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Bill in WWII

Dad was a radioman on B-24s flying over Germany and occupied Europe during WWII. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with 4 clusters for his service ("4 clusters" means effectively he was awarded it 4 times).

We never heard much of his war experiences while we were growing up. There were a few army stories. There was the night they were tested for night vision and he tested best in his platoon, but on the way back to the barracks with his friends, while gloating over his "victory", he fell into a ditch. There was his liking of army food: not only would he trade his issued cigarettes for k-rations, but Mom's spaghetti was modelled after army food. And there was the occasional story of being a colorblind radioman, who needed to ask bystanders which wires were matching colors.

While cleaning out some papers I found a brief diary of his 35 combat missions. There was some difficulty :-(he wrote it by hand), but it follows below.

We also learned a lot more when Mr. Wildrick Hart contacted me. He was the pilot for Dad's plane. Since his retirement 20 years ago he had used skills he had developed doing geneology to try to track down the ten members of his crew, and had only found 9. His son came upon these very pages(!), and Mr. Hart then wrote me. Besides invaluable memories and explanations, he also pointed me at www.b24.net, where we were able to research the flights documented in the diary, and were kindly provided with clarifications, explanations, and comments on the diary, along with permission to use the picture on top of this page.

You can see the scan of the original if you prefer - feel free to help by correcting the transcription in any errors or omissions.

You can see the contents of the diary transcribed here, download the multipage TIF image of the diary, or view the individual pages:page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6, page 7, page 8

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