.
Had a rest today, no school, no nothing.
Played a little “snooker” and “ping pong”.
No “Buzz Bombs” tonight.
Had school all day today. Just heard a “Buzz Bomb” go off a few minutes ago. It made a hell of a racket. We’ve had two “Red” alerts tonight already. Plenty windy and rainy outside.
Made Sergeant today. I’ll really be pulling in the “Jack” now.
(flying pay) .50%
(overseas pay) .20
$140.40 per month
We also got our new ship today. Haven’t seen her yet.
Went to school today, all afternoon. Slept late this morning. Cleaned our guns about 10:00a.m. We got a look at our new ship (It’s one of the oldest in the Group). It wasn’t a bad looking job, but it has seen a lot of action. It has about 400 holes in it from the “Jerry” flack.
Went to ground school again today.
Cleaned my guns (we have to clean them every day whether we fly of not). It’s a good idea, we may need them badly someday. Went to the show with Ward. Saw “Born to Sing”.
No “Buzz Bombs” today.
Ground school again today. Last day of it, I hope. Named our ship today.
A very suitable name, seeing it has 400 or more patches on it.
Went to Bury St. Edmund tonight with Ward. They have a damn nice Red Cross House there. Didn’t see much of the town. Too damn dark. Had a few “Buzz Bombs” come over in town.
Had a position check today, to see if we knew our position. O.K. It only took about an hour. Had the rest of the day off.
They handed out some medals to some of the fellows around here. D.F.C.’s and Oak Leaf Clusters.
Went to the show with Ward, Johnson & Bolton. Saw “Two’s a Crowd”.
More about "Honorable Patches"
Went to school all day today.
Went to show at night and saw “Sweet and Low Down”.
A “Buzz Bomb” came over at about 1:00a.m. this morning and hit about half a mile from our barracks. Boy! What a hell of a noise it made, it shook the whole barracks (Close!).
Went on a sight seeing tour today. We took off at 10:00 a.m. and got down at 2:00 p.m. We flew over quite a bit of England. We flew at 15,000 feet and really had a swell view of the countryside. Its a beautiful country. Were scheduled for a night flight, but it was called off because of rain.
Went to ground school this morning.
Had a cross country flight this afternoon. We saw a lot more of England. We flew over Manchester, London, Ipswich and many other large English cities.
We got lost and landed on the wrong air-field by mistake. We were up for about six hours. Anyone can make a mistake.
Thought we were going on a mission today, but it rained and we stayed down. Slept late.
Rivas is over here now. Went out at 6:30p.m. to shoot some night landings. Called us out of a good show. We made two landings and then went off the runway into the mud. Up to the hub in mud. Tough one.
Thought sure they would send us on a mission today, but for some reason we didn’t go. Instead we went on another practice mission. Formation flying for three hours.
This morning we had another “crash” alert and it didn’t miss us by far.
We are alerted for a combat mission in the morning again. I hope we make this one and get started on our 35 missions.
34 TO GO
FIRST MISSION TODAY – MUNSTER, GER.
Got up at 6:00a.m. Briefed at 7:30a.m. Took off at 10:00a.m. Oxygen for five hours. Pretty easy mission, not much “flack”. Bombed on P.F.F. (overcast). Dropped 12 500 lb. bombs (G.P.) on a railroad marshalling yard. Saw quite a bit of “flack” over Hanover. Ward had a little anoxia. I threw out “chaff”. Landed at about 4:45p.m. 32 degrees below 0.
GOT A GOOD LOOK AT A BUZZ BOMB
Got up at about 6:00 a.m. this morning. Thought it may be another combat mission, but it was only for a practice high altitude mission. It was scrubbed because of bad weather. Had a little “Jam Handy” in the afternoon. Rained all day. Call us out again at 7:00 p.m. for night landings. Made three. One ship cracked up pretty bad. No one was killed.
Got up at about 11:00a.m. this morning, plenty of sleep. The whole field was grounded today. Played “ping pong” and “snooker” most of the day and took things easy. Had a meeting of all crews at 2:00p.m. for an hour.
Had a few more “Buzz Bombs” come over. We’re alerted for a mission tomorrow.
Got us up at 7:30a.m. to go on what we thought would be our second mission. Went to briefing at 9:30a.m. Found out we were going to bomb some Sub Bases at Heligoland, just off Denmark. We took off at 11:00a.m. and got to altitude and we were called back. What a robbery! It would have been a good mission too. Landed about 2:00p.m. Went to Halloween party at night.
33 TO GO
SECOND MISSION TODAY – BOMBED HANOVER, GERMANY
Got up at 6:00a.m. Briefed at 7:30a.m. Take off at 10:30a.m. Pretty hot mission. Quite a bit of “flack”. Dropped 5 (500 lbs.) G.P.’s and 5 Incendiaries. Bombed ammunition and armory factory. Used P.F.F., pretty cloudy. None of our group was hit. Landed at 5:35p.m. About 6 hours on Oxygen. Good fighter support as usual. 34 degrees below zero.
Got us up at 3:45a.m. this morning and we started out on another mission, but it was scrubbed again. It was raining and it was miserable weather. We really sweat it out, for it was a really rough one. It was to be Mersburg, Germany and there are plenty of fighters & lots of flack there. We took it easy for the rest of the day and went to the show at night.
32 TO GO
THIRD MISSION TODAY – HAMM, GERMANY
Got us up at 4:00a.m. Briefed at 5:00a.m. Took off at 7:45a.m. Where hit twice by pretty accurate “flack”, but no one in our group was damaged badly. Dropped 20 – 250 lb. G.P.’s on the large Marshalling yards (Railroad). We used P.F.F. It was cloudy over the target, but we got a good look at Germany & Holland most of the way. We were at 29,500 ft. over target. 42 degrees below zero.
Got back at about 2:30p.m. Oxygen for 6 hours.
No mission today, thank God. We were all pretty tired from yesterdays mission. (The reason – It rained all morning). Got up at 10:00 a.m., slept from 6:30 p.m. last night. Feel pretty good today. Won a shilling from Ward playing snookers. Came back to barracks right after supper and wrote a few letters. Played some checkers, read the paper and hit the sack at 10:00 p.m.
Sweat out a mission again today, but the weather was against us again, so we stayed down. That is, we stayed down from a combat mission, but we went on a practice high altitude mission. Lasted for about four hours and Ward got Jack Benny on the radio at 20,000 ft.
Went to the show at night, saw “Diamond Jim”. Sacked 10:30p.m.
Sweat it out again today, but we didn’t get called. They called out every crew in our sqd. except us and the other crew in our barrack. They only have one more mission to go and it was a hot mission, so they weren’t called. We don’t know why we weren’t called. The mission was scrubbed again, however. Guess why? Had a little jam-handy. Got all my clothes fixed up and shined my shoes, for tomorrow we go on a 48 hour pass to London.