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242nd Medical Detachment War Diary

242nd Medical Detachment Diary Index

1943: Introduction, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
1944: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
1945: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr

Introduction

NOTICE: Portions of this material may be disturbing to read or inappropriate for young children. It is a medical diary and some descriptions are written with a professional and clinical detachment while other sections are written with an appreciable sense of humor. Readers are further cautioned that this material may be considered extremely sensitive by veterans and their family members - treat it appropriately.

U. S. EIGHTH
ARMY AIR FORCE
First Bombardment Division

381st Bombardment Group

Medical Detachment Diary
June 1943 to April 1945

Transcribed from microfilm by Dave Osborne

While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of this document, the task of copying text from old, ageing microfilm will inevitably lead to errors. Where the microfilm could not be read an omission is indicated by a series of dots or a question mark.

It is interesting to note that some of the spelling is in US English while other words are spelt in the British fashion.

MEDICAL HISTORY AAF STATION 167

This history is prepared in accordance with HQ Eighth Air Force Memorandum 25-16, beginning 4 June 1943.

INTRODUCTION:

In the compilation of this history, the day by day events have been largely ignored and have been only included when the events of the day have contributed some interesting fact or set of circumstances that might be contributory to the understanding of the medical history of the group.

The detailed description of the evolution of sanitary procedures, the treatment of combat crew casualties, the treatment of psychiatric casualties and problems of administration are presented in a general way using all the available data and facts and figures presented when helpful. After the presentation of most of the factual material there appears a commentary on current practices, procedures and suggestions on medicines which would probably make the medical department a more efficient and useful adjunct to the Air Forces.

Separate headings are presented which are complete studies and can be used without any reference to the remainder of the material presented.

The authors of this work are:

  • Major Ernest (NMI) Gaillard. Jr., 0-330166, MC
  • Captain Louis G. Ralston, 0-479721, MC
  • Captain Ralph M. Wymer, 0-478018, MC
  • Captain Bernard  E. Cohler, 0-382023, MC
  • Captain George J. Pease, 0-1609307, MC
  • 1st Lt Joseph V. Fick, 0-1543431, MAC

242nd MEDICAL DISPENSARY (AVIATION)

The squadron medical detachments are pooled to form one large detachment which renders medical service to all personnel on the station. Station Sick Quarters are located on a hill well away from the light line and easily available to evacuation from the base (AAF Site 14). Herein a located two wards, one for officers and one for enlisted men, a crash room for emergency surgical procedure, a sick call room, pharmacy, medical supply store room, a small laboratory, offices of the Surgeon and the administrative branch of the detachment and a decontamination center in duplicate arrangement.

The dental department is set up in the former WAAF Site Sick Quarters which is located in AAF Site 12. Here is also located an additional ward, which takes care of any overflow of patients from station sick quarters and which is used for cases of venereal disease and other contagious diseases.

The medical detachment operates as a psuedo-independent organization having its own living site for enlisted personnel. This is composed of two barracks adjacent to the main sick quarters installation. An acting detachment commander has been appointed through whom the enlisted men receive the duty assignments, passes, etc.

The medical service of the base has been divided into different categories with a specific officer in charge of each, for example, Captain Wymer has been designated  Equipment Liaison Officer, acting as liaison between the medical Department and the group equipment office. In this way the status of the equipment is known at all times and a close check can be made of the various first-aid kits on the aircraft. So, too, in the case of base medical inspector, venereal disease control, respiratory disease control, etc.

Daily sick call is handled by all of the medical officers, as is the ward work, one officer being in charge of the wards for a week at a time. The medical officers rotate M.O.D. duties daily.

MISSIONS: Two flight surgeons attend each briefing and see the planes off on the mission. The medical department issues candy rations to each combat crew member going on the mission. Coffee and cookies are also given out before take-off by the ambulance drivers and first-aid men.

When the planes return from a mission, five ambulances are stationed at the control tower and the receiving end of the runway to receive casualties. At least two medical officers are present with these ambulances which, in addition to the regular first-aid kits, also have a surgical kit which can be used for emergency treatment.


 

June 1943

 

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

JUNE 1943

4 June 1943 – The medical detachment of the 381st BG, including HQ, 532nd Squadron, 533rd Squadron, 534th Squadron and 535th Squadron, arrived by train at AAF Station 167, after landing in the U.K. at a more northern post in Scotland, Firth of Clyde.

Station sick quarters had earlier been occupied by the R.A.F. 90 Squadron, and taken over by the 330th Service Squadron, 100th Service Group and HQ Squadron, HQ Squadron 318th Service Group, operated by the combined medical detachments of the above mentioned groups. The 381st Group Surgeon, Major Garfield P. Schnabel, who accompanied the flight echelon has not yet arrived at this station. Patients from the advance party were being cared for at the station sick quarters and several were admitted from the new arrivals at the station.

The physical layout is such that three Nissen huts with connecting hallways house a war containing 14 cots for enlisted men, and a smaller ward of three cots for officers. Only cases of minor illness or injury  will be cared for in quarters if the duration of confinement is thought not to require longer than seven to ten days.

Roster of medical personnel as of this date.

Headquarters:

  • Cpl Maurice K. Lemasters
  • Pfc Michael W. Spack
  • Pfc Stanley A. Johnson

532nd BS:

  • Cpl Wallace V. Leblanc
  • Cpl Frank Horoviak
  • Pfc William Manway
  • Pfc Robert Ball
  • Pfc Eugene Kelly
  • Pfc Durrell W. Wayland
  • Pvt Francis Knight
  • Pvt Raymond Lashure

533rd BS:

  • Sgt William O. Stone
  • Cpl Joseph Babich
  • Cpl William Piech
  • Pfc Marshall Miller
  • Pfc Malcolm F. Robertson
  • Pfc Charles Denning
  • Pfc  William Perrels
  • Pfc Arlin T. Atkinson

534th BS:

  • Sgt Homer B. Stamp
  • Cpl Olaf C. Ostervett
  • Cpl August Birdsal
  • Pfc Jack Austin
  • Pfc William Greene
  • Pfc John A. Raab
  • Pvt Anthony J. Coral

535th BS:

  • Sgt Howard  W.  Bown
  • Cpl William H. Bassett
  • Cpl George Monch
  • Pfc Maynard  O. Payne
  • Pfc Edward Poynor
  • Pfc Harvey King
  • Pfc Charles Timonere
  • Pfc James   (quaintance?????

630th Service Squadron:

  • Sgt Henry H. Thomas
  • Cpl Milton Smith
  • Cpl Ranzy Leree
  • Cpl Carroll F. Campbell
  • Pfc Joseph Danning
  • Pfc  Emil  (Pukachezski????????)
  • Pvt Forrest Stansbury

312th Service Group HQ:

  • Sgt Donald Lockwood
  • Cpl Milton Patterson
  • T/5 Clarence Harman
  • Pfc Arthur Reder
  • Pfc Edward Standel
  • Pfc William Sharitz
  • Pvt Brian Marlovich
  • Pvt Martin Prendergast
  • Pvt Joe Coleman

OFFICERS

Medical

  • 532nd BS – 1st Lt Bernard E. Cohler
  • 533rd  BS – Capt Louis G. Ralston
  • 534th BS – Capt Milton H. Bland
  • 535th BS – Capt Cornelius J. Dwyer
  • 312th Serv Gp – 1st Lt W. G. Fessler

Dental

  • HQ 381st BG – Capt Leslie F. Jones
  • 312th Serv Gp – Capt Lee Scholnik

5 June – Major Hall, Surgeon 4th Bombardment Wing visited the station and outlined and discussed briefly the Medical Set-up and reports required in this Theater of Operations.

The detachment of the 12th Evacuation Hospital, Braintree, Essex Co., was visited in the afternoon for the purpose of learning the correct procedure of admitting patients requiring evacuation from base sick quarters.

6 June – Major Schnabel arrived this P.M. and took up the duties of Station Surgeon.

8 June – The greater portion of the flight echelon led by Lt Col Nazarro arrived this P.M.. It was a beautiful and welcome sight to see the formation.

10 June – Routine medical duties are proceeding smoothly, organization of the detachment has been satisfactory. Sick call has been set up and held daily in the following sites, in addition to the station sick quarters site (AAF 14); WAAF Site (AAF 12). First aid stations have been set up in the Picket Hut in each site and are to be manned during air raid alerts.

19 June – A case of scarlet fever of moderate severity was discovered in the ward containing other patients, who were immediately quarantined or isolated for seven days. New admissions were cared for in the auxiliary spaces of the decontamination center.

22 June – The first raid of the group was staged early this A.M., the target Antwerp, Belgium. Two aircraft with crews were missing in action and two aircraft which were severely disabled crash landed in England. Six members of Lt Martin Shenk’s crew were wounded in action and all were hospitalized at 12th Evacuation Hospital, Botesdale, Suffolk Co. One man, Sgt Kinley Lindsay, RWG 533rd BS, was admitted to our own sick quarters. Apparently only one man of the six hospitalized, received severe injuries. (Note) He died several days later of gas gangrene.

Sgt Arnold B. Lorick, TG, 533rd BS, was killed in action (30 cal through his neck) and his remains were returned to this station and will be forwarded to Brookwood Cemetery for interment.

T/Sgt Julius Cosby, TG, 535th BS, was returned in a state of acute emotional shock and admitted to sick quarters – sedative therapy instituted.

KEY

Name

Rank

Fate

 

Name

Rank

Fate

PILOT

 

 

 

CO-PILOT

 

 

NAVIGATOR

 

 

 

BOMBADIER

 

 

TOP TURRET

 

 

 

RADIO OPERATOR

 

 

BALL TURRET

 

 

 

RIGHT WAIST

 

 

LEFT WAIST

 

 

 

TAIL GUNNER

 

 

MIA 532nd BS M/42-30016

Horr, Earl R.

1st Lt

POW

 

Roberts, William R.

2nd Lt

POW

Griffiths, George P.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Hoover, Chester L.

2nd Lt

POW

Chapin, Glenn A.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Mandell, Robert N.

S/Sgt

POW

Henry, Charles R.

Sgt

KIA

 

Hodson, Evert I.

S/Sgt

POW

Clark, Hubert R.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Jones, Arthur A.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 533rd BS G/42-30021

Martin, John J.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Marsh, Robert J.

F/O

KIA

Long, Harry R.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Hoag, Wallace W.

2nd Lt

KIA

Lantto, James S.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Goswick, Hugh F.

Sgt

KIA

Fornaro, Leonard J.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Witts, Glenn W.

S/Sgt

KIA

Hutchinson, John B.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Geary, William              

S/Sgt

KIA

COMPLETE LIST OF MEN WOUNDED IN ACTION:

  • Cosby, Julius S/Sgt 535th TG
  • Lindsay, Kinley Sgt 533rd WG
  • Sinclair, John T/Sgt 533rd ROG
  • Labuda, Mitchell S/Sgt 533rd ETTG
  • Barclay, George S/Sgt 533rd ROG
  • Sloan, James S/Sgt 533rd WG
  • Brinton, Charles S/Sgt 533rd WG
  • Williams, George 2nd Lt 533rd Bombardier

23 June – During the process of loading 300lb bombs on B-17 of 533rd BS, a severe explosion occurred followed about 15-30 seconds later by another bomb explosion. The accident occurred about 11.08 hrs at dispersal #13.This was followed by a fire of severe proportion. Some 22 enlisted men, and one officer in a neighboring plane, were killed instantly, and one aged man, a British civilian construction worker, cycling past, was fatally wounded, dying a few minutes after arriving at station sick quarters.

One EM, Pfc Glenn W. Burkland, received a fractured leg, comminuted and compounded, was evacuated to SQ, where first aid was rendered and a Thomas leg splint was applied before evacuation to 12th Evacuation Hospital, Braintree. F/O Nutt and Lt Alexander, standing by the tail of an adjacent plane were blown to the ground and several yards from the plane, received blast injury, mild, to chest and sprained left ankle respectively, and were admitted to SQ. Also three other British civilians received minor abrasions.

A careful survey of the area involved revealed no living injured other than those listed above, and three others who received minor cuts and abrasions, who were cared for at SQ and returned to duty. As soon as the area was declared safe by the Ordnance Department, the work of removing and identifying the bodies and remains of bodies proceeded. This required many hours, and covered a large area surrounding the scene of the blast. Ten soldiers known to have been at the scene of the explosion have been unidentified and are accounted for. Thirteen bodies or portions of bodies of soldiers have positively, but the mutilation and charring of the remains made the task extremely difficult.

COMPLETE LIST OF 533rd MEN KILLED BY EXPLOSION

UNIDENTIFIED

IDENTIFIED

Name

Rank

Name

Rank

Smulowitz, Louis

Sgt

Tull, Paul E.

2nd Lt

Bohland,  Arvin

T/Sgt

Kristapovich, Joseph

Sgt

Ashcraft, Robert

Pfc

Harris, Elwood

S/Sgt

Jerkins, Melvin

Cpl

Lintgen, James

S/Sgt

Foerstal, Milton

Cpl

Langolf, Christian

Sgt

Fiamma, George

Cpl

Egan, Michael

S/Sgt

Feeley, Charles

Cpl

Collins, Dennis

Sgt

Allen, Roger

Cpl

Sproha, Joseph

Cpl

Neel, Joseph

Sgt

Main, James

Cpl

McDuffie, Guy

Cpl

Bongiorno, Henry

Sgt

 

 

King, James

Cpl

 

 

Wilton, Charles 

T/Sgt

 

 

Madden, Elmer

Cpl

 

 

Hunwick, John

Civ

 

Injured

Alexander, James

1st Lt

Sick Qtrs

Nutt, Joseph

W/O

     "

Burkland, Glenn

Pfc

Hospital

McCabe, Francis

Civilian

     "

Hasty, James

Civilian

     "

Garwood, H. A

Civilian

     "

Early in the afternoon our planes went off on their second mission over occupied France. Due to the fact that our planes did not meet the rest of the group at the rendezvous point, they returned without reaching their target. There were no casualties, or deaths, with the exception  of three men, all 534th BS S/Sgts, suffered first degree frost bites, hands: Robin Bassinger, Paul Gregory and Guy Phillips.

24 June – The remains of the victims were transported by two ambulances to Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey Co., for interment.

WAAF Site (#12) Sick Quarter occupied and scarlet fever contacts were removed to same.

25 June – Our third raid of the group took place today, with the following casualties. Destination: Hamburg.

MIA: 533rd BS E/42-30027

Schrader, Robert K.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Hamilton, John

Capt

KIA

Rogers, Edward J.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Samara, Edward

2nd Lt

KIA

Cutting, William K.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Yarnell, William

S/Sgt

KIA

Pruett, Cecil A.

Sgt

KIA

 

Kurnafil, Stephen

Sgt

KIA

Leidecker, Ted

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Frisby, Lewis E.

S/Sgt

KIA

WIA:

  • Everett, Arthur 535th BS S/Sgt ETTG
  • Prodrosky, John 534th BS S/Sgt WG
  • ???cle, Lloyd 534th BS S/Sgt RO

KIA:

  • Tieman, Ivan 534th BS S/Sgt BTG

S/Sgt Everett was on a plane that landed on a base near, Ely, Cambridge, and was removed to hospital at RAF Ely. The other two, received 2nd degree frost bite and have been grounded.

S/Sgt Charles Brinton, WIA three days ago, succumbed to gas infection which developed subsequently.

27 June – The fourth raid of the group took place today, destination: Paris, France. Due to heavy overcast, the planes were unable to see their target; therefore, they returned without dropping their bombs.

No men were MIA or KIA, but S/Sgt Shirley Coucher, 533rd ETTG was frostbitten and taken to sick quarters.

Quarantine was lifted on scarlet fever contacts.

28 June – The fifth mission was staged today, to St Nazaire, France. There were no MIA or KIA. But three men were WIA: Capt Landon Hendricks 533rd pilot; S/Sgt John Kapuska, 533rd ETTG; Sgt Daniel Vine, 534th  TG.

Two medical officers, Capts Bland and Ralston, were flown to RAF aerodrome at Portreath, Cornwall, to take care of any wounded, as gas carried on the mission would not permit return to the home base. Fortunately, only very minor injuries were sustained and no aircraft were lost.

29 June – Sgt Robert H. Anderson, of the 7th Station Complement Squadron was accidentally and fatally shot with a Thompson sub-machine gun in the barracks this afternoon (shot by friend Sgt Miller).

The sixth raid of the group this PM, to Tricqueville, France, resulted in no casualties.

30 June – Group has been requesting for an additional officers’ ward in the sick quarters. This will then, when completed, give them additional space which is sorely needed.


 

July 1943

 

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

JULY 1943

1 July 1943 – The  82nd  Headquarters and HQ Squadron establishment arrived from Station #109 today, with one medical officer, one medical admin officer and eight enlisted men. This squadron will replace the 312th Service Group HQ squadron, which is moving out.

Roster:

  • 1st Lt George J. Pease – Medical Officer
  • 2nd Lt Joseph V. Fick – Med.  Admin Officer

Enlisted Men:

  • Sgt Joseph Hannigan
  • Cpl John Divite
  • Cpl Joseph McLancon
  • T/5 Marvin Butler
  • T/5 Estes Holms
  • Pvt Charles Hoehn
  • Pvt Henry Trusky
  • Pvt Anthony Giordano.

Seven EM were promoted one rank.

3 July – The 312th Service Group HQ Squadron departed today. Transferred to 4th Wing.

Roster:

  • Capt Lee M. Scholnik – Dental Officer
  • 1st Lt N.C. Fessler – Medical Officer.

Enlisted Men:

  • Sgt Donald A. Lockwood
  • Cpl Milton O. Patterson
  • T/5 Clarence G. Warman
  • Pfc Arthur W. Reder
  • Pfc Edward H. Standal
  • Pfc William H. Sharitz
  • Pvt Brian F. Karlovich
  • Pvt Martin R. Prendergast
  • Pvt Joe E. Coleman

4 July – One plane was lost in today’s raid to Le Mans, France, (7th) and the following crew members it carried are MIA. The remainder of aircraft and crews returned safely.

MIA 533rd W/42-29928

Ballinger, Olaf M.

1st Lt

EVD

 

Carah, John M.

2nd Lt

POW

McConnell, Paul H.

2nd Lt

EVD

 

Williams, George W.

2nd Lt

KIA

Lane, John K.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Gronstal, Byron J.

T/Sgt

POW

Wackerman, Albert

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Bauscher, Harry W.

S/Sgt

KIA

Owens, Francis E.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Howell, William C.

S/Sgt

EVD

6 July – Bicycle accidents have been responsible for many minor injuries, also occasional serious injuries, requiring evacuation to a hospital, in past several weeks. The frequency of accidents is increasing almost beyond reason.

Lt Col Wright, Major Stone and Capt Sutton, HQ. Eighth Air Force Medical Dept. visited the base. Questions asked regarding progress and problems of Station #167 were asked and answered. Crash room inspected. Col Wright called on Col Nazarro before leaving station.

About 10.30 hrs many enlisted personnel began reporting to hospital with history of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. This continued on and off until about 24.00 hrs with a total of 25 to 30 cases. History of illness beginning about 14.30 hrs to 16.00 hrs, and associated with severe nausea and diarrhea more characteristic.

Thorough investigation of food problem at the Consolidated Mess for the noon meal was investigated. The meal consisted of Beef and Vegetable Stew, which was carrot and no evidence of spoilage existed; string beans, also canned, spinach and potatoes, steam cooked. There seemed to be a rumor of an addition of a small quantity of sausage (canned Vienna style) which were added at the last minute. The sausage was supposed to have been previously opened, whether this is actually the case, and when the can was actually opened is a problem to which no satisfactory answer is available.

7 July – All patients have come through their trouble in good shape. Except for two cases  who seemed pretty well exhausted, there were complicating factors. No history of other possibilities regarding the food problem exists. Possibilities of dirty mess kits or faulty washing have been considered, also possibility of dirty containers used in serving food. No conclusions have been deduced, as the facts do not seem to bear out any single possibility or clue.

It has been decided to make entries of early sanitary inspections, whether of any scope or not, to have some idea of the condition of various places over a period of time. So little is being done to remedy the situation it is pitiful.

Site #6. Enlisted combat crew site ablution is very dirty. Paper and dirt are littered over the floor, toilets have not been scrubbed and no basins are present for washing. There is no hot water because no coal is available.  Some coal shortage exists, and it seems that coal for heating water was removed by personnel living on the site for heating huts. Fuel sufficient for heating huts is not available at this time. Explanation for dirty conditions of huts and ablutions is that brooms, brushes, etc., are not available.

Site #3. Washroom has no hot water for same reason as above.

Site #7. Has no hot water as the containers have not been set up.

Communal Site. The bath house has very little hot water. Temperature of water was 80 degrees. Many of the showers are leaky, and it is presumed that much of the hot water leaks out as large quantities are being used. Showers are dirty and have not been scrubbed satisfactorily at any time.

10 July – Eighth raid of the group took place this morning over the outskirts of Turin, Italy. Target was so obscured, no bombs dropped. Major Schnabel accompanied group on mission.

11 July – Today Major Schnabel left to attend school at the Eighth Air Force Provisional Medical Field Service School, Station #101. He expects to be gone approximately two weeks. Captain Bland, 535th surgeon, was appointed acting group surgeon in his absence.

13 July – A Medical Board interview was held this morning  to determine the sanity of Pvt WRR, 330th Service Squadron.

Members of the Board: Capt Milton H. Bland – president; Capt Louis G. Ralston – recorder; Capt Ralph M. Wymer.

Decision: 1 Sane; 2 Impression – constitutional psychopathic state; a pathological liar.

14 July – At approximately 00.30 and 03.30 hrs today, air raid alarms were sounded throughout the base. Enemy aircraft flew over and dropped bombs in the vicinity of this station, however, no bombs actually dropped on our base. The medical detachment assembled at the station hospital both times prepared for the emergency that night.

The ninth raid of the group took place this morning, destination being: Amiens-Glisy, France. One plane is Missing in Action.

MIA 535th R/42-30011

Holdom, Robert J.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Gravelyn, Robert

2nd Lt

KIA

Bechter, William A.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Phillips, James A.

2nd Lt

KIA

Coleman, William R.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Craver, William L

S/Sgt

KIA

Pulliner, Raymond J.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Pryon. Morris E.

Sgt

KIA

Fossan, Kenneth L.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Scollon, James B.

S/Sgt

KIA

One 533rd BS plane exploded en route to the target – exact cause as yet unknown. This plane was flying over Rattlesden, Suffolk Co., when the explosion occurred. Six members of the crew were killed instantly, the other four members of the crew were blown out and parachuted to safety. These men were immediately removed to 12th Evacuation Hospital, Botesdale, near Diss, Norfolk Co., for treatment.

Two of the men, Potts, were put in quarters, and Hanna returned to full duty.  The other two, Hamm and Cappel, were kept at 12th Evacuation Hospital for treatment.

Capt Bland went to Diss immediately with two ambulances to get the remains of the six deceased men. The party arrived back about midnight and the bodies were put in the morgue.

Exploded 533rd BS Q/42-3223

Hedin, Charles L.

1st Lt

K

 

Burroughs, William

2nd Lt

K

Hamm, Donald F.

2nd Lt

Inj

 

Cappel, Frank J.

2nd Lt

Inj

Thomas, Vivian M.

S/Sgt

K

 

Potts, Robert L.

T/Sgt

Inj

McDonald, Stewart

S/Sgt

K

 

Marhefke, Clifford

S/Sgt

K

Hanna, Richard J.

T/Sgt

OK

 

Cosmo, Edward J.

Sgt

K

Major Renter, Dental Surgeon, Eighth Air Force, arrived today to visit the station. He seemed quite satisfied with the dental surgery being done at this station, however he felt that another dental surgeon was necessary.

15 July – Capt Pease took the bodies of the six deceased to Brookwood American Military Cemetery today.

16 July – The planes took off on their 10th mission today, destination: Hanover, Germany. There were no casualties, however.

18 July – Major Schnabel returned this date, and assumed command of the medical detachment. He was attending school at the Eighth Air Force Provisional Medical Field Service School, Station #101, for the past week.

19 July – Approximately 30 men, mostly from the new Military Police  organization just arrived and a few from  two bomb squadrons, reported attacks of mild diarrhea. No patient was seriously ill or suffered any particular discomfort. Symptoms were characterized by a moderately urgent diarrhea of some five to six times. No admissions were made to hospital. No sequels were present.

Lt Cohler surveyed the situation and felt that the meat brought in on the afternoon of 17th July and used at the noon and evening meals of the 18th was responsible. This meat comes frozen in 40lb packages and requires several hours to thaw out even after unwrapping. Hence it is felt that this is probably not the source, therefore a check of other possibilities brought no clues.

At approximately 14.30hrs today a red air raid alarm was sounded. Personnel of the medical detachment were already at their emergency first aid shelters rehearsing the medical defense plan, since a `dry run’ had been scheduled for the time. The white signal was given at 14.50. There was no enemy activity over this station.

20 July – The afternoon mail brought a report of water samples, taken July 7, from 1st Medical General Laboratory. Report states specimen was two days in transit, not potable bacteriologically, test reveals evidence of fetal contamination and colony count is very high.

Inquiring into the nature of collection revealed that the sample was obtained from the Consolidated Mess and no attempt was made to sterilize the tap before sample was taken. This, together with the delay in transit is believed to be the cause of the difficulty.

Thorough inspection of all mess halls was done earlier in the day. In general it is felt that a slight relaxation of efforts to maintain cleanliness has occurred. In general all waste containers were quite dirty, both inside and out, and no effort has been made for several days, at least, to wash them at all. Three containers at the Consolidated Mess were of such long standing that fermentation had taken place. Proper authority has been advised of this situation on several occasions. During past several days the weather has been mild, and hoards of flies are present at every mess hall. Fly spray is not available, and fly papers available in insufficient quantities.

In the officers mess, many personnel with long, dirty fingernails were found. The latrine was dirty, and vegetable and flour sacks were found on the floor. Requests were made to place these sacks on elevated platforms.

In the combat mess the store room floor was sloppy and the room dirty. Pot and pan room was very untidy, and several containers were very rusty. Latrine was very dirty.

At consolidated mess many personnel were found with long fingernails with such dirt beneath. One man serving meat was spearing the slice with a fork and washing it off with a rather dirty thumb. Garbage containers were very dirty, three with fermenting material, and hoards of flies hovering about the outside of the dirty containers. Many smoked hams, unwrapped, were piled in a sink, which happens to be in a room used as a storeroom.

21 July – Thorough investigation of the water and sewage disposal systems has been made and there is no evidence or reason to suspect there has been any breakdown in the system. Water lines have previously been tested to 80lb per square inch and have found to be adequate. The supply comes from an artesian well on the base and is not chlorinated. The system is overtaxed in that it is almost impossible to keep up with the demand. If the tank is filled during the night, and the pump operated continually during the day the demand is met, but the tank will have about one foot of water remaining at the end of the day.

There is a considerable particulate material running in the water at all times, and usually a light brownish color. It is felt that the supply from the well often becomes so low that a washing of the well bed occurs causing the discoloration and inspiration of the foreign material. A new well has been dug and pump house is now being erected. Pumping equipment is not available however, and a delivery date is yet uncertain. Additional samples of water have been submitted.

A board of officers was convened under the provision of Section VIII, AR 515-360, consisting of: Lt Col Ralph G. La Rue, AC – president; Major Garfield P. Schnabel, MC – medical officer; Capt Morton D. Joyce; appointed 19 July, by Par. 4, SO #27. HQ. Station 167, to determine and investigate whether or not Pvt WRR, 330th Service Squadron, should be discharged prior to expiration of his term of service. Board adjourned pending reports of psychiatrist, which was thought advisable in this case.   

22 July – Additional water samples have been taken during the last few days and one sent to 1st Medical Lab., and the other to 121st Station Hospital, Braintree. Further investigation has not discovered any information that would lead to suspect      difficulty arising from the water supply. Sewage disposal plant is working satisfactorily. Direct contamination is not thought to be a possibility as the well is on the highest portion of the base and well drained, and the disposal plant on a decidedly lower elevation and far from the water supply.

The Clerk of Works advised that the water supply is from an artesian well. At present it is not chlorinated. A purifier, softener and chlorine have been ordered, and that a delivery date has been established. No difficulty or illness has arisen since the receipt of the water sample report.

24 July – Lt Chadwick, MC, 1st Wing, made an inspection of mess halls and other storage. Recommendations – none. Consulted regarding water supply problems and no recommendations other than thorough investigation of system and testing of additional samples.

Board of Officers mentioned in entry of 21 July, reconvened to consider psychiatrist’s report and disposition of case of Pvt WRR. Psychiatrist reports finding of constitutional psychiatric state, inadequate personality and criminalism. Board recommend discharge under provision Section VIII, AR G15 – 360

The group participated in combat raid over enemy territory, the southeastern coast of Norway, Heroya, placing 21 ships in the formation. There were no abortions and 20 ships returned with no injured personnel. Lt Jones 535th BS failed to return. Information received later in the day via radio, indicated the ship landed in Sweden and the crew interned. The aircraft is known to have suffered considerable damage.

MIA 535th BS T/42-3217

Jones, Osce V.

1st Lt

INT

 

McIntosh, George B.

1st Lt

INT

Guertin, Arthur L.

2nd Lt

INT

 

Nevius, Charles W.

2nd Lt

INT

Nicatra, Joseph

T/Sgt

INT

 

Haynie, James E.

S/Sgt

INT

Newcomb, Charles 

S/Sgt

INT

 

Early, Shannon B.

S/Sgt

INT

Haugen, Alfred E.

S/Sgt

INT

 

Kelleher, Maurice M.

S/Sgt

INT

25 July – Group participated in raid over Hamburg, Germany, in which three ships failed to return, all from the 532nd BS. Capt Alexander’s ship was seen to turn back from a point described as being deep in German territory; Lt Moore’s plane was damaged, and part or all the stabilizer shot away. Whether crew members bailed out or not is not sure; Capt Owen’s ship was hit between #1 and #2 engines and seen to burst into flames. The smoke seemed momentarily to disperse then burst out again, involving the greater portion of the wing. It was believed the crew bailed out.

One crew  member,  S/Sgt Warren G. Heintz, a 532nd radio operator, returned in a critical condition, the result of anoxia. The same difficulty was experienced by the ball  turret  gunner and his oxygen system, and the RO was trying to help him out by passing bottles of OS. During the proceedings, the RO lost out and became himself, the victim of lack of oxygen. Upon arrival at the base, the patient was cyanotic, breathing shallowly, with weak pulse and unconscious, oxygen administrated improved his general condition. His hands were very cold, but not believed frozen. He was hospitalized.

MIA 532nd BS E/42-30013

Moore, William R.

1st Lt

POW

 

Wendte, Dale G.

2nd Lt

KIA

Dreiseszun, Philip P.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Houck, James H.

2nd Lt

KIA

Usher, Edward W.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Ivey, John E.

T/Sgt

POW

Zahm, Edgerton P.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Fortier, William L.

S/Sgt

POW

Kralick, Joseph G.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Watkins, John M.

S/Sgt

KIA

MIA 532nd BS Q/42-29976

Owen,  Jack. H.

1st Lt

POW

 

Bohan, William E.

2nd Lt

POW

Bascon, Liston A.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Ronzio, Frank

2nd Lt

POW

Rector, Kenneth K.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Slater, Roy L.

T/Sgt

POW

Winn, Charles K.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Lindenmeyer, Wm. E.

T/Sgt

POW

Asher, Clarence C.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Cummins, Robert L.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 532nd BS /42-30153

Alexander, Joseph E.

Capt

POW

 

Crowley, William C.

2nd Lt

POW

Wemmer, Jack W.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Hellman, Harold

1st Lt

POW

Nance, James C.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Orin George H.

T/Sgt

POW

Garvan, Peter D.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Ferens, Walter F.

Sgt

POW

Heist, James E.

Sgt

POW

 

Johnson, George R.

Sgt

POW

26 July – Another raid was conducted over Hamburg, Germany, having a different target within the city area than in yesterday’s engagement. Twenty two planes took off, four spares returned and two aborted, plus 16 returned. No ships were lost.

Lt Sidney Novell, a 535th BS navigator, was struck in the astero-medial surface, left thigh, 6” below inguinal ligament, cutting the artery and vein and extending upward into the thigh towards inguinal  ligament, by piece of flak 2” long by 3/8” to ½” diameter. Patient lived out short time.

Lt Lester, a 532nd  bombardier, had his fingers frost bitten, the result of a break in the plexi-glass of the nose. This is not considered serious. Lt Roraback, a 534th navigator, was struck in face and eyes by plexi-glass from the nose. No damage to cornea was found, but there was severe bruising. Patient’s condition considered satisfactory.

27 July – T/Sgt Heintz, injured on 25th is gradually improving. It seems as if his speech is a little thick, which may be due to bruising of the tongue, and for cerebral involvement. The tongue shows some bruising on the tip and adjacent sides, and it is not known whether this is the result of freezing or biting. Several areas of the face and forehead have evidently suffered mild frostbite or suffered some bruising during his fall.  Nothing   of  any importance. Lt Roraback’s condition is satisfactory, and he is comfortable.

28 July – The group participated in a raid scheduled to go to an installation near Kassel, Germany. The combat wing commander aborted the wing before the target was reached and the planes returned. There were no casualties.

Report of water sample sent to 121st Station Hospital, Braintree, collected 22 July, came this date. Reported potable bacteriologically.

29 July – Physical inspection of the command was conducted this date.

The group participated in a raid conducted over enemy territory at Kiel. Two members of Lt Tucker’s 534th BS crew were injured. S/Sgt James R. Klingenberger suffered a wound of the lateral surface, right leg above the ankle, while Sgt Grover S. Bonsall suffered a penetrating wound of the lateral surface right leg, 62 below knee joint and an abrasion of the right elbow. Both patients were injured as the result of an exploding 20mm cannon shell, and both were hospitalized at 121st Station Hospital, Braintree. Neither are considered critical.

One ship crash-landed at Snetterton Heath with mechanical difficulties and some ship damage. All planes have returned. One crew  member  suffered a frost bite of face, 2nd degree.

30 July – The group participated in a raid over Germany in which Kassel  was bombed, the group leading the combat wing. Upon return, personnel reported very heavy enemy action from flak and fighters, and an examination of our planes certainly substantiated this. Two planes returned with feathered props, one with a tire blown out by cannon fire and one with the hydraulic system shot up and no brakes. One ship failed to return and one crew  member was slightly injured.

MIA 532nd BS A/42-3100

Post, Robert F.    (C.O.)

Major

POW

 

Humason, Guerdon

1st Lt

POW

Hames, Leroy N.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Tsialas, William G.

2nd Lt

POW

Kithcart, William H.

Sgt

POW

 

Parker, Albert L.

T/Sgt

POW

Fabiano, Frank

S/Sgt

POW

 

Anderson, Walter J.

S/Sgt

KIA

Robbins, Harold E.

Sgt

POW

 

Casaly, Alfred

2nd Lt

POW

This raid was the sixth in seven days for the group, which is the heaviest operational schedule ever maintained. I feel the men have withstood the strain well and while very tired, are definitely not jittery. They need a rest and change now. Subsequent events will tell the story. The loss of the 532nd squadron commanding officer was a blow to this squadron particularly. I believe that they will be adjusted to the loss in a short time, however, they must have realized that some squadron CO would be next, sooner or later, if they continued to participate in raids. Probably the reason it did not happen before is because the frequency of participation has been regulated by official order.


 

August 1943

 

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

AUGUST 1943

1 August 1943 – Inspection made this A.M. of messes. Officer Mess & Club: Service court dirty, i.e. broken dishes and tin cans are piled in the corner, as well as scattered about garbage rack. Spillage of vegetable waste, coffee grounds and other garbage has made the area unsightly, latrine in the mess is not clean. Lavatory is encrusted with dirt, and toilet has not been scrubbed in some time. Storage rooms are clean and contents put away. Kitchen and dish washing room are satisfactory. China, glassware and utensils are clean.

Consolidated Mess: The floor throughout the entire kitchen is very sloppy, slightly greasy and slippery. It seems a failing or perhaps a mania to have the kitchen floor awash for the greater part of the time. On the floor near sink for washing pots and pans were two grease and waste filled containers which were extremely sloppy. Material emptied into the sides of the containers was on the floor. Floors on both sides of the eating portions were wet and sloppy to walk in. The food storage rooms were clean and dry and dry stuff put away. The meat preparation area was clean, except for a pool of bloody water in the center  which had drained off the frozen meat and had not been removed.

Combat Crew Mess: This mess is in the process of being moved to the new communal site which is closer to combat crew personnel. This mess is not open today. Officers are fed at the Club and EM at the Consolidated Mess. The present Airmen’s Mess is to be used for a PX and bar for enlisted personnel.

2 August – Airmen’s Mess opened in the new Communal Site this morning. Some difficulty in getting settled down was experienced, but on the whole I think it was accomplished very smoothly. Facilities are a little better in that they are a little better arranged and more convenient. The long distance from the kitchen to the officers’ section has been eliminated.

4 August – There have been no operational missions since 30 July. Combat crews have been able to have leave and rest, and are now organized in training, test flights and ground schools.

Col. Strecter, Wing Surgeon, visited the station, accompanied by Lt Col Ryan, MC, and Major Davis, AC (Wing Inspector). The station hospital was thoroughly gone over by these officials, while the Consolidated Mess was visited next and a very unsatisfactory condition was found.

  1. Floor over entire kitchen was wet and slippery.
  2. Garbage can was left in the front kitchen.
  3. Floor of flour storage in back aspect, two cases of flour on the floor, one of which is probably spoiled, and other kitchen utensils smothered with flour.
  4. Improper segregation of wastes, – trash, broken china, metal and paper placed in same container, grease can ¾ full of water.
  5. Trench dug near north-west corner of mess hall partially filled with water and breeding mosquitoes.
  6. Drain between  west wing and kitchen wing on north side stopped up, and running over leaving a large pool of foul smelling liquid.

The officers then proceeded to the Airmen’s Mess in the new Communal Site, now operating on its third day. Conditions were deemed satisfactory for the short period of operation.

8 August – Inspections were made and the following found: latrine in briefing room is quite odoriferous, and pails poorly cleaned. No toilet paper. Latrine near operations building was also dirty, paper and trash on the floor, toilets and wash basins not washed and no toilet paper.

Combat mess is running much more smoothly and facilities are better that at former location. Dispersal is considerable confusion about service entrance. In general, the mess was clean. Dirty lined was piled in a hamper in one storage room, but overflowed onto the floor and had considerable odors.

Consolidated mess shows a great deal of litter and poor co-ordination. The floor was sloppy and wet, making a great deal of muddy tracks all over the kitchen and supply section. Garbage was poorly separated, particularly metal, paper and glass.

Large shower building in communal site needed policing. Many showers were leaking, and hot water temperature was low. Recommendation has been submitted for use of shower building in new communal site.

Officers mess was in fair condition. Latrine was dirty (I have never seen it clean). Some silverware and china were greasy and dirty. Dish washing room was untidy with lots of rags and utensils laying around.

10 August – Lt Vernon Chadwick visited the station and went over the mess hall for possible cause of the occasional diarrhea. Washing the men wash some kits it appears that there is very little being done towards thoroughly washing the kits. Not enough soap suds are in the water, and it is not of a suitable temperature. The dish washer was operating at 180 degrees, and personnel were introducing cold water for increasing the pressure of the machine. Whether this is a default or a poor operating procedure remains to be seen.

11 August – A few officers eating in the Combat Mess developed diarrhea this morning about 04.30 hrs. The evening meal in the Combat Mess was blamed (as usual). The meal consisted of meat and vegetable stew, a canned preparation shipped from the States, potatoes, creamed peas, jam, bread and butter, and cooked desserts. The meat dish was prepared during the afternoon and served at the 18.oo hrs meal. I am unable to find any item of the diet to which a cause might be assigned. So far as I am able to ascertain, no other eating or drinking factors are involved. Thorough inspection of the mess does not bring anything revealing. It is possible the dishwasher is being operated at a temperature inconsistent with proper sterilization. A temperature of 100 degrees minimum is recommended. The Combat Mess itself was in good shape.

The Consolidated Mess has improved since yesterday. The floor is a little sloppy making a poor appearance. Store rooms were clean, but some mess personnel were dirty; dirty clothing and fingernails. One man, who was cooking meat was wearing an apron approaching a black shadow.

The Officers mess was untidy due to the installation of an additional sink. Several latrines was untidy in general with shower heads leaking.

During the later afternoon and evening of the 10th, the water was unusually cloudy having a brownish color. The men thought that this was the source of the diarrhea, particularly in light of  the numbers of probably 25 to 30 from all four squadrons were affected.

12 August – The diarrhea outbreak hit around 75 officers and men all told, and they reported on sick call, while other combat crew men were in serious difficulty on today’s mission.

The water which was cloudy had cleared considerably. Additional samples were sent for analysis from No 2 and No 6 Sites and the Communal Site.

This group participated in a raid over Germany this morning, involving the Ruhr Valley industries. Returning ships reported heavy flak, but weak fighter attack and extremely cold weather. Temperatures of –38 degrees indicated at briefing was said to have been reached, and 16 crew members have frost bite of the fingers and/or toes; from 1st to 2nd degree. No severe or necessarily partial froze the right side of one man’s neck, sustaining 2nd degree burns. No other injuries were reported.

Three ships failed to return:

MIA 532nd T/42-5847

Moon, Theodore D.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Hamer, James W.

2nd Lt

POW

Pritz, Stephen J.

2nd Lt

POW

 

McNichol, Bernard

2nd Lt

POW

Ernharth, John F.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Fleming,  Michael

T/Sgt

POW

Wheeler, John L.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Alsheimer, Wilbur

S/Sgt

POW

Wood, Howard F.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Mattfield, Paul A.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 534th D/42-29954

Wroblicka, William

1st Lt

POW

 

Neeley, Claude E.

2nd Lt

POW

Harris, David E.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Schneider, Lester

2nd Lt

POW

Labusheivicz, Joseph

S/Sgt

POW

 

Smith, Fred M.

S/sgt

KIA

Jonson, Edwin M.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Kratzner, John L.

S/Sgt

KIA

Phelan, John C.

Sgt

KIA

 

Cecil, Walter R.

Sgt

KIA

MIA 535th N/42-29950

Evans, Fred G.

F/O

KIA

 

Robbins, Joseph K.

F/O

POW

Lander, John F.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Watkins, Clarence

2nd Lt

POW

Dodge, Charles G.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Kern, Herbert R.

S/Sgt

KIA

Messler, Walter V.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Miller, Charles C.

S/Sgt

KIA

Doll, Stuart A.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Hackett, Kenneth L.

S/Sgt

POW

13 August – The Wing Surgeon was called and advised of particulars regarding the diarrhea, which was causing so much trouble with combat crews. Explanation of efforts made and findings were reported. Requests for any suggestions brought promises of help.

Capt Sutton, Eighth AF Medical Inspector and Maj R.R. Cleland, 60HQ, S.O.S., Chief Surgeons office, arrived about 15.00 hrs. After talking over the entire situation, and inspection was made of the Consolidated and Combat Messes. It was of the opinion of the consultants that several factors were involved.

Firstly, the problem is one of food. This involves the use of leftovers, a questionable condition, uncleanliness of mess personnel, dirty clothes, improper disposal of wastes, and improper washing of dishes and utensils. Secondly, the water is not above suspicion but not believed to be the prime factor.

The following recommendations are being made:-

  1. Installation of filtration and chlorination systems.
  2. Opening of additional rooms to relieve congestion of the Consolidated Mess.
  3. Screening of storage rooms in all messes.
  4. Delivery of meat to base six times a week.
  5. Placing of a water softener in Consolidated Mess in operation. Use of soda crystals and soap powder in washing dishes and utensils.
  6. Ample, clean clothing for mess personnel.
  7. Maintenance of high standard of personal cleanliness of mess personnel.
  8. Proper use and/or disposal of wastes.
  9. Feces exams for all food handlers.

14 August – About 14.00 hrs Capt Sutton and Major Cleland called per ‘phone, stating they had reports of our last water sample which was `Bad’ but no comparison of previous reports was given. As an emergency measure chlorination by addition of bleaching powder to the water was recommended. This was to be done by adding about 3 pounds per day on basis of 60,000 gallon tank, to be added in three operations throughout the day, one pound in each side at 06.00 hrs, 12.00 hrs and 20.00 hrs. One pound was placed in each side of the tank at 16.15 hrs.

15 August – A chlorine testing set is not available at this station, hence no estimate of the chlorine content can be made. Several times during the day samples of water were taken at various sites, and the odor of chlorine was present. The quantity was not sufficient to produce noticeable alteration of taste.

The group participated in an air raid this afternoon late, over an aircraft works just outside Brussels, Belgium. 23 planes took off, two aborted, and 21 returned. Bombs were not dropped, due to poor visibility.

16 August – The group participated in a raid over enemy territory, bombing an aircraft installation near Paris. 20 planes took off, none aborted and all returned. Crew members reported a good pattern over the target area.

17 August – The group took part in a raid over enemy territory, in this case going to Schweinfurt, the deepest raid over German territory so far. Flak was reported as light but fighter opposition extremely heavy; 26 planes took off, one aborted and 11 failed to return. One ship ditched in the North Sea and the crew subsequently rescued.  Moral was particularly low this evening on return, particularly as soon as stories were compared and total losses realized.

MIA 532nd BS -/42-29731

Jarvis, Leo

1st Lt

POW

 

Nancinelli, Eugene

2nd Lt

POW

Riley, Richard F.

1st Lt

POW

 

Lockhart, William

2nd Lt

POW

Loren, Alg’n    (534th)

T/Sgt

POW

 

Beynand, Harold

S/Sgt

POW

Persinger, Charles L.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Stecher, Harry L.

S/Sgt

POW

Grossman, Herman E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Roehl, James E.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 532nd V/42-30140

Painter, Jack B.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Nelson, Robert E.

1st Lt

EVD

Keays, William J.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Duke, Lloyd L.

2nd Lt

POW

Kowalski, Matthew B.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Balentine, Wm. C.

S/Sgt

POW

Kellogg, Allen P.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Genz, Raymond A.

S/Sgt

EVD

Whitman, Norman G.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Ragan, Everett B.

2nd Lt

POW

Mizell, James C..

S/Sgt

EVD

 

 

 

 

MIA 533rd BS T/42-3092

Hudson, James C.

F/O

POW

 

Grant, William R.

2nd Lt

POW

Delaney, Ronald T.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Robinson, Kenneth E

2nd Lt

KIA

Vaughn, Edward R.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Pinsky, David

T/Sgt

POW

Vaughn, John M.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Wakefield, James A.

S/Sgt

POW

Thueson, Ford W.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Doyle, George A.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 533rd X/42-29983

Atkinson, Challen P.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Dulberger, Murray

2nd Lt

POW

Frieberger, Fred

2nd Lt

POW

 

Marks, Julian M.

2nd Lt

POW

Hanna, Ricahrd J.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Kaska, Stanley C.

T/Sgt

POW

McGoldrick, James C.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Katsarelis, Peter A.

S/Sgt

POW

Goss, Hubert A.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Hyk, John

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 534th F/42-29978   

King, Reinhardt M.

1st Lt

POW

 

Peeples, Henry C.

1st Lt

POW

McGlynn, Edward S.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Petrillo, Francis A.

1st Lt

POW

Floura, Cecil L.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Unger, Maynard W.

T/Sgt

POW

Pollard, Albert A.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Mann, Julius D.

S/Sgt

POW

Dwyer, Robert E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Lyons, Joseph R.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 534th H/42-30028

Wright, Neil H.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Rogers, Jack W.

2nd Lt

POW

Haverkamp, Cliff. M.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Stracotenko, John M.

2nd Lt

POW

Allen, Earl R.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Sowell, Walter F.

S/Sgt

POW

Egliski, Paul J.

Sgt

POW

 

Bingenheimer, Ralph

S/Sgt

POW

Hill, James R.

S/Sgt

POW

 

St Michael, Wilfred

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 534th G/42-3227

Forkner, Hamden L.

1st Lt

EVD

 

Kelly, Joseph A.

2nd Lt

POW

Hyatt, Robert E.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Vincent, Edwin L.

1st Lt

POW

Shipe, Paul F.

S/Sgt

EVD

 

Shattuck, Chester E.

S/Sgt

POW

Stease, Ralph E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Sobelewski, Edward

S/Sgt

EVD

Horton, Harry H.

S/Sgt

EVD

 

Chew, Lin F.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 534th L/42-30245

Simpson, Weldon

1st Lt

KIA

 

Agler, Eldon H.

2nd Lt

POW

Mee, William H.

1st Lt

POW

 

Roraback, Douglas

2nd Lt

EVD

Warwick, Russell L.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Edwards, Robert L.

S/Sgt

POW

Beech, Frank M.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Gregory, Paul A.

S/Sgt

POW

Bassinger, Robin L.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Beasley, Chester J.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 535th V/42-3225

Disbrow, Loren C.

1st Lt

POW

 

Chapin, Allen J.

2nd Lt

POW

Jones, David R.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Gaydos, George

2nd Lt

POW

Bruzewski, Otto F.

T/Sgt

EVD

 

Moore, Thomas R.

T/Sgt

EVD

Walters, Joseph J.

S/Sgt

EVD

 

Moulton, John H.

S/Sgt

POW

King, Ernest C.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Kiniklis, W.   P

S/Sgt

EVD

MIA 535th M/42-3220

Smith, Harry M.

1st Lt

POW

 

Hawkins, Samuel J.

2nd Lt

POW

Noonan, John P.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Quinn, Lloyd W.

2nd Lt

POW

Lischke, Judd

S/Sgt

POW

 

Sylvester, Tony A.

T/Sgt

POW

Jupin, John

S/Sgt

POW

 

Elsberry, John V.

S/Sgt

POW

Blake, Harold L.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Colborn, Robert L.

S/Sgt

POW

Personnel in the ditched crew were uninjured, and picked up after about one hour, 15 minutes, their aircraft,  532nd  -/42-29735, having sunk. They were: F/O George Darrow; 2nd Lt John Howcroft; 2nd Lt Ralph Waldman; 2nd Lt Philip Rofosa; S/Sgt Carl Hartnett; T/Sgt Jack Kaufman; S/Sgt Clarence Jones; S/Sgt James Baker; S/Sgt Richard Morrison; S/Sgt Paul Howard.

18 August – F/O Darrow and crew returned to this station after being rescued from their ditching. All appeared to be in good shape and were certainly being plied with questions from every side.

Capt Dosier, MC, epidemiologist from Surgeons Office, S.O.S., arrived at this station during the morning. He was conducted through the Consolidated mess by Lt. Col. Read, and arrived at the hospital just before noon. His appearance, it seems, was due to request from the Chief Surgeons Office, S.O.S., for help with our diarrhea outbreak.

The entire past history, i.e., outbreaks, food and water problems, mess halls, food handlers, etc., was re-hashed. The water tank and well area was inspected. The Combat Mess was done over, and the following difficulties noted: (a) wiping silverware with dishcloths; (b) Handling food with hands when unnecessary, (c) Dirty tables in kitchen and in meat room.

The Consolidated Mess was done over thoroughly and thought to be lacking in several aspects. Deficiencies noted: (a) Dirty floors; (b) Dirty tables in kitchen, mess halls and meat room; (c) washing of mess tables with chlorine solution instead of hot, soapy water; (d) Cooks without shaves; (e) Dirty and long fingernails in food handling in more than half those present; (f) Delay in emptying of waste, causing flies to congregate; (g) Dirty clothes on mess personnel.

Capt Dosier feels the problem is not one of water, but of mess hall trouble in which the features mentioned  in the preceding paragraph are involved. He does not explain, however, the discrepancy between the reports from the 1st Medical Laboratory which shows Coli-Acrogenes, and those from 121st Station Hospital which show none.

No operational mission today as most crews are on pass.

19 August – The group participated in a raid over enemy territory late this afternoon presumably over Holland. Seven ships were sent out, one aborted, and one, with a mixed crew, failed to return. There no  other injuries. 

The loss of this latest ship seems to have the surprising effect on the combat crewmen, presumably because it was supposed to be an easy one. The line of reasoning, I presume is to the effect that if losses can be sustained on the simple ones, what chances has anyone on the others.

MIA 533rd /42-3010

Koenig, Orlando H.  +    

1st Lt

POW

 

Mangapan, Joseph L.

2nd Lt

POW

Spivey, Leonard L. +

1st Lt

POW

 

O’Loughlin, Edwd.

2nd Lt

POW

Perkins, Leo I.  +

T/Sgt

POW

 

Everett, Arthur L. +

S/Sgt

KIA

Buran, Walter J.  +

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Chester, Russell

T/Sgt

POW

Jones, Wilbert G.  +

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Sabourin, Eugene A.

S/Sgt

KIA

+ 535th BS

H2H powder was increased ¾% in each side of the tank three times a day on August 18. No testing set is available and it could not be tested as scheduled in samples. The additional supply produced the desired results.

20 August – The mission scheduled for today was scrubbed.  Part of the group are on pass, red.,  relatively inactive  as far as duty is concerned. The commander of one aircraft was present when his navigator was mortally injured, since then I have  learned that insinuations have been made that had he been on the ball, the man’s life might have been saved.  I personally re-assured the man the day following the accident that such was not the case, but apparently is has been a factor. The whole crew is leaving on a 48 hr pass and interview will be made on their return.

The men of the combat crews are as a whole depressed over the events of the past few days, as are the rest of us. Colonel Nazarro gave them a talk this morning in which he stressed the aims of the Air Force, together with the situation of the men existent at this time, and the necessity of pursuing the effort. In addition considerable information of informative and military statistical value more given to the crew members more clearly appreciate the entire picture.

In addition it was pointed out their association, now in the hands of the enemy, would certainly not appreciate our inactivity, in as much as each effort, though small, shortens their restriction. This produced a line of thought not heretofore encountered  and started new thinking and rationalization. It is my belief that with this new thought and necessity for continuing the push, we will have little trouble. Unquestionably, any loss will be a costly one to the group at this time. If, however, it is a means to an end, I believe they will feel duty bound to do whatever they are called on to do.

21 August – No mission scheduled today as weather is unfavorable.  The mess halls have been inspected daily, three times at meal times by a medical officer assigned to that mess hall. In them all the situation has improved. There is still a great difficulty in properly operating the dishwater, that in maintenance of high temperature, sufficient soap and inspection, the rejection of dirty plates. Garbage is still not hauled away promptly  in all cases and maggots were found in one can today. It appears to be a process of constant cleaning and re-checked.

Water samples sent to 1st Medical Lab., collected 9 August  and four days in transit was reported bacteriologically potable. No new outbreaks of diarrhea have occurred since the seventh. A few sporadic cases, three I believe, have occurred and each one was thought due to dietary indiscretion.

24 August – A raid over enemy occupied territory conducted this date in which the group furnished seven ships. One aborted and five returned. The sixth ran short of gas, landed on the south coast, re-gassed and came home. No injuries. The target was and airfield and repair installation at Villacoublay.

There has been an improvement in the morale this evening after all ships returned. Many of the men show evidence of being quite tired, although still eager. A definite lessening of enthusiasm is noticed. Arrangements were completed to have a pilot, who ditched in the Channel, sent to 5th General Hospital for Marconi’s Therapy. He has been increasingly nervous  with loss of sleep since the experience. He was flown down during the afternoon. Three officers were to leave for Bournemouth, Hampshire, the R.R.C.’s, (Rest & Recuperation Center) Officers Club, for a few days rest, tomorrow.

Lt Col T.I. Badger, MC.,  Chief of Medical Section, 5th General Hospital, visited the station presumably to meet Colonel Tracy. He was conducted over the base, saw a few patients and seemed to enjoy the visit.

25 August – No missions have been scheduled today. Five new crews who have recently arrived are being flown locally.

Col R.J. Tracy, M.O.,  Surgeon, Eighth Bomber Command,  was a guest of the station today. He was accompanied by Dr Bronx,  a technical advisor on Gen Grant’s staff, for flying equipment problems. The Colonel and the Doctor were conducted over the station and inspected the  W.A.A.F. Site Infirmary and Station Hospital.

Lt Vernon Chadwick, VC,  inspected the consolidated and airmen’s messes this morning just before noon. In the consolidated mess the dishes were extremely dirty and had the appearance of being washed in water  not sufficiently hot and an inadequate quantity of soap.

The garbage cans at the airmen’s mess  were clean, but three had a considerable quantity of bread that was perfectly edible. This waste was called to the attention of  the mess sergeant who explained it by stating that unless the K.Ps, were watched closely, they would throw bread away.

26 August – The raid scheduled for this morning was scrubbed  after the planes were off the ground  and headed for the Initial Point. All returned OK to base.

Colonel White, D.C., ETO Dental Surgeon and Major Rueter, D.C., Eighth Air Force Dental Surgeon visited the station. The hospital was looked over and dental clinic inspected and photographed under Col White’s direction. These officers were impressed with the improved set up necessitated by lack of equipment.

29 August – Raid scheduled over north eastern France this afternoon for a 17.00 hrs take off. Ten planes were sent out, none aborted and ten returned. Light fighters and flak attack were reported. Morale was high upon return. I believe the morale is increasing gradually now and new crews are keeping this too. I am convinced that operational fatigue was to have been a problem for some time to come, were it not for the intensive loss. Up to that point I am sure there was no higher morale and spirit in the Air Force. The Schweinfurt raid was so ghastly from the severity of the fighter attack, most personnel surviving feel they are living on borrowed time.

It is impossible for them to see how many heavy aircraft could possible get through such a dense fighter attack. As time goes on and the tension eased through comparatively easy missions, the situation is noticeably better. If the group could be built up to strength in men and ships, I am sure the most rapid recovery would be produced. A half-empty dining room is a rather sinister reminder.

31 August – In a raid over Northern France the group sent a small number of planes. All returned from the mission, and there were no injuries.


 

September 1943

 

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

SEPTEMBER 1943

2 September – A late afternoon raid was scheduled over enemy occupied France, but this was scrubbed before reaching the French coast and all planes returned.

There is a considerable improvement in morale during the past week, operational flights have been comparatively easy and no casualties or losses resulted. This has increased the feeling of confidence a great deal. Lt Baltrusaitis and crew returned from seven days leave. The officers went to Bournemouth on the south coast. Reports of rest and recreation in large quantities came from all officers, who heartily endorse this club. These men appear refreshed and have profited by the leave.

3 September – The group participated in a raid over enemy territory, occupied France, this afternoon. Leaving the base about 06.00 hrs the return was made shortly after 11.00 hrs. Twenty two ships went out, and 18 returned. A call was received from one ship, and two others landed on coastal airfields for gasoline. One ship is unaccounted for. It is believed 10 chutes were seen leaving the ship.

MIA 535th Y/42-29789

Zum, Benjamin J.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Hoover, Charles H.

2nd Lt

EVD

Willis, John W.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Clark, Luther C.

2nd Lt

KIA

Italiano, Robert W.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Myers, Edwin B.

S/Sgt

EVD

Terry, Floyd H.

T/Sgt

EVD

 

Bang, Charles F.

S/Sgt

POW

Crocittio, Frank J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Christofero, Ferdinand

S/Sgt

POW

Two crew members were wounded. Both were in the nose of the same ship, into which a small caliber bullet penetrated the nose. The navigator was injured by penetration of multiple fragments of the bullet into the lateral surface, left leg. The bombardier suffered a perforating wound of radial aspect, left hand, medial border, between 5th metacarpal and medial aspect.

5 September – There have been no raids since the 3rd , but today 21 ships were sent to raid a factory in Stuttgart, Germany, a round trip of 1,350 miles. Two ships aborted and 11 returned to this base on schedule. The remaining eight landed elsewhere because of fuel shortage and two crash landed in southern England. No crews were lost and there were no casualties.

Major Garfield P. Schnabel was relieved of his duties as Station Surgeon today,. Major Ernest Gaillard Jr., arrived at this station and assumed command of the Medical Detachment this date, contained in:- par 5 SO 211, par 4, HQ VIII Bomber Command, as of 2 September 1943.

7 September – Seventeen aircraft took off for Brussels, Belgium, the target being an airfield. Two ships aborted  and the remaining 15 returned safe to base with no casualties.

A meeting of Medical Officers was held in the afternoon and the general policies of the department were outlined. The following assignments were made:- Capt Pease – Medical Inspector; Capt Ralston – Venereal Disease Control Officer; Capt Wymer – Respiratory Disease Control Officer; Lt Fick – Detachment Commander.

The chief deficiencies that have been found are:- A lack of proper base sanitation partially due to inadequate equipment and secondly, the lack of training of the enlisted Medical Dept., both military and professional.

9 September – Twenty one aircraft from this group took off for a target airdrome, at Lille, France. Two ships aborted and the remainder returned safely to base. There were two men injured, namely:- Abramo, Nicholas J. S/Sgt, 533rd BS, BTG; diagnosis – 1. Wound penetrating, severe, right foot, entrance on the plantar surface of the foot, over the cistal heads of the 3rd, 4th and  5th metatarsals. The wound is just over an inch in length on the plantar surface, and a pinpoint wound on the dorsal surface, 1” proximal to the metatarsal phalangual joint; 2. Accidentally incurred while on an operational mission over enemy territory by flak, low velocity, about 00.30 hrs

Dills, Marvin K. 2nd Lt 533rd BS, CP; diagnosis – 1. Wound, penetrating, mild, chest, anterior, at the level of 4th rib, left, mild, clavicular line, accidentally incurred while on an operational mission over enemy territory, 00.15 hrs; 2. Abrasion, mild, face, one inch anterior to left ear, at temporal region, accidentally incurred as in #1.Removal of a piece of flak under novocaine anesthetic at 12.00 hrs upon return.

One ship returned with 60 flak holes and a rudder cable shot away. No casualties aboard this ship which returned safely.

Capt Wymer was appointed Medical Liaison Equipment Officer and Capt Bland appointed Director of Training of Medical Detachment.

Major Shuller, 1st Wing Surgeon, visited this date and was especially concerned over passes for crew members and stated that the 381st was at the bottom of statistical list in number of leaves granted and he also remarked that a week of leave or a similar period at a rest home.

The Clerk of Works discussed water and sewage systems and a series of bacteriological reports on the possibilities of the water. The effluent from the sewage system is to be measured daily by this office and when sufficient data has accumulated reports will be made to the R.A.F. Section Officer.

Col Reed was informed of the stagnant area that begins opposite Base Utilities and extending down to the sewage disposal system and stated that he would have the corrections according to recommendations.

15 September – Nineteen aircraft took off at 13.15 hrs today for a raid on an airdrome at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. Two of the aircraft aborted, but no ships were lost.    The mission was eventful in that it was the first time that the group carried external bombs. Two 1,000 pounders were carried on the outside and the total bomb load was 8,000 pounds – the heaviest load yet carried. The ships returned after dark and used the night lighting facilities for the first time.

The destruction of the hangars at the target airdrome was considered satisfactory, there were no wounded or killed. Three ships returned to England and landed safely at R.A.F. airfields in southern England, and the remainder returned safely to this base.

16 September – Twenty aircraft as part of the First Combat Wing had as a target, a ship in the river at Nantes, France. The mission was considered unsuccessful. Two ships aborted and the remainder returned safely to this base.

The wounded and their injuries were as follows:

Downey, Martin H., 2nd Lt, CP 534th BS:  1. Wound, lacerated, moderate severity, right forearm, involving posteria lateral surface, middle third, 3 ½ inches long, and involving skin subcutaneous tissue, facial and muscle, accidentally incurred by flak of low velocity while on operational mission over enemy territory about 18.00 hrs. WIA taken to 121st Station Hospital, Braintree.

Milligan, Walter F., T/Sgt, WG 533rd BS: 1. Wound, penetrating, severe, at outer aspect of middle thigh of right thigh, of high velocity 20mm cannon shell  sustained over enemy territory; 2. Wound, penetrating, high velocity, at lower back region at level of crest of ilium, severe, sustained as above; 3. Wound, penetration multiple, moderate severity, low velocity, outer aspect of dorsum of right ankle, sustained as above. Taken to 121st Station Hospital, Braintree.

Horne, Emery M., S/Sgt  TG  533rd BS: 1. Wound, abrasion, mild, middle and lateral surface of right thigh, 2 inches long, accidentally incurred by flak of low velocity while on operational mission; 2. Wound, lacerated, mild right lumbar region, as above.  Returned to duty after treatment at Base Hospital.

Paterno, Vincent A., S/Sgt  ETTG 533rd BS: 1. Wound, perforating, severe, right shoulder, entrance at the upper and lateral border of scapula and exit at the anterior border of deltoid at upper 1/3rd of humorus, accidentally occurred on operational mission over enemy territory, about 16.30 hrs; 2. Wound, penetrating, mild, multiple, of right arm, as above. Taken to 121st Station Hospital, Braintree.

The difficulties encountered in their evacuation, were overcrowding at the ships during the evacuation and lack of sufficient numbers of medical department soldiers to handle litters and give necessary aid etc. We will attempt to eradicate this in the future having four men assigned to each ambulance and each man will wear a brassard for identification as medical personnel by the Military Police. 

Visitors to the Medical Department included Lt Col Hatcher, CO of the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree; Lt Col Rogers, Chief of Surgical Services and Lt Howard, ANC, with the station and stated that they were more acutely aware of the function of a Bomb Group and in particular the medical problems that confront us.

Lt Clark, SO, Eastern Base Section, was here to inspect the sewage disposal system and a sample of effluent was sent there. Lt Chadwick, VC, Station #169, made a sanitary inspection of messes with Capt Pease, expressing satisfaction as to our sanitary condition. The Medical Department  recommended basic changes in the field ration we are now receiving. It was suggested  that a higher protein and lower carbohydrate diet be supplied.

A dance at the Officers Club was held in the evening and was for the first time Medical Officers and nurses from our own station hospital.

17 September – There was a briefing of crews at 10.00 hrs but the mission was scrubbed at 12.00 hrs.

Capt AB (who shall be nameless) reported to Capt Bland and stated that he did not wish to go on the mission. He further stated that he had ideas of homicide and suicide. Since the Schweinfurt mission of 17 August, Capt AB says he has not slept well and feels the odds are overwhelmingly against the individual in raids over German territory. He was interviewed by me, he was quite introspective and downcast, quiet and stated he had no desire whatsoever to get near a B-17 and that he was not equal to go on this raid. It is rather hard to decide whether it was feeling for personal safety or the weight of the responsibility of leading the group into combat that was responsible for his attitude. It was pointed out to him that he was one of the leaders in the group and that the personnel looked to him for direction and guidance, and further that personal failure on his part would have a disastrous effect upon the squadron and very likely on the group as a whole.

He finally agreed somewhat reluctantly to go to the briefing. The Group Surgeon spoke to Col Nazzaro and gave him the gist of the conversation outlined above and the Colonel put the issue of going on the mission squarely to Capt AB who agreed to go much easier than would have been anticipated. It is the feeling of myself and Capt Bland that another mission is indicated to restore confidence. (Capt AB has led seven missions to date since Schweinfurt) and that following the mission a period of rest is indicated. It is also our feeling that unless this procedure is carried out Capt AB will be lost to us as a combat flier. In the meantime we are going to use our utmost to incur adequate sleep.

A meeting of the Medical Department enlisted men was held and the recommendation that four men would be assigned to each ambulance to evacuate wounded returning from missions was made and that another table be placed in the treatment room for the care of casualties. Brussards will be worn by ambulance personnel on the airdrome. The other subjects discussed were the cleaning and pressing establishments, medical recreation room, medical department dance, and discipline. The medical department men are commended on the efficient manner of handling casualties on yesterday’s raid.  

19 September – Lt Col Ralph L. Wicks, Flight Surgeon of the 38th Fighter Wing, and Major W.P. Bunting, Group Surgeon of the 385th Bomb Group and Great Ashfield, visited the detachment.

20 September – The staff attended a medical meeting  and a symposium the hepatitis at 121st Station Hospital, Braintree. The chief things of interest were, that the disease we have called infectious jaundice and the jaundice resulting from an injection were felt to be the same disease entity. The disease is thought to be due to a virus. It has been transmitted by nasal solutions, by respiratory droplet, and by saline emulsions from autopsied livers. Its incidence has increased in wartime and in periods of economic stress, and is felt to be due in part, at least, to a decrease in the protein content. The treatment that was advocated  was the use of fairly large amounts of cosein digest which when given early seems to ameliorate the disease considerably. In the case of arsenical hepatitis it is felt that the amino-acid medicals were used to detoxify the arsenic, consequently a high protein diet is indicated for the luetic patient.

22 September – Major Gaillard and Capt Bland  attended a meeting of the E.T.O. Medical Society at the 67th General Hospital, at Taunton, Somerset.  The topics discussed  were on low back pain, fractures of the femur, line of duty, fetal circulation, knee joint derangements, dyspepsia, transfusion in the field, some cardio-vascular concepts for military service, and last the use of penicillin  in the treatment of gonorrhea. We were somewhat disappointed in the professional side of the meeting. A batch of medical officers were transported to and from the meeting by air, which we felt is a good liaison policy.

At 19.15 hrs a plane was seen to explode in the air, north west of this station. Capt Pease, Lt Cohler and three ambulances left immediately for the site of the crashed plane which was located at Poplar Farm, about six miles north west of the field. The plane was an R.A.F. Stirling which had previously taken off from Stradishall, just over the Suffolk border, on a combat mission. The plane and its occupants were spread over an area of about 500 yards and parts of the burning plane hit a nearby farm house  causing a severe fire of the house. In the midst of the burning incendiary bombs and unexploded 1,000 pound bombs, the members of this station proceeded to evacuate the bodies of the R.A.F. personnel. One member was still alive, although unconscious, severely injured, and had an apparent skull fracture. He was immediately evacuated and taken by R.A.F. ambulance to hospital in Cambridge. His condition at present is unknown. Five other members of the crew, all dead, were turned over to the R.A.F. personnel. The cause of the crash was not determined.

25 September – Eleven aircraft from this group, flying as part of the combat wing, attacked shipping and docks, at Nantes, France, with good results. Of the 20 that took off for the mission, six were unable to find the rendezvous point, there were two abortions, and one aircraft went over the target with another group.

All of our aircraft returned and there was only one wounded in action: 1st Lt Frank J. Shimek, Nav 532nd BS; 1. Wound, penetrating, mild, lacerated at junction of middle and lower right leg.

26 September – Twenty aircraft from this command left the field at 14.45 hrs to attack an aircraft factory north west of Paris, France. Two returned early before crossing the Channel. The remaining 18 returned with full bomb loads because of poor visibility. The combat wing  was led by Col Nazzaro and Lt Col Dunlop.

The following men were wounded: S/Sgt Harold W. Harrington 535th BS, BTG. 1. Frostbite, mild, tips of right thumb, index and middle fingers; 2. Reason: Filter valve on oxygen bottle froze on refilling and was using bale out bottle. On getting bottle back into turret, lead cord on heating unit became severed.

Sgt John S. Channell, 535th BS, TG. 1. Frostbite, 2nd degree, chin and both cheeks, molar region. 2. Reason: Oxygen mask froze to face. 

S/Sgt Charles L. Carter, 534th BS, TG. 1. Frostbite, severe, lower jaw.

S/Sgt Hubert  Greene, 533rd  BS, WG. 1. Frostbite, slight, lower left jaw, right upper cheek.

S.Sgt Alex Pazalgowski, 532nd BS. 1. Frostbite, 2nd degree, central right mandible, and 1st degree, right molar region.

27 September – The target for today was Emden, Germany, and the M.P.I. was the center of the town near the shipping facilities. Nineteen aircraft from this command participated, with one abortion, 17 aircraft returned safely to the base on schedule, while the 18th landed at Great Ashfield, Suffolk, home to the 385th BG, with wounded aboard. The ship was hit by many fighters just beyond the target area. The two waist gunners stated the aircraft which hit them came in level and between the fields of fire of the waists guns and tail guns. The time of the injury was around 10.10 hrs.

Major Gaillard and Capt Bland went to Gt Ashfield and upon arrival S/Sgt James J. Dunn was in impending sleep. His injuries were as follows: Wounded at 10.10 hrs, morphine grs ½ at 10.15, another ½ gr at 10.25. The wound was dressed and sulfanilamide placed in the wound by the other waist gunner, who himself was wounded.

The ship landed at 12.00 hrs and at 14.00 plasma was started. At 15.15  S/Sgt Dunn received 720cc of plasma. It was felt that it was now safe to transport him to the 12th Evacuation Hospital at Botesdale. Supporting treatment was continued at the hospital and an additional 500cc of plasma was administered. 

An X-ray revealed a large metal fragment behind the head of the right femur and a comminuted fracture of the right inshiel tuberosity. Operation at 18.30 by Major Willie Meyer.

The wound of the left thigh entered on the anterior surface about the junction of the middle and lower third and extended upward almost to the lower groin. A huge amount of tissue was detetalised . The neratal portion of the spermatic cord and the left testicle were exposed and the shell, apparently continuing upward through the perinium,  overlised large amounts of tissue including the posterior hom of the urethra, the urethra bulb, and the left lateral ¼ of the sphincter ani. A loop colostomy and a supra-pubic egstotomy were performed. The wound of the right thigh was debrided. The left spermatic cord and testicle were removed, and an attempt was made to restore the urethra, but there was still a large deficit of tissue. The anus and sphincter ani were widely opened at the site of the damage. The fragment of shell and several pieces of bone were removed from the right ischium. The amount of destruction was tremendous.

The wounds were sprinkled with 10 grams of sulfanilamide powder, and dressed with vaseline gauze and pressure dressings. In addition, 250 cc of plasma was administered and donors were typed in for transfusion. His condition at the end of the operation was fair.

The other patient, Sgt John J. Crawbuck, 534th BS WG, was in the following condition:- The large wound, which was approximately 4 x 4 cm, was located between the anterior and superior spine and the brochanter of the right femur, and was found to connect with the shell fragment that was located about 12 cm posteriorly in the right buttock. The tract was laid open, debrided, and packed open with sulfanilamide 5 cm, and vaseline gauze.


 

October 1943

 

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

OCTOBER 1943

2 October – Twenty aircraft from this base took off at 13.45 hrs for the second attack on Emden, Germany. Two aircraft aborted, and the remaining 18 went over the target, and returned home safely. There were no killed or wounded.

For the second time the Forts had a P-47 escort all the way. The mission was further remarkable in that flak suits were worn for the first time. An estimated 80% of the crew members wore the suits and experienced satisfaction with them. Others used them as anti-flak pads around the bottom of the airplane.

The bombs were dropped on a pathfinder outfit through 10,000 ft overcast. Most of the bombardiers and navigators felt at that time calculations the bombing was reasonably accurate. The air temperature at bombing altitude, 22,000 ft was –23 degrees C. There were no frost bites.

Just before the flight a tail gunner S/Sgt Clarence M. Jones, 534th BS, became hysterical and refused to go on the mission. He had had six previous missions and his reactions seemed to be a profound emotional upset.

One thing that has impressed me is the impersonal attitude of the combat crews to their work. They mean to feel neither hate no pity for the enemy. Their chief group reaction seems to be a healthy respect for the potentialities of aerial combat, but they direct their bombing and fighter attacks almost without emotion and very much in the manner that a problem would be attacked in civilian life.

4 October – Twenty one aircraft took off at approximately 07.00 hrs for a mission. There were nine abortions, but 12 aircraft proceeded to the target, which was the center of the city of Frankfurt, Germany. Most of the aircraft aborted after being over the continent. The remaining aircraft completed the mission.

We had no injuries, but there were two cases of frostbite; S/Sgt William E. Abbott, 533rd BS, received frostbite to neck, 1st degree, and S/Sgt Clyde C. Draa, 534th BS, who received frostbite, mild to face, left side. He was put on duty, but S/Sgt Abbott was admitted to Quarters. From a group standpoint, bombing results were considered good.

At approximately 08.00 hrs there was a head-on collision on the perimeter track at the south end of the north-south runway. M/Sgt Victor A. Cottinger, 532nd BS,  was driving a weapons carrier and Pvt Robert Sabating, 1142nd MP Company, was driving a command car. There were six men injured in the accident and were treated at sick quarters. Two men, M/Sgt Cottinger, and Pvt Harold M. Silvious, 533rd BS, were evacuated to the 121st Station Hospital at Braintree. S/Sgt Robert (NMI) Miller, and Cpl Armando Di Nicola, both 533rd BS, were admitted to station sick quarters. The other two men returned to duty.

M/Sgt Cottinger went to 121st Station Hospital by ambulance after receiving first aid at station sick quarters. About 13.00 hrs he was flown by a Fortress from this base, from Andrews Field to 49th Station Hospital, Diddington, Hunts., for surgical treatment, by a neuro-surgical team.

Two medical officers, Capt Milton M. Bland, and Capt George J. Pease, attended the Staff Meeting at 121st Station Hospital, today.

8 October – A status board showing the combat crews and medical personnel has been obtained. It is black, covered with plexi-glass, and shows organization, positions on crew, and the number of the crew for each of the four squadrons. It also shows the organizations included in the medical department. The new wing to the sick quarters was opened this date and is being used as an officers’ ward.

Twenty one aircraft from this station took off at 12.00 hrs- target: Bremen, Germany. The ships returned at approximately 17.30 hrs. Seven ships were missing, and personnel included in these ships is as follows:-

MIA 532nd B/42-29854

Sample, Arthur M.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Cytarzinski Edward P.

2nd Lt

POW

McKay, Norman  C.

Capt

KIA

 

Moore, Robert V.

S/Sgt

KIA

Ballou, Howard W.

Sgt

KIA

 

Heintz, Warren G.

T/Sgt

KIA

Olson, Melvin J.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Grayson, William H.

S/Sgt

KIA

Forbes, James R.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Johnston, George R.

S/Sgt

KIA

MIA 532nd G/42-30009

Pry, Jack S.

1st Lt

POW

 

Quinley, Cecil W.

2nd Lt

POW

Burwell, Roger W.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Snyder, Theodore F.

2nd Lt

POW

La Pointe, Edwd. R.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Frauschti, Russell H.

T/Sgt

POW

Smith, Irvin W.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Baird, Carl L.

S/Sgt

POW

Johnson, Alfred A.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Brandt, Martin D.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 533rd R/42-29765

Hartje, James W.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Jerome, Joseph C.

2nd Lt

POW

Norton, Edgar D.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Channault, Joseph P.

2nd Lt

POW

Kaseman, Eugene

S/Sgt

KIA

 

LaPlace, Gerald G.

S/Sgt

POW

Boykin, Clayton M.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Swackhammer, Edwd.

S/Sgt

POW

Czyz, Edward

Sgt

KIA

 

Sieber, Arthur T.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 534th C/42-30722

Lishon, Dexter

Capt

POW

 

Long, Carlton H.

2nd Lt

POW

Gluck, Robert

1st Lt

POW

 

Rokosa, Philip V.

2nd Lt

POW

Johnson, Canute M.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Riddle, Lloyd C.

T/Sgt

POW

Madison, Clarence

S/Sgt

POW

 

Stuart, George A.

S/Sgt

POW

Schnalzer, John J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Marques, William J.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 535th T/42-30864

Cormany, William

1st Lt

POW

 

Ingenhutt, William W.

Major

POW

Frost, Edwin D.

1st Lt

POW

 

Black, Robert C.

1st Lt

KIA

Miller, Earl F.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Roeder, Robert R.

T/Sgt

POW

O’Hara, James J.

S/Sgt    

POW

 

Smith, Richard W.

S/Sgt

POW

Dwyer, James J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Weniger, Robert L.

1st Lt

POW

MIA 535th R/42-29941

Manchester, Edwin

Capt

KIA

 

Jukes, Elton D.

Capt

KIA

Smith, Marvin L.

1st Lt

POW

 

Moore, Keith D.

1st Lt

POW

O’Donnell, James J.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Darrington, Lorenzo

T/Sgt

KIA

Tucker, Arthur L.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Budzic, Anthony L.

S/Sgt

KIA

Berk, Matthew

S/Sgt

POW

 

McCook, Wade (NMI)

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 535th Z/42-3123

Kemp, Leslie A.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Heim, William C.

2nd Lt

KIA

Tomlin, Frank E.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Nelson, Thomas B.

2nd Lt

KIA

Jennette, Arthur F.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Richards, Walter L.

S/Sgt

KIA

Gentry, Gilles E.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Duffy, Raymond V.

S/Sgt

KIA

Stinsman, James

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Osborn, Edward F.

S/Sgt

KIA

Of those ships returning, several were badly damaged and “Tinkertoy” ground-looped just off the runway. It had the nose shot out and the pilot 1st Lt William J. Minerich, had his head blown off by a 20mm cannon shell. There was hardly a square inch of the entire cockpit that was not covered in blood and brain tissue. One half of his face and a portion of his cervical vertebrae  was found in the front of the bomb bay. The decapitation was complete.

The co-pilot Lt Thomas D. Sellers is certainly deserving of any award that may be given him for his heroic work in bringing this ship back to base. The bombardier and navigator, 2nd Lt Henry G. Palas and 2nd Lt James K. Stickel, were also slightly wounded and frostbitten.

The tail gunner on Lt Miller’s crew, S/Sgt Stephen J. Klinger, 534th BS, was KIA. His diagnosis was as follows:- 1. Wound, perforating, sideline of neck, about 2” in diameter involving the brachea and great vessels of the left side of the neck. 2. Compound fracture of the upper 1/3rd  right forearm, wound of entrance about 1” in diameter; incurred by low velocity missile.

After this mission, in visiting the many crews right after they hit the ground, the tense excitement of many was apparent and in many cases were border-line hysteria. An effort was made to massively sedate a large number of the crew members and it seemed to work quite satisfactorily. This was the roughest mission experienced in some time and most of the personnel ceased to feel the losses keenly.

At the briefing on the morning of October 9, most of those who had received  six grains of sodium amytal were in much better shape than those who had not. However there were two cases of dizziness and headache, to which we attributed to the sodium amytal. The medical department ran into a little command difficulty in administering this sedation, but we hope to be able to explain the value of the procedure to the satisfaction of the command.

The morale of the crews remains good. They are all looking forward to the day we can have long range fighter escort. There were 30 B-17s lost by the Eighth Air Force  on this raid and an estimated 145 enemy fighters destroyed.

9 October – At 12.00 hrs, 16 B-17s from this command took off with the target the Focke-Wolf factory at Anklam, Germany. The Target is thought to have been destroyed. The greater part of the flight was over the North Sea, and three aircraft failed to return to base.

MIA 533rd K/42-30012

Hendricks, Landon

Major

KIA

 

Withers, Robert L.

Capt

KIA

Turner, William T.

Capt

KIA

 

English, Leo K.

Capt

KIA

McNeil, Charles C.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Willdridge, John M.

T/Sgt

KIA

Arbiter, Jerome

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Howard, Lord A.

S/Sgt

KIA

O’Hara, Ernest A.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Duggan, William P.

2nd Lt

KIA

MIA 533rd Y/42-3180

Carqueville, Herbert

1st Lt

KIA

 

Parsons, Robert R.

2nd Lt

KIA

Smith, Charles H.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Cunningham, Thomas

2nd Lt

KIA

Kapustka, John B.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Gerolou, Vito J.

T/Sgt

KIA

Embardo, James J.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Fox, Anthony F.

S/Sgt

POW

Greene, Elburn L.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Horne, Emery M.

S/Sgt

KIA

MIA 534th J/42-29958

Loftins, James L.

1st Lt

POW

 

Cornell, Chester E.

2nd Lt

POW

Beckerman, Hyman

2nd Lt

POW

 

Czarny, Stanley J.

2nd Lt

POW

Kwoka, Leon J.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Silverberg, Charles G.

T/Sgt

KIA

Cyrek, Eugene E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Huhn, Allen O.

S/Sgt

POW

Nader, Joseph C.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Alford, Allen T.

S/Sgt

KIA

Lt Loftins’ crew was seen to parachute over Germany. Lt Carqueville  left the formation somewhere in enemy territory. Major Hendricks  was on his return trip over the North Sea and apparently felt he was out of the fighter zone and left the formation. He was jumped by fighters and was seen to lose altitude rapidly, and estimates of four to six were seen to leave the ship. Some crews reported the aircraft ditched, and one reported that the ship exploded just before it hit the water. However it should be pointed out that the aircraft were flying at approximately 15,000 ft, and assuming that Major Hendricks’ aircraft was in control, the distance between the formation and the ship as it reached sea level would be at least 20 – 30 miles, consequently the accuracy of the observation may be questioned.

Four other men were also missing, from the 532nd BS:- 2nd Lt Max E. Liming – CP; 2nd Anthony P. Taormina – N; 2nd Lt John B. Morgan – B; T/Sgt Gordon Teal – ETTG.

Apparently just as the formation was reaching the Danish coast, a 20mm cannon shell exploded in the cockpit of Lt Douglas Winter’s ship, and he was temporarily stunned or blinded by the flash. When he came to, the bombardier and navigator had already left the ship, the co-pilot was jumping and one of the crew members gave him a farewell salute and jumped.

The ship was in a steep gliding turn and there was a fire in the rear of the cockpit. Lt Winters righted the ship, put on the automatic pilot, went back and put out the fire, and brought the ship safely back to England, landing at another base. He suffered a mild flash burn of the face. He was the only one in the forward part of the ship and the courage and determination and skill that he displayed has been the basis for recommendation of a high military award. 

In the last two days this group has lost ten aircraft and many old crews and the effect has been demoralizing  to the staff and the combat crews. We all feel these losses very keenly and smiles and apparently cheerfulness are forced and everyone is quite well aware of the others’ feelings. The loss of two squadron commanders, Majors Ingenhutt and Hendricks has especially affected us, both from the standpoint of morale and administration.

Four men received injuries on this raid, and are as follows:-

2nd Lt Donald Frieze, 532nd BS: received penetrating wound, external surface, left hand.

Sgt Clyde Draa, 534th BS: suffered two mild abrasions to forehead and abrasions to index and fourth fingers of left hand.

Sgt Michael Feller, 534th BS; received mild burn, cervical region, behind angle of jaw, and contusion, mild over the middle of right clavicle.

S/Sgt Salvatore Bozzette, 532nd BS: suffered wounds, penetrating,  multiple, moderate severity, about 3cm in diameter, 3 on right thigh and one of left thigh, two on forearm, one on left cervical region, one on left lower chest, one left iguinal region, by fragments of exploding 20mm cannon.

10 October – Despite the punishment the group had taken in the raids of Oct 8th and 9th, eight aircraft were in commission and took off at 11.30 hrs in a heavy fog and haze, with Munster, Germany as the destination. Lt Col Dunlop and Lt Col Terry were in the lead. The target was severely hit.

Six aircraft returned to base safely and two landed elsewhere. There was one man wounded:- S/Sgt Andrew S. Schnitzler, 534th BS waist gunner: 1. Wound, multiple, mild of neck, posterior.

A number of the ships were badly shot up, and Lt Clore’s ship had two holes blown in the radio compartment and in taxing round the dispersal site, the radio operator and waist gunner stuck heads through the holes and were grinning like monkeys. They apparently had adequate reason to be happy.

There is an interesting story of anoxia, and from the medical viewpoint, it is doubtful if the narrative is correct. T/Sgt William F. Vance, 534th BS ball turret, on his 24th mission:- The tube broke from the oxygen bottle to the turret when the turret was cranked down when the plane was airborne. Split at first, he tried to tape it without success, then tried to use bail-out bottles. He passed out at enemy coast at 20,000 ft – out for two hours. Recovered at 20,000 ft on way back, was at 25,000 then down, was out completely for a while. Later he could hear pounding but could not do anything about it. He eventually recovered enough to man turret after using fresh bail-out bottle. He laid on the floor of the radio-room, until the ship landed at Wendling (392nd  BG, a B-24 base) and went to hospital and `got a white pill’, from an EM, before returning to base. (The Sgt showed no ill effects when he reported here.)

The mental attitude and morale of the crews is the lowest that has been yet observed.

14 October – Crews were briefed at 07.00 hrs and the target was the ball-bearing works at Schweinfurt, Germany. The mention of the word `Schweinfurt’  shocked the crews completely. It will be recalled on August 17th this group lost so heavily at this same target. Also conspicuous by its omission was the estimated number of enemy fighters based along this route. Upon checking with S-2 later, it was found that this omission was intentional and that the entire German fighter force of 1,100 aircraft were based within 80 miles of the course. The implications are obvious.

As I went round to the crews to check our equipment, sandwiches, coffee, etc., the crews were scared, and it was obvious that many doubted that they would return. We did get a break in that we didn’t go over the target in an ordered sequence and the outfits that went on in the position we were supposed to fly, lost heavily. The radio this morning stated that 60 B-17s were lost on this operation. There were three abortions in our group, and in our combat wing that went over the target, there were only 30 aircraft, and a minimum of 40 seemed almost mandatory. Someone must have held up by the hand.

Take off time was at 10.35 hrs. The planes returned at 17.35 hrs. Ridgewell was the only airdrome in the First Air Division that was open and we expected to receive the entire division, but fortunately at the last minute other airfields opened and we received only a few ships from other bases.

The wounded were as follows:- 532nd BS: S/Sgt Ernest E. Smith; 1. Wound, penetrating of right thigh, junction of lower and middle third, anterior surface – caused by exploding 20mm cannon shell.

533rd BS: 2nd Lt Turner I. Jones; 1. Wound. Lacerated, nose, left side of bridge, severe. 2. Fracture, compound, comminuted, nose, severe. 3. Contusion right infra-orbital, moderate severe (flak).

534th BS: S/Sgt LeRoy C. Weaver; 1. Contusion, moderate severity, left leg, distal one third, accidentally incurred by catching leg in ball turret of ship; 2. Abrasion, mild, left ankle, anterior surface accidentally incurred in plane.

535th  BS: 2nd Lt Carl W. Dittus; 1. Wound, lacerated 2” in length, moderate severity inner aspect, lower 1/3 forearm, left. Caused by 20mm cannon shell.

413th  BS (96th BG): S/Sgt Alan W. White; 1. Wound, penetrating mild, posterior aspect, right thigh, midline 2 ½” above popiticel, caused by flak, low velocity.

413th BS (96th BG): S/Sgt James L. Berry; 1. Wound, penetrating scalp, frontal portion, 1” long, moderate severity, caused by flak. 2. Frost bite, moderate severe, 2nd degree, involving all terminal phalanges, both feet and both small fingers. Caused by failure of heated suit.

Two ships ground looped on their return, but there were no casualties.

Lt Yorba’s crew went down in German territory after the target. Lt Muteline had extreme difficulty in bringing his ship back to England and finally landed down south several hours after the other ships had landed.

Colonel Nazarro was more visibly effected by this mission than by any I have observed, and he stated last night that he was more tired than when he, himself, had flown long missions. He seems to embody the personal feelings for his men that is sometimes lacking in commanders, and yet does not hesitate to do what is necessary to accomplish the mission.

15 October – The men on the line were cleaning the back of a gas truck with gasoline at approximately 14.50 hrs, when suddenly the gas truck caught fire.  No reason can be given for the fire, except that the engine was running in the truck and probably sparks from the motor set the gas. There were three men near the truck at the time and one of them received 2nd degree burns of the left ear, left side of face and left hand – Sgt Harold G. Bigler, 532nd BS., who was admitted to sick quarters at 15.00 hrs. No other injuries resulted from the explosion.

The combat crews were given 48 hr passes to relax their nervous tension.

16 October – Inspection of the medical detachment was held this morning at 10.00 hrs. Lt Col William J. Reed, was inspecting officer, and commended the detachment very highly. He was well pleased with the medical, physical layout.

17 October – Major Gaillard departed this P.M. to attend school for one week at the Eighth Air Force Provisional Medical Field Service School, at Station # 101, per authority contained in par. 10, SO 26, HQ, 1st Bombardment Division, dated 11 October.

Briefing was held this morning then while passing out sandwiches, coffee, cookies, etc., to the crews, the mission was scrubbed.

18 October – Eight planes took off at 06.45 hrs to Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, for briefing to make a composite group. Destination was Duren, Germany, but the mission was scrubbed some while after take off. All planes returned safely, but one enlisted man, S/Sgt Edward J. Meyers, 535th BS, received frostbite, right molar area, 2 ½” x 1 ¼” of moderate severity. No lanolin was used.

The staff visited patients at 121st Station Hospital, Braintree. The staff meeting which was scheduled to be held did not materialize.

20 October – Eight planes took off at 06.15 hrs and were briefed at another base. They joined aircraft from another group to make up a composite group, the target being Duren, Germany. There was one abortion, and the other seven did not reach the target so returned with their bomb load.

There were no casualties, although there was one case of frost bite: Sgt Robert E. Smith, 535th BS; 4th and 5th fingers, right hand, moderate severity. Lanolin was used.

21 October – Fifteen planes took off the morning at 05.45 hrs. At 06.17 hrs operations called to say the mission had been scrubbed, thus all planes returned safely to base.

Poor weather for the rest of the month ruled out any aerial action.


 

November 1943

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

NOVEMBER 1943

1 November – Doctor (Captain) Dunlop of the British Home Guard was host to Major Gaillard and Capt Ralston at a Home Guard simulated warfare demonstration where they actually shot over the heads, had dynamite exploding, had simulated gas and smoke. It was a very realistic demonstration, and the Tommy’s that were observing said that it looked much worse from the observer’s standpoint that from the soldier being indoctrinated. Capt Ralston and myself were quite content to observe.

3 November – For the past ten days there has been very little aerial activity because of poor weather. The combat group is in good condition, but seem to be getting restless. However, there is nothing to warrant any apprehension.

The monthly parties for the officers and enlisted men were held during the past week and were enjoyed by most and abused by the usual few. But, all in all they were satisfactory, and I believe should probably be held more often.

Major Gaillard attended the Eighth Air Force Provisional Medical Field Service School at High Wycombe, from Oct 17-23. The school was rather well conducted, and the most interesting and instructive part was the outlining of the psychiatric evaluation and disposition of combat crew failures.

Captain Ralston attended the plaster school at 30th General Hospital. He had an interesting three days, but apparently didn’t learn very much.

Captain Pease has departed for the American School Center, Shrivenham, Bucks., and in three weeks we expected a full-fledged commando!

In the interests of self preservation from a unit medical group standpoint, we have appointed a local medical board to review combat crew failures and other psychiatric cases before disposing of them. We feel that this will be interesting, informative, instructive, and to the best interests of the individual and the service. To date we have passed on three cases, namely: Lt A, Lt B, and S.Sgt C.  We were reversed by the Central Medical Board on Lt A, and upon reviewing our findings, we were inclined to maintain our original opinion.

There have been no missions flown in the past week, although 22 ships got of the ground on 30th October, were called back before crossing the coast.

There have been about ten new crews assigned during the week.

The following officers and enlisted men were sent to rest homes during the week, to: Eighth Air Force Officers Rest Home at Stanbridge Earls, Hampshire: 1st Lt William J. McDaniel, 2nd Lt Ernest M. Klein, 2nd Lt Louis M. Gill; all 533rd Bomb Squadron.

To Moulsford Manor, nr Chelsey, Berkshire: T/Sgt Louis S. Kalmar, S/Sgts John S. Shepherd,  Charles C. Leazenby, John S. Bunworth, Robert K. Ray, Walter E. Field and Howard A. Pope; all 533rd BS. 

1st Lt Bernard L. Cohler has been appointed Respiratory and Disease Control Officer to fill the vacancy created by Capt Dwyer being transferred.

Lt Col Ralph G. LaRue inspected the medical department on 31 October and was favourably impressed with the personnel and physical equipment.

Major Gaillard was elected to the council of the officers mess with specific duty in charge of entertainment.

The medical department, this date, inaugurated a new procedure in sanitary inspection. Four officers and four enlisted men descended upon the various sites, took them by storm, and left before the site realized they were being inspected. The only hitch in the machinery Capt Dwyer’s volubility, which hindered the operation somewhat. I future he will either be gagged or left behind!

Changes in personnel have been: DEPARTED: Capt Cornelius J. Dwyer – This officer has conducted himself quite well both medically and professionally in the two months that I have known him, and it is with reluctance that we lose his services.

ARRIVED: 1st Lt Leonard J. Lisnow – Dental Surgeon; Cpl Willaim H. Jordan – Dental Technician; 2nd Lt Grace R. Hawkes – Flight Nurse; 2nd Lt Margaret M. Gudobba – Flight Nurse.

T/3s Elmer S. Warzon and William M. Vandervander, both NCO’s assigned to the above named flight nurses.

4 November – The medical board convened to determine the sanity and the responsibility of the acts of Pvt J.W., 1142nd M.P. Company. Board consisted:- Major Ernest Gaillard, MC, president; Capt Milton H. Bland, MC, member; Capt Louis G. Ralston, MC, member and 1st Lt Joseph V. Fick, MAC, recorder.

With Lt Col Michael H. Teitelbaum, MC, neuro-psychiatric consultant. The board found the soldier to be mentally deficient, with an approximate mental age of 8 years. It was felt he should be held accountable for his acts.

Major Gaillard and Capt Dwyer were the guests of Doctor Dunlop at Steeple Bumpstead, a village 4/5 miles from Ridgewell, this date, as part of our “know the allies program.” The meal was skimpy but the refreshments were excellent.

Twenty seven aircraft from this command took off at 09.20 hrs with the target the dock area of Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The flight was undercast throughout, and bombing was done by pathfinder. Three divisions attacked the target and those on the mission stated they could see the air solid with B-17s as far as 30 miles ahead and behind. The mission was also remarkable in that P-38s accompanied the B-17s through to the target area for the first time. The flak was light and inaccurate and caused no damage that was observed by our group. Bombing altitude was 23,000 ft, temperature 28 degrees centigrade.

The only casualty of the day was 533rd BS top turret gunner, S/Sgt Shirley E. Goucher, who suffered a fracture of the humerous  when he fell out of the turret. All of the aircraft returned safely to the base, and the pick-up in morale of the crews was a pleasure to observe. It seemed to help everyone to know that the ships had gone over heavily defended area like Wilhelmshaven and came back without a scratch.

5 November – Twenty one ships from this command took off at 09.20 hrs with the target as Gelsenkirchen, Germany. It is located in the Ruhr Valley, and was bombed by pathfinder. Very little enemy fighter opposition was encountered, but the flak was very heavy and accurate.

Ten chutes were seen to leave Lt Hopp’s ship just east of the Dutch coast, while six left Lt Butler’s ship on the co-pilot’s orders, and three crew members landed at West Malling, Kent.

Lt Brown suffered from exposure and multiple minor injuries, and Sgt Osborne from a laceration of the dorsum of the left hand. When the order was given to prepare to bail out , the ship was at 28,000 ft. Lt Brown, bombardier, removed his oxygen mask and started to leave by the forward escape hatch. He apparently became anoxic, fell and the rip cord was accidentally released. The chute billowed out the hatch and round the ball turret and pulled Lt Brown’s right leg out of the ship. The wind blast tore off the right boot, but oddly enough he suffered little frost bite. The duration of his unconsciousness is unknown, but it is estimated at 1 ½ to 2 hours. Those missing in action are as follows:

MIA 535th BS V/42-30852

Hopp, Donald K.

1st Lt

POW

 

Carr, Walter C.

2nd Lt

KIA

Tyler, Marshall E.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Johnston, William J.

2nd Lt

KIA

Girvin, Alexander M.

T/Sgt

POW

 

East, Roy W.

T/Sgt

KIA

Richard, Armand R.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Greer, Julius F.

S/Sgt

KIA

True, Robert G.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Woodyatt, Richard

S/Sgt

KIA

533rd BS Y/42-29755

Butler, William D.

2nd Lt

RTD

 

Anderson, John K.

2nd Lt

POW

Potenza, Larry (?)

2nd Lt

RTD

 

Brown, Hayden

2nd Lt

RTD

Lindsay, Kinley W.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Maloney, Wayne L.

T/Sgt

POW

Osborne,  Robert

S/Sgt  

RTD

 

Skrapits, John F.

S/Sgt

POW

McGinty, Francis R.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Smith, Charles F.

S/Sgt

POW

This mission was remarkable in that the bombing altitude was 28,000 ft, and the outside temperature was minus 40 degrees. The crews were individually instructed prior to take off on the prevention of frostbite, and we like to feel that our efforts were in part responsible for the fact that only was frostbite was received on this mission.

Major Gaillard attended a division officers meeting and according to his own statement, accomplished nothing.

6 November – Major Gaillard, Capt Ralston, Lt Margaret Gudobba (Flight Nurse) and Capt William Thompson, MC, visiting from 121st Station Hospital, Braintree, went down to West Malling, Kent, by air to pick up the two wounded in yesterday’s entry. Lt Brown had a cast on his leg (hemorrhage and contusion of tibial collateral ligament) and had to be evacuated by ambulance and stretcher to the plane. The trip was uneventful.

7 November – Nineteen aircraft from this group took of at 08.20 hrs with the target the marshalling yards at Wesel, Germany. The bombing altitude was 26,000 ft and the outside temperature was minus 40 degrees centigrade. Bombing was done by pathfinder. Six cases of frostbite were incurred during this mission and five of them were about the face and neck, the other was of the foot.

No fighters were encountered, and flak was light and inaccurate. There were plenty of P-47’s around and they gave excellent cover. All the ships returned to base flying beautiful formation. The sense of relief that everyone feels when the ships come back, flying a good formation, and with none of them peeling off or shooting flares, is notable. It is a release to the anxious tension that we all feel when the ships are out on a mission. There were no wounded and the crews were in good shape.

11 November – Briefing this beautiful morning (for a change) was at 08.000 hrs; target, Wesel, Germany, marshalling yards. Bombing altitude was 28,000 ft, temperature – 40 centigrade. The group was led by Capt Marvin D. Lord, 532nd BS. The total distance was 660 miles and take off time 11.00 hrs. The formation got to within a couple of miles of the Dutch coast where clouds were up to 29,000 ft and rather that take the top element of the formation to 32,000 ft, the air division commander decided to bring the ships back. There were two cases of anoxia, and one of them suffered frostbite in addition.

13 November – The crews were briefed quite early for a target in Germany, bombing to be done by pathfinder. The assembly point was to be over the field at 9,000 ft, so Col Conway Hall, Major Gaillard, Captains Wymer and Delano, along with an equipment Sgt took the tow-target ship up to watch the assembly at 9,000 ft. Poor Guess! Cloud cover was up to 20,000 ft, so we went up without oxygen. There were three masks for five of us, and at 17,500 ft the Sgt decided to pass out. Major Gaillard grabbed him by the backside and attempted to push him into the nose of the ship with Capt Wymer so that he could take care of him, but his parachute harness was hung up. About that time Capt Wymer was pushing him back up the to flight deck, the captain himself was getting cyanotic, and certainly not in the pink (No pun intended).

Major Gaillard took a couple of whiffs off Col hall’s oxygen mask, picked the Sgt up behind the back of the neck and brought him and mask together. When the Sgt revived, he was sent down to the nose. The remainder of the stay at altitude was eventful in that Major Gaillard would watch Col Hall’s ears, and when they got good and blue the mask would be given back to him. When they got pink, Major Gaillard would take it back again.

All in all, the whole trip was a monument to our own stupidity, but can well be blamed on the airplane. Our masks, with two exceptions, were demand masks and the ship was fitted with constant flow. It was rather cool too. We were dressed for 9,000 ft, or zero weather, and it was – 22 centigrade at 20,000 ft.

Lt Deering, Lt Reese and crew got lost in trying to assemble and when the other ships were ordered back to the field, they continued on their merry way, and took an unescorted tour of Europe. I imagine the continental populace were just as surprised as our own wayward boys when they broke out of the clouds at 20,000 ft. After flying into some very bad weather and being used as a clay pigeon by all the flak installations en route, our wayward boys arrived home; no wounded or dead, but impressed by their experience. Said crew has now reverted to training status.

16 November – Twenty one aircraft from this command took off at 07.05 hrs to bomb a molybdunem plant at Knaben, Norway. Total distance 1,060 miles, bombing altitude around 14,000 ft, temperature – 32 at that altitude. The weather was slightly stinko most of the way and thay had to climb to 20,000 ft over the North Sea in order to avoid the clouds. Results of the bombing were unknown at present.

There were no wounded, but there were three cases of frostbite. The most severe being Sgt Clarence T. Williams, 535th  BS waist gunner, who became inquisitive and stuck his head out the left waist window so he could see the bombs burst. He did – and he has a frozen face top prove it. The left zygomatic area and the left neck are involved. It does not appear to be too serious.

A rather unimportant event, but nevertheless interesting feature at the landing of the ships has been the hockey game between Major Gaillard and Capt Cohler. The crew at the interrogation were all in good spirits, all ships landed safely back at base, but Lt Schultz and crew took a bit round-about way home.

26 November – Twenty one aircraft from this group took off today with their target Bremen, Germany. Altitude flown was 25,000 ft, temperature – 40. There were no aircraft lost, however there were 17 cases of frostbite, two cases of burns and three cases of anoxia. One plane landed at RAF Waterbeach and evacuated Sgt Homer, 534th BS, to the base hospital, suffering from severe facial frostbite.


 

December 1943

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

DECEMBER 1943

1 December – Seventeen aircraft from this group took off today with their target as Leverkusen, Germany. Bombing altitude was 26,000 ft and air temperature – 40 centigrade. Four aircraft were lost, there were four cases of frostbite and two of burns suffered by personnel.

One plane crash-landed in a field in Kent, and three 534th BS officers were evacuated to an English hospital at Rochester, Kent;- 1st Lt Harold H. Hytinen, suffered pan fracture, skull and nose, and lacerations, face; 2nd Lt William R. Cronin, suffered lacerations, face, fractured nose, sprained left ankle, and fractured olecranon, left ulna; 2nd Lt Richard I. Maursted, suffered fractures ribs, right. These three officers have since been sent to the 38th Station Hospital which is about ten miles north of Southampton.

MIA 532nd BS A/42-29506

Duncan, Jason H.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Allchin, Harry Jr.

2nd Lt

KIA

Huffman, Mac W.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Kessler, Robert G.

2nd Lt

KIA

Wade, V. L.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Doherty, Edward V.

S/Sgt

KIA

Jeffers, Leon D.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Wall, M.A.

Sgt

POW

Starkey, Harold G.

Sgt

POW

 

Mattson, Roy F.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 535th BG R/42-31111

Noxon, Donald E.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Giovannini, George

2nd Lt

KIA

Eichhorn, Edison

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Utley, Walter A.

2nd Lt

KIA

Ludwigsen, Peter K.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Phillips, Toby B. Jr.

T/Sgt

KIA

Thompson, John E.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Mogush, Paul T.

S/Sgt

KIA

Thompson, Harry M.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Channell, John S.

S/Sgt

KIA

MIA 535th BS -/42-31097

Sunde, Harland V.

F/O

KIA

 

Sweeney, James W.

2nd Lt

POW

Christensen, Roger

2nd Lt

POW

 

Tully, O.D.

2nd Lt

POW

England, William P.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Carano, Claudio S.

Sgt

POW

McCutcheon, Doyle

Sgt

KIA

 

Culver, Charles J.

Sgt

POW

Josephson, Carlton

Sgt

POW

 

Healey, John F.

Sgt

KIA

MIA 535th BS N/42-3540

Hess, Warren C.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Smith, Charles L.

2nd Lt

EVD

Randle, David (NMI)

2nd Lt

POW

 

Wernersbach, Robt.

2nd Lt

EVD

Gardella, Albert J.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Regan, John F.

T/Sgt

POW

Macklin, William M.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Burke, Philip F.

S/Sgt

POW

Ludwig, Allen G.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Delp, Edgar G.

S/Sgt

KIA

4 December – During the past two weeks things have gone along in a pretty hum-drum manner and only three operational missions have been flown, the details of which have been recorded earlier.

On Sunday 21 November, Major Gaillard underwent spinal anesthesia and had his redundant intro and peri-anal tissue excised. The convalescence was uneventful. (Like hell it was, but I fear the details would be boring; they certainly bored me!)

There has been a great increase in the respiratory disease incidence during the past two weeks, the rate having reached 1,100 plus for the week of 21 November and 900  plus for the week of 28 November. The disease seems to have an acute onset, with fever, general malaise, and muscular aches and pains. The course has been from 36 to 72 hrs with some residual weakness. The rate is not considered excessive or alarming, however we are instituting what measures we can to prevent cross infection.

Captain Ralph M. Wymer is this week attending the Provisional Medical Service School at `Pinetree’. Capt George J. Pease returned on 26 November from the Commando School at Shrivenham, looking none the worse for his experience.

I lectured today to the new combat crews and found them a fairly receptive and intelligent group. During the course of their questioning  it was learned that their equipment levels of heated gloves and shoes, silk gloves, gauntlets, long underwear and heavy socks are deficient. It seems rather futile to lecture to these groups about what they should have and then not be able to supply it. I also explained to them some of the mental mechanisms, the development of fear reaction, operational exhaustion, etc., and the amount of interest and intelligence they displayed was very encouraging. It probably will be interesting to explain mental mechanism to a large group of combat crewmen and then see if there is any value in prophylaxia.

The weather this past two weeks has been dull and grey for the most part, and the mud is soft and juicy and present everywhere. However, this climate seems not too unlike North Carolina and Georgia at this time of year and I think that most people that complain are feeling sorry for themselves without adequate reason. In general the disease incidence would compare favorably with that in the States.

The Saturday morning inspection was held as usual, and the organization seems to be maintaining its standards.

The monthly dance was held on 30 November, and it was the opinion of most that if the party had been any better behaved there would have been no point in having a party. The “Belle of the Ball” was escorted by Major Gaillard as usual.

Three rather decrepit, ancient meatballs from the E.V.S. Nursing Staff were here to interrogate our wayward personnel on the source of the “Picadilly Flak”. What an odd way for three nice old ladies to make a living!

Nine men were transferred out of the medical department into the Air Corps, and nine new men were sent to us from 1st Bomb Division. Those transferred are:

OUT: Pfc Robert H. Ball, Pvt Francis R. Knight, Pvt Raymond J.  Lashure –532nd  BS; Pvt Anthony J. Goral – 533rd BS; S/Sgt Homer B. Stamp, Pvt Edward F. Lorenz – 534th BS; Cpl Harvey G. King, Pvt Edward Conyor – 535th BS; Cpl Michael W. Spack – HQ 381st BG.

IN: Pfc Benoit J. Caya, Pfc Van Horne Smith, Pfc Francis C. Cramer – 532nd BS; S/Sgt Harold J. Schlosser; Pfc John F. Sweeney, Pfc Harold E. Styers –534th BS. Cpl Jeronimo A. Casaz; Pfc Ralph A. Beaulieu – 535th BS; T/5 Sammie C. Eads – HQ 381st BG.

S/Sgt Andrew H. Schnitzler was sent to the Central Medical School during the past week from the 534th. He was sent with the diagnosis: 1. Functional symptom due to combat stress; 2. Masopharyngitis, acute severe; 3. Sprain, sacroiliac, left.

On December 3 we were notified that Cpl Jack H. Flinn, 1900101, 533rd Bomb Squadron, died at 121st Station Hospital, Braintree. The following is a summary, by Major Appleton, of the 121st  St. Hosp:-

“Cpl Flinn was admitted on 19 November with urethral smear, positive gonococcus. Patient previously received 41 grains of sulfathiazole in ten days. Given 15 grains every four hours for seven days and 15 grains four times a day for next three days. General condition of patient was fairly good at 11.00 hrs on 3 December except for unconsciousness with 106 degrees rectally. Urine output 560cc for period following fever until his death. Patient had sudden cardiac failure with death occurring at 10.30am . An autopsy is being performed.

5 December – About 04.30 to 08.00 hrs there were eight cases of acute gastro-intestinal upsets who reported to sick quarters, and in instances they had eaten midnight chow at Consolidated Mess, and all had roast beef in common. Symptoms began from 01.00 to 03.00 hrs and were characterized by repeated attacks of nausea and vomiting, frequent bowel movements and abdominal cramps of varying severity. One patient was vomiting bright, red blood, and had such abdominal pains that it was necessary to give him a hypodermic of morphine and atropline to afford him relief. All were admitted to quarters and by noon were able to eat and felt practically normal, being discharged before the day was out.

Major Gaillard reported to the Eighth Air Force rest home at Stanbridge Earls, to be medical officer in charge for a period of one week. He was flown down by a crew from this base accompanied by Capt Louis B. Ralston.

About 10.00 hrs an emergency call was received from the Police Station at Haverhill, just over the Essex-Suffolk border, with information that there had been a truck overturned in a ditch and there were about four soldiers injured fairly severely. Extra plasma and supplies, and blankets were laced in the two ambulances which were dispatched to the scene of the accident at the northern outskirts of Haverhill.

There was found a 2 ton truck lying on its side in a deep drainage ditch just off the road. It was loaded with a group of engineer band members who were on their way to play for an airfield dedication and dance. There were several fracture cases of the ankle, one clavicle, one with possible concussion, and several with minor contusions, abrasions and scratches. A British civilian doctor had been called and had rendered effective first aid treatment by the time of our arrival. We replaced the morphine and bandages he had used and thanked him for his services.

The two ambulances were loaded with ten cases; four of them being stretcher. There were to others that we could not accommodate in our ambulances, were transported to Braintree, 121st Station Hospital, by an ambulance from the 49th Station Hospital which arrived at the scene at this time. One of the patients they took was a stretcher cases and all in all 12 cases were carried to the 121st, where preparation had been made previously for a speedy handling of the injured.

8 December – Captain Cohler and Lt Fick were witnesses at the General Court Martial hearing for Pvt JW, in the notorious Sudbury rape case.

The medical officers conducted lectures for six hours on first aid against chemical attack to base personnel.

9 December – The weather is still certainly bad, and there has been no flying for the past several days. Capt Ralston is still away, being grounded with aircraft which carried Major Gaillard and party to the rest home.

The two nurses, Miss Margaret M. Gudobba and Miss Grace Hawkes, and the two sergeants assigned to them departed today for AAF Station 480, at Grantham, Notts., per telephone orders as of 8 December from 50th Troop Carrier Wing. Transportation was furnished by command car and trailer. They departed from this station at 13.30 hrs.

11 December – Thirty aircraft from this command took off today with the target Emden, Germany. There were two abortions and the other 28 planes returned safely. There were no casualties or missing.

About 19.15 hours a red air raid siren alert was called over the Tannoy. The Jerries dropped flares and bombs on a nearby airdrome and did considerable damage to buildings as well as injuring several of the personnel. Lights were turned off at this base until late in the evening. This was one time that a bombing in this vicinity was a little too close for comfort.

13 December – Twenty eight aircraft from this command were briefed and sent to Bremen, Germany, today. The mission proved to be very successful for our group as we suffered no casualties on missing in action.

Due to the fact that we had no lights or water on Friday evening the regular weekly inspection was called off.

14 December – An inspection of combat crews’ living sites was made this date and they were found to be in a deplorable condition. They are dirty, crowded, inadequately blacked out, damp, inadequately heated, and seem inadequate for the care of this type of personnel.

The matter of stoves was taken up with the utility officer, Lt Gray,  and the Ground Executive, Col Reed, states that sixty American stoves were due to arrive shortly and would be used where necessary on combat sites. It is Col Reed’s opinion that much of the grief of the combat crews is brought about by their laziness, lack of discipline, etc., and he feels disinclined to “baby” them, as he expressed it. The coke is distributed to the site daily in inadequate quantities and is appropriated by the first come, first served method; as a consequence the combat crews have been chopping down trees in the surrounding territory, but the green weed will not burn and the barracks are still cold and damp.

Many of them spend a great deal of their times as scavengers looking for fuel. Just the other night, a clear moonlight night, a 1st Lt and first pilot, was seen running at full speed across a plowed field with a sack of coke over his shoulders and an Englishman behind him. He made it but the condition is obviously a rather sad one, and certainly does not contribute to the health and happiness of the troops. Some of the officers have been sleeping in their flying clothes to keep warm.

Col Reed states that everything that can be done has been done to obtain fuel and that it would serve no useful purpose for the medical department to write through command channels complaining of inadequate housing. Regardless of what measures are necessary (that is to do the work for them, or see that they are severely disciplined to do it for themselves) I feel that it is mandatory for the physical efficiency and morale that their lot be bettered.

Another thing that has come to my attention about the fuel shortage is that such notables as Capt Murray, the ex-professor of anatomy, and Capt Bland, Flight Surgeon of the 535th BS, have been visiting the ash piles behind the enlisted men’s barracks and are quite enthusiastic about the “big pieces” of coke they had salvaged. Some ingenious members of the organization have found that a six pence can of shoe polish is a good substitute for kindling wood and that the shoe impregnate is supposed to protect against noxious gases is also a highly inflammable item.  Praise the Lord! At last we have found a useful use for this material we have been toting across the world for the past six months.

16 December – Thirty three aircraft from this command took off at 08.45 hrs with the target Bremen, Germany. Bombing altitude was 26,000 ft and outside air temperature – 40 degrees centigrade. The target was 10/10th overcast and the group was in the third division that hit the target. The flak was quite intense, but apparently not too accurate for most of our group escaped serious damage.

The target was, of course, not seen, but tremendous quantities of black smoke was seen to be welling up in the target area where the previous division had dropped their bombs. Some observers reported a few enemy fighters, others say that they were probably our own P-51s. All our ships are accounted for at this writing. There were no wounded.

20 December – Thirty three aircraft from this command took off at 08.15 hrs with the target Bremen, Germany. Bombing altitude was 26,000 ft with an outside air temperature – 42 degrees centigrade. The weather was beautifully clear 8/10th of the way over and from 6-8/10th over the target area, attacked by nine combat wings. The flak was the heaviest we have encountered since Munster in October.

Four ships did not return and Col Leber and Lt Clore, landed at Mildenhall, Suffolk, an RAF base; Lt Petroski landed at Attlebridge a few miles away. His top turret gunner S/Sgt Lee B. Gibson, died of anoxia and details will follow.

MIA 532nd BS N/42-3563

Hollenkamp, Bernard F.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Jones, George T.

2nd Lt

POW

Clough, Herbert N.

F/O

POW

 

Hazelton, Richard

2nd Lt

POW

Reimann, George C.

Sgt

POW

 

Soell, George W.

S/Sgt

POW

Schulz, Elmo R.

Sgt

KIA

 

Hutchens, Homer

Sgt

KIA

Walker, Ira J.

Sgt

KIA

 

Good, Harry L.

Sgt

KIA

MIA 534th BS A/42-5845

Canelake, Leo

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Johnson, Harry B.

F/O

KIA

Boston, Jesse S.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Cisek,  Max N.

2nd Lt

KIA

McDonald, Paul E.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Hernandez, Tony T

S/Sgt

KIA

Avrett, John V.

Sgt

KIA

 

Brown, Richard W.

Sgt

KIA

Phillips, Thomas V.

Sgt

KIA

 

Belgrasch, Francis

Sgt

KIA

MIA 535th BS X/42-5846

Lane, Dorman F.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Johnston, John B.

2nd Lt

POW

Anderson, Everett S.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Mitchell, Richard

2nd Lt

KIA

Peanoske, John (NMI)

S/Sgt

POW

 

Melchiorre, Alph.

S/Sgt

KIA

Cramer, Henry Jr.

Sgt

KIA

 

Fecho, Joseph

S/Sgt

KIA

Hrapsky, William W.

Sgt

KIA

 

McDonald, Frank

Sgt

KIA

MIA 535th BS S/42-31075

Crosson, Waldo B.

1st Lt

POW

 

Opitz, James R.

2nd Lt

KIA

Burke, Edward J.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Curran, John J.

2nd Lt

POW

Allen, John L.

T/Sgt

POW

 

McFarlane, Robert

T/Sgt

POW

Bulsok, Steve F.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Glawson, Jesse J.

S/Sgt

POW

Klima, Norman J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Eloe, Robert N.

S/Sgt

POW

The ship “Tinkertoy” was lost over the target area, and the report is that it was rammed by two enemy 109’s. It is suprising the effect that the loss of Tinkertoy had on the group. The ship was in the Deanna Durbin film, “Hers to Hold”, and had been with the group since the third phase of training. It had a long and interesting history, and has been on many raids over enemy territory. A number of people have been killed in this ship and the group looked on it with mixed horror and affection. We all feel the loss a bit more keenly than would have been anticipated. The crews were affected by the raid and came back tired and quite sober in thought and action. However, I do not feel that the raid will have any permanent effect upon the crews.

Captain Ralph M. Wymer went to Attlebridge to take the body of S/Sgt Lee B. Gibson to the 2nd General Hospital at Oxford, for autopsy.

21 December – Today the first of a series of “Army Talks” were instigated by Major Gaillard. The reaction will depend upon whether or not they will continue. Army talks are supplied by ETO Headquarters and the topic of this one was “Problems of Organized Peace”.

22 December – Briefing at 07.30hrs this clear and beautiful morning with the target designation Osnabruck, Germany. Osnabruck’s military importance is rail transportation between the industrial Ruhr and the Baltic Sea coast. Twenty four ships from this command took off at 08.45 hrs, bombing altitude 26,000 ft and temperature – 46 degrees centigrade.

Considerable fighter opposition was encountered and very little flak was seen, thus all the ships returned safely to the base, while there were no killed our wounded. Frostbite continues to be one of our major problems and nine cases were reported on the last two missions.

One thing that is causing a bit of concern among the combat personnel is the failure of the chin turrets to operate at 20,000 ft. Bombardier Lt ----, has been on five raids and on four of them the chin turret has not worked. He stated it is rather a lonesome feeling to be sitting in the nose of the ship with inoperative guns.

A visitor today was Lt Warren K. Gaillard of the 447th Bomb Group at Rattlesden, in Suffolk.

23 December – Lt Fick returned the box of paper cups to the supply depot and had them replaced with the microscope that had been signed for originally. Another one like that and we will have to instruct methods for a survey on Lt Fick!

Of some humanitarian, if not medical interest, is the verbal barrage that Major Gaillard is subjected to by his fellow officers regarding his forthcoming nuptials. He has been diagnosed, dissected and even utterances have been put about in the mouths of his unexpected progeny. It seems to be the sadistic desire of most of his fellow officers to see that the pre-nuptial period is spent in alcoholic devotion to such an extent that the post-nuptial period will be spent in convalescence. It is probable that Major Gaillard will do his utmost to look after his physical well being.

Captain Bland has received unfortunate news that his wife is critically ill and we all hope that more favourable news will soon be received soon.

24 December – At 10.45 hrs this clear and crisp morning 27 aircraft from this command took off to bomb rocket gun installations in the Calais area. Bombing altitude was 21,000 ft and temperature outside at – 42 degrees centigrade. The target was of special interest because of the recent German threat to unload rockets on London. Fifteen hundred aircraft of the Eighth Air Force his the target. The heavy bombardment aircraft were chosen for the mission because of the intense flak installations in the coastal areas. Bombing was done by individual squadrons and we are not yet sure of the results. Of special interest to the author of these poor notes is the fact this was his first combat mission and some of his reactions may be worthy of note.

First I was surprised at my experience no fear or apprehension at any time during the mission. The only reaction I had was at the time we were receiving flak hits and I wondered just what the hell I was doing up there instead of back down on the ground where I belonged. There was a feeling of exhilaration and interest in what was going on around me. In watching the flak explode and seeing the puffs from the guns below. Another sound that was especially pleasant was the smooth functioning of all our engines. They did not cough or spit once during the entire mission.

The first burst of flak which we heard prompted me to look out of the waist window whereupon I was unceremoniously grabbed by the tail and sat down beside one of the waist gunners. On the bombing run I tried leaning out of the window following the trailing bombs when the ship made a 30 degree turn to my side and almost tossed me out of the window. I clutched the air, airplane, and everything also and I finally got back inside.

All in all, my reaction was one of exhilaration and interest and I believe that I would enjoy aerial combat for a time at least, but of course my better judgement would prohibit such action. I flew the mission with Major Shackley and Lt McDaniel on the sip #721, “Sweet and Lovely.”

27 December – Lt Fick, Sgt Bassett and Cpl Johnson attended a meeting in the conference room  at 1st Air Division today. The meeting was intended to clear up problems that have been bothering the administrative personnel of late. MAC officers and chief clerks from every station in the 1st Division were represented, and it was  surprising and gratifying to learn that our detachment didn’t have the only ignorant administrative staff. Also we learned that our squadron surgeons were not the only offenders to the E.T.O. regulations – several stations seemed to have more unruly surgeons that we have.

30 December – Thirty three aircraft from this command took off at 08.00 hrs with the target Ludwigshafen, Germany. Bombing altitude was 22,000 ft and outside air temperature was – 29 degrees centigrade. Bombing was done by pathfinder over 10/10ths cloud cover. There was very little flak and few fighters.

All ships returned safely to the base and there was one anoxic death (see below). The group was composed of the normal group led by Col Nazzaro, as our division commander and the composite group was led by Major Halsey. The results of the bombing were not known at the time of this report.

S/Sgt Curtis E. Hickman, 533rd BS radio operator, aged 23. This individual when first seen by the medical department was dead. He was cyanotic, pupils were dilated and he had froth at the mouth, There was a moderate amount of froth on the floor of the radio compartment. He is said to have been alive and talking over the intercom as the ship started its descent over the English Channel which was approximately 1½ hours before he was seen by the medical department. Descent was at 400 ft per minute. The deceased was first noticed slumping over his chair by the ball turret operator as he was leaving the ball turret. The ball gunner does not know if the deceased was breathing or not. Emergency oxygen abd artificial respiration was begun immediately and continued until the ship returned and 50 minutes later. The oxygen mask was an A-14 demand modified, and when examined had two large pieces of ice in the two outlets. It is of the opinion of the bombardier and co-pilot that the ice was sufficient to obstruct exhalation. The fittings of the mask to the ship’s system were checked and it was found that the male plug would catch in the female before being fully inserted  and that when inserted it had to be separated with a pair of pliers with an estimated 25 –30 pounds pull. The ball turret operator states that the mask was disconnected when the deceased was first seen. The last entry that was made in the radio operator’s log was at 12.35 hrs, three hours before landing, and about ten minutes after leaving the target. The ship was in no difficulty at the time and was not under at attack by flak or fighters. Upon further checks it was found that the male connection on the A-14 mask fit either into other connections in the same ship in a normal manner. The body of S/Sgt Hickman was taken to 121st Station Hospital, for autopsy by Capt Louis G. Ralston.

1st Lt Paul B. Gleichauf, 1st Lt Richard J. Neiderriter and Capt Harold L. Stralser completed their operation tour this date.

31 December – Thirty one aircraft of this command took off today with the target an airfield near Bordeaux, France. It was quite a long hop and the ships that did not have Tokyo tanks were supplied with bomb-bay tanks. The field here seemed clear enough at the time at the time of return was around 16.00 hrs, but for some reason or another there were Division orders to land somewhere else in southern England. As a result our aircraft were scattered all over the southern end of the island and the weather did close in here about 17.00 hrs.

We were very disappointed at not having the ships return because of the big party at the Officers Club on New Year’s Eve. We tried to fly down a couple of cases of Scotch but the ships were so scattered the idea was abandoned. Seven of the ships did not return to this base. The anticipated party went over with unusually good results and everyone, including this poor narrator, saw the old year out and the new year in with a healthy golden glow. There were no untoward incidents and I think it was the best party to date, however we were terribly disappointed in not having many of our crews here.


 

January 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

JANUARY 1944

1 January – The medical department  including most of the enlisted men were about the saddest bunch of soaks that I have ever seen. The reports had to get out just the same, however, being a Saturday as well as the first of the month.

One aircraft is confirmed as missing in action from yesterday’s raid.

MIA 535th /42-39910

Duarte, Earl B.

2nd Lt

EVD

 

McCabe, Glen A.

2nd Lt

EVD

Heintz, Cornelius A.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Grimball, Harry M.

2nd Lt

POW

Jevons, Russell N.

Sgt

POW

 

Balesh, Joseph H.

Sgt

POW

Norris, Howard B.

Sgt

POW

 

Smith, Albert H.

Sgt

POW

Martin, James E.

Sgt

POW

 

McDaniel, Powell H.

Sgt

POW

4 January – The target for today was Kiel, Germany, bombing altitude 26,000 ft and outside air temperature –52 degrees. Bombing was done by pathfinder through a 10/10th overcast. Lt Clore and crew, most of whom were on their 25th mission, caught fire after take off, salvoed their bombs and crash landed a few miles away at Sible Hedingham, killing the entire crew. Five were burned beyond recognition.

CAT E. 532nd A/42-31278

Clore, Cecil M

1st Lt

KIA

 

Newell, John W.

2nd Lt

KIA

Waldman, Ralph J.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Dills, Marvin E.

1st Lt

KIA

Trainer, Walter M.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Bozzette, Salvatore

T/Sgt

KIA

Howard, Named M.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Streicher, Richard L.

S/Sgt

KIA

Robinson, Harold M

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Ingmire, Richard E.

S/Sgt

KIA

The enemy opposition was accurate flak and no fighters. No ships were lost in action. Lt Evans’s ship dropped its bomb-bay tank along with the bombs over the target area and had to land short, near Cawston, Norfolk. He was particularly low on gas and tried to come straight into the field without success, due to ice on the windshield. Attempting to go around, the ship crash landed, struck a ditch and did a 180 turn. Two men on the ship were killed as a result of the crash, bombardier, Lt Irving  Kraut and Sgt Julius E. Rivers. Both men suffered from skull fractures. Three enlisted men: S/Sgt John H. Sasson, Sgt Julius E. Vargo and Sgt Delbert C. Rasey, were injured. The extent of their injuries were unknown at the time of writing.

Lt Larson become unconscious on the return from Kiel; he lost consciousness when he failed to connect his high pressure walk around bottle to his A-8 mask promptly enough. He was revived by the crew members. Lt Wilson had the stem of the bail out bottle in his mouth at 22,000 ft apparently with in sufficient pressure and he became unconscious. He regain consciousness at 13,000 ft with the additional oxygen from another bail-out bottle administered by another crewman.  Another member of the same ship was anoxic, received frostbite of the hands, face and feet, severe and is now in the hospital. Additional data will be obtained.

5 January – Clear and cold as the very devil. Long underwear is the only slight protection. Briefing at 05.00 hrs; target, an airfield at Tours, France. Bombing altitude was 20,000 ft and outside air temperature – 26 degrees.   

The target was bombed visually with good results. There were several fighter attacks described as mild, and no flak, while one ship was shot down by enemy fighters using rockets.

MIA 532nd E/42-30676

Zeman, Jack R.

2nd Lt

EVD

 

Montgomery, Otis A.

2nd Lt

POW

Bisagna, Frank R.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Walker, William C.

2nd Lt

KIA

Sinquefield, John W.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Givan, Burton A.

S/Sgt

POW

LeRoux, Harve A.

Sgt

EVD

 

Cater, Francis B.

Sgt

POW

Chevraux, Raymond

Sgt

EVD

 

Day, George M.

Sgt

POW

There was a meeting of 1st Bomb Division for all surgeons, equipment surgeons, and equipment officers. Their biggest beef was the number of deaths from lack of oxygen (eight from this division on one month), as against 22 in the Eighth Air Force in previous months. This poor narrator’s backside and brain became extremely weary and tired of the fat being chewed and felt as usual, that very little was being achieved.

Captain Charles L. York, from the 327th Station Hospital, an old colleague, was a visitor at the station this date.

6 January – Capt Bland and two enlisted men flew to Station 120, Attlebridge, to pick up the bodies of Lt Irving Kraut and Sgt Julius Rivera. Four of the crew members came back with them, and the other four are remaining in hospital.

7 January – Thirty aircraft, 29 from this command and one PFF took off at 07.45 hrs with the target, Ludwigshaven, Germany. Bombing altitude 28,000 ft, temperature – 38 centigrade. Bombing was done by pathfinder method through a 10/10ths overcast. There were several fighter attacks but most of them were described as light. Lt Wilson’s ship was seen to spiral down to the clouds far below and Lt Potenza states that the ship exploded. This is unconfirmed. The flak encountered was moderate and not too accurate. There were four abortions, one due to personnel failure. The pilot, Lt Bartlett, became ill at 15,000 ft and felt he was too weak to continue. There was no evidence of fear reaction.

MIA 534th M/42-3078

Wilson, Arden D.

2nd Lt

POW

 

McDonald, Donald J.

2nd Lt

POW

Connolly, Joseph F.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Ullom, Harry H.

2nd Lt

POW

Embach, John F.

Sgt

POW

 

Kucher, Peter

S/Sgt

KIA

Geraghty, Robert J.

Sgt

POW

 

Sussek, Walter H.

Sgt

POW

Hawkins, George E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Greco, Anthony E.

Sgt

KIA

11 January – Thirty-three aircraft from this command took off at 08.00 hrs today, with the target as Oschersleben, Germany. Total distance was 978 miles, bombing altitude 20,000 ft and temperature – 32 centigrade.

Capt Briggs was in the lead ship, while Major Galliard took a ride in the weather ship and witnessed a beautiful sunrise above the overcast over the Channel. The dispersal of the sun’s rays by the overcast gave a multi-hued sky that had all the colors of a pretty fire burning without any motion. It was truly beautiful and worth arising at 04.00 hrs  and missing breakfast, which I did. The assembly was normal except for two wings flying a collision course and the resulting divergence broke up both formations temporarily. We also saw two B-24 wings. The weather began closing in about 10.00 hrs and about 13.50 hrs the field was closed and it began to rain. The aircraft were diverted to Hardwick, Norfolk.

Eight aircraft were lost from this operation.

MIA 532nd N/42-37962

Saur, Robert V.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Capobianco, Frank

2nd Lt

KIA

Miller, Philip R.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Warren, Douglas N.

2nd Lt

KIA

Davis, Robert E.

Sgt

KIA

 

Brogden, John P.

Sgt

KIA

Prestwood, Howard F.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Keene, Bernard M.

Sgt

POW

Patterson, L.T.

Sgt

POW

 

Jones, James P.

Sgt

KIA

MIA 533rd Z/42-29999

McEvoy, Matthew J.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Nitikin, Nicholas N.

2nd Lt

POW

Lipsky, Henry I.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Ingram, William H.

F/O

POW

Johnson, Fred W.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Loehrer, Arthur T.

S/Sgt

POW

Wittwer, Weldon E.

Sgt

POW

 

Kracium, Eugene J.

Sgt

POW

Sexton, Mack Jr.

Sgt

POW

 

Trueblood, Jack G.

Sgt

POW

MIA 533rd V/42-3514

Chason, Billy F.

1st Lt

POW

 

Mickelson, Henry

2nd Lt

POW

Walker, Lawrence D.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Gentile, Americus J.

2nd Lt

POW

Vollbrecht, Robert F.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Hydra, Carl S.

Sgt

POW

Martin, Raymond W.

Sgt

POW

 

Cobb, Thomas R.

S/Sgt

POW

Greenwood, Howard J.

Sgt

POW

 

Kudla, Steve A.

Sgt

POW

MIA 533rd R/42-31417

Klein, Ernest M.

1st Lt

POW

 

Chelf, Paul C.

2nd Lt

POW

Counce, James

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Gill, Louis H.

1st Lt

POW

Pope, Howard A.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Soderstrom, Melvin

T/Sgt

POW

Wright, Stanley A.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Miskin, John E.

S/Sgt

POW

Schuitima, Edward             

S/Sgt

POW

 

Bunworth, John S.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 533rd U/42-37730

Crozier, Gordon W.

1st Lt

POW

 

Van Ness, Sidney B.

2nd Lt

POW

Hannon, George A.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Monaco, Albert F.

2nd Lt

POW

Dideum, Clyde E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Balmore, George

S/Sgt

KIA

Osborne, Robert J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Easley, Clifford W.

S/Sgt

POW

Giddens, Gordon W.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Purnell, Walter R.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 533rd C/42-37719

Nason, Donald E.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Byser, Joseph J.

2nd Lt

KIA

Anagnos, Athan

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Fiery, Charles D.

2nd Lt

KIA

Harrah, Buster T.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Lab, Ralph L.

Sgt

KIA

Beus, Raymond C.

Sgt

KIA

 

Stonich, Paul W.

Sgt

KIA

Lantz, John R.

Sgt

POW

 

Whitney, George A.

Sgt

KIA

MIA 533rd Q/42-5878

Perot, Wilfred R.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Jones, Dudley B.

2nd Lt

KIA

Weaver, Robert N.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Faulconer, Adelbert

2nd Lt

KIA

Daniels, O.K.

Sgt

KIA

 

Jerinowski, John S.

Sgt

KIA

Ball, Phillip M.

Sgt

KIA

 

Bosley, Edwin B.

S/Sgt

POW

Turk, Walter H.

Sgt

KIA

 

Graham, Thomas H.

Sgt

KIA

MIA 534th G/42-3118

Larson, Austin G.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Wilson, Francis E.

2nd Lt

POW

Neff, Horace R.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Regan, George T.

2nd Lt

POW

Nix, Edwin A.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Trainer, Michael J.

Sgt

POW

Copeland, Milton D.

Sgt

POW

 

Defenbaugh, Ross N

Sgt

KIA

Crawbuck, John

S/Sgt

POW

 

Williams, Alex

Sgt

POW

This group was flying high and apparently the high squadron was flying poor formation. Enemy fighters flew along side of the rank, picked the high squadron as the most likely target and attacked the formation. Another reason for our heavy loss was that two of the three divisions that were supposed to go into Germany was recalled because of weather.

A discussion was an aircrew captain, AB, revealed that he is adjusting quite well to the stress of combat. He states that his feeling is one of numbness toward eventualities rather than one of conflict between the pros and cons of the situation. He states that he is quite well, has no symptoms at all, and he feels capable of doing a job well. It was also agreed that in flying combat there is not the sensation of personal danger that there is in intimate conflict such as boxing.

In flying high altitude in the extreme cold depending upon oxygen for livelihood, and depending upon mechanical communication and seeing the earth so far below, gives the individual a sensation of being apart from it all, or living in a different world. The bursts of flak to not seem to have the same terrorizing effect that is experienced on the ground. It was further agreed that people are pretty much surprised when they get hit. AB always felt that if his ship was hit by flak the first thing he would do would be to bail out. On a recent mission flak exploded directly under him damaging the ship moderately and his first reaction was to check the engine instruments. Surprisingly enough the idea of bailing out did not enter his head at the time. He expressed the opinion that the battle on the ground between missions was much more hazardous that the mental processes during the mission. That would seem to be borne out by our observations.

The local talent G.I. show “Hey Joe” had its opening night last night and was a huge success. Most of the music and all of the script is original and Major Goodrum and associates are certainly to be commended.

17 January – A bachelor’s party was given by Major Gaillard for a group of fellow officers at the Colonel’s quarters this PM. Alcoholic beverages and food were served in great abundance. The bridegroom to be was the target of many famous and infamous remarks, all of which were taken in the spirit of fun. The party was greatly enjoyed by all and adjourned about 21.00 hrs. The food was prepared by the airmens’ mess which consisted of delicious hamburger, hot buns, french-fried potatoes, cake and appropriate sauces. The medical detachment kitchen personnel transported the food and dishes for the occasion.

Arrangements had been made with the medical department of the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree, to loan two medical officers to carry on the duties of this dispensary and quarters so that the medical officers at this station would be able to attend the nuptials of said Dorothy M. Nash and major Ernest Gaillard Jr., on the coming day. Captains King and Mosher arrived about 17.30 hrs and were billeted in sick quarters. The weather we hope will be held to its present inclement state and prevent a mission so that all the medical officers my attend the wedding. The four bomb squadron surgeons tossed coins to decide which two would remain in case the mission which was scheduled would materialize. Captains Bland and Ralston lost the toss and will remain in case the mission goes on.

18 January – The morning broke cloudy and moderately hazy to the delight of Captains Ralston and Bland. The mission had been scrubbed about midnight. About 09.15 hrs the station ordnance officers’ bus picked up the medical officers at sick quarters and in company with eight other officers from the base proceeded to London, stopping at the Savoy Hotel.

At the Savoy, several officers from other commands who were in London on the same mission joined our party and we proceeded to the Savoy Chapel where the main event of the day was to transpire. Promptly at high noon the ceremony begun in the rather picturesque chapel.

The bridegroom and best man, Lt Gaillard, appeared at the chancel simultaneously with the clergyman. The bride was escorted by her father with her sister as bridesmaid. They proceeded down the aisle to the accompaniment of Wagner’s Wedding March. Major Gaillard’s last few seconds of single blessedness were coming to a close. At this late hour no visible signs of a hasty retreat on the part of the bridegroom were evident. Vows were exchanged and the ceremony proceeded without interruption from the interested gallery of officers. There was a battery of photographers including Captain Hawkins, base photo officer, to take picture of the bride and groom on their departure from, the chapel. The bride was the quintessence of English pulchritude attired in a beautiful aquamarine gown with accessories to match.  The groom was the epitome of tonsorial smartness in his best military garb, and as they posed for the photographers they exemplified the pinnacle of Anglo-American unity resplendent in their first taste of marital bliss.

As they proceeded down the aisle one of the casual officers in the audience remarked to a fellow officer, “Note the blushing bride”, whereupon he replied, “no, that is the first taste of V……”. After the battery of photographers had been satisfied, there was a hasty retreat to the Gondolier’s suite of the Savoy Hotel where the reception was held amid the clink of glasses, toasts to the bride and groom, and resounding cheers of friends and family and well wishes of the bride and groom. Hors d’oeuvres and buffet lunch were served to lesson the effects of champagne, wines and liqueurs served.

The climax came with the cutting of the cake by the bride and groom. The participants hope and feel they were successful in launching the happy couple on a long journey in the realm of matrimonial bliss.

21 January – Thirty six aircraft from this command were dispatched to the coastal area of France across the Channel to bomb “rocket gun” emplacements. All ships returned safely. Two squadrons released their bombs and two squadrons returned without bombing. There were no casualties from the mission.

22 January – Twelve aircraft from this command were sent on a Air-Sea rescue patrol this morning. All ships returned about 18.00 hrs with no casualties.

There were no missions for the next week. There were several briefings and one mission that was called back after flying over enemy territory. The only other unusual thing was that on 18 January – the only day in the year when there were no doctors from this station here – the semi-annual inspection was made!

29 January – This command provided 39 aircraft which took off in darkness at 07.30 hrs- target – Frankfurt, Germany. Pathfinder bombing was at 21,000 ft, with temperature at bombing altitude – 34 degrees.

The mission was delayed at take-off by a collapse of a portion of the perimeters track resulting in blocking of the following aircraft. Eventually all aircraft were airborne. The assembly was not carried out as planned and groups, wings and divisions were dispersed and intermingled. Flak was moderate and fighters did not bother our group, but they hit the following wing hard. The escort was P-51, P-47 and P-38 and was good. Two aircraft are missing.    

MIA 534th G/42-38045

Mohnacky, Robert W.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Flood, Joe

2nd Lt

KIA

Yake, William J.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Light, James A.

2nd Lt

KIA

Gentch, Dale

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Hagen, Elmer F.

S/Sgt

POW

Berg, Robert J.

Sgt

POW

 

Crugan, Joseph

Sgt

POW

Meyer, Russell A.

Sgt

POW

 

Schenck, Peter

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 534th K/42-37884

Mickow, Lawrence H.

1st Lt

POW

 

Hennessey, William

2nd Lt

KIA

Wendell, Roy E. Jr

2nd Lt

POW

 

Maguire, Hugh E.

2nd Lt

POW

Pierson, Glendon B.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Chandler, Julian R.

S/Sgt

POW

Ayers, George

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Dwyer, Jack E.

Sgt

KIA

Nersinger, Raymond G

Sgt

POW

 

Fabianski, Joseph E.

Sgt

KIA

There were nine abortions – one due to personnel failure; S/Sgt Thomas G. Lawrence, 535th RWG. This gunner began to note pains in his abdomen on ascending to altitude. When the plane was at 21,000 ft, the pains were so severe that he could bear them no longer, and were doubling him up.  The other waist gunner called the co-pilot as the patient was unable to do so. He states that he was unable to belch or pass any flatus per rectum. After about ten minutes at this altitude it was necessary to descend in order to get relief.

The pilot made a rather rapid descent, and Lawrence was able to belch and pass flatus per rectum and obtain marked relief. His crew states that he passes great quantities of gas frequently. There was no vomiting or diarrhea, and when patient returned to the ground he was perfectly comfortable and felt normal. When examined at station sick quarters immediately after landing, there were no abnormal finds. He was returned to operational status.

There was one man wounded by 30 cal. machine gun bullet in the right chest. The flak suit was responsible for preventing death or serious injury. Diagnosis and statement by enlisted man: Sgt Raymond M. Castellano, 534th RWG – 1. Wound, lacerated superficial, ½” x 3”, over eighth rib, posterior, auxiliary line, right. 2. Contusion, of chest wall, posterior line, over eighth rib, this man was admitted to station sick quarters.  Statement: In no fewer words can I say, “I’ll live by my flak suit. The Frankfurt mission convinced me of that.”

We passed over the target, encountering but light flak. Our ship was left stranded, on turning off the target, which was a perfect target for “Jerry”. He thought so too, for here they came – six of them, one right after another, attacking us from the tail. I was firing at them from my tight waist position, as they peeled off. Three of the 109’s made their attack. Number 4 is coming in said the tail gunner. I could see pieces of the vertical stabilizer fly off. Then a hole was made, near the escape hatch. For the moment I hadn’t realized that the bullet not only penetrated the ship’s skin, but mine as well. I felt my side, it was burning. I called the pilot and asked if we were free from fighter attacks. Someone answered with a loud `No’. But that didn’t make me feel any too good.

My side began to burn more, so I finally called the pilot and told him I had been hit. He instructed the radio man to come to my aid, which he did. I was taken to the radio room, where medical aid was given me by the radio operator. I asked him if the wound was bad and he told me that it was only a deep one. As I laid in the radio room, I wondered if it was the medal of St Christopher, that kept the bullet from penetrating the chest wall. At this time the radio man pointed to my flak suit, and there was a hole, made by a .30 cal bullet, at the appropriate position of my abdomen.

I’m getting the Purple Heart for my wound. If it weren’t for the flak suit, I’d be getting the Purple Heart posthumously. The bullet, a .30 cal, went through the suit, knocking one of the pieces out. It careened off another piece, penetrating my A-3 jacket, heated suit, shirt, underwear, and then opened my skin. I was lucky that it didn’t hit any of the electric wires in my suit.

To sum it up you can say – flak suit saves gunner from serious injury. Fellows – wear that flak suit. I can’t write anything that may impress you more, so I’ll say again “Flak suit, I love you.”

Statement by flight surgeon – “There is little doubt that the flak suit saved this soldier from death or serious injury.”

The morale of the crews seems quite good, but the increased number of new crews, losses, and graduates makes it increasingly difficult to know the men personally.

Inspection of the medical detachment this date revealed most things are in their usual good condition.

The 533rd BS party was held at the Post Theater and was enjoyed by all.

30 January – As dawn was breaking this beautiful day, 31 aircraft from this command took off for the target of Brunswick, Germany. Bombing altitude 20,000 ft by pathfinder method. The fighter escort was of P-51s, P-38’s and P-47’s but the target was 10/10ths overcast.  Three aircraft are missing.

MIA 533rd W/42-29761

Steele, Henry D.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Settle, James R.

2nd Lt

POW

Anderson, Robert F.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Flores, Leopold L.

2nd Lt

POW

Beach, Perry E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Eason, Wilbert E.

Sgt

KIA

Lee, Harry F.

Sgt

KIA

 

Hlynsky, Peter

Sgt

KIA

Holtz, Harold A.

Sgt

KIA

 

Welch, Paul O.

Sgt

POW

MIA 533rd MS-T/42-31047

Deering, Robert P.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Williams, Robert P.

2nd Lt

POW

Barer, David

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Crabtree, Paul O.

2nd Lt

POW

Horne, Wardell H.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Richards, Andrew H.

S/Sgt

KIA

Husvar, Floyd L.

Sgt

KIA

 

Scott, Wallace K.

Sgt

KIA

Jackson, Lloyd E.

Sgt

KIA

 

Sanford, Loren L.

Sgt

KIA

MIA 535th P/42-30029

Baer, Carl O.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Remple, Robert C.

2nd Lt

KIA

Van Hise, Malcolm

1st Lt

KIA

 

Palas, Henry G.

2nd Lt

KIA

Vogelbaugh, Robert

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Moore, John F.

T/Sgt

KIA

Phillipuk, Phillip

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Rigat, James

S/Sgt

KIA

Tully, John T.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Meyers, Edward J.

S/Sgt

KIA

Lt Baer and crew are thought to be in dinghies in the North Sea and an Air-Sea rescue has been dispatched. He was flying on ship #029 called “Chap’s Flying Circus”, the last of the original aircraft.

There were several fighter attacks that were not persistent and the flak was described as mild. The group was led by Major Fitzgerald and Capt Hecker. There were no wounded or injured, who two ship aborted because of mechanical oxygen trouble.


 

February 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

FEBRUARY 1944

3 February – Briefing was held at 05.00 hrs this morning and the target announced was Wilhelmshafen, Germany. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft, actually made at 28,500 ft. The increased altitude was due to the heavy condensation trails, which even at increased altitude, impaired visibility markedly and prevented good formation flying. The target area was 10/10th overcast and bombing done by pathfinder. Outside air temperature was – 43 degrees and there were five mild cases of  frostbite, one placed in sick quarters.

No ships were lost and flak and fighters almost negligible. Thirty three aircraft from this command took part in the raid, Captain Briggs leading the group and reported what he believed to be a German B-17 flying alone over Germany, out of range.

A Medical Board, under Major Ernest Gaillard, Jr. was convened today to determine the mental status of Pvt J. of the 532nd BS. The case history was filed and he was found to be constitutional inadequate. Recommendation was made that he to held accountable for his acts and that he be discharged from the service.

4 February – Briefing at 05.15 hrs this frigid morning was take off at 08.45 hrs, with 33 aircraft from this command took off  for the target, two areas in the city of Frankfurt, Germany. Bombing was by pathfinder through 10/10th overcast, from 20,000 ft where the outside temperature was – 35 degrees.

The briefing route avoided most flak areas but the route taken went over the heart of the Ruhr Valley both going in and coming out. All ships returned to base. There was no enemy fighter opposition and friendly fighters escorted the whole distance, P-47s, P-51s and P-38s were used.

There were no killed or wounded. Lt Kuhl had #3 and #4 engines knocked out by flak over Germany and displayed great courage and tenacity brought the ship home more than three hours after the formation. The landing gear would not come down and a beautiful crash-landing was made. Most of us had given the ship up for lost.  Lt Fastrup’s co-pilot hit the landing gear switch instead of the flap switch and the ship collapsed on runway 28.

The body of 1st Lt Carl O. Baer, was washed ashore at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, last night. When he ditched on 30 January he was in good spirits and wise-cracking on the radio. He will be buried at the U.S. Military Cemetery at Cambridge.

5 February – Twenty eight aircraft from this command took off at 07.45 hrs with the target designated as an airfield at St Avord, in France, just west of Bourges. The Air Division was led by Lt Col. Hall. Bombing was at 16,000 ft and hits were right on the nose in excellent visibility, while no flak or fighters were encountered. There were no wounded, no missing in action and no aircraft were damaged. A perfect mission.

The only event of the day was on landing when one ship could not get the ball turret guns out of the down position and had to grind them off on landing. We have had briefings seven  out of the last eight mornings and five missions flown. The crews are in good shape. 

6 February – This command provided 33 aircraft which took off for Nancy, France, the target being an airdrome. The weather was overcast and the ships returned without dropping bombs.

Lt Putek and crew were near the target when there was an explosion near the T.T. which set off flares and a severe blaze ensued.  The ship landed at Dunkeswell, a U.S. Navy field, near Taunton, Devon. The ship had many 20m and flak holes, the nose was shot out, the ball turret shot up and partially burned, the cockpit windows shattered and rolled back while the wings and fuselage was riddled with bullets. Three officers bailed our over France and the following were injured and hospitalized at the 67th General Hospital, Taunton.

C/Landed 535th /42-40025

Putek, Henry

2nd Lt

OK

 

Coffman, Alfred T.

2nd Lt

MIA

Blalock, Conrad M

2nd Lt

MIA

 

Christiansen, Harvey

2nd Lt

MIA

French, Lifford N

S/Sgt

WIA

 

 

 

OK

Burgasser, Herbert J.

Sgt

WIA

 

 

 

OK

 

 

OK

 

 

 

OK

French – 2nd degree burns; Burgasser – facial wounds through flak.

Major Gaillard and Capt Bland visited the wounded on 8 February.

10 February – The ships were dispatched and recalled on 9 February, thus command called for a practice mission today.

For the past two weeks the medical department has been having quite a lot of psychiatric activity. There has been a Section VIII Board on Pvt J. 532nd – a case of hysterical amnesia; 2nd Lt H. 534th ; and a psychoses of unclassified type in Pvt S. 534th. Several consultations have been held on patients found not to be psychotic.

11 February – It was dark when 33 aircraft from this command took off at 07.15 hrs after an 04.15 hrs briefing (the sack is sure hard to leave at 03.30 hrs!). The target was Frankfurt, Germany, the bombing altitude 25,000 ft by pathfinder method through thick 10/10th overcast, in minus 45 degrees centigrade.

The group was led by Col Leber, who also led the Air Division. There were two pathfinder aircraft and the target was hit by visual bombing and the results thought to be good.

MIA 532nd G/42-31099

Laux, Robert V.

2nd Lt

EVD

 

Harrer, Donald G.

2nd Lt

POW

Wright, Phlemon T.

2nd Lt

EVD

 

Doyle, Judson F.

2nd Lt

EVD

Holton, John L.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Helfgott, Abe. A.

Sgt

EVD

Hamilton, Richard C.

Sgt

EVD

 

Cutino, Rudolph

Sgt

EVD

Glennan, Thomas J.

Sgt

EVD

 

Barr, Henry R.

Sgt

POW

Three men were wounded in action, as follows:-

S/Sgt Richard G. Morrison, 532nd BTG. 1. Wound, perforating, left ankle, entrance above & posterior to internal mallcolus, exit posterior and proximal to lateral mallcolus, mod. Severe. Caused by 30 cal bullet, high velocity.

1st Lt George A. Hoffman, 535th; received minor abrasions, ½ “ medial to left nipple.

S/Sgt Charles L. Carter, 534th ETTG, suffered burn, 2nd degree, left heel.

Contrary to expectancy there were only three cases of frostbite, and one was on the cheek of a previously bitten right waist gunner.

The men do not seem unusually tired after this mission and did not run into any strong enemy opposition.

19 February – The weather has been stinko for the past eight days and no operational missions have been flown.

On Monday, Feb. 14, a dinner meeting was held for the commanding officers and surgeons in the group and an attempt was made to present the psychiatric problems and their dispositions that confront the Eighth Air Force. All were kind enough to listen attentively but the memory of the hamburgers seems to remain a bit longer than the pearls of wisdom that were given by this poor narrator.

The chief topic of the week among the medical officers has been who was going on pass. I think I will settle the question in the near future and go on pass myself!

We had several accidents during the week. The first, Cpl John Vodden, of the British RASC, suffered a compound fracture of the right tibia and fibula and lacerations about the face, when he continued to travel when his motor cycle had stopped. His commanding officer, Major Lloyd, gave me an Achtung salute as he entered, and yours truly thought he was being addressed by the G.I. Joe of the army until the major identified himself. He turned out to be quite a cocoa guzzler and I believe only pride kept him from polishing off his third cup in as many minutes. Cpl Vodden was sent to the 121st Station Hospital at Braintree.

Later in the afternoon one of our own G.I.’s Cpl Irving T. Rossman, of the 533rd BS, was cutting wood and attempted to bisect his foot along with the log. He was given plasma before evacuation on account he was in shock.

To top Captain Bland’s rather interesting tour of duty, he was called to see two soldiers that a jeep had apparently taken off the base without permission and said jeep had piled into the truck that was returning with the local band. The two injured men were: Pvt Clarence J. Caswell, 534th BS. Diagnosis: 1. Wound. lacerated, cheek and sub orbital region, left, moderate severity and mild, respectively; 2. Wound. Lacerated face, leg, middle third, left, moderate severe.

Sgt Johnny T. Mills, 535th BS. Diagnosis: 1, Abrasions and contusions of forelegs, moderate severe. 2. Sock, post-traumatic.

Poor Captain Bland finally got to bed at 4 am, and with the bed clothes rising and falling about four foot with each respiration gave articulate evidence that said Captain Bland was completely pooped upon retiring. He was able to sit up and take nourishment about noon the following day.

20 February – Today was the busiest day of the war as far as the number of ships dispatched was concerned. Two groups, a total of 47 aircraft, attacked the targets (two) in Germany, one was Leipzig and the other Auschersleben. The effort was directed at German fighter production. One aircraft is missing.

A top turret gunner, T/Sgt Edward J. Senk, 533rd, was killed apparently by a 50. cal. machine gun bullet while over friendly territory. A tail gunner, S/Sgt Johnnie U. Gibson, 532nd, received a compound fracture of the right forearm with extensive tissue destruction from an enemy 30. cal. bullet. He was evacuated to the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree; another gunner was wounded mildly in the face by flak, S/Sgt Richard L. Walters, 532nd, but he returned to duty. One case of frostbite occurred.

MIA 532nd N/42-3562

Cogswell, Kirch J.

1st Lt

POW

 

Borrego, William

2nd Lt

POW

Meehan, William R.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Espinosa, Lorenzo

2nd Lt

POW

Leccese, Raymond J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Urban, Frank O.

S/Sgt

POW

Durnin, Joseph L.

Sgt

POW

 

Duncan, Charles E.

Sgt

KIA

Kangas, John V.

Sgt

POW

 

Miller, Wilfred L.

Sgt

POW

The officers’ dance of the month was held this evening, most of the time during a red alert which no one knew about or wouldn’t have cared if they did know, and the party was one of the most successful we have had. The guests were Lt. Col. W.R. Martin and Major George S. Robinson.

21 February – Briefing at 05.30 hrs this clear but cold, frosty morning. Most of us were a bit under the weather as a result of the previous evening’s activities and it was with a shaking hand and aching head that most of us attended the briefing. Thirty three aircraft from this command took off with 12 500lb bombs- bombing altitude 22,000 ft- outside air temperature – 36 degrees, the target being Ascher, Germany, which was not the primary target. The results were excellent.

All the ships returned from this mission. Lt Mackintosh’s ship, of the 535th BS, was hit in the nose and the bombardier, 2nd Lt William F. Piekarski and navigator, 2nd Lt Allen E. Bergreen, bailed out. The co-pilot went down and put the fire out and the ship was brought safely back to the base. T/Sgt John D. Sinclair, 533rd, was injured by mild fragment wounds in both feet. This was his 25th mission.

The fighter support was good on the way in and fair on the way out. Fighter attack was intense for some combat wings, but slight for this one.

22 February – Briefing was at 05.30 hrs for the 32 aircraft that took off at 06.30 hrs with the primary target an aircraft factory at Oschersleben, Germany. Due to weather condition the rendezvous was again messed up and all but 13 of the aircraft returned to base without being unable to assemble or join the group. The returning crews reported intense fighter opposition.

Two crews landed short at another base and only five returned to the home base. Six crews were lost during aerial combat. T/Sgt Fred F. Berg was flying top turret in the lead ship and received severe cold injury of the hands which was the result of having to crank up the bomb bay doors without gloves, his 25th mission.

MIA 532nd M/42-31443

Flaherty, Francis J.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Hoffer, John I.

2nd Lt

KIA

Austin, Russell D.

F/O

POW

 

Farrell, William R.

2nd Lt

POW

Bright, Notra J.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Roe, John P.

T/Sgt

POW

Larson, Burling

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Krzyzak, Henry R.

S/Sgt

KIA

Bukowski, Casimir L.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Butler, Arthur N.

S/Sgt

KIA

MIA 533rd Z/42-97474

Fridgen, Francis N.

1st Lt

POW

 

Waller, David E.

2nd Lt

KIA

Ehmann, Paul J.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Palmer, Phillip

2nd Lt

KIA

Brennan, Robert

T/Sgt

POW

 

Reilly, William J.

T/Sgt

POW

Bartle, Garrett M.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Abernathy, Walter

S/Sgt

EVD

Gaby, Oliver G.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Slayton, Lowell E.

S/Sgt

EVD

MIA 533rd /42-39946

Roling, Hal B.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Bull, Raymond A.

2nd Lt

KIA

Jackson, John R. Jr

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Soled, Milton

2nd Lt

KIA

Jemiolo, John

S/Sgt

POW

 

Thompson, Asbury

S/Sgt

KIA

Ruark, William L.

Sgt

POW

 

Martin, Othel L.

Sgt

POW

Day, George W.

Sgt

POW

 

Eggert, Robert D.

Sgt

POW

MIA 535th S/42-39895

Smith, Lee W.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Evans, Rowland H.

2nd Lt

KIA

Meier, Leonard P.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Kaufman, Harold

2nd Lt

KIA

Kemper, Harold C.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Zappala, John C.

T/Sgt

KIA

Larson, Lester P.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Solway, Reginald C

Sgt

KIA

Manning, Andrew F.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Eden, Lawrence V.

S/Sgt

KIA

MIA 535th /42-31696

Hustedt, Henry

2nd Lt

POW

 

Mauzey, Keith S.

2nd Lt

POW

Hert, Oral H.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Inglis, Stanley B.

2nd Lt

POW

Tell, Arthur R.

Sgt

POW

 

Rodriguez, Abel.

S/Sgt

KIA

Russo, Rocco F.

Sgt

POW

 

Kuracina, Vito R.

Sgt

POW

Hanna, Leslie J

Sgt

KIA

 

Pingel, Robert C.

Sgt

POW

MIA 535th U/42-31533

Downey, Charles H.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Herdlicka, Donald

2nd Lt

KIA

Hicks, John D.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Evans, James C.

2nd Lt

KIA

Chauvin, Miller P.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Matheson, Earl E.

S/Sgt

POW

Scheik, Earl B.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Phillips, Norman E.

Sgt

POW

Carini, Adolph V.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Sorbino, Joseph G.

S/Sgt

KIA

24 February – Briefing was at 05.30 hrs and take off at 08.30 hrs for the 32 aircraft of this command, but six aborted and three crews got back to the field early enough to make a  second take off and join the group at rendezvous point. The target was the ball-bearing plant at Schweinfurt, Germany. This is the third trip to this target made by the group and it fell to the honour of Major Shackley to lead the combat wing, his third trip to Schweinfurt.

The weather over the continent was ideal and the crews all reported unusually satisfactory bombing results. The primary target had been hit previous to our bomb run. Fighter cover was reported as being the best yet and no doubt is the  reason for all our aircraft returning, though some had received battle damage of a major nature.

A 532nd gunner of Lt Fastrup’s crew, Sgt William F. Seifermann, received a wound from a piece of flak which came in the left window of the tail assembly and apparently struck him at the right side of the base of the neck posteriorly and then came out through the left sterne cloide muscle just above the point of its insertion. He had received excellent first aid care by members of the crew and particularly the radio operator, Sgt Dick, is to be commended for keeping oxygen going to him constantly until their return to this field.

Captain Ralston met the plane on the runway and immediately began preparations to administer blood plasma to the stricken gunner who was in the radio room on the floor. There was no radial pulse obtained, pallor, and he was in extreme shock. He was conscious and attempted to mutter something at intervals, but his mutterings were unintelligible. He had not received morphine and several members of the crew stated he asked not to be given morphine at the time of the injury. He could not move any of his extremities.

Captain Ralston started plasma in each arm and three units were given on the plane. His condition had improved slightly and it was felt by the three medical officers that were present that it was safe to remove him from the plane by the Neil-Robinson litter to the station sick quarters.  He was brought to sick quarters about 15.30 hrs after a fourth unit of plasma and there was a noticeable improvement in his condition. The radial pulse was present and blood pressure was about 70/40.

He received Holy Sacrament by the chaplain. About 1/6th of a grain of morphine was given and a 9th unit of plasma was started. About 17.00 hrs he was transported by ambulance to the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree with the plasma running. He was accompanied by Capt Cohler and six or eight potential blood donors were taken to the hospital on a separate ambulance. He arrived at Braintree and according to  Capt Cohler he was only slightly weaker than when he left sick quarters. X-ray at the hospital revealed  a compound, comminuted  fracture of the 5th and 6th  cervical vertebrae. However this gunner died two days later of his injuries.

25 February – This morning briefing was at 05.45 hrs, for the 32 aircraft which took off at 08.45 hrs, target, the main assembly building for Messerschmitt fighters and an adjoining school for training purposes, at Augsburg, Germany. The returning crews reported the weather being excellent with visibility unlimited, and a good concentration of bombs in the target area. Flak at the target area was moderately heavy, but fairly accurate.

Two aircraft failed to return to the field; Lt Kels, 533rd, landed at an airfield near the coast, while Lt Henderson, 532nd, was seen to go out of formation apparently under control of the plane and some crews reported seeing his plane burning on the ground later. There were no battle casualties, and only the one plane was lost. The mission was the longest flown by the group, the distance being, 1,380 miles. The first planes home touched down about 17.30 hrs.

MIA 532nd B/42-37786

Henderson, Donald G.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Fournier, Jack H.

2nd Lt

POW

Wonning, Earl H.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

De Rose, Nicholas J.

2nd Lt

POW

Ramos, Raoul B.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Burgess, Boyd E.

T/Sgt

KIA

Korkuc, Anthony J.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Bartolo, Anthony J.

S/Sgt

KIA

Hunnicut, Thomas R.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Schilling, Dale L.

S/Sgt

KIA

 


 

March 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

MARCH 1944

2 March – Thirty six aircraft from this command took off at 08.30 hrs with the designated target Frankfurt, Germany. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft and air temperature was – 45 degrees. The weather was clear over England, but there was 6-8/10th  cloudiness over the target. Bombing was done by pathfinder and the bomb run was thought to be good. Major Briggs led the first group and Capt Wood, the second.

One 533rd ship was lost, Lt Schultz and crew, knocked down by flak near the target. Eight chutes were seen to leave the ship while it was still under control. No enemy fighters were encountered. The remainder of the ships returned safely to the base. There were no killed or wounded, although there were two cases of frostbite reported, while Sgt Marden, of Lt Fastrup’s crew, 532nd, reported in with a very severe case of bilateral aero-atitis and was admitted to sick quarters.

MIA 533rd V/42-39891

Schultz, Eugene

1st Lt

POW

 

Plemmons, Howard

2nd Lt

POW

Neeves, Arthur E. Jr

2nd Lt

POW

 

Hearn, William D.

2nd Lt

POW

Kulivinski, John W.

T/Sgt

POW

 

McHaffey, Hubert

T/Sgt

POW

Trapell, Robert M.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Farr, John T.

S/Sgt

EVD

Abramo, Nicholas J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Smith, Charles F.

S/Sgt

POW

Today the author of these notes was a professional witness at a court martial where they asked him a lot of silly questions, such as “Do you keep records in your hospital?” and “What are the stages of drunkeness?”, to which this old sage replied that he did not know the classification of drunkeness in stages and asked for enlightenment. I don’t believe I contributed much either for or against. Lt C D was on trial and was fined $100.00 a month for 12 months, just for hitting Lt Keating.

3 March – Today 36 aircraft were ordered to a ball-bearing factory at Oldenburg, 16 miles east of Berlin, Germany, but the Air Division commander scrubbed the mission when just inside the enemy coast. The approach was overcast over the north Baltic Sea. The mission was scrubbed because of the weather, but Lt Rogers and his crew are missing in action. The remaining aircraft returned safely to base and there were no wounded and only two cases of frost bite.

MIA 534th K/42-37986

Rogers, Robert H.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Mills, Edgar J.

2nd Lt

POW

McGrath, Francis R.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Taylor, Harold E.

2nd Lt

POW

Moses, John

S/Sgt

POW

 

Meyer, Russell E.

S/Sgt

POW

Casey, Elbert R.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Jernigan, Cecil L.

Sgt

POW

Poch, Phillip L.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Taylor, Warren G.

Sgt

POW

4 March – Today the same mission was briefed with the approach over the continent instead of over the sea. On take off Lt Kuhl’s ship caught fire in #3 engine. It was finally brought under control. Nine other aircraft aborted, one by personal failure, Sgt Theodore A. Betela, 532nd, became airsick and his pilot had to return.

This EM has been airsick seven or eight times previously while training in the phases, and his pilot Lt Rickerson had tried to replace him without success. A recommendation has been sent the squadron CO requesting that he be permanently grounded and removed from flying status.

The formation was briefed for 21,000 ft, but due to haze the formation climbed to 25,000 ft and eventually ran into weather so bade they had to return. A target of opportunity was bombed by pathfinder and was identified as Cologne, Germany. They encountered dense flak over the target area and Lt Keyes and crews failed to return to this base.

MIA 532nd J/42-30151

Keyes, David D.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Beal, Richard C.

2nd Lt

POW

Lynch, Ralph W.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Hughes, John C.

2nd Lt

POW

Van Voorhis, Charles C.

Sgt

POW

 

Fair, John L.

Sgt

POW

Simone, Theodore R.

Sgt

POW

 

Hullett, Dail E.

Sgt

POW

Levandoski, Henry

Sgt

POW

 

Davis, Eugene

Sgt

POW

On yesterday’s mission Lt Hytinen had the unusual experience of climb up through the clouds and when he broke out he was leading the formation all right, but the rest of the formation were FW 190s. No other aircraft were in sight, but nobody shot at anybody and some of the fighters peeled off to hit the group below.

Because of the large number of personnel abortions (non-medical), a meeting of all flying personnel was held in two sessions, one for officers and one for enlisted men, at which time the group policy regarding groundings and abortions was outlined by command. The policy is to be more severe and only in exceptional circumstances will individuals be grounded immediately before missions and any pilot that aborts without adequate cause will be handled by disciplinary action according to the merits of the cases.

6 March – Thirty aircraft from this command took off at 08.00 hrs this morning – target, Erkner, Germany, a ball-bearing factory 15 miles east of Berlin. Capt Wood led this group and we furnished the high squadron in the composite group. Bombing altitude was 21,000 ft, the outside  air  temperature was – 50 degrees, with undercast was two to four tenths, and observed bombing results were said to be good.

Many enemy fighters were encountered, FW 190s. ME 109s and JU 88s. The flak was heavy over the target area and over Osnabruck Germany, on the way in. Lts Coyle and Haushalter were seen to leave the formation with an engine on fire somewhere near the I.P. Lt Fastrup also lost an engine, but I don’t know just where.

Lt Cahill also lost an engine over Osnabruck on the way in, dropped his bombs to keep up with the formation but was unable to. He left the formation and finally had to ditch just off North Foreland, which is at the south-east end of the Thames Estuary. This crew is said to be intact and uninjured and they are at the RAF hospital at Manston, with Captains Cohler and Fricks are on their way to pick them up.

There was considerable damage to most of the aircraft that returned, but most of the damage is not major. The crew members seemed quite happy to see Ridgewell again but are convinced that the back of the Luftwaffe is not broken.

Only one man was wounded, Sgt Emery Y. Naha, 535th TG; diagnosis: 1. Wound, penetrating, mild, infra-scapula region, right, at posterior axillary line, caused by explosion of 20mm cannon shell near the ship.

MIA 532nd A/42-31448

Fastrup, Milton A.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Mann, Edward C.

2nd Lt

POW

King, Martin P.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Atkinson, Howard  

* S/Sgt

POW

Glauer, Raymond R.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Estle, Elmer E.

Sgt

POW

Snyder, John S.

Sgt

POW

 

Shorten, Christoph.

S/Sgt

POW

Provonsha, William

S/Sgt

POW

 

Dynan, George J.

Sgt

POW

* Toggler, sometimes taking over as bombardier.

MIA 533rd S/43-3215

Coyle, Richard W.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Wierman, John B

2nd Lt

POW

Hassletine, Robert E.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Baker, Robert J.

2nd Lt

POW

Seabaugh, Albert C.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Smith, Peter W.

S/Sgt

KIA

Mendoza, Daniel

Sgt

POW

 

Legg, Raymond F

S/Sgt

POW

Mueller, John E.

Sgt

POW

 

Schultz, Louis C.

Sgt

KIA

MIA 534th B/42-31553

Haushalter, Edward E

1st Lt

KIA

 

Hensley, Herman

2nd Lt

POW

Schuit, Richard R.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Herrick, John W.

2nd Lt

POW

Lee, Harry E.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Nisbet, Richard

S/Sgt

KIA

Greevy, Edward J.

Sgt

KIA

 

Langston, Everett

Sgt

KIA

Alfaro, Ralph A.

Sgt

POW

 

Jones, Eldon P.

Sgt

POW

There has been an increase recently in the respiratory disease incidence and it has just about reached the peak in November. We know of no cause for it other than insufficient fuel and we have submitted a certificate to the quartermaster stating we felt that additional fuel was necessary. This certificate was submitted a month ago and no action has been taken yet.

After take off this morning this poor scribe took himself to bed and was awakened with difficulty some five hours later. To be awake and alert instead of tired and dopy from a lack of sleep is indeed a good feeling, and if possible I intend to log more sack time in the near future.

8 March – Our target was again Erkner, Germany, a suburb of Berlin. Col Kunkle and Capt Hecker led the formation and the target was attacked by 21 aircraft from this command. One ship aborted. Lt Pirtle was seen to abort well inside enemy territory and this was the last news we have of him.

Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft and temperature, minus 40 degrees. The weather was beautifully clear and visibility was up to 100 miles and many of the large German cities could be seen en route. The city of Berlin was plainly visible and landmarks easily identified. The target area, a ball-bearing factory, was hit by the formation that preceded us, and lead bombardier, Capt Hester, led the bombs right on the target. The fighter escort met us at the scheduled time and place and not one enemy fighter was seen by this group.

Flak was only moderate in the target area  and the outer guns of Berlin’s defences were almost at ineffective range.

There were no killed or wounded. The crews were tired after the long mission, 08.45 hrs to 17.30 hrs, but were mildly euphoric over their good fortune, by destroying their objective and not encountering any enemy attacks of any significance. It has been quite a while since the medical department has had any real work to do on the return of a mission and I hope that our good fortune continues.

MIA 532nd M/42-38029

Pirtle, Thomas A.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Schlintz, Paul H.

2nd Lt

POW

Stern, Milton W.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Cooper, Harry F.

2nd Lt

POW

Cassody, George W.

Sgt

POW

 

Burrows, Robert W.

S/Sgt

POW

Kinney, William C.

Sgt

POW

 

Warren, James W.

S/Sgt

POW

Estep, James E. Jr

Sgt

POW

 

Bull, William L.

Sgt

POW

Sgt Michael C. Babines Jr, 534th BS, was fatally injured at 19.30 hrs today. He was on the flight deck of an aircraft and three engines had been started, #4 engine caught fire and this man hastily got out of the escape hatch and ran into #2 propeller. He was brought into station sick quarters by ambulance, and immediately taken to 121st Station Hospital, Braintree, where he died at 00.30 hrs.

His diagnosis is as follows: A) Concussion, cerebral, severe. B) Fracture, skull, multiple, severe; C) Contusion, rt hand, rt are, rt parictal area, of skull, severe; D) Deceased. His remains are to be interred at the American Military Cemetery, Cambridge.

9 March – It sure gets early quick these days. Seven of the last eight mornings this poor scribe has arisen at 5am or before. Thirty one ships from this command took off with the target again a suburb of Berlin, a bomber assembly plant and airfield at an outlying district.  Take off was at 08.00 hrs and the briefed weather was 500 –1,000 ft over England with the top at 4,000 ft and scattered clouds over the target area about 6-8/10ths cover. The mission returned to this base without loss and without having seen a single enemy fighter. The target was completely overcast and bombing was by pathfinder method. The target could not be located so the group bombed Berlin instead. Bombing was done at 25,000 ft.

On the return trip due to an error in navigation, the group flew over Hanover and flak was encountered. One man was wounded, Sgt William D. Ingram, 535th  who was evacuated to the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree. He received a flak wound in the right thigh. Lt Hoffman completed his operational tour this date.

16 March – Thirty three aircraft from this command took off for a 1,300 mile round trip with an airfield just 20 miles from Munich as the target. Bombing was done at 21,000 ft through a 10/10th overcast by pathfinder method. All ships returned safely to the base.

There was one man injured, T/Sgt John T. Eylens, 533rd, who suffered a burn, 2nd degree of right thenar eminence, and a burn, 1st degree, right hand.  This was caused by trying to put out a fire in the cockpit of Lt Duncan’s ship, but the RWG T/Sgt William J. Yanzek, jumped out over enemy territory when the fire started and he is confirm as MIA.

The liquor ration was issued to combat crews at the briefing block hut just before they were interrogated. Most of them seemed to like the idea, but I am not convinced that it has the real value, nor am I convinced of the idea of having the medical department associated with a bottle of whiskey. At the present time we are doing about as much catering as we are medical work and at every mission we dole out carbohydrates, coffee, cookies and now whiskey.

For the past three days Major Stokes and Capt Weishart, attached to the Eighth Air Force, were visitors on this station. Capt Cohler is attending school in London on ear surgery.

18 March – Thirty three aircraft from this command took off at 08.00 hrs with the target the Dornier aircraft factory and airfield at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, south west of Munich. Bombing was at 22,500 ft, visibility good, and direct hits on the directives were observed. Flak was light in the target area and only one group of enemy fighters were seen and these were quickly scattered by friendly fighters. The temperature at bombing altitude was  41 degrees below. All ships returned safely to this base. There were no killed or wounded.

Lt Robert Miller, 534th completed his operational tour and buzzed the tower on three engines.

19 March – The monthly officers dance was held this date and this poor scribe having been saddled with the job of entertainment chairman did his utmost to entertain and straighten out a very unfunny comedy of errors. Transportation, chorus girls, food, lodgings, towels, whiskey, money, visitors, uninvited guests, inebriates, broken glass, spilled ice cream, etc., etc., all added to the collective merriment and my misery. Most of my energies in the coming month are going to be directed to relieve myself of the responsibility. The delegation of duties has already begun. It is the opinion of many of the members that this was the best party we have had to date.

20 March – Frankfurt, Germany was the target for 30 aircraft of this command, which were led by Major Briggs and Lt Silvernale. The group was scattered over the target due to poor weather, and six ships failed to return to this base.

Lts Urban, Williams and Schomburg landed at Exeter; Lt Monahan at Harrowbeer and Lt Wilson at Predannack, all in the west of England. Lt McIntosh and crew have not been heard from and when last contacted they were over the Atlantic, south of England, and had been give orders to ditch. Air-Sea rescue and fighters were on their way.

No significant opposition was encountered either by flak or fighters. It is of the opinion of the pilots that flew the mission that the higher headquarters were in error in sending them on this mission.

MIA 535th O/42-31381

McIntosh, George

1st Lt

POW

 

Fowler, Robert J.

2nd Lt

POW

Rabay, Nicholas R.

1st Lt

POW

 

Dittus, Carl W.

2nd Lt

POW

Dever, Harry F.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Rose, Russell M.

T/Sgt

POW

Carson, Garland C.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Matcham, Robert S.

S/Sgt

POW

Copp, Eugene F.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Craig, Clyde V.

S/Sgt

POW

Mr Lawrence Smith, of Cambridge, Mass., a war correspondent, serving under the Surgeon General, with the duty of depicting war medicine pictorially, is visiting at this station. He was sent to this base by Col Wright of the Air Division who seemed to think we had a bit more atmosphere than most. (You can construe this last remark in your own light!).

Captain Milton N. Bland went on his leave to Scotland today and Capt Bernard H. Cohler returned from his trip to London.

22 March – This command provided 30 aircraft which took off at 07.30 hrs with the target designated as Berlin, Germany. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft and outside temperature was – 31 degrees. Major Osce V. Jones led the group.

The target was 10/10th overcast  and the secondary target (in Berlin) was bombed by pathfinder method. All the aircraft returned safely to this base about 16.30 hrs which was one long flight. Enemy fighters were seen but none attacked. Flak was light and inaccurate.

Last night during an air raid, two German planes were shot down and there were two parachutists in the vicinity. Station Defense and Home Guard were called and had a hell of a good time catching them. Unfortunately the culprits were apprehended by the Home Guard rather than our own stalwarts.

2nd Lt Clifford W. Collum, 533rd, walked into a propeller of an aircraft prior to the mission and was killed instantly. His diagnosis is: Fracture, compound, comminuted, skull, left frontal and parietal regions with complete evisceration of brain. Accident occurred about 06.15 hrs. The remains were taken to the American Military Cemetery at Cambridge.

Captain Odell L. Dannenbrink, M.C.,  arrived at this station today and is assigned to the 7th Station Complement Squadron, from the Eighth Air Force Replacement Depot, at Stone, in Stafforshire.

23 March – Thirty three aircraft took off at 06.45 hrs after briefing at 03.45 hrs, the target an airfield south east of the Ruhr. Bombing altitude was 20,000 ft with outside air temperature – 31 degrees. The group was led by Col Kunkel with Major Halsey as deputy, and the 381st led the combat wing. The target was completely overcast and the city of Hamm was attacked through broken cloud cover and bombed successfully. All aircraft returned safely to this base at 15.15 hrs.

24 March – Another early start saw 22 aircraft from this command take off at 05.45 hrs after a briefing at 02.45 hrs. The designated target was Schweinfurt, Germany, the ball-bearing factory that has been hit by the group before. Bombing altitude was 20,000 ft, but the weather was lousy from the word go. Crews were briefed for three cloud layers but ran into bad weather all the way and had heavy, dense clouds at flight altitude in the bombing area.

One bombardier reported the two 532nd ships collided in mid-air. One exploded and the other left the formation damaged. On take off a third ship, flown by Lt Haynes, hit the ground about four miles from the base at Bailey Hill, Farm, Birdbrook, then exploded in the air. Seven identified bodies have been recovered and parts of the other three bodies have been found. The crash was strewn over an area of about 700 yards with engines an props at almost unbelievable distances from the scene of the explosion.

CTO 532nd A/42-38102

Haynes, Kenneth T. Jr

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Bemis, Ralph Jr

2nd Lt

KIA

Cusson, Edmund P.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Stahlecker, Harry J.

2nd Lt

KIA*

Sauld, Edward N.

S/Sgt

KIA*

 

Loparco, Harry C.

S/Sgt

KIA

Herrera, Zeke P.

Sgt

KIA

 

Ham, Kenneth M.

Sgt

KIA*

Mahaffey, Donald B.

Sgt

KIA

 

Plows, Arthur M.

Sgt

KIA

* By exclusion.

MIA 532nd E/42-40008

Thomson, Thomas P.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Bowen George A.

2nd Lt

KIA

Brzoska, Walter

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Neville, Edward J.

2nd Lt

KIA

Holub, Libor J.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Poquette, Howard R.

T/Sgt

KIA

Hickey, Paul A.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Bollinger, Hubert  S.

S/Sgt

KIA

Draa, Clyde C.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Cavalieri, Rinaldo

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 532nd K/42-31490

Rickerson, John A.

2nd Lt

EVD

 

Wilson, Donald M.

2nd Lt

EVD

Oneschak, Walter

F/O

EVD

 

Hammer, Edward J.

2nd Lt

POW

Wilbur, Gerard B.

Sgt

POW

 

Williams, Durwood I.

Sgt

POW

Lujan, Alfredo

Sgt

POW

 

Phelps, John R.

Sgt

EVD

Sanzone, Paul  B.

Sgt

POW

 

La More, Thomas L.

S/Sgt

POW

2nd Lt Michael W. Buschbaum, 534th bombardier, was wounded by flak which came through the nose, and his diagnosis is: 1. Fracture, simple, 2nd phalanx, 4th finger, ft. hand. 2. Wound, contused, minor, on dorsal of 4th and 5th fingers of right hand.

The ships returned about 15.00 hrs and landed in haze with visibility down to one mile.

26 March – Captain George J. Pease returned after a month at the 303rd Station Hospital yesterday. Capt Cohler accompanied the bodies of the Birdbrook crash to the U.S. Military Cemetery at Cambridge.

After an 03.45 hrs briefing of a target in Germany, the mission was scrubbed before take-off, but 33 ships took off at 13.00 hrs for targets in the Pas de Calais area with visible bombing to be done by the individual squadrons at an altitude of 20,000 ft. The mission was uneventful, especially the lack of flak, and all the aircraft returned to base.

There was a tie-up on take off when a ship went through the perimeter track and blocked six aircraft, so take off was slightly delayed.

Lts David A. McCarthy and Connors C. Meyers completed their operational tour of 25 missions.

27 March – Twenty nine aircraft from this command took off about 10.00 hrs following a briefing at 05.45 hrs with a scheduled take off at 06.45 hrs. The target was an airfield at St Jean D’Angely, which is in the south of France, not too far from the Spanish border. The weather here was fog and haze up to about 4,000 ft and beautifully clear over the continent and up to the target area.

The bombs were away on the target and Capt. Hester, lead bombardier, states that the hangar (M.P.I.) opened up like a flower and a breeze carried the smoke away in time for the composite group to blast it again. Bombing altitude was 22,500 ft. No one was wounded or killed and all the ships returned to the base.

There was no enemy fighter opposition, and flak was light and inaccurate, while the fighter escort was superb. The crews described it as the perfect mission, however all the crews were rather tired following the long haul and the return to this base was around 17.50 hrs, which makes a total of 16-18 hrs of very hard work.

28 March-  Briefing at 05.30 hrs and the scheduled take off at 08.30 hrs actually took off at 10.30 hrs because of haze, the target today being an airfield north of Rheims, France. Bombing altitude was around 18,000 ft and the enemy coast was crossed at 20,000 ft. Here again bombing was visual and quite successful, while the fight support was very good, and flak over the target area was light but accurate.

Lt Liddle caught some flak in one of his engines and they caught fire over the south of England. All the crew bailed out and the ship was put on A.F.C.M. (automatic pilot) and headed towards Germany, but unfortunately it crashed in England. All crew members returned safely to base. 

Lt Dan Henry brought his 534th  ship back to the field and from the control tower with the aid of field glasses a large through and through hole was seen just back of the waist windows where a direct hit had killed both waist gunners, Sgt James P. Norcom and Sgt Richard Toler and presumably tail gunner S/Sgt Frank Kurtz. The rudder and elevator controls were shot out and Lt Henry was flying the ship on A.F.C.M. Five crew members bailed out over the field and after driving over ploughed field, through woods, over ruts and ditches I finally rounded up four of them but missed the last who was wounded, S/Sgt Carl Mongrue, had been picked up by the British and received treatment at station sick quarters by the time I arrived.

Lt Henry and co-pilot Lt  Chrisler, headed the ship out to sea and jumped about ten miles this side of the coast, both returning safely to base. The crew was heavily sedated and we are going to sent them to a rest home.

Ditched 534th K/42-37754

Henry, Daniel C.

1st Lt

RET

 

Chrisler Robert W.

2nd Lt

RET

Beardsworth, Fred

2nd Lt

RET

 

Jaciak, Rudolph J.

2nd Lt

RET

Quaresma, Sebastian

T/Sgt

RET

 

Mongrue, Carl  A.

S/Sgt

WIA

Wheatley, Kyle B.

S/Sgt

RET

 

Toler, Richard

S/Sgt

KIA

Norcom, James F.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Kurtz, Frank J.

S/Sgt

KIA

S/Sgt Mongrue’s diagnosis is as follows: he was sent to the 12st Station Hospital at Braintree. 1. Wound. Penetrating, mild, 3 ½” distal to the olcerahan on the posterior portion of the forearm.

Captain Dannenbrink was transferred to the group at Bassingbourn after a long stay of three/four days! Capt Bland returned from his trip to Scotland today, while Lt Col Shuller visited the station this date.

Also of personal interest if not medical interest was this poor scribe’s unheralded and ungracious fall from one of the genus equus, the first time since the summer of 1941. She was a thoroughbred mare who had not been ridden for a number of months and while going at full trot I was urging her forward when her front legs collided and I did a full somersault remaining in the air for an interminable length of time and finally landed smack on my back. Dazed and undaunted I remounted and rode her home.

29 March – Briefing was at 07.00 hrs this morning, when 33 aircraft took off for Brunswick, Germany with an aircraft assembly factory as the target with the airfield the primary target. The 381st was leading the combat wing, in very poor weather and there was little likelihood of visual bombing.

On the way home formation’s return to the base were about an hour late arriving and the weather was closing in rapidly, visibility being less than a mile when the first ships landed and by the time the last one landed it was much less with all heavy drizzle and rain.

Only 20 aircraft returned to home base, the other 13 landing at various R.A.F. and U.S.A.A.F. bases. The following crews are still at the bases listed below, during this writing (30th March): Lt Renick – Wratting Common; Lt Meyers – Bassingbourn; Lt Hesse – Mildenhall; Lt Bradner – Chedburgh; Lt Moore – Snetterton Heath; Lt Urban – Debenham.

No aircraft were lost and the crews reported intense fighter attacks in the target area. Major Halsey’s ship received direct hits from 20mm cannon shells which knocked him out of formation but he was escorted home by numerous friendly fighters. Ship #781 of the 533rd got a direct hit in the waist and both waist gunners, Sgts Fred Lawson and Rutherford Clark, recieved multiple, minor wounds from fragments of the exploding 20mm cannon shell. The RO on Lt Mullane’s ship, S/Sgt Phillip Smith, received a mild, penetrating wound, posterior aspect, left thigh, also as a result of exploding 20mm cannon shell.

Sqd Ldr Brown arrived at this station to acquaint himeself with our methods of handling operations. Medical care, etc., while Capt Ralston went to the R.A.F. Gransden Lodge for seven days for the same purpose. Capt Wymer went to the Eighth Air Force Rest Home, Lymington, Hampshire, as medical officer in charge for a period of seven days.

31 March – Lt Wayne G. Schomburg, Capt Paul M. Stull and four enlisted men: T/Sgt Charles L. Carter, T/Sgt Donald B. Carr, T/Sgt Melvin F. Wilson and Pfc Albert McClain, all of the 534th BS, were killed when the aircraft they were flying stalled on approach and hit the ground at about a 45 degree angle.  It is generally assumed, but without proof, that Capt Stull, an engineering officer, was attempting to land the aircraft. His interest in flying has long been known to me and I know he obtained as much artificial stick time as possible.

Capt Stull and T/Sgt Carr were identified by dog tags, Lt Schomburg by unburned V-Mail letter in his pocket and by his wallet; T/Sgt Wilson by dental identification; T/Sgt Carter by dental examination and Pfc McClain by exclusion. The bodies were taken to the U.S. Military Cemetery at Cambridge.


 

April 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

APRIL 1944

8 April – Thirty nine aircraft from this command took off in rain at 10.45 hrs and a 05.45 hrs briefing, for Oldenburg, Germany, an airfield being the target.  Bombing altitude was 20,000 ft, with outside temperature at minus 23 degrees Centigrade. The 91st BG led the Combat Wing and considerable flak was encountered over the target and in the Wilhelmshaven area. All aircraft returned safely to this base and the only event of the day was the crash landing of Lt Bond, because the landing gear would not come down. There were no casualties and the crew were sedated after the incident.

9 April – Easter Sunday and the longest mission of the war was scheduled for us with the target in Poland. The flight was to last 11 ½ hrs and everybody would have been completely exhausted, for the big party planned this evening. When a short way over the North Sea the mission was scrubbed because of weather. The party will probably go on OK now. This morning on take off, Lt Soeder, 535th, nosed up at the end of the runway. There were no injuries.

10 April – Approximately 30 aircraft from this command took off this morning at 06.30 hrs with aircraft to attack at airfield at Brussels, Belgium. The bombing altitude was 22,000 ft and first reports indicate that bombing was good. All crews returned safely to the base. There were no casualties. The monthly party was held Easter, yesterday, and seemed to be enjoyed by all.

11 April – Thirty five aircraft took off  from this command at 07.15 hrs and 07.45 hrs for targets south east of Berlin, factories at Cottbus and Sorau being the objectives. The total distance as 1,450 miles and the planes were in the air for 10 hours and 20 minutes which is indeed a long and tail wearying haul. The undercast was complete when the enemy coast was reached and was 6/10th from then on out. Bombing was done visually and results were good. One aircraft is missing, Lt Hesse, having lost two engines near the target area. It was seen to go down under control.

The aircraft returned to base about 18.00 hrs and the crews did not seem unduly fatigued. Hooch was served.

MIA 534th N/42-31497

Hesse, Robert W.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Gatewood, Robert W.

2nd Lt

POW

Noga, Theodore F.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Bach, Leo S.

2nd Lt

POW

Hollenbeck, Brua A.

Sgt

POW

 

Sexton, Frank C.

S/Sgt

POW

Blanch, Bernard A.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Nelson, Alvin L.

Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Puryear, Roy A.

Sgt

POW

Major Ernest Gaillard entertained Captains Wymer and Ralston and Mr Lawrence Smith, war correspondent, at their country home last evening. Also Major Kidd, S-2.

13 April – Thirty three aircraft from this command took off at 10.00 hrs with the target, for the fourth time in the history of the group, the ball-bearing factory at Schweinfurt, Germany. The 381st Group was led by Major Halsey and the Composite Group by Capt Franek.

Bombing altitude was 20,000 ft and outside air temperature was minus 37 Cent.  Weather was hazy on take off but good on the return although cloud was 6/10th over the target. Considerable fighter opposition was encountered by the wing ahead of ours on the way into the target. About 60 ME109’s took out seven Forts in that formation in one pass.

Lt Mullane lost an engine over the target and one shortly afterward and lagged behind the formation losing about 500 ft a minute. It was thought he had a windmilling propeller. Lt Sherwood had only two/three missions to complete his tour while navigator Lt O’Phelan had been nursed through several respiratory complaints.

MIA 535th N/42-31357

Mullane, James F.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Sherwood, Paxton T

1st Lt

POW

O’Phelan, Patrick D.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Kirby, John J.

2nd Lt

POW

Stahlke, Edward A.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Kettlety, Robert E.

T/Sgt

POW

Tarczynski, Thaddeus

S/Sgt

POW

 

Sparrow, Lewis F.

S/Sgt

POW

      None

 

 

 

Troxler, Frank G.

S/Sgt

POW

Lawrence W. Smith, artist war correspondent, departed this station yesterday after a three week stay. He was a nice type of individual and apparently well liked.

Captain Ralph M. Wymer is scheduled to go to the R.A.F. field at Wratting Common, about 12 miles north  west of here for a period of one week beginning tomorrow.

18 April – This command took off at 10.00 hrs with 33 aircraft, with the primary target designated as an airfield at Oranienburg, Germany, some 16 miles NW of Berlin. The secondary target was the Frederickstrasse railway station. Bombing altitude was 23,000 ft but the actual altitude was 22,500 ft. The weather was perfect and when at the target area their lateral visibility became stinky but the ground could be seen. The primary target was bombed successfully.

Lt Soeder and crew went down in the target area in control and apparently had lost two engines. The remainder of the ships landed safely  back at base. There were no killed or wounded, although there was one case of frostbite on the chin, the outside air temperature being minus 32 degrees C.

MIA 535th M/42-37733

Soeder, Harlan D.

1st Lt

POW

 

Mulhall, Phillip E

2nd Lt

POW

Becker, Jerome D.

F/O

POW

 

Grote, George C.

2nd Lt

POW

Sedoryk, Harry C.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Boland, John J.

S/Sgt

POW

Marashack, Frank J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Hawkinson, Alan

S/Sgt

POW

         None

 

 

 

Bailes, Milton G.

S/Sgt

POW

19 April – Briefing was at the unholy hour of 03.45 AM with take off at at 06.45 hrs. The target was an airfield at Eschwege, Germany.  The group made a 360 degree at the target and the high squadron, the 534th, caught it from both flak and fighters. Lts Bond and Rayburn did not return and are presumably lost over enemy territory.

The wounded that returned were all 534th: 2nd Lts Edward  L. Hampton – 1. Wound, penetrating, rt. ankle, lateral aspect, wound entrance above, and medial exit below and lateral to lateral malleolus , mod. Severe,  caused by 20 mm fragments; Lee R. Hagen – 1. Fracture, skull, compound, comminuted. Caused by piece of 20 mm penetrating skull, ½” above rt. orbital ridge. 2. Wound. Penetrating, mod. severe, rt. cheek at opening of parotid duct. 3. Wound. Multiple, penetrating, rt. hand to forearm; S/Sgt William Pulmisano – 1. Wound. Penetrating, mod. severe, with haemothorax, posterior axillary to level of 7th  rib.

Lt Martyniak landed at Framlingham with his 534th ship on fire, one enlisted man dead,  F/O Murray wounded also.

MIA 534th Q/42-30004

Rayburn, Robert W.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Croft, Maynard B.

2nd  Lt

KIA

Morse, Loren C.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Simons, Ralph C.

2nd  Lt

POW

Purser, William R.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Peterson, Donald C.

S/Sgt

KIA

Bristow, John L.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Main, De Forest E.

S/Sgt

POW

Goodman, Gerald A.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Gerber, Gerald

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 534th A/42-3525

Bond, Leslie A.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Mason, Wilbur M.

2nd Lt

POW

Brumback, Charles E.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Hilton, Gerald O.

2nd Lt

KIA

Clyman, Neal V.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Jones, William R.

S/Sgt

KIA

Caserta, Anthony J.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Derrington, A. C.

Sgt

KIA

        None

 

 

 

Batchelder, Robert K

Sgt

KIA

We finally had the inspection that the base had been preparing for for the last two weeks at the expense of the war effort, and the inspecting generals were: Lt Generals James H. Doolittle, Carl A. Spaatz, John C. Lee, Joseph T. McNarney; Major Gen. William E. Kepner of Fighter Command, Brig Generals Robert S. Williams, Bartlett Beaman and another one I did not know, along with Colonels and Lt Colonels by the dozen. In addition all the heavy bomb group commanding officers were present to meet the generals.

The Assistant Secretary of War, Mr J. J. McCloy, was present and apparently out-ranked all the generals. They inspected our humble institution and Lt Gen Lee was kind enough to say it was the best dispensary of this type he has ever seen and a colonel, the chief engineer of this base section was of the same opinion. Tea was served at the lounge of the Officer’ Club and fortunately they did not stay too long.

The 121st Station Hospital at Braintree, was successfully bombed by the Germans yesterday, and nine wards were demolished, two of which were completely flattened. There was one broken leg and a few minor injuries, despite the fact that many of the wards are full of patients. The work of evacuating, re-registration and re-arrangement was carried out expeditiously by all hospital personnel and the officers have commented that the thing that impressed them most was the eagerness and willingness of all personnel to help, even patients.

20 April – Briefing was at 14.00 hrs with a 16.00 hrs take off for the rocket gun installations in the vicinity of Cocove, France, just across the Channel, with 35 aircraft dispatched. These missions are always considered milk runs but the flak is always intense and accurate. All the ships returned from this mission with a full bomb load because of poor visibility in the target area.

Lt Jones and Lt Wezowicz both landed without brakes but no damage or injuries. Lt Zapinski landed with two 532nd injured aboard: co-pilot 2nd Lt Othmer G. Widosh:- 1. Wound, perforating, arm, left, sub-deltoid area, caused by flak; radio operator S/Sgt George Pastro: 1. Wound, perforating, ½” below left shoulder, caused by flak. The #4 propeller was gone.

Others injured were: 2nd Lt Robert Van Buskirk, 532nd:- 1. Abrasion, mild, lower third, outer aspect, left thigh, due to flak; 2nd Lt James Hopkins, 534th:- 1. Wound, penetrating, mild, pin-point size, middle outer third aspect, right leg, caused by 50 cal. bullet.

Lt Widosh and S/Sgt Pastro went to 121st Station Hospital at Braintree, while Lts Van Buskirk and Hopkins returned to full flying duty.

21 April – Briefing was at 10.00 hrs this morning with the designated target and airfield deep in Germany, but poor weather caused the mission to be scrubbed at 15.00 hrs.

Luncheon this noon with the stars of stage and screen, high military figures and other dignitaries who were here to christen the ship, “Stage Door Canteen”. The dignitaries  included Major General Anderson, Chief of Eighth Air Force Operations. Air Chief Marshall Harris, the high mogul of the Royal Air Force, Mary Churchill, daughter of the British Prime Minister, Vivian Leigh, Lawrence Olivier, Alfred Lunt, but regrettably not Lynn Fontaine. The ship was christened by Mary Churchill and she had to take a couple of heavy left swings to break the Coca Cola bottle on the chin turret guns. Col Leber was christened on the second swing along with the ship!

Cameras were very much in evidence, and the most interesting scenes shot were pictures of people taking pictures. The christening party watched the take off at 13.45 hrs in weather that was becoming increasingly poor.

Comment: If we don’t quit having inspections and so many digified visitors I am going to wear out my Sunday pants!

22 April – Twenty nine aircraft from this command took off at 15.15 hrs with the designated target a huge marshalling yard in the vicinity of Hamm, Germany. The importance of this target which connects the Ruhr with eastern Germany was realised when the task force sent over to destroy it  consisted of 15 combat wings. 

Bombing altitude was 22,000 ft with outside air temperature minus 30 degrees, centigrade. No enemy fighters were encountered and flak was light. The ships landed at this base at 22.00 hrs which was after dark and this was the first time they have landed in quite some time at night. Just as the lead squadron was peeling off  we had an air raid warning and shortly down 20 miles from the airfield. No ships were lost and no one killed or wounded. Lt Carroll landed at Manston, Kent, because he had a couple of engines shot out.

Five and a half hours after the ships landed there was another briefing so most of the crews averaged about two hours sleep. Fortunately the mission was scrubbed right after pilots’ meeting.

24 April – Twenty aircraft from this command and two PFF ships attacked an airfield in the Munich area, by name, Erding, Germany. There were no losses, killed on wounded.

25 April – Take off was at 06.15 hrs for 31 aircraft of this command with the designated target and airfield at Metz, France, which is north east of Paris. Bombing altitude was 20,000 ft and although there were no strike photos taken the bombing results were said to be good.

One ship, Lt Claytor and crew, are missing. He was last seen about 15 miles inside France on two engines and the ship was smoking. It is thought he landed in France. He was under fighter escort and no report was made of ditching. The remainder of the ship returned safely to base.

MIA 535th N/42-3511

Claytor, Andrew J.

2nd Lt

EVD

 

Rice, Roy J.

2nd Lt

EVD

Chisholm, Robert H.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Middleton, Chas

2nd Lt

EVD

Sango, Nicholas A.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Williams, Walter

S/Sgt

EVD

Souder, David W.

S/Sgt

EVD

 

Connable, Joe M

Sgt

EVD

     None

 

 

 

Vitkus, Ray. D.

Sgt

EVD

Major Gaillard and Capt Wymer went to Nuthampstead to lecture to the 398th Bomb Group on first aid. This new group seemed ready, will and able and were ready for combat.

26 April – Briefing was at the unholy hour of 02.15 hrs, with take off at 05.15 hrs, the target designated as an airfield four miles north of Brunswick, German for our 31 ships dispatched. The 381st led the combat wing, with Col. Harry Leber leading and Lt Col John Fitzgerald leading the composite group, which consisted of two squadrons. The target was overcast and was bombed by pathfinder method. All aircraft returned safely to this base.

However there were a couple of flak injuries, both 535th: 2nd Lt Joseph R. Scott, navigator:- 1. Wound, penetrating, scapular region, lateral, right, moderate severe, 3cm x 5cm, who was sent to the 136th Station Hospital, and T/Sgt Arthur P. Andrzejewski;- 1. Wound, penetrating, mild, mid scapular region, left, and who was returned to full flying duty.

There was not one aircraft lost on this mission by the Eighth Air Force and 500 heavy bombers were dispatched.

27 April – This was the 100th mission for the 381st. It does indeed seem a long cry from the first raid on Antwerp, Belgium on 22 June 1943. The early raids to France are characterized by small B-17 formations and intense hostile fighter attacks and little, if any, fighter support. It certainly seems  as though the Eighth Air Force has accomplished a tremendous amount now that it can raid almost any point in Germany with impunity and without the losses being too severe. The increasing number of crews, friendly fighter support through a mission and the huge formations that are now being sent over Germany has lessened the mental strain on the combat crew members and we do not see as many instances of clinically manifested fear as we did formerly. The trend is favourable.

Some 20 aircraft were dispatched today with the secret weapon installations on the coast of France as the target for the 100th mission of the group. It was led by Major Jones and the composite leader was Capt Armstead. Bombing altitude was 20,000 ft and the target was in the Cherbourg Peninsula, right in the center of a heavy flak area. The weather was good, and the ships made one pass at the target without dropping their bombs and returned to their base. There were five ships with feathered props and many of the ship had been hit by flak. There were no killed or wounded.

28 April – Twenty seven ships from this command took off at 08.15 hrs, the target designated as an airfield at St Avord, France. It is just about due south of Paris. Bombing altitude was 14,000 ft. Major Jones was leading the group, and received a direct 20mm flak hit in his #2 engine. The engine twisted, caught fire, and fell out of the nacelle. The ship pulled up and careened off to the left and went down through the low squadron and was seen to break up. The most accurate report would indicate that the tail gunner got out but his chute fouled on the tail and he was carried down with the ship. It is believed three our chutes came out.

MIA 535th T/42-38061

Henslin, Harold F.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Jones, Osce V.

Maj

POW

Guertin, Arthur L.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Arning, Eugene

1st Lt

KIA

Karr, John R.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Padgett, J. V.

T/Sgt

POW

McLaughlin, George B.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Williams, Claren.

S/Sgt

KIA

Blackmon, Willm. E. Jr

Sgt

POW

 

Sell, Edward H.

S/Sgt

KIA

The loss of Major Jones is keenly felt in the group. On a previous raid to the southern coast of Norway, on 24 June 1943, Major Jones was forced to land in Sweden. He spent a number of months there and returned to this group on an operational status. He was Operations Officer the 535th.

Major Gaillard gave a lecture to new combat crews of the 398th BG at Nuthampstead.

29 April – The group this date attacked the city of Berlin, with Col Kunkle leading and Major Halsey up front of “B” group. Bombing was by pathfinder method from 25,000 ft. The flak was intense to moderate and bombing results, were of course, not observed, from the 29 aircraft from this group along with the two PFFs. There were no losses, none killed and a few minor injuries, i.e., three slight cases of burns, one of frostbite, one slight abrasion and one case of anoxia.

Lt Zapinski landed late because of engine trouble. Lt Gnatzig landed elsewhere after an awful long haul on two engines. In the over all picture, 63 heavy bombers were lost on this operation, so we were very fortunate in not losing any.

30 April – This date saw 13 ships from this group attack an airfield at Lyon, France, with briefing at 03.30 hrs. Bombing altitude was 20,000 ft, with the weather beautiful and results were good. There was no killed or wounded and all ship returned safely to base.


 

May 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

MAY 1944

1 May – Briefing was at 11.45 hrs with take off at 14.15 hrs for 25 aircraft from this command whose target was the railroad yard at Troyes, France. he weather was beautiful and the bombing results were said to be good. There were no killed or wounded and all ships returned home safely.

6 May – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off at 05.30 hrs after n 02.30 hrs briefing, the target being designated as the rocket gun installations at Cherbourg, France. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft, but the target was 9/10th overcast and the bombs were not dropped. The flak was intense. All the ships landed at the base except Lt Wardencki who landed safely at Biggin Hill, an R.A.F. field.

Lt Joseph F. Grace, (535th) Yates’ crew was wounded and had the following diagnosis: 1. Wound, low velocity missile, 2” x ¾” avulsive type through skin and subcutaneous layers to muscle and deep fascia right leg, lateral aspect, three inches above lateral malleolus. 2nd Lt John J. Monahan (533rd), received minor abrasions of the forehead due to plexi-glass set in motion by low velocity flak.

While we  were standing in the control tower a P-51 was seen to crash from an estimated 3,000 ft (he was only about 300 ft when I first him) and burst into flames. We were on the scene  within ten minutes and later picked up the pilot Lt G. Boyce. He was decapitated, eviscerated, had his right leg amputated and had a compound fracture of his left leg. Division was notified and he was found to be from Debden, Essex and a member of the 4th Fighter Group.

The previous day Major Gaillard went to Nuthampstead to lecture new combat crews.

7 May – Twenty nine aircraft from this command led by Lt Col Hall took off at 05.30 hrs and bombed Berlin by pathfinder method from 26,000 ft. Flak was moderate but not too accurate, while a few enemy fighters were seen. All ships returned safely, and there were no killed or wounded. There were five cases of anoxia, one due to resistance by another anoxic individuals, two by disconnection of the mask from the ship’s system and two by freezing of the A-14 mask.

The monthly officers’ dance was held and approximately seventy show girls from London were guests. The party progressed with only a mild amount of trauma and most everyone felt it was one of our better dances.

8 May – Briefing was at 03.00 hrs, take off at 05.45 hrs when the target was designated Berlin. Bombing was from 26,000 ft by pathfinder method. All ships returned safely and there were no killed or wounded. One case of frostbite was recorded and the individual was admitted to sick quarters. Combat crew members reported seeing flying wings that did not attempt to engage them.

Because of the influx of new crews the missions do not seem to be causing any undue strain on personnel and we have not had any psychiatric casualties that have required disposition for some time.

9 May – This command provided 31 aircraft that took off at 05.45 hrs with the designated target an airfield at St Dizier, France.  The group was led by our commanding officer Col Harry Leber with deputy leader Lt Col Shackley. The weather was beautiful and bombing done from 20,000 ft. The bomb run was good  but results were not obtained. There were no killed or wounded and there were no abortions or ships receiving battle damage.

11 May – The first target was Bettembourg in Luxembourg, and the  second target the Thionville, France. Bombing altitude was 20,000 ft and 20,500 ft respectively, by pathfinder method. There were no killed or wounded. Fifty enemy aircraft were sighted  but did not attack. All ships returned safely to base.

12 May – The group dispatched 18 ships today and the formation was led by Major Halsey, the target designated, Lutzkendorf, Germany. Bombing altitude was 24,500 ft by pathfinder method, with enemy fighter opposition nil. All ships returned safely with no killed or wounded.

13 May – Again we had a dual mission with targets at Stettin and Stralsund, Germany, with bombing altitudes 23,3000 ft and 23,500 ft respectively. The group was led by Col Kunkel, while enemy opposition was again nil. Bombing was done by pathfinder with all ships returning safely with no casualties.

As a commentary on the group as a whole, it seems to me that many individuals, both officers and enlisted men, are becoming a bit stale and have less interest and drive than heretofore. Several officers have complained of being tired, fed up, irritable, and just plain sick of the routine day after day with no break.

The war has lost its novelty for most of us and has taken on more drudgery than was the case. The answer will probably be one of two things; with awakened interest by the opening of the long awaited and delayed second front, or the number of passes and leaves will have to be increased if the efficiency is to be maintained. It would also seem advisable to have a rotation policy for the return to the Zone of Interior  because if individuals have a real hope of returning in the reasonable near future their outlook seems to be improved considerably.

We received this date a picture of the inspection held on 19 April, and the generals shown in the picture are Lt Gens McNarney, Doolittle, and Spaatz and Major Gen Kemper. The orderly holding the door of the ambulance open is Capt Cohler.

19 May – Thirty eight aircraft from this command took off at 03.15 hrs this foggy morning with Lt Col Kunkle in the lead, with the target designated ast Berlin.  The bombing was expected to be by pathfinder method from 26,000 ft, but the weather was better than expected and bombing was done visually. Flak over the target was intense and four ships returned with feathered props.

Two ships did not return: Lt Blog in the lead group and Lt Sharp, lead element on 533rd, the high squadron. He was said to have gone down out of control by no details available for Lt Blog.

We had no frostbite, despite the outside temperature being minus 38 degrees Centigrade, while those wounded included two 535th men, Sgt Nicholas M. Rotz and T/Sgt Floyd C. Hanson. Rotz was wearing a flak helmet  and steel helmet but received a penetrating and lacerated wound of left frontal region of forehead 2” above left eyebrow, mod. severe, caused by low velocity flak; Hanson suffered a wound, penetrating, acute, mod. severe, left mid-axillary line at level of left nipple. This was also caused by flak. He was wearing a flak suit but the missile went in laterally between the two halves of the flak suit. The remainder of the ships returned at 17.45 hrs.

MIA 532nd M/42-32088

Blog, Harold G.

1st Lt

POW

 

Dill Frederick L.

2nd Lt

POW

Dennis, George W.

F/O

POW

 

Miller, Henry

F/O

POW

Thompson, Jack L.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Heidebrink, John W.

T/Sgt

POW

Humphrey, Samuel D.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Poloski, Stanley

S/Sgt

POW

       None

 

 

 

Anderson, Cornelius C

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 533rd U/42-97454

Sharp, Earl

1st Lt

POW

 

Garner, Dorance

2nd Lt

POW

Hardwick, Wayne T.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Britenbaker, Francis

2nd Lt

KIA

Schoepf, Jarrett

T/Sgt

POW

 

Suchy, William K.

T/Sgt

POW

Pennypacker, Merrill

S/Sgt

POW

 

Rutigliano, Gerald J.

S/Sgt

POW

    None

 

 

 

Bratton, Follis D.

S/Sgt

POW

20 May – Briefing was at 03.30 hrs and take off at 06.30 hrs when 13 ships were dispatched under Lt Col Shackley, in poor visibity, about 200 yards through heavy haze, the target being Villacoublay, a large airfield just south of Paris. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft, the weather was good as were bombing results reported. All shops returned home safely, with no killed or wounded, and only one case of frostbite.

The body of S/Sgt Frank J. Kurtz, 534th tail gunner, a former member of Lt Dan Henry’s crew was washed ashore at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. The body was badly decomposed and there was nothing but skull above the head. There was a large flak wound in the posterior chest region which confirmed the previous belief that Sgt Kurtz was dead when the ship was abandoned (26 March). There were numerous articles found in his clothing but the most interesting of these were maps and photographs which were partly altered by the action of the sea over this six week period. The body was picked up by Lt Fick and taken to the American Cemetery, Cambridge, the funeral service scheduled for tomorrow (21st) at 14.30 hrs.

22 May – Twenty eight aircraft from this command took off at 08.45 hrs with the target the industrial area at Kiel, Germany. Bombing was briefed by pathfinder method but carried out visually with good results. This group was carrying incendiary bombs. Flak was estimated as light to moderate and a few enemy aircraft were seen but did not attack. Fighter support was good.

All ships returned safely to this base and the only incident was Lt Cann, 532nd BS, who could not keep up with the formation because his #4 engine was feathered. He landed with his tail wheel locked and had to ground loop about 2/3rd up the runway.

23 May – At 05.15 hrs this morning 25 aircraft took off with the primary target an airfield near Metz, France, while the secondary target was Saarbrucken. The primary was overcast and the secondary could only be seen through a hole in the clouds. It was bombed from 22,000 ft and thought successfully. There were no killed or wounded and all ships returned safely to base. The combat wing was led by our commanding officer Col Harry Leber, and one of 14 that attacked the target.

24 May – Today 37 aircraft from this command and two PFF’s took off at 08.00 hrs with the target designated as Berlin. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft and the temperature minus 38 degrees. There were 6-8/10th  cloud cover and bombing was done by both visual and PFF methods, with results thought to be good. However six ships are missing.

MIA 532nd J/42-38010

Ezzell, Clarence W.

1st Lt

POW

 

Nymeyer, John L.

2nd Lt

POW

Adams, Edward R.

F/O

POW

 

Wilson, William O.

2nd Lt

POW

Peck, Leslie H.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Baker, Louie K.

T/Sgt

POW

Beninga, Harm R.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Harvey, Lloyd L.

S/Sgt

POW

     None

 

 

 

Schaaf, Carl

S/Sgt

KIA

MIA 533rd N/42-31698

Wainwright, Clar. D.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Latton, Howard W.

2nd Lt

POW

Dorn, Harry T.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Counts, James R. Jr.

2nd Lt

KIA

Kennedy, Lowell D.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Hoga, Warren K.

S/Sgt

KIA

Kruger, Charles

Sgt

KIA

 

Stephens, T. J.             

Sgt

KIA

   None

 

 

 

Malley, Floyd M.

Sgt

POW

MIA 534th B/42-97214

Wardencki, John A.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Dayton, Charles R.

2nd Lt

KIA

Morrison, Will. W. Jr

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Blackfield, Willard I.

2nd Lt

KIA

Bachelin, Warren H.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Miller, Robert E.

S/Sgt

KIA

Anderson, Charles

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Elliott, George S.

S/Sgt

KIA

     None

 

 

 

Telzerow, Harold R.

S/Sgt

KIA

MIA 534th F/42-31291

Gardon, Carl A.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Sornberger, Archie

2nd Lt

POW

Soltwedel, Edward B.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Moseley, William C.

2nd Lt

KIA

Cornell, Kenneth H.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Schaub, Donald P.

S/Sgt

POW

Shaw, Allen E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Rush, Jacob R.

S/Sgt

POW

      None

 

 

 

O’Neal, John S.

T/Sgt

POW

MIA 535th Z/42-31878

Higgins, Walter K.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Burns, Herbert W.

2nd Lt

POW

Beck, James A.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Hughes, Robert L.

1st  Lt

POW

Baird, John S.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Delgado, Eddie

T/Sgt

KIA

Thomson, Robert H.

Sgt

KIA

 

Collister, Franklin R.

S/Sgt

KIA

Thomas, Donald H.

Sgt

KIA

 

Smith, Robert F.

Cpl

KIA

MIA 535th Y/42-39890

Dasso, Carl H.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Watson, William L.

2nd Lt

KIA

Barkett, Phillip J.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Isom, Norman B.

2nd Lt

KIA

Wright, Oscar

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Madero, Anthony T.

S/Sgt

KIA

Williams, Paul M.

Cpl

POW

 

Rose, Marshall E.

Sgt

POW

     None

 

 

 

Herron, Chester E.

Sgt

POW

It is thought Lt Wainwright  collided with another ship [Lt Wardencki in 42-97214], and both exploded. Lt Dasso’s ship collided with a fighter which tore a wing off, but I have no details on the other ships.

A 534th tail gunner, S/Sgt Jack M. Ross had quite a tale to tell. His pilot, Lt Williams, was flying #174, called Joanne, which flew through the wreckage of the explosions and blackened his silver plane (Natural Metal Finish) and had the rudder, horizontal stabilizers and left aileron were partly burnt away. The tail gunner, Ross, jumped out thinking the ship was on fire. However the ship landed back at base without event.

Lt Yates, 535th, landed without brakes after having a fire in the nose and cockpit which burned him and his co-pilot, Lt Klutha, slightly.  Lt Bailey also landed without brakes and put out a couple of parachutes to slow him down but were without much effect, and he ground-looped about 2/3rd down the runway. Lt Zapinski lost a prop governor at assembly and feathered the engine and tried to stay with the formation but could not. He salvoed his bombs and still could not keep up so he turned back and heard a distress call from a B-17 and he went on an Air-Sea rescue mission. He found the ditched crew and a small ship in the vicinity and flashed the position of the crew. He landed 11 hours after take-off.

Among injured crewmen were: Lt Leroy H. Baird, a 535th bombardier with Lt Nelson, received a 30 cal. bullet wound of the right leg. Diagnosis: 1. Wound, penetrating, leg, right, lateral at mid-portion tibia, asterior, size of entry ½” in diameter. Those burned were: Lt Howard Yates, 535th, on right wrist and above right eyebrow; Lt Robert Klutha, 535th, who received mild burns to neck and both wrists; S/Sgt Tom O’Brien, 535th, had 1st degree  burn of right thumb.

A frostbite casualty due to defective electric equipment was: Lt Abraham A. Levine, 535th, reported to dispensary with mild abrasions of the right cheek by splintered plexi-glass. S/Sgt Ross B. Gladfelder, 532nd, received a mild wound of the left leg due to low velocity flak. One anoxia case was reported, Sgt Oliver J. Brown, 533rd, because the quick-disconnect plug was pulled apart apparently while the gunner was searching for fighters during a heavy fighter attack.

The crews seemed impressed but not unduly shaken by their experience and their morale is good. The bulk of the ships returned to base about 15.30 hrs.  

25 May – This morning at 04.45 hrs, Sgt Robert Q. Pope, 535th, was hit by a plane part which was set in motion by a 50 cal. machine gun bullet which was accidentally discharged from a ball turret about 100 yards away. Diagnosis: 1. Wound, penetrating, moderate severity, left costal margin in nipple line. The wound was explored at the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree, and the peritoneum was just nicked and an exploration was not done.

Just 30 minutes later, 26 ships from this command took off at 05.15 hrs with their target the airfield and Nancy-Essey, France, led by Col Leber.. Bombing altitude was 22,000 ft weather was clear and bombing done visually with good results. All ships returned safely to base and reported only a few bursts of flak behind them. No enemy fighter opposition was encountered while the friendly fighter support was good. Several crews reported seeing two or three B-17s go down. There were no killed or wounded from this group. The mission was regarded from a strategic standpoint as eminently successful.

27 May – Nineteen aircraft were dispatched at 07.45 hrs to fly high group with the 94th Combat Wing, with the primary target the marshalling yards at Ludwigshafen. Germany.  In case of undercast, the centers of the cities of Ludwigshafen and Mannheim were to be the target. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft; weather outlook was favourable for visual bombing. Flak was moderate and not too accurate over the target area. This group was fortunate in not receiving any fighter attacks, but the group ahead received considerable opposition. Strike photos showed a bullseye strike by the lead bombardier, Lt Cassidy. There were no killed or wounded.

One ship failed to return, Lt Stuart and crew, 532nd, while Lt Harding, 534th, landed about 20 minutes after the formation was in.

MIA 532nd A/42-107023

Stuart, Andrew H.

1st Lt

POW

 

Call, Glen S.

2nd Lt

EVD

Blyth, Don H.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Eisen, Charles K.

2nd Lt

POW

Harrison, Frederick W

S/Sgt

POW

 

Jones, Aurelius W.

S/Sgt

EVD

Kaplan, Herman H.

Sgt

EVD

 

Mickey, Gerald B.

S/Sgt

POW

     None

 

 

 

Selig, Peter

Sgt

POW

Captain Bland returned last night from SNAFUING at the Walhampton House and reported a most wonderful seven days of rest.

28 May – Thirty three aircraft took off at 10.00 hrs with two PFF’s. Major Halsey was leading the 1st Combat Wing, flying the first PFF. This group was to furnish the lead group and the lead and low squadron fir the composite group for the 1st Combat Wing. The primary target was missed, the ships being unable to pick it out in time to bomb.

Having bombs remaining, 18 ships, bombed marshalling yards in Frankfurt, Germany, a target of opportunity. They scored hits on the yards and on a bridge nearby. However, the bombs they were carrying were 500 lbs incendiaries so that this portion of the mission was snafued. Flak over the target was reported as being the most intense encountered over any target, including Berlin, recently.

On returning, 2nd Lt Francis J. Treanor, 533rd, was evacuated to the 121st Station Hospital, because of a penetrating wound of the right thigh, accompanied by Sgt William M. Cusick, 534th, who suffered a penetrating wound of the right thigh.

Sgt George Samuelian, 532nd, was killed in action and his remains are to be sent to the American Military Cemetery, at Cambridge tomorrow. His diagnosis was: Wound, penetrating, marked severity, at lateral anterior aspect, right thigh, at level of hip joint. Size of entrance 2 ½” x 1 ¼” with the tract penetrating into abdominal cavity. Caused by flak, low velocity. There were four other minor flak wounds reported but those concerned were returned to full flying duty.

29 May – Briefing at 05.00 hrs and take off at 08.00 hrs this beautiful, clear and wonderful morning. The designated target was Posen, in Poland, a round trip of 1,700 miles, one of the longest of the war, for the 19 aircraft of this command, the route being over the North Sea and through Denmark. Bombing altitude was 22,000 ft; visual bombing was done with excellent results.

Only 16 ships returned to this base, the others as follows: Lt Boyle and Lt Martin landed at Coltishall and Lt Nelson at Foulsham, both in Norfolk. They ran into some flak over Kiel, over the target area and over the German coast. There were no killed or wounded. The only thing of medical interest was that Lt Goodman, 535th bombardier, was having trouble with oxygen presumably, and he salvoed his bombs between the I. P. and the target. Apparently he had a poorly fitting oxygen mask thus was returned to full flying duty.

30 May – Thirty ships were dispatched from this command leading the Division with Colonel Gross in command. The designated target was the Dessault Aircraft Assembly Plant at Leipzig, Germany. Bombing altitude was 23,000 ft with the outside temperature minus 39 degrees centigrade.  The lead and high group got their bombs away right on the nose and the strike photos showed the bombs of the lead group right on the M.P.I. The group was under hostile attack by ME 109’s on the bomb run and two ships were knocked out of formation, Lts Zapinski and Burton, while Lt Monahan was heard calling as the ships were coming out of Germany but his whereabouts is unknown at the present.

Friendly fighters were underneath engaged in enemy activity elsewhere as they were not in evidence in the target area. There were no killed or wounded on the remaining ships that landed at the base.

MIA 532nd P/44-6025

Zapinski, Leonard E.

1st Lt

POW

 

Widosh, Othmer G.

2nd Lt

POW

Van Buskirk, Robert

2nd Lt

POW

 

Fuller, David P.

2nd Lt

POW

Webb, William E.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Pastre, George J.

S/Sgt

POW

Wilson, James K.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Harper, Hamilton B

S/Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Harness, Donald A.

S/Sgt

POW

MIA 533rd R/42-102672

Burton, Merrill O.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Bredeson, David L.

2nd Lt

KIA

Berry, Alvin C.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Hammond, Robert* 

S/Sgt

POW

Eylens, John T. Jr

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Marbry, James E.

S/Sgt

POW

Powell, Ralph J.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Pillot, Victor C.

S/Sgt

POW

      None

 

 

 

Hittel, Robert              

Sgt

POW

*Toggler

MIA 533rd K/42-38188

Monahan, John J.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Cea, Kenneth C.

2nd Lt

POW

Haas, Leland M.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Hoyle, William M.*

T/Sgt

KIA

Catter, Loebert G.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Valinski, John

S/Sgt

POW

Granlund, Jerome D.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Emanuelson, Morr.

Sgt

KIA

None

 

 

 

Bryan, John B. Jr

Sgt

POW

*Toggler

Lt Howard Yates, 535th, was hit between the I. P. and the target knocking out engines #1 & #2. The first was feathered but #2 windmilled all the way home. The co-pilot, Lt Robert Klutho and top turret gunner, S/Sgt James Dixon, bailed out right after the ship was hit. The remainder of the crew was under repeated hostile attack and did violent evasive action with two starboard engines and an air speed of about 100 miles per hour. They destroyed three enemy aircraft and probably more.

Lt Yates used maximum power (2500RPM and 50 inches of mercury) on his two good engines for 1 ½ hrs and eased it back slowly while over the Channel. Six of the machine guns went out of commission while under attack. The ball turret was salvoed and equipment thrown out in order to lighten the ship. He landed wheels down without hydraulics on two engines and ground-looped at the end of the runway. Lt Yates and crew are excited and shaken but in good condition. They are being admitted to the sick quarters for sedation this evening.

31 May – Briefed at 04.30 hrs and 25 aircraft were put up. Lt Col Fitzgerald led the combat wing. They put up the high squadron for the composite group, the target being in south eastern France. Upon crossing the Channel, weather was met which forced the aircraft up to 27,000 ft top get over the clouds and after penetration into territory over north eastern France they found a hole in the cloud cover and orders from Division they bombed a target of opportunity, hitting a dispersal point at an airfield in Florrennes, France. Only extremely light flak and no enemy fighters were encountered. There were no killed or wounded and all aircraft returned safely to this base landing about noon.


 

June 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

JUNE 1944

2 June – Twenty four aircraft from this command took off at 09.15 hrs with the designated targets 50mm gun emplacements just south of Boulogne, France. Bombing altitude was 22,000 ft and bombing by PFF with 10/10th undercast, so results are unknown. All ships landed safely back at base, not encountering flak or enemy fighters.

Later in the day 12 aircraft were dispatched at 17.30 hrs with the target the marshalling yards just south of Paris. The bombing was visual through a partial overcast and it is thought to be good to excellent. Bombing altitude at briefing was 22,000 ft but the actual altitude was 19,000 ft. Major Halsey led the group. There were no killed or wounded and all ship returned to base at 2300 hrs

This was the first time the group participated in more than more raid in a day. The same crews and ships did not fly the two missions.

3 June – Six aircraft from this command took off at 12.30 hrs with the target designated a gun emplacement on the French coast, south of Boulogne. The mission was by PFF, with no flak or fighters encountered. All ships returned safely to the base with no killed or wounded, while bombing results are as yet unknown.

5 June – Thirty nine aircraft from this command took off as part of a complete combat wing with 13 planes in each group. The target was the coastal defence area near Caen, France, 2 ½ miles off the French coast. Briefing was scheduled unexpectedly at 04.00 hrs when a cold front lifted. Take off was to be 05.30 hrs but delayed 50 minutes because the bombs were not loaded. All the ship carried 500 lb armour piercing bombs which was the first time this type of bomb has been carried.

Col Fitzgerald led the lead group with Lt Farr leading the high group and Lt Jones the low group. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft and the air temperature minus 32 degrees centigrade. The I. P. was near Le Havre and the fighter escort was good. No flak or fighters were seen, while bombing was visually.

The only objects noted was a convoy of about 25 German trucks heading south. The second best job of the season was done by Lt Bailey who finished up. Lt Townsend also buzzed. Strike photos showed the bombing results as excellent. All ships returned safely to base and there were no killed or wounded.

6 June – Today is D-DAY!!!!! This is the day we have all been waiting for. We were gotten out of the sack at 00.30 hrs this Tuesday, and alerted for enemy action. Everyone on the base was under arms, tense and excited. The station defence was out in force and most of us were afraid of trigger happy defence boys that we were of enemy action. Briefing was at 01.00 hrs for pilots only and the target was secret. The crews stationed in the ships and did not know the target until the engines had started.

The group put up 48 ships on two different missions, the first group hitting coastal targets from 15,000 ft by PFFF and the targets were just north of the Cherbourg area. Crews reported large numbers of invasion craft and small naval ships. No hostile action other than enemy gunfire from the coast was seen. The radio reported intense shelling of the Le Havre area and allied paratroops landing from the Seine estuary and north to the Dunkirk-Calais area.

Warnings were issued to the civil population of occupied countries by General Eisenhower giving instructions about what to do and what not to do. We are all standing by at the moment for the anticipated counter invasion and there is to be another briefing later in the day. The irony of it all is that the invasion had to occur on my day off. It sure is rough in the E. T. O.! Today we received another dentist, making a total of three. His name is Capt Cyril  E. Stavincha. A dental technician, Cpl Richard Miller has been assigned to us also. Also of some interest is the fact that the medical department, which was disarmed by the Geneva Convention, when alerted came out with all kinds of weapons, including a pocketful of rocks!

7 June – Thirty three aircraft from this command led by three PFF ships attacked an airfield just north of L’Orient, France, which is on the south shore of the Cherbourg Peninsula. Despite the PFF lead, the bombing was visual and many German aircraft were taking off from this field when bombs were away. Hits were seen and it is thought the bombing results were good. The flak over the target area was fairly intense and accurate and as the second group made a 360 degree they went over some more ships in the harbour of L’Orient and caught some more flak. All the ships returned safely with the exception of one. There were no killed or wounded.

Lt Martyniak, 534th flying #238, “Our Captain”, was seen to ditch and his position was reported by ten of our aircraft and acknowledged and received by the ground sector about 20.30 hrs. He reported that he had lost two engines and did not have sufficient power in the other two. He also reported his position, altitude and air speed until he was within 100 ft of the water.

Lt Fick and Sgt’s Bassett and Johnson attended a meeting of the division Medical Administrative Officers and Chief Clerks at the conference room, 1st Bomb Division. Recent changes in the preparation and submission of medical department reports were discussed and they were advised of pending changes.

8 June – Thirty six aircraft from this group took off at 04.30 hrs with the target a bridge near Tours, France. The weather was poor and assembly was delayed but finally made at 25,000 ft. Let down was made to 20,000 ft which was the bombing altitude. The target was wiped out. All ships landed safely back at base, with no killed or wounded.

Lt Martyniak and crew were picked up at 06.00 hrs this morning and were reported by a naval hospital near Knightsbridge, Balsham. Apparently they were none the worse for their experience. They arrive back at base by plane about 17.00 hrs.

10 June – This command dispatched 36 ships which took off at 04.30 hrs for a target designated as troop installations in the Boulogne area. The bombing was visual from 22,000 ft, with bomb loads consisting of two 2,000 pounders. All ships returned safely to the base and there were no casualties.

11 June – Briefing was at 02.00 hrs with take off at 04.30 for the 19 aircraft dispatched for an airfield at Beaumont-le-Roger, France, about 30-40 miles behind the invasion front. Bombing was done from 15,000 ft. The target area was the only area that was completely overcast and bombing was by PFF. Results were not observed. A few bursts of flak were observed in the Granville area upon return. No enemy action was encountered and the friendly fighter support was good. There were no killed or wounded.

Yesterday the author flew down to Stony Cross, the airfield just south west of Southampton and met some glider pilots who had gone over on D-Day. They had various souvenirs with them and when one was asked there was the hole was in the helmet he had, he replied: “There ain’t no hole in the helmet, I shot him between the eyes!”

He said he shot a lot of Germans there and most of the rest of them were dead. He stated that after his glider had landed, he could see other gliders overhead, hear a few bursts of flak, wait a little while and the inevitable crash followed. The glider pilots said that most of the gliders crash-landed because what they had been briefed on as hedgerows turned out to be tall trees with the top branches clipped off to make the aerial photographs appear like a hedge.  I found he was glad he was a glider pilot, but his occupation would not seem to be too desirable from the standpoint of personal safety.

As we flew over southern England most of the forests were filled with tanks, trucks, jeeps, and other army vehicles as well as the personnel. All the airdromes and every flat strip of land was covered with aircraft of all types and description including large numbers of gliders. The port of Southampton was crammed with ships of all sizes and types and on every road and railroad there were long convoys and trains conveying equipment to the harbour area. The weight and amount of equipment defies description, but it is tremendous.

12 June – Briefing was at 02.00 hrs and take off at 03.00 hrs, following a party at the officers’ club. It was pretty short cut and two officers had to be admitted to sick quarters and two had to be relieved from flying for non-operational reasons. The designated target was an airfield near Rheims, France, for the 36 aircraft dispatched. The group bombed from 15,000 ft visually and the results were good.  Flak was light and a number of enemy aircraft were seen. There were no killed or wounded. They did not fly over the invasion area and nothing was seen before their return around 10.15 hrs.

14 June – Briefing was at 01.45 hrs and take off at 04.00 hrs for the 38 aircraft set to bomb a target at Melun, south east of Paris. Bombing was at 21,000 ft and outside air temperature minues 19 degrees. There were no PFF ships, bombing was done visually with good results, Major Halsey and Capt Winter leading.

Lt Reese and Lt Tarr almost did a piggy-back with another ship. Lt Tarr’s #1 engine was feathered and #2 was windmilling and after he landed the prop fell off and went through the wing, fuselage and horizontal stabilizer. Only one flap was working on the side the engines were on. He had no radio communication, no instruments, hydraulic fluid had to be pumped by hand and he had to land because of lack of air speed almost hitting another ship. Flak was moderate and accurate over the target and a few caught it on the way home.

S/Sgt Fred A. Taylor, 532nd  waist gunner, was killed in action, hit severely by a 20mm cannon shell. His body was taken to the American Military Cemetery, Cambridge, in the afternoon.

15 June – Forty eight aircraft from this command were dispatched at 06.00 hrs with the target designated as an airfield at Merignac, near Bordeaux, France. Bombing altitude was 23,000 ft, done visually with results thought to be good. There was inaccurate flak over the target area and no enemy aircraft were seen. One ship was confirmed as missing in action. All others returned safely to base with no killed or wounded.

MIA 534th M /42-38009

Kelly, Charles H.

2nd Lt

EVD

 

Disbrow, Robert C.

2nd Lt

EVD

Champ, Frank A.

F/O

EVD

 

Wilczek, Simon J.*

Sgt

EVD

Brashear, Charles F.

S/Sgt

EVD

 

Brooks, Harold C. Jr

S/Sgt

EVD

Workman, Ralph J.

Sgt

EVD

 

Campbell, Alfred M.

Sgt

EVD

None

 

 

 

Graham, Donald S.

Sgt

EVD

However all eventually made it back and returned to base.

Today a medical board, consisting of: Major Ernest Gaillard Jr – president; Capt Milton H. Bland – member; Capt Louis G. Ralston – member; Capt Bernard E. Cohler – member; 1st Lt Joseph V. Fick – recorder and Lt Col Michael P. Teitelbaum – consultant, convened to determine the mental status of Cpl RWM, 533rd BS. He was found to be a constitutional psychopathic inferior. It was recommended that he be held accountable for his acts.

16 June – We had a little excitement this morning for an unwelcome change. During the night, Cpl RWM, whose sanity we have been investigating,  jabbed himself in the left hand with a stick and a pencil which he said was a suicide attempt, which we doubt. He remained in sick quarters overnight and pulled the old gag of climbing out the latrine window when the guard was standing at the door. He took off across a pea patch and it looked for a while as if he had made good his escape.

The author was surprised at the fortitude shown by the individual and admittedly a bit amused at the consternation  of the military police from whom he had escaped before. However, the amusement was cut short when the author found out the responsibility was his as much as the military police. Not being an alarmist, the author called out the Station Defense, Home Guard, civilian police and as many men of the squadrons could supply. The area was searched and after about two hours the prisoner was returned. Captain Porter, the CO of the military police, was with me and I don’t believe I have seen him so happy.

To add further to our misery, someone stole an American ambulance from the front of Station Sick Quarters late last night and within 45 minutes had wrecked and abandoned it. We are carrying out a search for the driver. The damage is estimated at about $300.

18 June – Fifty four aircraft took off at 04.15 hrs with the target designated as an oil refinery in Hamburg, Germany. The combat wing was led by Col Shackley and the composite group by Capt Armstead. Bombing was by PFF. The flak was intense but no enemy fighters were seen.

A German convoy of about 50 ships was seen in the south of the Elbe River, while all our aircraft returned home safely, two with feathered props. The crews and when briefing was held before 03.00 hrs it seems to affect them much more than later briefing. Four hours sleep seems to be less sleep than is beneficial to the individual.

19 June – Fifty one aircraft from this command took off at 04.15 hrs with the target designated at Merignac airfield, near Bordeaux, France. The briefed bombing altitude was 21,000 ft but because of poor weather, the group, led by Col Hall, had time to climb to 26,000 ft then let down to 24,500 ft for their bomb run. The weather was overcast everywhere except in the target area. The bombing was done with good results. One ship aborted which broke the record of 25 consecutive missions without an abortion. There were no killed or wounded on those ships that returned, but a 532nd ship is missing

MIA 532nd E/42-107088

Doyle, John B.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Prokopovitz, Julian

2nd Lt

KIA

Richards, Richard H.

F/O

KIA

 

Leavitt, Bernard S.

2nd Lt

POW

Wise, Gordon W.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Harker, Charles E.

S/Sgt

KIA

Thompson, Logan A.

Sgt

KIA

 

Helam, Robert J.

Sgt

KIA

None

 

 

 

Matthews, Robert T.

Sgt

POW

20 June – Approximately 40 aircraft took off from this command at 04.00 hrs with the target again designated as Hamburg. The bombing altitude was 24,500 ft, and bombing done visually. All ships returned safely to this base except one, while three others had a wounded man aboard.

They are: 1st Lt Beverley W. Lessenger, 532nd pilot. Diagnosis: 1. Wound, severe, perforating, left knee, entrance medial slightly above patella and medial to knee joint, 1 ¼” x 1” , course of wound exit immediately infra patella and 2” x 1 ½”, and through knee joint. Caused by flak, high velocity.

2nd Lt Ira A. Hipperman, 532nd navigator. Diagnosis: 1. Wound, penetration, left eye, centre of cornea, severe. Caused by flak, low velocity.

2nd Lt Ernest D. Hyser, 534th navigator. Diagnosis: 1. Wound, penetrating, mild, right wrist, lateral side, base 5th metacarpal, ½” long. Caused by flak.

No enemy fighters were encountered, while fighter support was good. Flak was intense over the target area and the dock area was hit.

MIA 533rd /43-37612

Dunkel, Mark R.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Roehr, Kenneth

2nd Lt

KIA

Kelly, Frank L.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Evans, Clifford Jr.

2nd Lt

POW

Kochel, Aaron R.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Stoll, William L.

S/Sgt

KIA

Pillotti, John L.

Sgt

KIA

 

Schmidt, Theodore E.

Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Beaman, Roger L.

Sgt

POW

21 June – Briefing was at 02.15 hrs and take off an 04.45 hrs, the target being Berlin for the 38 ships of this command, with the route high over the North Sea. Bombing altitude was 27,000 ft and outside air temperature minus 39 degrees Cent. Bomb was done visually and results were thought to be good.

The group was led by Major Halsey and deputy lead was Capt Armstead, while the composite group was led by Lt Reese. Large numbers of enemy fighters were encountered near the I. P.  and their attack was persistent. They were mostly the ME 420s which fired rockets and then came on in. The group led by Lt Reese encountered a large number of JU 88’s, most of which were shot down.

Three ships are missing in action and three men were wounded: Lt James P. Chisholm, 535th navigator, who received a lacerated wound, irregular, aboout 5” long of the left cheek and neck, severe. Caused by flak.

2nd Lt Peter Kowalski, 533rd pilot. Diagnosis: 1. Wound, lacerated left jaw, severe, inferior angle 3” long. 2. Abrasion, middle phalanx. Mild, index finger, left hand.

Cpl Adelbert A. Wszolek, 533rd ball turret gunner, suffered the following: 1. Wound, lacerated arm, triceps region, moderate severe. 2. Wound, perforating of cornea, right with opacity of lens, severe. Caused by fragments of exploded 20mm cannon shell.

There were two other minor injuries, and after treatment returned to duty.

MIA 532nd J/42-31980

Dassault, Roger L.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Segman, Bernard

2nd Lt

POW

Magnabasco, Valerio

2nd Lt

POW

 

Holcolm, Ralph H.*

S/Sgt

POW

Meier, Elmer C.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Lawing, Wendell B.

S/Sgt

POW

Corum, Howard L.

Sgt

KIA

 

Ehler, Alonzo L. Jr

Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Mahar, John S. Jr

Sgt

POW

* Toggler

MIA 533rd V/42-38194

Bailey, Arthur J.

1st Lt

INT

 

Irwin, Robert H.

2nd Lt

INT

Peterson, Lloyd A.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Brown, Erwin M.

1st Lt

POW

Campbell, Charles J.

T/Sgt

INT

 

Molloy, John J.

T/Sgt

INT

Forke, Walden W.

S/Sgt

INT

 

Highsmith, Coral C.

S/Sgt

INT

None

 

 

 

Paoli, Alfred

S/Sgt

INT

MIA 534th P/42-97174

Pendergist, Roy H.

1st Lt

POW

 

Lawless, Joseph W.

F/O

POW

Harvey, Robert H.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Heniff, Eloy W.

2nd Lt

POW

Muir, Malcolm M.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Salzfieder, Herbert S

T/Sgt

POW

Wilson, Joseph S.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Lehman, Harold  M.

S/Sgt

KIA

None

 

 

 

King, Byron E.

S/Sgt

KIA

Three ships landed without hydraulics and two used parachutes to slow them down after they had landed. Lt Schobert’s ship had a failure of the hydraulic system as he was taxiing around the perimeter track and he crashed into  a fence near the bomb dump. Several ships had feathered props and battle damage to a number of ships is fairly heavy. Most of the damage was encountered by flak and fighters over the target. The flak was intense and accurate.

The morale of the crews is lower that it has been for many months. This is due to the decreased number of passes and the decrease in rest home facilities, the frequent change in the definition of an operational tour by higher command, the large number of mission flown in a comparatively short time and the fact that many of the crew members are simply fatigued.

We have had an increase in the number of cases that we have seen here showing anxiety reactions and feel that after today’s mission the number we will see will be increased. Higher command a short time ago issued orders concerning pass and leave policies and at the same time issued operational orders which preclude carrying them out. It is felt that if some remedial action is not taken, the number of crew combat failures we have, will increase.

About 15.00 hrs M/Sgt Thomas F. Walsh Jr., 533rd, entered his plane after the mission and found a .45 cal. automatic in the ship that had been left there by a gunner. He accidentally discharged the gun and shot himself through the right leg. His diagnosis is as follows: 1. Wound, perforating, moderate severity, right leg, medial aspect; wound of entrance 3” below lower end of patella, wound of exit lateral and 3” lower than the site of entry. He was brought to station sick quarters by ambulance and the evacuated to the 135th Station Hospital.

22 June – Thirty six aircraft from this command took off at 10.30 hrs to hit installations along the coast in the Pas-de-Calais area.  Three separate groups were sent, 12 in each, with bombing altitude 25,000 ft. Due to overcast over the target area the ships returned with their bombs. Flak was light and accurate. There were no killed or wounded but one ship is missing in action.

From information received it seems that Lt Peak received a direct flak hit in front of his ship near the target area. His plane caught fire, one wing fell off, and it spiraled down and crashed. No chutes were observed leaving the plane.  

MIA 534th H/42-07084

Peak, Samuel L.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Petroski, Robert F.

1st Lt

KIA

Lundberg, John K.    

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Ostenburg, Allen

2nd Lt

KIA

Simmons, Murl F.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Welke, Frank A.

S/Sgt

KIA

Scharff, Robert F.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Oberlin, Richard D.

S/Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Rockey, Max L.

S/Sgt

KIA

23 June – Eighteen ships from this command attacked a tactical target in the Pas-de-Calais area. Bombing was by PFF through a partial cloud cover and bombing results were thought to be good, from the 20,000 ft altitude. All ships returned safely to base with no killed or wounded.

Major Jolicouer, Lts Keating and Rinsky (?) spent the night at the St James Court Hotel in London, and observed many of the pilot-less planes going over head and falling in the vicinity during the night. Shortly after 08.00 hrs one of them fell in the very near locality breaking all the glass out of the windows in their room and a piece of glass fell down and cut Lt Keating in the stomach while he was taking a bath. They reported here about 10.00 hrs suitably impressed.

24 June – Thirty six aircraft from this command took off at 05.00 hrs with the target designated as a railroad bridge near Tours, France. Bombing altitude was 22,500 ft. The bombing results were observed as excellent  and there is no more bridge. One ship was lost after being hit by flak and it was thought that none of the crew got out. Weather was good and fighter support was excellent.

No enemy aircraft were encountered, the remaining ships returned to the base and there were two wounded crewmen.

They are: 2nd Lt Nelson F. Rakos, 533rd navigator: 1. Wound, abrased, mild, 2” medial and dorsal aspect, right foot, just above the longditudinal arch. Caused by flak.

S/Sgt Orval Page, 533rd waist gunner: 1. Wound, lacerated, moderate severity, over first carpo-metacarpal joint (near radial snuff box), right wrist. 2. Wound, lacerated, 1” posterior region, left leg, moderate severity, about 3” above the poplitcal fessa and lateral aspect, caused by low velocity missile.

MIA 534th A/42-102585

Romasco, Victor R.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Kellum, Richard L.

2nd Lt

KIA

Chandler, James H.

F/O

POW

 

Stewart, Roy L.

1st Lt

EVD

Giddens, Elbert F.

Sgt

KIA

 

Cosandier, Paul G.

S/Sgt

KIA

Scoggins, Grover L.

Sgt

KIA

 

Owens, Harry E.

S/Sgt

KIA

      None

 

 

 

Waldow, Ernest L.

S/Sgt

POW

25 June – Thirty six aircraft from this command took off at 04.30 hrs with the designated target an airfield  in Toulouse, France. The group was led by Capt Sandman. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft and outside air temperature minus 30 degrees. The total length of the missions was 10 hours and 40 minutes, which is a long haul. Bombing results were good on one PFF and fair on the other. No enemy fighters were encountered.  Flak was meagre and inaccurate over the target area.

One area over the battle zone had mobile flak guns and several engines were hit due to their accuracy. All ships returned to England, but four landed at another base due to battle damage and shortage of gas. There were no killed, wounded or missing.

28 June – Thirty six aircraft from this command were dispatched at 04.15 hrs to bomb a railway bridge near Fismes, France, north west of Paris. Bombing altitude was 24,800 ft and outside temperature minus 34 degrees Cent.  Bombing was done visually and the target was not hit. There was a heavy overcast in and out.

The flak was meagre and accurate, while no hostile fighters were seen and there was ample fighter support. All ships returned to the base, with no missing or wounded but one man was killed.

Sgt William Warsaw, 533rd tail gunner was killed in action by a direct flak hit which hit off the tail of the ship. It penetrated his neck and perforated the jugular vein.


 

July 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

JULY 1944

4 July – Thirty six aircraft were dispatched today, and the designated target was an airfield at Tours, France. The airfield was bombed visually and with fair results. One ship is missing, while the remainder returned safety to base with no killed or wounded, the missing ship seen to leave the formation on the way to the target.

MIA 535th T/42-38117

Bobroff, Bob B.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Devono, George J.

2nd Lt

KIA

Cole, Charles D.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Goodman, Bernard

2nd Lt

KIA

Dell, George W.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Word, Clinton S.

T/Sgt

EVD

Polski, Edward F.

Sgt

KIA

 

Hitchcock, Kenneth F.

S/Sgt

EVD

None

 

 

 

Snyder, Thomas E.

S/Sgt

KIA

6 July – Again 36 ships were dispatched by this command, this time the designated target being Rely, France, the group led by Major Halsey. Bombing altitude was from 24-26,000 ft and outside temperature was minus 25 degrees. Ceiling and visibility was unlimited in the target area, although there was a very slight haze. The lead, low and high groups reported meagre and inaccurate flak from the vicinity of Barnville to the right of the formation, while to the left inaccurate high fire came from the St Pol area. There was no flak in the target area.

Our group made the run after making a 360 degree turn and the 91st BG did 5/6 180s over the target. There were no ships lost and all returned safely to this base, with no killed or wounded.

7 July – Forty two aircraft from this command took off at 05.00 hrs with the target as the city centre of Leipzig, Germany, with bombing altitude 24,000 ft. The lead group was led by Col Leber with Capt Franek as his deputy. The low group was led by Lt Barnicle. Bombing results were excellent, enemy activity being minimum. All ships returned safely to this base.

It was on this mission that 36 bombers were shot down, 34 of  which were B-24s and the Germans lost 114 fighters. One enlisted man, Sgt George   J. Formanek, 532nd tail gunner was wounded by plane parts set in motion by flak. He was taken to the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree, with damage to his left leg, which was moderately penetrated.

Captain Milton H. Bland, 535th surgeon, departed the station today for the United States. His absence will be a loss to every man in the department. Besides his ability as a surgeon he always had a smile and a cheerful word for all who came into contact with him. It is with regret that we saw him leave the group but we hope that his presence at home will give aid to his wife in her present illness.

Captain Coppage, Division Engineer, was hear to inspect the chlorinator which has not been working satifactorily. The defect has been narrowed down to either poor ortho-telidene, or the sodium hypo-chloride that is used in the chlorinator.

At 07.45 hrs this morning we were notified of a crash to two B-17s one and a half miles north-west of Haverhill, which in turn is about five miles from the base. Both ships were from the 384th BG from Grafton Underwood. Three of the survivors were brought here: Lt Bagley, F/O Morton and T.Sgt Day; a fourth was taken to Little Walden field, home of the 409th Bomb Group (9th AF).

Some 16 men perished in the crash. The surgeon from Lt Walden witnessed the accident and he states that the formation was high overhead, an estimated 10,000 ft, when one ship appeared to put its nose down and began to spin and was followed shortly after by the other ship. Both planes spun and struck the earth about a mile from each other. One of the survivors states that they were flying along straight and level, when the other ship approached them from an angle of about 220 degrees and struck them under the fuselage and right wing. Captain Foley from Grafton Underwood came over to pick up the survivors and inquire about the disposition of those that had been killed.

8 July – Twenty four aircraft from this command took off on a cross road target this morning at about 05.20 hrs. The lead group did not bomb because of a 10/10th overcast. The low group found a hole in the clouds and bombed the crossroads, also where was a target of opportunity. The only event of the mission was when the bomb shackles broke in one aircraft which had unpinned bombs rolling around in the bomb bay. They were out over the Channel and finally dropped the bombs safely and returned to base. There were none, killed, wounded or missing.

9 July – This command provided 12 aircraft with the target the same as yesterday, they flew through an overcast 20,000 ft thick and did not drop their bombs, thus all aircraft returned safely to base.

11 July – Eighteen aircraft from this command took of at 08.00 hrs with the target designated as Munich, Germany. The primary target was bombed by pathfinder method from 27,400 ft. No enemy fighters were encountered and the planes from this group were not damaged by flak. All returned home safely, with no killed or wounded.

12 July – Thirty six aircraft from this command were dispatched at 09.00 hrs with the target again designated as Munich, Germany. Colonel Hall led the wing. The bombing was done by PFF and was not observed. All ships returned safely with no killed and only one minor injury: 2nd Lt Emil A. Pane, 533rd bombardier, suffered a small laceration of his upper right thigh.

There was a second briefing at 13.45 hrs but the mission was scrubbed

13 July – Thirty nine aircraft from this group took off at 05.00 hrs with the target again Munich,  poor visibility and clouds down to 17,000 ft. Apart from one, all aircraft returned after bombing from 26,000 ft. They reported flak as heavy and accurate and fighters were seen to attack and decimate the wings following ours. Damage to this group was minor and no injuries were sustained.

On take off, one aircraft, of the 534th BS, piloted by Lt John Houston lost an engine at 10,000 ft.  Returning to the field he made three attempts to land which were unsuccessful due to poor visibility. Following the third attempt he lost a  second engine and attempted to land in a field ½ a mile east of the base. The ship was  set down successfully and after about 200 yards rolled into a railroad cut.

The pilot was thrown free of the ship and walked the road where he was picked up and brought to the station sick quarters by ambulance. The co-pilot was thrown free of the ship and dragged to safety by a 7th Station Complement Sqd. man.

There was a minor explosion followed by two major explosions about two minutes apart. Ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the accident and the co-pilot was brought back to sick quarters. Reconnaissance resulted in picking up of remains of seven bodies, only one of which could be identified by dental identification method. The aircraft was completely destroyed. The Toonerville Trolley from Great Yeldham will not run for several days due to destruction by 500 lb bombs. Four 500 lb bombs were being carried by the aircraft and the balance of the load were 2 lb incendiaries.

The pilot, 2nd Lt John L. Houston, received the following injuries: Burn, 1st and 2nd degree, leg and thighs, bilateral, wrists, bilateral, face mild. Wound, mild, right infra orbital region. Wound, lacerated, right supra orbital region. Sprain, ankles, bilateral, moderate severe. Shock, post traumatic, mild.

The co-pilot, 2nd Lt William M. Scruggs Jr, suffered the following: 1. Burns, 2nd degree, hand, bilateral. 2. Burn, 1st and 2nd degree, face. Abrasion, cornea, right moderate severe. 4. Possible fracture of left femur and trochanter or neck. Both officers were taken to the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree.

S/Sgt Kenneth L. Sparks, waist gunner, was identified by means of dental identification. His head and right shoulder were mutilated and amputated from rest of body, which was unaccounted for.

The following named crewmen were completely mutilated and could not be identified  in any way whatsoever. Their remains were gathered and taken to the American Military Cemetery, Cambridge, by Lt Fick. They were: 2nd Lt Gerald J. Sullivan (N); 2nd Lt James A. Walmesley (B); T/Sgt Donald B. Murray (ETTG); S/Sgt Robert A. Benward (ROG); S/Sgt Lloyd S. Jackson (BTG); S/Sgt William M. Cusick (TG).

16 July – Thirty six aircraft from this command took off in the early hours with the target again designated as Munich. The target was bombed once visually from 26,000 ft and all but one ship returned to this base. One aircraft had a mild case of frostbite and anoxia.

Lt McGregor ditched in the Channel beside a rescue ship, after losing three engines and running out of gas. He did such a neat job ditching alongside the rescue ship that his crew did not even get their feet wet.

18 July – Thirty eight aircraft of this command  took of at 05.30 hrs with the target designated as Peenemunde, Germany, which is on the Baltic coast, east of Denmark. The lead group was led by Col Fitzgerald, with Capt Winter as deputy, while Capt Freese led the low group. The bombing was done visually after preparation had been made for the PFF bombing. A 360 degree turn was made after it was determined that the bombing would be done visually.

Both groups felt that they hit the target, which was a hydroxide peroxide plant, which was part of the pilot-less plane installation. No enemy fighters were encountered and flak was moderate and accurate. Bombing was done from 24,000 ft, and there were no killed or wounded, but Lt O’Black lost an engine. He salvoed his bombs and it was thought he had accompanied the formation over the target, but was unable to keep up. His aircraft was heard acknowledging fighter recognition and he headed for Sweden.

MIA 533rd U/42-102663

O’Black, Frank R. Jr

1st Lt

INT

 

Karch, Robert C.

2nd Lt

INT

Treanor, Francis J.

2nd Lt

INT

 

Higginbotham, Herb.

2nd Lt

INT

Beck, Eugene N.

T/Sgt

INT

 

Rich, Wesley K.

S/Sgt

INT

Brown, Oliver E.

S/Sgt

INT

 

Rich, William

Sgt

INT

None

 

 

 

Fridberg, Bernard G.

S/Sgt

INT

19 July – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off this AM for a target on Augsburg, Germany. Bombing altitude was 22,500 ft, the group led by Capt Franek. Bombing results were good, no fighters encountered and flak very mild. No aircraft were lost, and none killed or wounded.

20 July – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off at 03.00 hrs  with the target an aircraft assembly plant at Dessault, Germany. The plant had been assembling ME109’s and the new jet-propelled aircraft that the Germans are developing. Major Briggs led the group, with bombing done visually from 25,000 ft and results were thought to be good. All ships returned safely to base with no killed or wounded.

21 July – The command dispatched 37 ships which took off for Schweinfurt, Germany. The group led the Air Division, and Col Leber led the group. It was stinking weather all the way in and out and the target area alone of the entire trip was clear. The M. P. I.  At the lead group was very effectively camouflaged and it was bombed using surrounding land marks as a means of identification. Bombing was done from 26,000 ft and results were excellent. No enemy aircraft were encountered, flak was moderate throughout and thoroughly accurate. Four ships returned to base with feathered props. There were no missing, killed or wounded.

23 July – Major Gaillard departed this base today for a week’s TD with the 312th Station Hospital, Stafford. His mission is to study psychiatric cases among ground personnel that have been evacuated from the Normandy front and report their similarity to psychiatric disorders occurring among flying personnel.

Pvt Ralph A. Timonere, clerk of the Medical Department, reported to the base today and was re-united with his brother, Pfc Charles J. Timonere, who he had not seen for more than two years. “It can happen here!”

Captain Leslie F. Jones departed this field to join the dental staff of the Third Air Division. He is to have charge of supervising the dental plate work of the entire Third Division.

Captain Wistar L. Graham, recently of Georgia, has taken Capt Bland’s place as 535th Surgeon. While from a physical standpoint we do not compare him with Capt Bland, there is much resemblance between the classic humor of both.

The only other thing of note is that Capt Pease has finally attained a checker supremacy over Capt Cohler, though even this is in dispute at the moment!

24 July – Last evening a restriction was placed on all combat personnel forbidding even six hour passes being given. Briefing during the night was scrubbed and a subsequent briefing took place at 08.15 hrs.

No less than 52 aircraft from this command, the second largest number to be dispatched from this field, took off with the designated targets, gun emplacements in the St Lo area, which have been holding up our troops. Approximately 2,000 aircraft were to take part in the attack and the target designated was to be identified by the use of red smoke by the ground artillery. Weather over the target was about 6/10th coverage, bombing being done visually from 16,500 ft.

This group was among the last to bomb and reported sky markers all over the place. Two minutes after the bombs were away, radio operators received messages for the group not to bomb and return to base. At the present moment it is not known whether we bombed our own men or not. All ships returned safely to base, one having a feathered prop. There were no killed or wounded.

25 July – It is hoped that today will be another day marked in history, 38 groups of aircraft, each numbering 52, bombed ahead of the American troops in the St Lo area again. Low and medium aircraft bombed from 3-10,000 ft. Our aircraft bombed from 12,000 ft and reported good results. Aircraft were carrying a total of 3,800 lb G. P. bombs per each. The last American aircraft was to drop bombs at 10.55 hrs; zero hour for the big push was 11.00 hrs. All aircraft returned to base, one with a feathered prop. Flak was light but accurate. One JU 88 was all over the enemy aircraft reported and this was closely followed by one P-38 Lightning.

Lt Renick, 533rd pilot, returned from his visit to the States. He weighs approximately 20 pounds more, looks refreshed and states that the rumor of the U.S. being involved in a war has not yet permeated to the home front. He is also delighted to be back but expressed lack of interest in going on any raids to Munich.

Three additional crews were assigned to this station last night, bringing the total to about 23 crews per squadron.

26 July – No mission was scheduled for today. The buzz bomb situation is become acute in that three or four have passed directly over this field. It is hoped the Huns continue to put enough petrol in them to get them over this field!

27 July – Penicillin has been obtained for use in this dispensary and by peculiar coincidence two brand new cases of Gonorrhea have shown up for it. 1,000 units and 10cc of saline were given in a single dose.

The briefing for Munich and the mission was scrubbed after nine planes had taken off.

28 July – Thirty seven planes took off on a mission to Marienburg, Germany, located about 20 miles outside Leipzig. The target was a synthetic oil plant which produces about one tenth of the German oil supply. In addition it produces approximately one third of the ammonia produced in Germany. The flak was reported as being quite heavy by some of the old pilots. There were no fighter attacks on this group, although there were on others. Bombing was by PFF and all ships returned safely with no casualties.

This group was informed that the First Bomb Division had received a Presidential Citation and that all men attached as of July 15, were entitled to wear the blue ribbon on the right side of the blouse.

29 July – Thirty six aircraft took off at 05.45 hrs for Marienburg, Germany, the same target as yesterday. And the synthetic oil plant was hit again. The lead group, led by Lt Col Fitzgerald, bombed visually. The high group was led by Lt Barnicle and the low group by Lt Martyniak, bombed by PFF on the smoke of the other group. Twenty 250 lb bombs were carried. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft and outside temperature was minus 28 degrees. Bombing results are unknown but thought to be within the target area. Flak was intense and accurate; no fighters attacked, but were noted by other wings and a few ships were seen to go down with parachutes opening.

The ships landed at this base with very poor visibility and four landed at North Creake, two at Hethel, and one at Attlebridge. Two ships were two hours late, one landing at Attlebridge and one here. Lt Twinn salvoed his bombs and returned early with another group due to the fact he had one engine out. Lt Weaver aborted due to mechanical trouble. There were no killed, wounded or missing and only one minor burn was reported.

The P-51 aircraft that recently made the trans-continental record, flown by Howard Hughes, was sent to the E. T. O. with the specific instructions that its performance in combat be observed. The man who flew it over here has been released from hospital, the wing of the plane having fallen off after being airborne less that 20 minutes.

A Mosquito pilot flew a stripped down reconnaissance Mosquito and reported that he had encountered a jet-propelled German aircraft. He reported that it was at least 100 miles an hour faster than his aircraft and estimated the speed at 500-600 mph on the level.

31 July – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off at 08.15 hrs with the target again designated as an aircraft assembly plant in the vicinity of Munich, Germany. Bombing altitude was 25,000 ft and outside air temperature, minus 28 degrees centigrade. The group was led by Capt Sandman. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Flak was light and accurate and bombing results were thought to be good.

All but three ships returned to this base, two landing at other bases in England due to engine trouble and the other is reported to have made it to Switzerland.

MIA 533rd Q/42-102443

Pearson, Jack B.    

2nd Lt

POW

 

Proctor, Joe L.

2nd Lt

POW

Gordon, Sydney H.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Guidotti, Alfred H.

2nd Lt

POW

Fontanet, Dewitt J.

Sgt

POW

 

Boyington, William H

Sgt

POW

Hoover, Harold M.

Sgt

POW

 

Mizer, Francis S.

Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Janis, Charles G.

Sgt

POW

Major Ernest Gaillard Jr. returned from the 312th Station Hospital, near Stafford, where he attended a course on combat exhaustion.


 

August 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

AUGUST 1944

1 August – Thirty six aircraft from this command took off with the target designated as an airfield near Melun, France. Bombing was done from 20,000 ft with good results, all ships returning safely to base with no killed or wounded.

Captain Lee M. Scholnik reported here as assistant dental surgeon as from July 25.

3 August – Yet again 36 aircraft from this command, led by Lt Col Hall, attacked the marshalling yards at Mulhouse, France, which is near the Swiss border. The bombing was visual with excellent results from 20,000 ft. All the ship, except one, piloted by Lt Wilcock, returned safely to this base. He was thought to have lost three engines over the Channel and to have ordered his crew to bail out.

MIA 534th D/42-30249

Wilcock, John C.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Hutchinson, Stanley E.

2nd Lt

KIA

Marsh, Charles R.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Lucas, Norbert  I.

2nd Lt

KIA

Printz, Alfred E.

Sgt

KIA

 

Freil, Robert F.

Sgt

KIA

Evans, Charles R.

Sgt

KIA

 

Ramsay, John A.

Sgt

KIA

None

 

 

 

Fall, Richard J.

Sgt

KIA

4 August – Thirty six aircraft from this command took off at 09.30 hrs with the target again designated as the experimental works at Peenemunde, Germany. The group was led by Col Leber. Abouth 10.20 hrs we were notified that a 532nd BS ship had caught fire and blown up in mid air in the vicinity of Wethersfield, Essex, about ten miles away. After covering most of eastern England due tio a successuion of bum steers, we finally rounded up the nine survivors, who had minor or no injuries.

MIA 532nd B/42-97594

Cupernall, Hanley G.

1st Lt

INJ

 

Moore, Irving

Capt

INJ

Radley, Russell J.

1st Lt

INJ

 

Yound, Charles W.

1st Lt

INJ

Yankton, Earl T.

T/Sgt

INJ

 

Heinze, Frank H.

T/Sgt

OK

Hawkins, Francis G. *

Capt

INJ

 

Murphy, Loren W.

S/Sgt

OK

Sneed, James W.

1st Lt

INJ

 

Morris, F. Harold

S/Sgt

KIA

* Photo officer, flying as observer.

Bombing results at Peenemunde were excellent and the bombing was done visually from 20,000 ft. The formation returned safely to this base. There were no enemy fighter opposition and flak was moderate.

The body of 2nd Lt John C. Wilcock, was picked up by an Air-Sea rescue boat off Felixstowe, Suffolk, about 50 miles from the base. Capt Wymer picked up the body at Felixstowe and is taking Lt Wilcock and Sgt Norris to the US Cemetery at Cambridge. Some more mangled remains of bodies were found in the wheat field in the vicinity of the crash and explosion on July 13th. There was no part that could be positively identified. These too are being taken to Cambridge.

5 August – Briefing was at 06.00 hrs with takeoff at 08.35 hrs with the target designated as Wizen, Germany, the group being led by Capt Sandman. There was one area of flak that was intense and the lead squadron suffered fairly extensive battle damage and the deputy lead ship with Lts Palmer and Melomo did nor return to the base. The bombing was done visually from 18,000 ft and the results were good. The remainder of the ships returned safely.

1st Lt Caleb G. Baxter, 532nd navigator on Lt Rivett’s ship, was hit in the left leg by flak and suffered considerable fractures of the tibia.

MIA 533rd J /42-97771

Melomo, Salvatore J.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Palmer, Edwin W.

1st Lt

POW

Freeman, Charles S.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Lane, David W.

1st Lt

POW

Gilbertson, Willard G.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Vaughan, Leland N.

S/Sgt

KIA

Moorhead, James W.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Hill, Julian D.

S/Sgt

KIA

Bernstein, William *

2nd Lt

POW

 

Beneke, Louis F.

S/Sgt

POW

* 534th BS, as extra navigator

6 August – Thirty six aircraft from this command took off at 06.45 hrs with the target designated as Brandenburg, about 30 miles east of Berlin. The group was led by Major Briggs, the bombing altitude being 25,000 ft and outside air temperature minus 21 degrees centigrade. Bombing was done visually with good results by the lead group and the low and high group had fair results. Lt Webb in the low squadron is missing, having lost an engine over enemy territory and was not seen after that. The remainders of our ships returned safely with no casualties. Fighter support was good and enemy opposition negligible except for flak.

MIA 532nd A/44-6020

Webb, Allen W.

1st Lt

POW

 

Hayes, JohnW.

2nd Lt

POW

Grossnickle, Earl S.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Gomez, George

2nd Lt

POW

Grisham, Lendon L.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Murkin, Ralph K.

S/Sgt

POW

Burt, William C.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Gonzales, Adolph M.

S/Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Patrick, Jack S.

S/Sgt

KIA

7 August – Thirty six took of on 12 ship flights with the designated target two oil dumps in the neighbourhood of Paris. Each dump consisted of 20-30 tanks about 50 ft high. Bombing was done from 15,000 ft and there was 1-2/10th  cloud cover. Photographs showed pinpoint bombing results. Flak was light and fairly accurate, so a few ships returned with holes in the fuselage and wings, but no casualties.

Major Gaillard is spending the next few days at the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree, to assist in taking care of 250 casualties just evacuated from Normandy.

8 August – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off for the designated target of Caen, France, under the leadership of Col Halsey. The bombing was about 1,000 yds in front of the invasion forces at an altitude of 14,000 ft. Due to a mechanical failure, one ship failed to bomb. Flak was intense and accurate from the I. P. to the target. Some 25 ships received major battle damage and five had minor damage from the mission.

There was good fighter support and only 1 enemy fighter seen, and bombing results were excellent.

Lt Barnicle got a direct flak hit in the wing and the bomb bay, which both caught fire and they had to jettison the bombs. Lt Barnacle turned the ship away from the formation and all the crew members bailed out from 10,000 ft, landing a little north west of Falaise, France. Lt Stuart sprained an ankle; Sgt Glover and Lt Long both picked up leg abrasions; Lt Beackley suffered a sprain of moderate severity to the left elbow. The crew members were all rounded up and flown back to England, the next morning by ATC, and brought back to this base by ambulance. After talking with the crew members it was concluded they were a little shaken up by the experience, but none the worse for it. All were admitted to station sick quarters for sedation.

9 August – Twenty four aircraft from this command took off at 06.30 hrs with the designated target a large and frequently used industrial area in Germany. Because of poor weather the target could not be reached and Saarbrucken, Germany was bombed from 25,000 ft visually with good results. Col Kunkle led the group. No enemy fighters were encountered by flak was intense and accurate over the target. One gunner, Sgt Daniel G. Valente, 533rd, received a minor abrasion of the left forearm due to flak. There were no other injured or killed on this mission.

11 August – Thirty six ships took off this morning to hit tactical targets ahead of the invasion forces. Lt McNeill, 532nd, led the group. Bombing was done visually from 25,000 ft with good results. No enemy fighters were encountered and our own fighter escort was excellent. No flak was noted throughout the entire mission. All the ship returned safely to this base and there were no casualties.

13 August –  Thirty six ships from this command took off at 06.00 hrs with the target designated as two bridges and a road close behind the enemy lines in Rouen, France. The group was led by Capt Sandman, with bombing from 20,000 ft; there was a moderate amount of flak but no enemy fighters were seen, while friendly fighter support was good.

2nd Lt William G. Haines, 535th navigator, was killed in action as the result of a burst of flak in the nose of the ship which traumatically amputated his right leg about two inches below the knee almost completely. There was also multiple perforating wounds in the left thigh, and he apparently bled to death despite all the efforts to stop the bleeding. The radio operator, S/Sgt Thomas R. Ressler was wounded in the right lumbar region by flak. He was wearing a flak suit but the flak came right through the top turret floor, struck the flak suit before hitting him, but probably saved his life.

Last evening the officers mess dance was held at the officers club and surprisingly enough the records of neither the guard house or the hospital were increased by the affair. The attendance was well behaved, well organized and well conducted, and Capt Cohler was the first to arrange some young ladies to bring to the party.

14 August – Thirty six aircraft from this command took off at 03.30 hrs to attack an airfield several miles south west of Metz, France. The group was led by Capt Halsey, with visual bombing from 20,000 ft with excellent results. No flak or fighters were encountered and all ships returned safely to this base.

15 August – An airfield on the western outskirts of Cologne was the target for 37 aircraft from this command, led by Col Hall, with bombing visually from 25,000 ft providing good results. The lead group of the wing encountered intense, accurate flak and suffered much battle damage. Col Hall had #3 engine shot out along with the hydraulic system. There were no enemy fighters encountered, while there were no casualties. Outside air temperature was minus 24 degrees centigrade.

Major Linn S. Kidd, returned to the States today along with Majors Briggs and Fullick, the latter on a 30 day leave.

16 August – Take off was at 07.00 hrs for  37 aircraft with the target designated as an airfield named Halle, near Leipzig, Germany.  Col Fitzgerald led the group and the bombing was done visually with excellent results from the lead and low groups, but the high group was overcast. No enemy fighters were seen and flak was light, while two planes returned with feathered props.

One enlisted man, Sgt John P. Hoffer, 533rd tail gunner, was wounded in action by flak, and was taken to station sick quarters on his return, before being transferred to the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree.

21 August – Major Kelley, formerly of the 121st Station Hospital and now with the 130th General Hospital, visited this station  from 13-21 August. The 130th General Hospital is scheduled to leave for Rens, France, to set up a Red Cross hospital in the next few days. Major Kelley was known for psychiatric case histories and were attempted to introduce into [problems with the transcription]…. the problems the aircrew personnel have in the air.  …………Wethersfield, Gosfield, Great Saling, all part of the General Medical Establishment of the 9th Air Force…..  our   Great Saling seemed to be well grounded in psychiatry, but the two other fields denied the existance of any psychiatric problems which on closer scrutiny was found to be untrue.

The Central Medical Establishment of the 9th Air Force denied any psychiatric problems, yet for the months of June and July, and disposed of approximately 130 men each went for psychiatric reasons. The 9th Air Force has no policy regarding the handling of psychiatric casualties and anything that is done is done through the efforts of the unit was seen. In none of the institutions  visited was any programme of treatment carried out.

The 8th Air Force fields that were visited were on the whole, better,  but here again in many instances no preventative of therapeutic measures were carried out in the treatment of psychiatric casualties. While here, Major Kelley gave a couple of mornings to discussing the classification and treatment of ground force personnel to the local officers. I thoroughly enjoyed Major Kelley’s visit and feel I have learned quite a bit from him. In civil life he was an associate professor in psychiatry at the University of California.

24 August – This morning 36 aircraft from this command took off at 06.30 hrs with a target as Weimar, near Leipzig, Germany. Major Sandman led the group, which bombed from 28,000 ft with good results although the weather was bad all the way. Flak was meagre and no fighters encountered.

There were two wounded: T/Sgt David Caldwell, 535th top turret gunner, injured by flak in his right forearm, and Sgt Tom W. Heron, 534th radio-man, who injured his right hand through flak.

25 August – Thirty seven aircraft from this command, led by Capt Winters, took off this morning for a target designated as an ME190 assembly plant at Neubrandenburg, Germany, which at the present time had been undamaged. Ten 500 Rox B-2 bombs were to be dropped from over 4,000 ft and not to be returned to the base. The M. P. I. was brought in and the bombing results were good, but the hangars were missed completely by the lead squadron. Bombing was done from 21,000 ft, with outside temperature minus 15 degrees. There was no flak or fighters and excellent visibility all the way. One casualty – an eraser in left ear!

26 August – Thirty seven aircraft, with one PFF, took off this morning  with the target as Gelsenkirchen, Germany, in the middle of the Ruhr Valley.  Take off was delayed two hours due to fog. Col Halsey led the group on a synthetic oil refinery, previously bombed by the R.A.F., was the target. Flak was moderate, fighters nil and battle damage minor. Results for the high and lead group were unobserved, but low group was excellent. There were no casualties.

27 August – This morning at 10.00 hrs 37 aircraft from this command took off to attack a target, an aircraft factory north east of Berlin. The route was over the North Sea but the weather was so bad that the mission could not be accomplished. Most of the wings returned, but Col Fitzgerald, leading this wing, found the city of Duren, just east of course, so he called for fighter support which was granted and they went in to bomb the city of Duren at 25,000 ft. The bombing was done visually with excellent results and all ships returned safely to this base. Flak was accurate and intense over the target and there was a fair amount of battle damage to the ships.

There was one man killed and two wounded. KIA was Sgt Richard G. Ramsdell, 534th tail gunner, who was hit severely in the chest by high velocity flak entering his right side.

Those injured were: 2nd Lt Raymond LaPierre, 532nd pilot: Wound, penetrating, moderate severe, right side of neck, right shoulder and arm, as well as left forearm and both thighs, caused through low velocity flak; S/Sgt John A. Defoe, 532nd top turret gunner: Wounds, right buttock and over crest of right illium, moderate severe; penetration multiple, mild, left buttock.

30 August – This organization provided 36 aircraft led by Col Hall which took off at noon to hit the target of Kiel, Germany. The continent was overcast 1/10th all the way in and out. Friendly fighter support was good and no enemy fighters were seen. Flak was moderate and inaccurate.

1st Lt John W. Carson, 535th bombardier, received a fairly severe contusion of the forehead when a piece of flak hit his flak helmet. Without question the helmet saved him from death or serious injury. All ships returned safely with no other casualties.

Major Kordel, Divisional dental surgeon, was a visitor this date.


 

September 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

SEPTEMBER 1944

2 September – Thirty six aircraft took off at 07.25 hrs with the target as Gelsenkirchen, Germany, led by Capt Winter. Bombing was done from 28,000 ft but results were unobserved. The target was an oil refinery which we have hit several times in the last.

Lt Stewart lost two engines over the target so landed in France, near Paris. Lt Tolchinsky had some difficulty with a wind-milling prop, but returned safely to base. Flak over the target was moderate and accurate.

3 September – Thirty seven ships from this command took off at 07.45 hrs with the target designated as Ludwigshafen, German. Col Halsey led the wing and bombing was by a combination of PFF method and visual from 27,000 ft. All ships returned safely to the base, although two had engines knocked out and battle damage light to moderate. No enemy fighters were encountered, weather was bad all the way in and clouds were up to 22,500 ft in some places.

2nd Lt Harold D. Wilker, 534th navigator received a penetrating flak wound, mild, to his skull. He was not wearing  his flak helmet.

8 September – At 07.45 hrs this clear, cool and crisp morning, about 50 ships took off to again attack Ludwigshafen, Germany. The group was led by Col Fitzgerald and all the assembly en route was as briefed. Moderate flak was encountered over the target area and bombing don by PFF, blind and unobserved. All ships except one returned safely.

The one that did not return was Lt Gardner, of the 533rd. It was fairly shot up and had the hydraulic system shot out, one engine out and the gasoline sealed in the Tokyo tanks by damage done to the wings. The ship landed at Manston, on the Kent coast. The toggler, Sgt Norbert J. Sharp, was wounded by flak, hit in the buttocks and the neck of his femur. When Capt Wymer and his staff arrived, he had received three pints of plasma and a litre of blood was running in. He had received too much morphine and his condition improved considerably while we were there. Later in the evening a debridement was done and a modified Tobruk plaster was applied. He is to be evacuated to the 91st General Hospital by air tomorrow. While we were at the station sick quarters some one taxied the airplane into the mud and the last three hours were spent trying to get the ship out.

This base at Manston is the largest I have ever seen and had allied ships of all variations. The east-west runway is at least 1,000 ft wide. There were types all over the field, British and American gliders, Mosquitos, Spitfires, Tempests, Typhoons, Halifaxes, Lancasters, cargo aircraft, B-24s, B-17s, P-51s and P-47s to name but a few. While we were there three missions of Tempests loaded with rockets, bombs and 20mm cannon took off on a combat mission. There was also a regiment of airborne infantry with gliders loaded waiting to take off for France.

10 September – Twenty seven ships led by Col Leber, took off at 07.15 hrs for Baden, German, south east of Ludwigshafen. Th group carried incendiaries and the bombing done visually with excellent results. One ship failed to return, Lt Germano, 533rd. He lost an engine in the target area and no more details can be obtained. The remainder of the ships returned safely to base and there were no killed or wounded.

General Gross was a visitor to the base this date.

MIA 533rd N/44-6095

Germano, Ernest

2nd Lt

POW

 

Grey, James M.

2nd Lt

POW

Tierney, Richard A.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Spaniol, Edward J. Jr

2nd Lt

POW

Shelley, William D. Jr

S/Sgt

POW

 

Diedrich, John C.

S/Sgt

POW

Goody, Cloyde I.

Sgt

POW

 

Donaldson, Alexander

Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Siders, Harry

Sgt

KIA

11 September – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off at 07.30 hrs with the target designated as a synthetic oil refinery near Merseburg, Germany.The group was led by Captains Winter and Kesley. Bombing was done from 27,000 ft where the outside air temperature was minus 39 degrees centigrade. The same target had been bombed by this group in July.

One ship failed to return, Lt Thornton, 535th, but details of his trouble are not known, but it is though he landed somewhere near Brussels. Fortunately all crew members were picked up and returned to England.

No enemy fighters were seen, but reports from other groups indicated there were some around. Flak was moderate and accurate in the target area, but fighter support was good. The remaining ships landed safely at the base with only one casualty: S/Sgt Robert F. Irwin, 534th tail gunner, who received a mild penetrating wound in his forearm, plus a burn from his heated suit.

The reduction of S/Sgt W  O. S, 242nd Medical Detachment, to grade of private was recommended to his organization this date.

12 September – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off at 07.30 hrs for the target at Brux-on-Most, Czechoslovakia. The lead group, led by Col Hall, attacked the primary target, blind and unobserved and the high and low groups attacked targets of opportunity. There was some enemy fighter activity but not many were seen. There was considerable battle damage to our aircraft, caused by flak. One of our aircraft has not reported in, Lt McMullen, 533rd,  aboard 42-40007, but it is thought he landed in France with one crewman KIA and two cases of frostbite.

There were two other men wounded, both 532nd, once the ships returned to base, and they are: S/Sgt Alvin A. Bacon, waist gunner:- 1. Wound, penetrating abdomen with perforation of dideum mesosigmoid, site of entry below anterior superior iliac, spine. 2nd Lt Maury Hill, navigator:- wound, penetrating, lateral aspect, left thigh. Both caused by low velocity flak.

Mickey operators flying on yesterday's mission flew across the Siegfried and Maginot Lines in the neighborhood of Patton’s Third Army. They reported that the radar picked up thousands of tanks on the American side and relatively few on the German side.

15 September – The recent missing 553rd pilot and crew, Lt Donald P.  McMullen, was flying with an entirely new crew on the mission to Czechoslovakia, which was designated more to draw enemy fighters than for any particular bombing mission.

His ship, a B-17G called HONEY, had been flying at 22,000 ft for some 2½ hrs. Oxygen checks were being made every 15 minutes. The radio operator’s microphone was not working and he had been relaying his oxygen checks to the waist gunner. The radioman answered his oxygen check before the I.P. and then turned around to throw out chaff. He failed to answer his oxygen check 15 minutes later.

The waist gunner, Sgt Meyers J. Barker, was asked to investigate and when he failed to report in, the ball turret man, Sgt Lydell A. Hayes, was ordered to investigate. When in another five minutes neither of these men reported, the engineer went back to investigate, and found all three men unconscious. The radioman Sgt Joseph J. Charkowski, was lying on the floor by the outlet into which he throws the chaff, his mask was off and the face end was disconnected from the oxygen outlet.

The engineer put his mask on Charkowski’s face, connected the hose and turned on the emergency oxygen supply, and the radioman made an immediate recovery and after a short rest period was able to resume his duties as a radio operator. He received a frostbite of the left side of face and cheek, moderate severity.

Waist gunner Hayes was lying at the entrance to the radio operator’s entrance and his mask was off his face and completely disconnected from the G-1 oxygen bottle which was lying beside him. He had taken off his right glove and his hand was frostbitten. The engineer placed his mask on Hayes’ face, connected him to the oxygen outlet and he made a full recovery and was placed in the radio room under protective covers. The engineer’s own bottle was running low about this time and he went back and got the tail gunner to help him and the bombardier came back later.

He found the ball turret gunner lying unconscious under the right waist gun, his mask was off his face and disconnected and full of frozen vomitus. It was disconnected from a full G-1 walk around bottle lying beside him.  A mask was placed on this man’s face, emergency oxygen given and artificial respiration which was continued for approximately 1½ hrs on the ship and later on the ground without signs of life returning.

The radio man did not remember what happened after he started to throw out chaff; the waist gunner did not remember what happened after he started forward with the walk around bottle.

The ship left the formation about 10 minutes after the discovery of the unconscious men and dove 1,700 ft per minute at 250 mph to 4,000 ft and then returned over the greater part of Germany, including the Siegfried Line, at this altitude without enemy interference. They landed at a fighter airfield inside of France where the medical officer, after giving artificial respiration to the ball turret gunner, pronounced him dead, and recommended that they take these man to another airfield near Paris, which was done.

The radio operator had a frostbite on the side of his face, moderate severe, and the waist gunner had frostbite, severe, of the right hand. It is estimated that the radioman was unconscious for more than 25 minutes, and the waist gunner for not more than ten, and no more than 15-20 minutes elapsed before oxygen and artificial respiration was given to the ball turret gunner. The latter had been drinking heavily the night before and had had not more than an hour’s sleep prior to the mission.

The cause of the three anoxic incidents was personnel failure. All masks and ship connections had been checked just a few days prior to the mission by the equipment officer. They were all equipped with the new M-45 modification with the quick-disconnect which makes it virtually impossible for the connections to come apart if inserted at all. The oxygen system of the plane was checked after it landed and this base and was found satisfactory. The engineer on this ship who had the same training as the other crewmen was questioned and appeared to have adequate training and possessed and adequate knowledge of oxygen equipment and its use.

Lt McMullen landed his ship at an airfield near Paris and reported that this fighter group was, as the English put it, “highly browned off”. It appeared that three of their loaded gas tanks were on the way to the field when some of General Patton’s men saw them. As a result, gas, gas tanks etc, disappeared and have not been seen since. But the present gas supplies are being flown in by several stripped down B-17s and B-24s.

Additional evidence of personnel failure in this group came to light with the capture of the personnel records of the German Stalag Luft where American prisoners are interrogated. From these records it was found that captured members of every one of the squadrons had given extensive information to the enemy regarding the formations, personnel and lectures, secret radio information and allied subjects. It is interesting the records revealed that flying personnel from practically every squadron in the ETO and one flyer from the aircraft carrier “Ranger” has divulged significant information to the Germans. There was no reason to believe that personnel had been receiving any pressure when this information was given out.

17 September – Forty two aircraft from this command took off at 06.45 hrs with multiple targets to be bombed by individual squadrons from around 15,000 ft. All of the targets were tactical and were enemy troop concentrations in eastern Belgium and Holland.  All of the squadrons hit the targets and the group returned without incident.

Today the airbase at Bassingbourn chose to celebrate the completion of 200 target missions for the 91st Bomb Group. The affair went on from 11.00 hrs and the entertainment included horseshoes, a baseball game, tennis exhibitions and a carnival was held in the afternoon and there were four dances on the base during the evening.

19 September – Thirty six aircraft, led by Lt Col Kunkle, attacked the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany, in the northern part of the Ruhr by PFF from 25,000 ft. Outside air temperature was  minus 32 degrees. The mission was without event until the target was approached when visibility became extremely poor because of fog. The flak appeared to burst through the haze and was estimated as moderate.

One aircraft landed with a feathered prop and considerable battle damage, although mild. The formation returned to base in poor visibility and considerable difficulty was experienced getting them in. One, piloted by Lt Klare, 532nd, landed away, but overall there were no casualties.

21 September – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off this morning with the target designated as Mainz, Germany, Capt Winter leading the group.  Cumulus were 3/10th, with the tops 8-10,000 ft at the target. Temperature was –34 centigrade at the bombing altitude of 27,000 ft. Flak was meager to moderate and generally inaccurate, while fighter opposition was nil. Lt Bailey landed in Brussells, for reasons unknown and he and his crew are expected home tomorrow. There were none, killed, wounded or missing.

22 September – Colonel Leber led our group of 37 aircraft with the target being Kassel, Germany. Bombing was from 18,000 ft over a 10/10th cloud cover with outside temperature as minus 34 degrees centigrade. Flak was meager to moderate and not very accurate, while there was no enemy fighter opposition.

All ships returned safely to base, although there was one wounded: Sgt Henry J. Ianni, a 534th top turret gunner, whose diagnosis was: Wound, penetrating, severe, on top of left shoulder, 3” medial to the acromic-clavicular junction. He was evacuated to the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree: condition, good.

25 September – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off at 07.39 hrs with the target designated as Frankfurt, Germany. The group was led by Lt Col Fitzgerald and they ran into mild flak over the target area. Bombing was blind and unobserved from 26,000 ft and –36 degrees centigrade, with weather satisfactory both in and out.  Two ships landed with feathered props, while the rest of the formation arrived home safely, except one.

Lt Gills, 533rd, went down in the target area, reasons unknown, but five chutes were seen to leave the ship.

MIA 533rd W/42-31570

Gills, Oscar W.

1st Lt

POW

 

Prenatt, Charles R.

2nd Lt

POW

Adams, Donald K.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Rudisill, William P.

2nd Lt

POW

Parks, Paul E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Stowe, Minor H.

S/Sgt

POW

Cook, Shelby W.

Sgt

POW

 

Krainz, Leo V.

Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Mourning, Harold A.

Sgt

POW

26 September – The marshalling yards at Osnabruck, Germany, was the target for 37 aircraft which took off at 11.15 hrs under the command of Lt Col Shackley. Bombing was from 27,000 ft and visually. No enemy fighters were seen and flak was meager and inaccurate. All ships returned safely to base with no killed or wounded.

27 September – Captain Winter led the 37 ships from this command which took off at 08.15 hrs to attack three factories in the Cologne area. The weather was 10/10th all the way to the secondary target, the city  center, was bombed by PFF and it is thought results were good. The weather above the overcast was good, with the bombing altitude 28,000 ft while there was meager and accurate flak about 25 miles east of Cologne, which is approximately the position of the allied front lines. No German fighters were seen.

All aircraft, except one, landed safely at this base at 12.30 hrs. Lt Schein landed his aircraft near Brussels and dropped off his tail gunner, Sgt Keffer, at the 8th British Hospital, Brussels. As near as can be determined he was suffering from anoxia, haemorrhage and convulsions. The crew flew back to England later in the afternoon and everyone else seemed in good condition.

Major George R. Sandman departed this date for the 12th R.C.D. on the rehabilitation and return scheme.

28 September – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took of at 07.30 hrs with the target as Magdeburg, Germany, which is south of Berlin. There were two abortions and 35 aircraft attacked the target, the group being led by Capt Tyson. Bombing was from 26,000 ft by PFF and results were unobserved, while flak was moderate and accurate. There were no enemy aircraft seen and fighter support was excellent, thus all aircraft returned home safely.


 

October 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

OCTOBER 1944

2 October – Thirty seven aircraft took off this morning on the 195th mission of the group. The target was Kassel, Germany, and was attacked from 25,000 ft in minus 38 degrees, by PFF method. The secondary target was the Henschel plant supply depot. All aircraft returned safely to base with no killed or wounded aboard.

5 October – Thirty six aircraft from this command took of at 07.45 hrs with the target designated as Cologne, where they were to bomb as squadrons with three separate targets, the high-priority target being a plant manufacturing gas converter units with which the Germans hope to transports by November 1. Temperature was minus 43 degrees at the bombing altitude of 27,500 ft with a 10/10th coverage.

The ships were forced to bomb on instruments with the target the marshalling yards in the center of Cologne. Flak was reported as moderate and no enemy fighters were encountered by this group, but the 91st BG reported attacks.

On take off, Lt George Stevens, 533rd, after getting his ship, called The Railroader, up to about 90 mph decided it could not take off and jammed on the brakes. His ship ran into a ditch at the end of the runway and is completely smashed up. It would appear that this is a case of personnel failure since Lt Stevens reported that the tail of the ship began to whip and was unmanageable. Actually it would appear that he failed to check twin tabs on take off and the end rolled up causing the tail to leave the ground prematurely. He stated that he rolled the trim tabs down, the tail hit and bounced and he was unable to handle the ship so he jammed on the brakes. There were no injuries.

Another ship lost control on the runway, ran off the runway, crossed the field near the perimeter track and made a successful take off on the second try. Not being satisfied with this, two pilots aborted. The group commander is very unhappy and the pilots will soon be.

7 October – Thirty seven aircraft took off this morning at 07.30 hrs led by Colonel Leber, the main target being Stralsund, near the Czechoslovakian border. A power plant, bridge and flak installations were hit, then the group visually bombed the secondary target which was Keppeln.

A 533rd ship, 1st Lt Robert G. Baker and crew, failed to return and a  535th ship was hit by a jet propelled fighter and the tail gunner, S/Sgt Marion O. McIlman, jumped out over enemy territory, however the ship returned to base badly damaged.

There were a couple of minor injuries, the most important being 2nd Lt  Richard A. Mitchell, 535th navigator, suffered a penetration wound of the right forearm, approximately 1/3rd, lateral surface, moderate severe, and was evacuated to the 121st Station Hospital.

Later in the day, Lt Baker and crew reported missing returned back to base just in time to walk into a rest home reservation which was previously arranged for him!

Major Ernest Gaillard Jr., departed this station today per SO 277, 1st Bomb Division, dd October 5. He is to be on TDY at the 91st General Hospital for 30 days. He will not return as a new Group Surgeon has been assigned to this section.

Outstanding Performance: Backed by superb teamwork, 1st Lt John J. O’Connor, 535th, recently piloted the bomber “Los Angeles City Limits” home alone from inside Germany after flak and fighters had left his ship with two engines dead and a propeller wind-milling violently. Flak got the first engine on the way to the target and the bombardier salvoed the bombs in an attempt to help O’Connor keep up with the formation. Unable to do so, the pilot turned for home.

A few miles later “L.A.” was hit by two ME163 jet-propelled fighters, which O’Connor’s gunner successfully fought off until a pair of P-51s showed up. However cannon fire from one of the enemy planes had silenced a  second engine and damaged its prop feathering control. Flying at only 4,000 ft, the bomber ran into tracking flak shortly afterwards. Necessary evasive action left it with even less altitude and a crash landing inside Germany seemed imminent.

However quick work on the part of all the crewmen, who jettisoned everything moveable, from guns to ammunition, the ball turret, allowed O’Connor to hold sufficient altitude and flying speed to get home to a safe landing. On-the-ball navigator brought the ship and crew over the Dutch coast less that ten miles off course.

9 October – Major Rankin C. Blount, MC, has been assigned as Station Surgeon and assumed command of the medical detachment this date, per par. 1. SO 271, HQ, Eighth Air Force, Official CG, dd October 5.

The 200th mission of the group was flown today to Schweinfurt, Germany, when 37 aircraft from this command took off to bomb the target by PFF method. Capt McNeill led and it is thought that the marshalling yards at Schweinfurt were successfully bombed. Flak was meager, low and off to the right. No enemy fighters were seen and all the ships returned safely to base with no casualties.

It had been anticipated for some time that a party would be held on the base to celebrate this mission. However, due to the indiscreet behaviour on the part of another group when they celebrated their 200th, Eighth Air Force HQ refused to permit us to go ahead with the plans.

14 October – Thirty seven aircraft took off at 05.00 hrs this morning to hit targets in Cologne, by separate squadrons. There were over 1,000 “Heavies” in the attack and the sky was filled with planes of all kinds. Col Shackley led this group and the bombing was done from 26,500 ft by PFF method. There were no enemy fighters seen, but flak was heavy although not intense. The outside air temperature was minus 38 degrees centigrade.

All ships returned home to base safely except one, a 532nd ship, which landed at Debach, in Suffolk. It had sustained a flak hit almost directly over the pilot’s head and ripped off part of the windshield and the top of his compartment. Those who sustained injuries were: 1st Lt Charles W. Reseigh, pilot: 1. Wound, contused, right upper arm, and left forearm, abrasions to both arms and face, moderate severity, caused by flak; 1st Lt David R. rautio, co-pilot: 1. Wound, contused mild, right side of forehead; abrasions mild, right forearm and upper arm, also caused by flak; T/Sgt John M. Nushy, top turret gunner: 1. Conjunctivitus, acute, bilateral, traumatic, moderate severity. Caused by splintered plexi-glass which was set in motion by flak.

15 October – This commanded provided 37 ships which took off early this morning with their target the marshalling yards at Cologne, which were never attacked before by this group. Capt Winter led the group which bombed from 27,500 ft in a temperature of minus 42 degrees, by PFF method.

All ships returned safely to base, although there were two cases of anoxia, one being due to the hose of the A-14 revised mask becoming crimped when the tail gunner was putting it on. The other was apparently due to the freezing of an A-14 mask. There was one wounded man, S/Sgt Alex J. Pine, 532nd  waist gunner: 1. Wound, penetrating severe, right thigh, lateral to head of femur. Caused by flak, low velocity.

17 October – Again Cologne was the target for 37 aircraft from this command. Bombing altitude was 27,000 ft and it was minus 45 degrees outside. Lt John E. Rice, 534th, was forced to land in Brussels, Belgium on the way back and hospitalize Sgt Marion H. Tschirhart, who was suffering from shock and hysteria, following a parachute jump.

On an earlier mission Rice’s ship was so badly damaged that the entire crew, except Rice, bailed out over Belgium. Rice would have bailed too, but there was something wrong with his chute, so he decided to crash land. He made it successfully and joined his crew on the ground. Sgt Guilfoyle, tail gunner, was flown back to Bassingbourn this afternoon by ATC and arrived here tonight. He was admitted to sick quarters for sedation. The rest of the crew is expected back tomorrow.

18 October – Seventeen men on Lt Rice’s ship arrived home today from Belgium and all were admitted to sick quarters for sedation overnight. They seem to have no ill effects from yesterday’s experience. Four of them have minor injuries.

19 October – Thirty seven ships took off this morning for Ludwigshafen, Germany, the primary target, and Mannheim as the secondary. Bombing was done from 26,000 ft in minus 41 degrees. Flak was meager and inaccurate. There was one case of anoxia due to personal error. The EM concerned had exchanged his mask and the new one did not fit his face. All ships returned safely to base.

25 October – Colonel Shackley led 37 ships which topok off from this base at 07.40 hrs, their target being an oil refinery at Hamburg, Germany. Bombing was by PFF from 25,500 ft in minus 30 degrees. Flak was intense but inaccurate, no enemy fighters were seen, while our fight escort was good.

The was one case of mild frostbite: Sgt Irving L. Dunham, 535th tail gunner:- cold injury, high altitude type, right cheek mild. All ships returned safely around 16.20 hrs.

26 October – Thirty seven aircraft, led by Lt Davidson, hit a target of opportunity at Bielefeld, instead of Minster, Germany, which was scheduled. Capt Winter was supposed to lead but had to abort due to engine trouble. All ships returned safely with no killed or wounded.

28 October – Munster, Germany, was the target for 37 ships under the leadership of Major Taylor, which took off at 10.50 hrs. One aircraft aborted with double engine failure. Two squadrons bombed from 22,000 ft by PFF and one visually, the target being covered by a rather thick haze.

Flak was intense and fairly accurate, damaging Lt Nashold’s ship so he hand to land at Brussels, Belgium, the following men being wounded in action:- Sgt John J. Sladek, 535th  – 1. Contusions and abrasions, 2” x 2 ½”  in diameter, left posterior axiliary line, moderate severe, over 6th and 9th ribs. Caused by flak.

S/Sgt Walter L. Doremus, 533rd – 1. Wound, lacerated, mild, over lateral right condyle elbow, caused by flak; Sgt Ward A. Freeman, 533rd – 1. Wound, penetrating, right paratoid region, moderate severe. 2. Wound, penetrating, right sterno-pastoid region of neck. 3. Wound,  multiple penetrating, right arm and forearm, mild, caused by flak; Sgt John F. Watson, 534th – suffered from anoxia and admitted to sick quarters, the cause being due to equipment failure. All ships returned safely to base.

30 October – Thirty seven aircraft took off today for the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany. Bombing was by PFF and unobserved. Flak was meager and inaccurate and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lt Berkley, 533rd, was aborting from the mission and his ship was out of control. An engine caught fire and exploded, throwing the ship on its back. It went into a spin and Lt Berkley was unable to control it, so gave orders to bail out over the Channel. At the same time he turned on the AFCE and snapped the ship out of the spen and returned the ship to base. When he ordered the bail out, 2nd Lt Harry F. Delaplane, bombardier, and Sgt Frank K. Gunderson, tail gunner, jumped over the Channel and are listed and missing in action. The formation all returned home safely with no killed or wounded.


 

November 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

NOVEMBER 1944

3 November – Thirty seven aircraft took off at 08.15 hrs from this station  to bomb the primary target which was an oil refinery at Hamburg, Germany, the group led by Colonel Leber. Flak was intense but inaccurate in the target area, where the temperature was minus 39 degrees. All ships returned safely with no casualties, while one aircraft aborted due to engine failure.

5 November –  Captain Winter led 37 aircraft from this command when took off this morning to bomb the marshalling yards at Frankfurt. Two squadrons bombed by PFF and one visual. Bombing was from 25,000 ft in minus 39 degrees. Flak was moderate but in accurate, however one enlisted man was wounded, S/Sgt Max A. Bair, 532nd  tail gunner: 1. Wound, lacerated, mild, left thigh at adducto region, caused by low velocity flak.

6 November – At 06.55 hrs, 37 ships took of the bomb the oil refinery at Hamburg, led by Capt Tyson, when bombing was done by PFF method from 26,500 ft in minus 35 degrees. Flak during the early part of the bombing run was moderate and rather accurate. Two aircraft are missing in action.

Lt Levitoff’s ship received a direct hit just behind the astro-dome and was seen to immediately leave the formation with one engine on fire. When last seen he was losing altitude rather rapidly but was under control. His co-pilot was slumped over the controls, according to eye-witnesses. Five chutes were seen to leave the ship.

Lt Brummett’s ship was apparently hit and he left the formation headed towards Brussels, Belgium. No further information has been received regarding these crews.

MIA 534th N/42-38114

Brummett, Dudley K.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Fox, Boyd C. Jr

2nd Lt

POW

Fox, Alfred

2nd Lt

POW

 

Barker, William G.

2nd Lt

POW

Dugger, Charles D.

Sgt

POW

 

Carmichael, Leonard

Sgt

POW

Watson, John F.

Sgt

POW

 

Lyons, Thomas J.

Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Horsch, Frank N.

Sgt

POW

MIA 535th S/42-97330

Levitoff, Julius

2nd Lt

POW

 

Champion, John F. Jr

2nd Lt

KIA

Byrnes, Joseph M.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Ward, Joseph C.  *

S/Sgt

POW

Kreutz, Alfred J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Menendez, Gil  H.

S/Sgt

POW

Cates, Carl E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Skrinski, Anthony

S/Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Hillard, Bruce M.

S/Sgt

POW

* Toggler

9 November – A group of 37 aircraft, led by Colonel Fitzgerald, took off at 06.15 hrs to bomb a strongly held fort near Metz, France. Bombing altitude was 18,000 ft and the temperature was minus 35 degrees. Bombing was by the new GH method, but strikes could not be seen due to an 8/10th coverage. There were two abortions due to engine failure but the rest all returned safely to base with no casualties.

10 November – About 06.00 hrs this morning, Cpl John J. Corley, 533rd, was struck by a bomb loader truck when he crossed the wrong side of the road and walked along it near the bomb dump. Several airplanes were running up their loaders and the noise drowned the sound of the truck coming up behind him.

He was picked up by the ambulance about ten minutes later and brought to the station sick quarters where he was in extremis and died about ten minutes later. The diagnosis was: 1. Shock. 2. Wound, lacerated, left inguinal region, acute, 4” x 3 ½”, extending down to fascia. 3. Possible skull fracture. 4. Multiple abrasions and contusions, minor, of both legs, 3” below the knees and of the forehead.

Thirty sevens aircraft took off at 09.00 hrs led by Colonel Leber, and bombed Cologne by GH. Bombing altitude was 27,000 ft and the temperature was minus 30 degrees. There were two abortions due to engine failure. Flak was moderate and rather accurate in the high and low squadrons.

Lt Schilling landed in Brussels without any casualties, while Lt Metts’ ship was hit just before the astro-dome by a 100lb bomb from the element above. Lt Drummond, bombardier was killed instantly as a results of a crushing fracture of the skull. The ship returned to base with its entire plexi-glass front of the nose gone and a large hole just on front of the astro-dome. One of the bombs lodged in the nose and had to be kicked out by the navigator. The ship landed here without event and the crew was admitted to sick quarters for sedation. Lt Goldin landed without brakes successfully by using the long runway and ground looping his ship.

At the present time the Army has devised a new and interesting and probably a revolutionary use for the blind landing devices in use on a B-17. These supply a knife thin electric beam so that when the aircraft crosses to one side or the other of this beam a colored pendulum swings to one side or the other. They have a range of better than 50 miles.

Currently, these are set up near the front line by the infantry and when the bombers fly over them, the pendulum swings from one side or the other  indicating to the pilot that he is in unfriendly territory and can drop his bombs at any time. Crossing back over it swings to the other side and he knows he cannot release his bombs under any circumstances. It seems likely that since this electric beam is knife thin that they will be able to use it along with the Mickey equipment to home in exactly on any German city, and drop their bombs.

14 November – While returning from a medical supply depot at Honington, Suffolk, Cpl Aulton D. Smith and Pfc. William O. Stone were involved in an accident with an ambulance attached to the 534th Bomb Squadron. The ambulance skidded while making  “U” turn about 1½ miles from this station. Cpl Smith was driving the ambulance at the time of the accident. The circumstances are being investigated.

16 November – Thirty seven aircraft from this command, led by Capt Winter took off this morning to support ground troops at Aachen, Germany. No flak was encountered, thus all ships returned safely to base with no casualties or MIA.

21 November – Take off was at 08.00 hrs for 37 aircraft led by Major Taylor to attack an oil refinery near Mersberg, Germany. The weather was bad on the way to the target but bombing was visual from 20,500 ft in minus 40 degrees C. Flak was moderate and accurate, and several ships sustained battle damage.

Lt Windsor’s ship was rather badly damaged and he left the formation headed towards Brussels. The tail of Lt LaCouture’s ship was damaged by flak and he had trouble in landing. He did land, however, without doing any more damage to the ship. There were five men wounded in action but only one was considered serious. Lt Houk, 534th, received a lacerated wound, mild, left heel, plus a contusion due to flak. He was admitted to the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree. The other injuries were either admitted to sick quarters or returned to duty.

Capt John Fenton has been sweating out his missions to a marked degree having battle dreams, talking in his sleep and having considerable mental disturbances. The boys in his barracks say he flies his ship from the time his sleeping begins until he awakens. The other night the men went into the barracks and found Capt Fenton flying an apparently tough mission. Apparently his ship was hit and he exclaimed “Co-pilot, feather number four”. “Co-pilot, what is your name?” Lt Pettitt also sleeping, answered him in his sleep. Both of them, sound sleep, piloted the severely damage Fort back to the base safely.

25 November – Thirty seven aircraft took off this morning to hit the center of Mersberg. The group was led by Capt McNeill and bombed from25,500 ft in minus 40 degrees C. There were no wounded or missing and all ships returned to this base.

26 November – Led by Colonel Leber, 37 aircraft took off this morning, to knock out a rail viaduct at Altenbeken, Germany. Many enemy fighters were seen but did not attack our group.

Lt Smith in the lead squadron lost an engine in enemy territory and was unable to keep up with the formation even after dropping his bombs and thereafter was hit by fighters and reported the loss of his first and second engines. Later he reported he had only one which was not going along well and he headed towards Belgium. There has been no further word. There were three abortions due to engine failure and one ship landed at Framlingham, Suffolk, after losing a prop. There were no casualties.

MIA 532nd K/42-106994

Smith, Kyle S.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

McGurk, Donald F.

2nd Lt

POW

Luzerne, Melvin A.

F/O

POW

 

Wear, Byron F.  *

S/Sgt

POW

Porter, Robert K.

Sgt

POW

 

Colson, Lester F.

Sgt

KIA

Contreras, Gustavo E.

Sgt

KIA

 

Arnold, Thomas

Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

DeLange, Francis R.

Sgt

POW

* Toggler

29 November – Thirty seven aircraft were led by Colonel Leber, and took off at 09.15 hrs, leading the 1st Air Division on at attack on the oil storage facilities at Misburg, five miles east of Hanover, Germany. Bombing was by PFF from 25,000 ft. No enemy fighters were encountered and there were a just a few bursts of flak over the target area.

On withdrawal, the group got about 12 miles off course and were heading for Osnabruck where considerable flak was seen but evasive action was taken in time to eliminate any battle damage.

Lt Nelson, 533rd, reported one engine out 15 minutes before the target and ten minutes after the target reported he now had two engines out and was falling back through other groups. Nothing further was heard from him. There was one abortion due to mechanical failure. The crew took off in a  second ship 12 minutes after the last one took off and he was unable to catch up the formation and returned to the base at 12.41 hrs. All remaining ships returned safely with no casualties.

30 November – This morning, 37 aircraft took off to attack an oil storage facility near Misburg, about five miles south of Hanover. The group bombed from 25,000 ft and apparently results were good.  The entire mission took six hours and 20 minutes and all ships returned safely to this base with no casualties.

Lt Nelson, reporting missing yesterday returned safely to the base today with his crew.


 

December 1944

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

DECEMBER 1944

4 December – Thirty seven aircraft led by Lt Col Fitzgerald, took off at 09.00 hrs to bomb marshalling yards near Kassel, Germany by GH method. Bombing strikes were reported as good. No enemy fighters were seen or flak encountered. All ships returned safely to base except one,  Lt Nolan 533rd, because he was forced to land in Belgium low on gas. There were no casualties.

9 December – There was an 03.00 hrs take of for 37 ships of this command led by Colonel Leber, to bomb the marshalling yards at Stuttgart, Germany from 25,000 ft. Persistent contrails were encountered before reaching the target bur disappeared before reaching the target. There was moderate but accurate flak in the target area and several ships received battle damage.

Lt Clark, 535th, caught flak on the return trip which knocked two engines out and he had five wounded on board. He was given a heading for Nancy, France and he made it OK.

Those wounded were: 2nd Lt John C. Simpson:- 1. Wound, perforating right foot, severe; 2. FCC, ankle bones, caused by flak; 2nd Lt John H. Murphy:- 1. Wound, left thigh, moderate severe; 2.  Wound, perforating and penetrating, right thorax posterior, moderate severe; 3. Wound, penetrating, right deltoid area, caused by flak; S/Sgt William W. Robey:- 1. Wound, perforating, right elbow, severe; 2. FCC bones making up right elbow joint; 3. Wound, penetrating middle third, right thigh, caused through flak; S/Sgt Harold C. Ralstron:- 1. Wound, perforating, flak, upper third, left leg, severe; 2. Fractures, compound, comminuted, tibia and fibula, left upper third, moderate severe, caused through flak; S/Sgt John J. Sladek, 1. Wound, lacerated, scalp, mild.

Other wounded men: T/Sgt Rafael C. Larson 532nd radio operator on Lazar’s crew, was severely wounded by flak with the following diagnosis: 1. Wound, penetrating, back, middle line, level of first lumbar vertebrae about 2” x 1” acute, square; 2. Wound, penetrating, right shoulder, mid-scapular area 3” x 1”, level of 6th cervical, severe.

His condition was very bad when he arrived at this station. An attempt was made to give him plasma in the plane but due to his position we were unsuccessful. It was decided to move him to the hospital since his state of shock became critical. He was moved immediately to the hospital being careful to keep him on his stomach and he received six units of plasma at sick quarters after which his pulse returned and he was transferred at once to Braintree. Five blood donors, type A, were also sent to give transfusions and the 121st Station Hospital.

S/Sgt Jacob P. Kaluza, 532nd top turret gunner, was also wounded by flak on this mission. His diagnosis: 1. Wound, penetrating severe, left loin, midway between the illiac crest and the costal margin. 2. Wound. Lacerated, severe, posterior aspect, left arm, 2” above the elbow, 2” long damaging skin and muscle. His condition remained good while receiving emergency treatment as station sick quarters and he was evacuated to 121st General Hospital, Braintree.

We believe worthy of note is the fact that Capt Pease used the fluoroscope to determine the extend of his injuries. This was the first time we have used our field X-ray equipment since it was installed.

11 December –  Thirty six aircraft from this command took off this morning led by Capt Cronin, the target designated as a railroad bridge and a marshalling yard in the city of Mannheim, Germany.  Temperature was minus 42 degrees at the bombing altitude of 21,000 ft, by means of PFF. No enemy fighters were seen and flak was moderate.

One ship was hit in the target area and exploded. Six chutes were seen to leave the ship.

Lt Clark, 534th, had quite an experience on the last mission returned to the base and gave the following account of the trip. “Our ship was hit by flak, right after ‘bombs away’, knocking out two engines and wounding five men; the toggeler, navigator, co-pilot, radio operator and ball turret gunner. The oxygen system was shot out completely and we lost a little altitude. The rest of the crew started first aid without using any oxygen at 26,000 ft. We let down to about 19,000 ft and followed the formation out of Germany.

After we got out we dropped to 12,000 ft and were given a heading by the group leader for Nancy. As we got over the Nancy area we spotted a break in the clouds and got into a rain storm, sleet, snow and everything else, so we let down to about 1,000 ft where we spotted a mountain and had to pull back immediately. We started over again finally finding another cloud break and went down through  it. I got down to about 300 ft and after about 1 ½ hours  landed at an emergency field. The plane had a flat right tire and no hydraulic system. It went down the runway with some more trouble and finally ended up in a mud puddle. We went from that base to Paris, then came back to England, and this station.”

MIA 532nd J/43-38780

Belskis, Leo

1st Lt

KIA

 

Vaughn, Glenn C.

2nd Lt

KIA

Collett, James V.

1st Lt

KIA

 

Perrin, Ross W.

2nd Lt

KIA

Newman, Walter R.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

McCoy, Elvis A.

T/Sgt

POW

Laurett, Lynn J. Jr

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Suggs, Durward V.

S/Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Rogers, Robert P.

S/Sgt

KIA

12 December – Thirty six ships from this command took off with the target designated as  an oil refinery in Mersberg, Germany. Capt Tyson led the group, which bombed from 25,000 ft by PFF. On the way over, the ships piloted by Lts Orcutt and Ruf, collided in mid-air over Belgium, however both maintained control and successfully landed in Belgium. No one is known to be hurt.

13 December – About 19.30 hrs tonight an enlisted man Sgt John B. Orrall, 533rd, was travelling from London to Cambridge by train when a German V-2 weapon exploded near the train approximately in Chesterford. The train was severely damaged and there were many casualties. Sgt Orrall received a penetrating wound of the left knee, moderate severe, through capsule with intra-articular bleeding and pnuemoarthrosis. He has been admitted to station sick quarters and will be evacuated to the 121st Station Hospital for further studies if necessary.

15 December – Thirty seven aircraft were led by Lt Col Fitzgerald and took off at 08.50 hrs this morning and bombed the locomotive works at Kassel. Bombing was from 27,000 ft by PFF, but blind and unobserved. Flak was meager, low and in accurate, no fighters were seen and there were no casualties when the formation returned.

16 December – Colonel Leber led the group today, taking off at 09.50 hrs with 37 aircraft, the target being the marshalling yards at Cologne. Bad weather was  encountered during the entire trip causing some trouble in assembly, but the group was able to get together over the Channel by climbing to an altitude of 31,000 ft and bombing by PFF, and hit the target. Bombing was blind and unobserved, Three other groups at least, turned back because of weather conditions. So far as is known this group is the only one to have bombed this particular target.

All ships returned safely to base except Lt Pearce, who landed in Belgium with one engine out. The crew is reported OK. There were no casualties, as flak was meager and inaccurate and there was no fighter opposition.

24 December – Again Col Leber was leader when 51 aircraft left this base at 10.10 hrs and bombed an airfield near Frankfurt, visually with excellent results at an altitude of 21,000 ft. There was one abortion due to engine failure, and Lt Huf, 533rd landed at Rougham, Suffolk, (home of the 94th BG) with a paralysis of the lower extremities and was reported by the station sick quarters there as being the hysterical type.  It was reported that he landed with his bomb load.

All other ships went over the target and dropped their bombs. There was meager flak encountered just before crossing the  battle lines which was thrown up by friendly troops and some enemy flak was encountered in the target area. This group was part of a 2,000 plane attack on airfields and transportation facilities behind the enemy lines. The weather was reported to be universally good all over Germany. All groups had visual targets.

25 December – Accompanied by a GH aircraft from Molesworth (303rd), 36 aircraft took off from this base at 09.50 hrs led by Lt Col Briggs and bombed a railroad bridge over the River Rhine just south of Bonn, Germany. Bombing was from 22,000 ft in an outside air temperature of minus 31 degrees Centigrade. Bombing was unobserved. There were no flak or fighters and all ships returned safely to this base with no casualties.

29 December – Thirty seven aircraft led by Colonel Shackley took off this morning with the target designated in the Mainz area, of Germany. Bombing was from 25,000 ft in minus 41 degrees. The high squadron bombed marshalling yards on GH, while the lead and low squadrons bombed the corner of the town by PFF. There were no casualties. No enemy aircraft were encountered and bombing results were excellent. All ships made a safe return.

31 December – Thirty seven aircraft led by Colonel Hall took off the bomb Prum, Germany, which is south east of Aachen. Bombing was done visually with good results. All ships returned safely with no casualties.

At 10.30 hrs Lt Weynand, who was being checked out as a first pilot, by Capt Jones, made a landing from too high causing the left landing gear to collapse. An attempt to take off again was made and he gave all four engines full throttle. The left wing dipped down and a prop touched the runway, broke off and came through the cockpit causing a traumatic amputation of Lt Weynand’s left leg just above the knee and a severe penetrating wound of the right thigh. Apparently the same piece of prop caused a severe injury to the left hand of Capt Jones as he suffered a compound comminuted fracture and severe laceration.

Cpls Cazas and Pvt Melancon were on duty at the time and went immediately to the aircraft following the accident.  Cpl Cazas got into the plane and recognizing the seriousness of the situation he applied tourniquets to the legs of Lt Weynand and controlled the bleeding from the stump. By now the ambulance from the hospital arrived with a litter, Weynand was placed on it and taken through the bombardier’s hatch. His condition at the time was critical. He was unconscious, pulseless and extremely pale. He was placed in the ambulance and with the assistance of Cpl Cazas plasma was got ready immediately and started while on the way to hospital. Soon after, Lt Weynand recovered consciousness and remained in a critical state of shock.

He was given oxygen, morphine and 1,600 units of plasma all together and then sent to the 121st Station Hospital, Braintree. He was accompanied by Captains Pease and Ralston. Seven Type ‘O’ donors were sent. Although his condition on arrival was still poor because of shock. He is now much improved and it is felt that the excellent emergency treatment given by Cazas and Melancon was the primary factor that saved his life.


 

January 1945

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

JANUARY 1945

1 January – Led by Major Taylor,  37 aircraft took off to bomb Magdeburg, Germany. Due to poor weather conditions the secondary target, Kassel,  was bombed by two squadrons. The squadrons became separated and came back alone. The lead squadron dropped on Coblenz, results unobtainable. Three planes failed to return, but confirmation they landed in friendly territory, with no casualties, was received. There were two minor casualties, with one case of mild anoxia.

2 January – Thirty seven aircraft, led by Lt Col Fitzgerald, who was completing his 30th mission, took off at 07.40 hrs and bombed a railroad station and sidings at Gerolstein, Germany. Bombing was visual and observed with excellent results. Meager accurate flak was encountered and no fighters were seen. All ships returned safely to base, with no casualties.

3 January – Thirty seven aircraft took off at 07.15 hrs, led by Capt Watson. During assembly the lead ship was forced to abort due to mechanical failure, as did Lt Hales in the lead squadron. The lead was taken up by Capt Ackerman, who was lead of the low squadron and proceeded to the secondary target, the railroad yards at Cologne. Bombing from 25,000 ft was visual by PFF. All ships and crews returned home safely.

5 January – Again railroads yards were the target for 37 ships that took off at 09.15 hrs, led by Capt Cronin, to hit the target at Heimbach, north east of Aachen, Germany. Bombing was by PBO (Primary, Blind and unObserved), from an altitude of 25,000 ft. No flak or fighters were observed, consequently all the formation returned safely.

6 January – The group commander, Colonel Leber, led 37 ships on his 29th mission, which took off at 07.30 hrs and bombed a bridge across the Rhine River at Cologne, from an altitude of 25,000 ft. Bombing was blind and unobserved due to weather conditions. There was some flak and to the right over the target area but no battle damage was received. Although fighters were reported in the area, none were seen by the group. All ships landed safely although weather conditions were very bad.

8 January – Thirty seven aircraft took of at 06.50 hrs, led by Major Sandman, and bombed a rail bridge at Alzey, Germany, south west of Frankfurt, from an altitude of 25,000 ft by GH. Bombing was by PBO with the outside temperature being minus 53 degrees C. Nine ships failed to landed at this base, four landing at another airfield, the five others have not been heard of. However it is felt the other five planes landed in France due to shortage of gas. The weather was very bad both for assembly and for bombing. There was good fighter support and no enemy aircraft seen. There were no battle casualties among the ships that returned. One minor frostbite reported in and was grounded.

10 January – Thirty seven aircraft took off for Cologne this morning in adverse weather condition which persisted most of the way, led by Lt Col Shackley. Bombing was from 25,000 ft PBO, with the low temperature of minus 52 degrees. Lt Rush landed in France with a wounded tail gunner, S/Sgt Arthur C. Hefner, 533rd. He suffered a FFC, right leg from flak, and was admitted to the 77th British General Hospital.

Col Shackley had to feather an engine and dropped half of his load to keep up with the lead. At present he is considered mission in action, but this is not official, for he had £45 with him!

There was one wounded man, S/Sgt Jackie J. Nicholls, of the 533rd squadron, when the aircraft returned.

Major Rankin C. Blount, is enjoying this week at Stanbridge earls, Hampshire, as medical officer in charge. We understand that he has competition with the girls there at Lt Pettitt was sent to the same rest home this week.

13 January – Thirty seven aircraft led by Major Winter, took off this morning with the target designated as a bridge at Germersheim, Germany. Over the bridge there was a meager amount of accurate flak. Immediately before and after the target the sky was clear but the target obscured by a single cloud. Bombing was by GH, but PBO. No aircraft was lost but one landed in Belgium with a prop wind-milling and another going bad, while there were no casualties from the returning formation in very poor visibility.

14 January – Take off was at 07.00 hrs for 37 ships of this command with the designated target as a railroad bridge at Cologne. Bombing was from 25,000 ft in a temperature of minus 43 degrees. The bridge was 1,300 ft long by 90 ft wide, and it was bombed visually with excellent results were reported. Flak was meager to moderate but very accurate.

One ship was lost, Lt Roebuck, 535th, when he sustained a flak hit and was reported to have a fire in #3 engine, then dived out of the formation while two men bailed out, however all the crew eventually returned to base. Subsequently the ship levelled off and at present one ship is unreported.

Some of our crews brought back incendiary pellets. These are reputedly fired in a 38mm casing which bursts at altitude. The individual pellets contain phosphorous supposed to burst into fragments on contact, and are about an inch long by ½” diameter.

15 January – Captain George J. Pease, commanding officer of the 242nd Medical Detach., arrived at station sick quarters on time today. It is now considered there are eight miracles! Our captain was actually in the treatment room at 08.00 hrs It is expected he will take the rest of the month off!

17 January – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off at 07.30 hrs, led by Lt Col hall to bomb Paderborn, Germany. Bombing was by GH, results PBO. All aircraft returned safely to base and there were no casualties.

20 January – Thirty six aircraft, led by Capt Watson, took off at 07.30 hrs and bombed a bridge over the Rhine at Ludwigshaven, by GH and PFF. Bombing altitude was 28,000 ft which of 3,000 ft higher than the briefed altitude because of poor weather.

The temperature was 53 degrees below. Lt J. E. Smith, 532nd, landed his aircraft in France due to mechanical failure and was back before the formation. There were no casualties as flak was light and they received no battle damage.

In addition to our own aircraft, about 14 from Kimbolton (379th) and three from Grafton Underwood (384th) landed at this base, neither of whom had casualties either.

21 January – Colonel Leber took off with 37 aircraft from this base at 07.30 hrs and bombed a tank assembly plant at Aschaffenburg, near Frankfurt. The weather was bad and bombing was PBO.

One ship failed to return, Lt Pettitt, 533rd, thought possibly to be POWs, but fortunately all the crew return to base a few days later.

Col Leber completed his 30th mission and was presented with the Silver Star by General Gross of 1st Combat Wing at lead crew interrogation. This presentation was made because of his gallantry in action, high qualities of leadership for over a year and the low casualties we have had since he was commanding officer of this group (Dec 1943).

On the return to the field while peeling off to land, two ships of the high squadron, 532nd, collided in mid-air, one piloted by Lt J. E. Smith and the other by F/O Tauro. The ship flown by Tauro hit Smith’s ship knocking the tail off from the waist door back. This happened about 1,500 ft and both ships fell straight down, the tail assembly of Smith’s landed about half a mile east of the other ship.

Both ships crashed at Park Farm, about a mile west of Tilbury and immediately burst into flame. It was evident immediately that no one had survived the crash. No bodies were removed today and will be removed in the morning due to fire and exploding ammunition.

The body of Sgt Campbell was found intact in the tail assembly of Smith’s ship and was the only one brought in today.

22 January – This morning all 17 of the remaining bodies were recovered and removed from yesterday’s crash. Sixteen were positively identified by dog tags, dental records, or wallet. All the bodies were badly mutilated, partially disintegrated, and all had 3rd degree burns of the entire remaining body, but the main torso of all of them were recovered. The exact cause could not be determined.

Killed 532nd GD-O/42-40011

Smith, James E.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Dernberger, William A.

F/O

KIA

Soper, Charles F.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

McCudden, Bernard L. *

S/Sgt

KIA

Gray, Virgil L.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Durban, Peter J.

S/Sgt

KIA

Wilson, Donald T.

Sgt

KIA

 

Campbell, Ralph E.

Sgt

KIA

      None

 

 

 

Streich, Walter A.

Sgt

KIA

*  Toggler

Killed 532nd MS-K/42-97511

Tauro, Nicholas F.

F/O

KIA

 

Crofts, Val J.

F/O

KIA

Sobole, Seymour L.

F/O

KIA

 

Jones, Edward L.   *

S/Sgt

KIA

Panaccione, Gildo

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Shapiro, Morris A.

S/Sgt

KIA

Taylor, Allen

Sgt

KIA

 

York, John P.

Sgt

KIA

None

 

 

 

Swarts, Milton S.

Sgt

KIA

* Toggler

28 January – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off at 08.30 hrs, with the destination – Cologne, led by Major Taylor. Bombing was visual as the weather was very good over the target. Only one half of the group bombed the primary due to problems forming near the target. The remainder bombed a  secondary target in Cologne. Flak was meager but accurate, but no fighters were encountered, although anticipated. All ships returned safely with no casualties.

29 January – Thirty eight aircraft took off at 07.30 hrs for the target of Coblenz, Germany. It was 50 degrees below at 25,000 ft with bombing by GH, results PBO. Flak was meager and inaccurate while a few rockets were observed over Germany. The group was led safely home by Major Sandman.

30 January – Today our Chief Clerk, T/Sgt William H. Bassett, departed for the Zone of the Interior, on temporary duty. Our organization has been depleted by two more enlisted men and both Cpls Austin and Mammay (HQ) have volunteered for infantry duty “Foot sloggers” to be.


 

February 1945

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

FEBRUARY 1945

1 February – Thirty eight aircraft from this command took off about 07.40 hrs, with the destination the marshalling yards at Mannheim. They group was led by Major Winter, but the bombing was blind and unobserved. All aircraft, except Lt Anderson, 534th, who landed in France with an engine out, returned safely to this station.

Lt Coombs, 533rd, lost an engine going out over the Channel and on return he lost another. As he approached the field for a landing, the third engine went out, necessitating  and emergency crash landing down wind. The aircraft landed in the 533rd dispersal area knocking over one hut and landing on top of another. Fortunately no one was in either hut, and the crew was only badly shaken after the experience. There was no the slightest injury to any crew member, they were hospitalized overnight and sedated. Their aircraft was a total wreck.

3 February – Thirty seven aircraft from this command, under Capt MacNeill, took off at 07.10 hrs, heading for Berlin, the target being the center of the city, where government buildings included the Gestapo HQ and Air Ministry. The bombing was from an altitude of 26,500 ft, visual and observed with good results.

The left wing of Lt Anderson’s ship, 532nd, caught fire over the target and the crew was seen to all bail out from the damaged aircraft. After the last chute was seen to leave, the aircraft pulled up sharply and exploded in mid-air.

Also missing is Lt Pucylowski, 534th, and nothing is known what happened to the crew. Flak was moderate and accurate two minutes before and after the target, but no fighters were encountered.

MIA 532nd H/42-102873

Anderson, John B.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Wall, Leonard A.

2nd Lt

POW

Gayard, Paul G.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Forbes, Carl H. Jr

F/O

POW

Kemppainen, Carl E.

Sgt

POW

 

Nessly, George R.

Sgt

POW

Medzic, Michael J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Wallace, Curtis P.

Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

McGreevey, Robert H.

Sgt

POW

MIA 534th G/42-38898

Pucylowski, Paul C.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Yarnes, Harry M.

F/O

POW

Kelleher, John E.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Zichterman, A. H. *

S/Sgt

POW

Way, Clarence E.

T/Sgt

POW

 

Noxon, Joseph J.

T/Sgt

POW

Mitchell, Stuart R.

Sgt

POW

 

Green, Earl E.

S/Sgt

POW

None

 

 

 

Landes, Robert M.

Sgt

POW

* Toggler

There was one battle casualty – S/Sgt Jeremiah B. Hogan, 534th: Wound, lacerated, center of forehead, mild, caused by flak. He was wearing his flak helmet, but the flak passed just under the forward brim, not damaging the helmet.

6 February – Thirty seven aircraft from this command took off at 07.20 hrs, led by Capt Watson, the primary target being Lutzkendorf and  Berling the secondary. Due to weather conditions neither target was hit, so a target of opportunity was attacked, Weimar, Germany, bombing was visual with good results. On returning to base bad weather conditions were encountered causing four aircraft to land at other bases, and one ship is unaccounted for, Lt Klunge, 534th.

9 February – Captain Cronin led 37 aircraft which took off at 09.30 hrs the destination being Arnsberg, Germany. A railroad bridge was bombed from 22,000 ft, at minus 40 degrees, by GH, blind and unobserved. GH reported an excellent bomb run. Flak was meager and inaccurate, although some was encounter on the way home over the Zuider Zee. No fighters were encountered and there were no casualties.

One ship did not return, Lt Williamson, but it was later learned that he crash-landed in France and there was one injured, but the individual is unknown at the present time.

19 February – Thirty seven aircraft from the command, led by Capt Carpenter, 533rd, took off at 10.25 hrs to attack a synthetic oil plant at Dorfmann, Germany. Bombing was by PFF but PBO, while flak was moderate and inaccurate. No enemy fighters were encountered. There was a discrepancy as to the target hit, but was finally decided as to the above. All ships returned to base safely and battle damage was nil.

20 February – Thirty seven aircraft from this group took off at 08.30 hrs led by Majors Bordner and Winters, 534th, the destination Nurnberg, Germany. The target was part of a new Gestapo HQ, and repair shops in the city. Bombing was supposed to be visual but there were clouds up to 26,500 ft from the coast to the target and back. A slight amount of flak was encountered y our group, but it was low and quite a distance away. Bombing was by PFF, results PBO in minus 43 degrees. No enemy fighters were encountered, and all our ship returned safely.

21 February – Major Taylor, of the 535th, led 37 ships from this command, heading for Berlin or Nuremburg, depending on the weather, after the aircraft were assembled. Bombing was by PFF from 26,000 ft, at – 40 degrees. Flak was light and no enemy fighters seen.

One 533rd aircraft had one engine afire and had to land in Belgium. Upon returning to base there was one breath-taking incident on landing. Lt Crouse, 533rd, bounced his ship on landing and it nosed up tail high so the props almost chewed the runway. It knocked of one runway light. He then decided to take off again and took off across the field, clearing the preceding ships by a few feet. After circling for about 10-15 minutes, he made a perfect landing.

22 February – Captain Tyson led 37 aircraft which took off with the target scheduled as a small marshalling yard west of Berlin. They were to fly at 20,000 ft and drop to 12,000 ft for bombing. 

Some 6,000 aircraft from Great Britain, and Italy, American and British combined were to take part in this mission, which was designed to completely paralyze rail and canal transportation, and by cutting smaller secondary railroads in numerous places by bombing marshalling yards and areas where railroads went through cuts.

The Russian Air Force reserved the area around Stettin as its private hunting ground.

The group found no clouds, but extensive ground haze around the area they were to bomb. The lead and low groups hit marshalling yards previously designated and the high group bombed another yard about five miles away. Results were excellent and on return home results were observed of other units as visibility improved in many towns and areas were seen burning fiercely throughout Germany. There was no flak or fighter attacks, but the enemy were reported in the area. One German two-engined aircraft and one identified fighter were seen to have been shot down. All aircraft returned to base and ther was one casualty, who caught his head in the top turret, Sgt William Szigetti, 534th top turret gunner, who cut his nose and skull.

23 February – Thirty seven aircraft led by Major Sandman, took off at 06.45 hrs, to continue the destruction of communications in central and eastern Germany. The primary target was not hit and the group flew round Germany for 45 minutes to an hour looking for a target of opportunity. The high and lead squadrons hit Meiningen, Germany, while the 533rd did a royal job of messing things up as they saw two targets – one being a marshalling yard and the other about 200 cows – the result was that the poor innocent cows had it. Lt Fingeroth, 534th, was lead bombardier. Credit may be given to the 532nd bombardier for doing an excellent job.

24 February – Thirty seven aircraft from this command, took off with the target designated as submarine pens in Hamburg, the secondary being marshalling yards in the same city. Bombing altitude was 26,500 ft in minus 38 degrees. The yards were bombed by PFF, flak being light and inaccurate over the target. High and lead squadrons bombed together, the low squadron making a separate bomb run. All aircraft returned safely to base.

The only casualty for the day was at 04.00 hrs when a fire started in one of the 534th ships and Sgt Thomas S. Downey, 534th, in attempting to put it out ran into #4 propeller which was still revolving. It removed his head cleanly above lower jaw. Deceased.

25 February – Thirty seven aircraft led by Capt Cronin, took off at 07.00 hrs with the destination Munich. The group visually bombed railroad marshalling yards, all squadrons obtained excellent results. Flak in the target area was moderate and very accurate, however all ships returned to base with the exception of Lt Schloesser, 535th, who landed in Brussels. No enemy fighters were intercepted.

There was one cold injury: Sgt Troy D. Swope, 535th BTG: Cold injury, high altitude type, mouth, mild, ice formed on moustache.

26 February – Another visit to Berlin was designated for 37 aircraft under the command of Major Winter which took off at 07.45 hrs. Bombing was from 26,500 hrs, by instruments and unobserved. Flak was very meager and inaccurate, no fighters were seen by the group although jet-propelled enemy fighters were reported in the area.

All aircraft returned home safely except Lt Perry, who developed engine trouble just before the target and could not keep up with the formation. He was however able to drop his bombs and return to friendly territory on the continent. Both the ship and crew reported OK.

Captain Todd of the 535th, completed his tour on this mission.

27 February – Thirty seven aircraft, led by Major Bordner, took off at 09.20 hrs with the target designated as a railroad station at Leipzig. Bombing was by instruments and unobserved. Flak was seen over the target but was not near our formation, while no enemy fighters were seen. Upon return the group was in excellent formation and the landing was the smoothest yet. There were no casualties.


 

March 1945

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

MARCH 1945

1 March – Briefing was at 07.15 hrs and take off at 09.50 hrs when 37 ships led by Capt Watson bombed railroad marshalling yards at Neckersulm, near Stuttgart. Bombing was by instruments and unobserved. There was meager flak during the bomb run but none over the target, no enemy fighters were seen, therefore no casualties when the formation returned.

The engineer on Lt Price’s crew bailed out over France following a fire in an engine, however Price was able to extinguish it and bring the aircraft back to base.

2 March – Thirty six aircraft, led by Capt Tyson, took off at 06.00 hrs and bombed marshalling yards at Chemnitz, Germany. Due to 10/10th cloud over the target, bombing was by PFF from an altitude of 26,500 ft and results were unobserved. Flak was light, no enemy fighters seen. One aircraft landed at Brussels, the rest came home OK, with no casualties.

4 March – Thirty seven aircraft, led by Major Taylor took off at 06.30 hrs with the target designated as the railroad yards at Ulm, Germany. Bombing was by PFF and GH apparently with good results. The were no flak and no enemy fighters seen.

There was one casualty, IIA (Injured In Action): Sgt William C. Benton, 532nd gunner;  Wound, contused, chest left. Caused by being accidentally squeezed in turret.

5 March – Led by Lt Col Shackley, 37 aircraft took off at 05.50 hrs and after assembling over France, proceeded to the target area. The lead squadron lost its instruments at IP and was thrown off course. The low and high squadrons dropped their bombs on Chemnitz through 10/10th cloud. The lead squadron after much searching bomb a target of opportunity, which was the town of Gera.

Two aircraft landed in France, Lt Smith and Lt Price, but all others returned to base. There were no casualties. The lead ship did run into some flak in their ramblings, but no enemy fighters were seen.

8 March – Thirty seven aircraft led by Capt Bryce, took off at 11.20 hrs, and bombed a benzoil plant at Huls, near Essen, Germany. Lt Fink, 534th, took off late and was unable to catch up with the formation and since we were the last group in, he turned back while over the North Sea. Bombing was by instruments and unobserved. Flak was meager and inaccurate and no enemy fighters encountered. There were no casualties.

S/Sgt Stanley A. Johnson, 532nd, was honorably discharged from the service, this date, and commissions a 2nd Lt in the M. A. C.

T/Sgt William H. Bassett, 381st HQ, now on Detached Service in the United States is to be honorably discharged and commissioned a 2nd Lt in M. A. C., upon his return to the UK. T/Sgt Bassett will probably spend much of the time on his trip back peeling potatoes, while “sweating out” his commission.

9 March – Thirty sevens ships, led by Lt Col Hall, took off at 06.15 hrs and bombed locomotive shops and rail yards at Kassel, Germany. Bombing was visual with instruments to assist and results were though to be good. Flak over the target was moderate and accurate.

Lt Scherrman’s ship, 532nd, which was carrying incendiaries was apparently hit in the bomb bay, just before bombs away. The aircraft was seen going down under control and no chutes were seen to open.

MIA 532nd J/43-39012

Scherrman, Paul J.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Nelson, Earl B..

2nd Lt

KIA

Drohan, Nicholas J..

F/O

KIA

 

Miska, Manny  M..

2nd Lt

KIA

McClain, Richard

Sgt

KIA

 

Gasparovich, George

Sgt

POW

Monzingo, Garland

Sgt

KIA

 

Houghton, Herbert  Jr

Sgt

KIA

None

 

 

 

Fitzgerald, Hugh D.

Sgt

POW

There was one man WIA: S/Sgt Luther M. Dennis, 532nd toggler: Wound, penetrating, medial side left heel, moderate severe.

10 March – Thirty seven aircraft of this group took off at 10.00 hrs to bomb rail yards at Sinsen, Germany, in northern Ruhr. Capt Carpenter led the group and bombing was done by PFF. Flak was meager and inaccurate, no enemy fighters attacked and all ships returned safely to this base, with no casualties.

11 March – Major Bordner led 37 ships which took off at 09.50 hrs from Bremen submarine pens. The target was obscured by 10/10th cloud, so bombing was by instruments PFF, and results unobserved. No enemy aircraft opposition and flak was a meager to intense sporadic barrage. All ships returned with no casualties or battle damage.

12 March – Thirty six aircraft led by Capt Tyson took off at 09.15 hrs and bombed marshalling yards at Dillenburg, Germany. Bombing was done by instruments. There was no flak, no enemy and no casualties as all ships returned OK.

14 March – Captain MacNeill led 37 aircraft which took off at 10.40 hrs to attack a rail bridge at Vlotho, Germany. Lt Perry lost an engine and aborted, but all other aircraft bombed the target visually with excellent results. There was no flak or enemy aircraft encounters and no casualties.

After all ships returned safely to base, Lt Col Hall received a call from General Gross, who led the division, congratulating him on this group having one of the best formations he had seen.

15 March – Thirty seven aircraft led by Capt Carpenter took off at 10.00 hrs and bombed marshalling yards at Oranienburg, Germany. These yards handle all traffic from the port of Stettin and were a high priority target. Bombing was done visually from 23,500 ft and photos showed excellent results. Flak over the target was meager and inaccurate.

However, upon withdrawal, near Wittenburg, Germany, considerable flak was encountered. Lt Carpenter’s ship received a direct hit in the waist and considerable damage to the ship. Following this he was unable to keep up with the formation and fell back. He was able to land at an RAF Emergency Landing Ground, at Woodbridge, Suffolk.

On landing the gear collapsed causing unrepairable damage to the aircraft. The waist gunner, S/Sgt Walter J. Ahl was killed over the target with severe flak wound in the chest, and two others were wounded. Lt Muffley, bombardier on Price’s crew, received a severe flak wound involving nose, left eye and hard palate, a large piece of flak embedded in the pharynx. All other ships returned to base but several had battle damage.

Wounded in action were: 1st Lt Robert T. Muffley, 532nd bombardier: Wound, penetrating severe, infra-orbital region.

Sgt Robert L. Hinders, 533rd tail gunner: Wound, Contusion, lumbar region.

T/Sgt John E. Thrash, 533rd top turret gunner: Wound, lacerated forehead.

17 March – Take off was at 08.00 hrs when 37 aircraft led by Major Bordner, were scheduled to attack rail yards at Gena, Germany by the high and lead squadrons, by PFF, while the low squadron bombed an oil plant at Bohlen. There was considerable flak over the targets, but it was inaccurate. All ships returned safely to base, but many were short on gas. One case of anoxia is being investigated. Bombing altitude was 28,000 ft, lowest temperature – 41 degrees. 

18 March – At 07.00 hrs, 37 aircraft led by Major Krieger took off with the target designated as Berlin. On the bomb run another squadron interfered with out group, but the lead and low squadrons bombed the target with unobserved results. The high squadron hit a small town north east of Berlin, by instrument (PFF), after they were unable to hit the primary. All aircraft returned safely. Flak was moderate and inaccurate, but there was one casualty: Sgt Laddie B. Fields, 534th tail gunner:- Wound, penetrating, severe, right leg.

19 March – Thirty seven aircraft, led by Capt Watson, took off at 08.30 hrs in very unfavorable weather conditions. The target was the marshalling yards at Plauen, near Leipzig. Bombing was by PFF and unobserved. All aircraft returned safely to base and there were no casualties.

21 March – Captain Bryce led 37 ships that took off at 06.45 hrs, three aborting through mechanical failure, the remainder hit an airfield at Rheine-Salzbergen, near Osnabruck, Germany. Flak was meager with no enemy fighters seen, this bombing was visual with excellent results. There were no casualties.

22 March – Two new enlisted men, fresh from the United States, joined our organization this date, Cpl James W. Johnston and Pfc Theodore B. Sternman.

Captain Gotthardt led 37 ships which took off at 07.30 hrs to hit the German HQ at Feldhausen, near Dortmund, which was bombed visually with excellent results. Immediately after bombs away, the lead ship carrying Capts Gotthardt and Stone, and Lt Fawcett and crew received a direct flak hit apparently in the cockpit and went down. Three chutes were seen coming out, but only two of them seemed to open.

F/O Robert F. Farmer, navigator with Lt Davis, 534th receineved a flak hit in his right leg, moderate penetration. Lt Pettitt, 533rd, completed his tour on this mission.

MIA 533rd N/44-8175

Fawcett, Robert

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Gotthardt, Robert J.

Capt

KIA

Stone, George J.

Capt

KIA

 

Kowalski, Peter

1st Lt

POW

Biglin, Joseph H.

S/Sgt

KIA

 

Russolino, Lawrence A

T/Sgt

KIA

Hiller, Elbert       (MO)

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Biskop, Stanley H.

Sgt

KIA

Banotai, Charles (GH)

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Scott, Walter F.

2nd Lt

KIA

23 March – Thirty seven aircraft from this command, led by Capt Cronin, bombed marshalling yards at Coesfeld, Germany, visually with excellent results. There was no flak, no enemy fighters seen and no casualties, as all ships returned to base.

Capt Gottfried Klinkseik, 532nd pilot, completed his second tour on this mission, and he has now a total of 60 operational missions in this theater.

24 March – This was a “Big Day” in which this group flew two missions in support of Allied troops making their drive across the Rhine. At 06.20 hrs Capt Tyson led 37 ships took off with their target designated as an airfield at Vechtal, Germany. The target was bombed with excellent results

The waist gunner on Lt Bennett’s crew, S/Sgt Robert B. Bolin, was killed by a penetrating wound of the abdomen, caused by flak, while the navigator and bombardier of Lt Brashear’s crew were slightly injured by fragments of plexi-glass. Lt Jankoviak’s aircraft was hit at the target and blew up and crashed, with no chutes seen to open. No enemy fighters were encountered.

Twelve aircraft, led by Major Taylor, took off at 14.15 hrs, and joined two other squadrons from this wing with the target an airfield at Twente-Enschede. It was bombed visually with excellent results. There was very little flak, not enemy fighters seen and no casualties.

MIA 533rd W/44-6478

Jankowiak, Robert E.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Roche, Philip R.

2nd Lt

KIA

Garrett, William D.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Levenson, Herbert H

2nd Lt

KIA

McGrath, James E.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Moberg, Oscar J.

S/Sgt

KIA

Hensley, John W.

Sgt

POW

 

Berger, Paul L.

Sgt

KIA

None

 

 

 

Beschta, Stanley E.

Sgt

POW

The ETO Blood Bank team was at the station this past week. We had 775 with type “O” blood available, and 728 donors responded for a percentage of 94%.

26 March – Leading 37 aircraft from this command was Major Sandman, the formation taking off at 09.00 hrs under very poor conditions before assembling over France.  The primary target was Zeitz, Germany. On the bomb run the high and lead squadrons were unable to pick up the target and did no drop their bombs, while the low squadron bombed with poor results. Another run was made on the target but due to cloud coverage it was again obscured, after which, the secondary target, Plauen, was hit. Considerable accurate flak was encountered throughout the target area and battle damage to aircraft was extensive.

Several aircraft landed in France due to a shortage of gas and battle damage. Lt Hawley landed at B-50, and his plane burned immediately after landing with two crew members slightly injured. Lt Smith, of Baden’s crew, received a perforating flak wound in the right hand. Several aircraft landed in southern England, short of gas and battle damage. All other crews are accounted for except Lt Price, who left the formation over France.

28 March – Thirty seven aircraft led by Capt MacNeill took of at 06.00 hrs and bombed Berlin, by means of instruments, results unobserved. Flak was meager and inaccurate. Lt Bush landed on the continent low on gas and with one engine out. Lt Maschoff crash-landed on the continent, with no injuries to crew. All other aircraft returned safely to base with no casualties.

30 March – Led by Lt Col Hall, 37 aircraft took off  this date with the target designated as a sub pen and sub building yards at Bremen. There was a layer of clouds which caused difficulty in assembling. Bombing, from 26,000 ft, was visual with excellent results. Temperature was minus 37 degrees at bombing altitude.

Lt Bennett, 535th, lost two engines over the target  and fighters were called to escort him out but he is Missing In Action. Several German jets made attacks from below but no damage was reported. Flak was moderate and accurate. And only moderate battle damage was reported, with minor scratches being the only injuries sustained. Several ships returned on two engines and landed successfully. One had elevators and hydraulics shot out and ground looped  while travelling quite fast.

MIA 535th M/42-102590

Bennett, Robert A.

2nd Lt

POW

 

Nelson, Alexander D.

2nd Lt

KIA

Cawley, Paul T.

F/O

POW

 

Holt, Elbert H.   *

S/Sgt

POW

Slomczenski, Chester

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Mumper, Robert H.

T/Sgt

POW

Hockley, Calvin J.

S/Sgt

POW

 

Stubblefield, Guy

Sgt

POW

Majors, Charles     (SJ)

S/Sgt

POW

 

Knaus, Charles F.

S/Sgt

KIA

* Toggler

31 March – Thirty six aircraft led by Major Taylor bombed Halle, Germany by PFF from an altitude of 25,000 ft. Flak was meager and inaccurate. All aircraft returned safely to base with no casualties.


 

April 1945

 

DIARY OF MEDICAL DETACHMENT – STATION #167

APRIL 1945

4 April – Thirty seven aircraft led by Lt Col Shackley, took off at 06.00 hrs, the target an airfield at Hoya, Germany. Bombing was partly visual, with at least one squadron hitting the target. Flak was meager but accurate.

There were two casualties: F/O Ralph A. Thomas, 532nd co-pilot, who killed by a severe flak wound to the skull, while T/Sgt Jack C. Poole, 533dr top turret gunner received penetrating, multiple but moderate wounds to his forehead.

5 April – Thirty seven aircraft led by Major Bordner bombed an airfield at Hoya, for the second day in succession. There was little flak, and no enemy fighters seen. All aircraft returned OK with no casualties.

7 April – Captain Cronin led 37 aircraft to bomb an airfield at Kohlenbissen, Germany. Results were excellent. No Flak, no enemy fighters, no casualties.

8 April – Thirty seven aircraft led by Major Krieger took off and bombed a locomotive works at Stendahl, near Hanover, Germany. Bombing was by instruments, PFF, with fair results. Flak was meager but accurate.

Lt Adelmeyer’s aircraft caught fire and exploded near Kassel, while on withdrawal. His ship was seen to crash into a large building which was set on fire. Three chutes were seen to open but were fired on from a wood by automatic fire. Two crew members were later reported safe and uninjured and they subsequently returned to base.

MIA 534th H/44-6173

Adelmeyer, Harvey E.

2nd Lt

KIA

 

Frampton, John N.

2nd Lt

KIA

Melvin, Norman E.

F/O

KIA

 

Dybicz, Edward J.*

S/Sgt

KIA

Daily, Richard L.

T/Sgt

KIA

 

Hayden, James H.

T/Sgt

RTD

?

 

 

 

Cobb, Robert E.

Sgt

KIA

None

 

 

 

Houser, Edward P.

Sgt

RTD

9 April – Thirty seven aircraft, led by Lt Seeley, took off at 10.30 hrs and bombed an airfield at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Bombing was visual with good results. Lt Hughes, 532nd,  aborted after assembly and crash landed in southern England with two engines out. Lt  Earl C. Smith, the navigator,  was injured in the landing, with hip and pelvic dislocations, and hospitalized at Wilesbore County Hospital (British). There were no other casualties.

10 April – Captain MacNeill led a formation of 37 aircraft which bombed an ordnance depot at Oranienburg, 12 miles north of Berlin. Results were excellent with no flak and no casualties. Three enemy jet fighters were seen but did not attack our formation. All aircraft returned safely to this base.

11 April – Thirty seven aircraft led by Capt Johnson took off at 08.00 hrs using a new type formation. The target was an oil storage plant at Freiham, near Munich, which was bombed with good results.

Flak was meager and inaccurate except for one burst which exploded in the tail of Lt Samo’s ship, 534th, severely wounding the tail gunner, Sgt Raymond R. Forsythe: Diagnosis:- right thigh, severely penetrating, right forearm, perforated, severe, right hand, 1st and 2nd fingers, distal phalanx with 4th finger, middle phalanx.

13 April – Thirty seven aircraft led by Capt Ackerman bombed the railway yards at Neumunster, Germany, visually with good results. There was no flak, no enemy fighters, and no casualties as all ship returned home OK.

15 April – Major Sandman led 37 ships from this command  and bombed enemy 77mm gun emplacements, near Bordeaux. Bombing results were excellent, no enemy fighters or flak were seen and all aircraft returned safely home.

16 April – Thirty seven aircraft led by Capt Tyson took off with the target a railway bridge near Regensburg, Germany. Bombing was visual. The bridge did not receive a direct hit but one end of it may have been damaged. Flak was meager and inaccurate and there was no battle damage and all aircraft except one 535th, which landed in France with an engine out.

Since the loss of the Elbe river bridgehead yesterday, there was a hurry call for more men for the infantry. Naturally the Medical Department suffered, losing three more ambulance drivers to the ground forces. To compensate for the inadequate personnel, all medical officers have secured a driver’s license.

The Group Surgeon is on a three day leave and higher command has delegated the squadron surgeons as “good will” ambassadors to promote American-American relations between the officers of Ridgewell and the Army Nurses of Braintree. Capt Cohler spent the day in the air with four nurses and one officer from our neighboring installation (121st Station Hospital). His efforts to be a good host were so appreciated that in the future I’m afraid the job will be given definitely to a medical officer.

1st Lt Joe D. Nelson, 533rd, who completed and operational tour in B-17s about six weeks ago, has been flying a Weather Recon. P-51 from Bassingbourn and has frequently seen over the field and buzzed at low level, on several occasions knocking leaves from the trees. Today he dived into a perfect slow roll over the 535th area. His engine cut out then cut out again and he tried to zoom the ship upward but the engine cut out again and he crashed and burned in a field about two miles from this base.

17 April – Thirty seven aircraft, with Major Bordner leading the entire Eighth Air Force formation, took off at 10.15 hrs and bombed marshalling yards at Dresden, Germany. Results were excellent. The high squadron received some flak, and enemy jet planes hit some formations but did not attack this group. All aircraft returned safely to this base.

19 April – Captain Seeley led the 37 aircraft from this base, taking off at 06.30 hrs to bomb marshalling yards at Elsterwerda, Germany. Bombing was visual, the primary target being attacked by the high and low squadrons, both missing the target completely. All aircraft returned safely to base. No flak, no fighters, no casualties. Weather excellent.

20 April – Forty aircraft led by Capt Watson took off at 06.25 hrs and bombed marshalling yards at Brandenburg, Germany, visually with good results. Flak was meager and inaccurate, although one burst caused a fire in the tail of the lead ship which was brought under control and extinguished. No enemy fighters were seen, and there were no casualties, when all ships returned home safely..

21 April – Thirty seven aircraft led by Lt Col Shackley bombed marshalling yards at Munich by instruments, but results were unobserved. No flak, no fighters, no casualties and all ships came home OK.

23 April – A B-17 piloted by Capt Ackerman, 534th, which was transporting men on pass and leave to Belfast, N. Ireland, crashed into a mountain, called North Barrule, on the Isle of Man. All 31 personnel on board were killed. Bodies were brought back to this station by plane, Major Blount, Capt Lisnow and Sgt Lemasters, making the trip along with Lt Col Hall and others. Burial was at the American Military Cemetery, Cambridge, on Friday, with a large attendance from this station, members from every organization being among the personnel killed.

The 432nd Air Service Group was formed at this station, other units, with the exception of the Bomb Group and 881st Chemical Company being absorbed into the new group.

2nd Lt Stanley A. Johnson, MAC, left for Grafton Underwood, and 2nd Lt Leo D. Stewart arrived to take over duties as MAC officer for the new service group.

25 April – Major Border led 37 aircraft, taking off at 06.30 hrs to bomb an airfield at Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. The target was obscured by clouds and could not be sufficiently visualized to drop bombs. Flak was moderate and accurate.

There was one casualty, S/Sgt Burr C. Brock, 532nd waist gunner, received a slight flak wound.

With the sun setting fast over Hitler’s Reich, it looks as if this may be the last operational mission in this theater for this group.

AND SO IT PROVED